Using marine macroalgae for carbon sequestration: a critical appraisal

Abstract

There has been a good deal of interest in the potential of marine vegetation as a sink for anthropogenic C emissions (“Blue Carbon”). Marine primary producers contribute at least 50% of the world’s carbon fixation and may account for as much as 71% of all carbon storage. In this paper, we analyse the current rate of harvesting of both commercially grown and wild-grown macroalgae, as well as their capacity for photosynthetically driven CO2 assimilation and growth. We suggest that CO2 acquisition by marine macroalgae can represent a considerable sink for anthropogenic CO2 emissions and that harvesting and appropriate use of macroalgal primary production could play a significant role in C sequestration and amelioration of greenhouse gas emissions.

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Acknowledgments

This review is the first activity of the WG-Asian Network of the Asian Pacific Phycological Association and has been supported by a grant ‘Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Using Seaweeds’ Project funded by the Korean Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs.

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Correspondence to Ik Kyo Chung.

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Chung, I.K., Beardall, J., Mehta, S. et al. Using marine macroalgae for carbon sequestration: a critical appraisal. J Appl Phycol 23, 877–886 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10811-010-9604-9

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Keywords

  • Blue carbon
  • Macroalgae
  • Photosynthesis
  • CO2 sequestration