Recent focus on Blue Carbon strategies, including actions to mitigate and adapt to climate change through conservation and restoration of coastal vegetated habitats, have directed attention to the globally relevant role of vegetated coastal habitats in carbon sequestration in the ocean. However, while the focus has primarily been on angiosperm-dominated systems (salt-marsh, seagrass and mangroves) growing over soft sediments, recent studies have highlighted the potentially highly significant role of macroalgae in this process.
This workshop will address the role of macroalgae in the global ocean carbon budget, with the aim of contributing to a revision of the Blue Carbon agenda, and inform policy and management actions.
The foresight workshop will aim to consolidate the available empirical bases on carbon fluxes supported by macroalgae and to reconcile these with current depictions of the global ocean carbon budget. It will do so through:
- Synthesis of available estimates of the carbon flux of macroalgal stands (NPP, DOC and POC export, remineralization and grazing) as well as estimates of the contribution of macroalgae to C-sinks; and a
- Synthesis of available estimates of the area covered by macroalgal stands, along with changes in their area
- A review paper on “The role of macroalgae in the global ocean carbon budget” targeting the broad scientific community through a high-profile international journal such as Nature Geoscience
- A "Policy brief" communication of key results to inform management/policy agendas, such as those under the UN Framework Convention for Climate Change, Blue Carbon agendas and international conservation units
- The workshop may also result in:
- A review paper on estimates of area covered by macroalgal globally
- A review paper on carbon flux from macroalgal stands
This workshop will contribute to the scientific foundation for a revision of the global ocean carbon budget. Through the policy brief, it will influence policies and management actions to support the conservation of macroalgae and provide knowledge support for including macroalgal C-sequestration as part of Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement and in blue carbon scheme initiatives. The workshop will target the UN Framework Convention for Climate Change community with the intent to communicate this information to those responsible for enacting the sustainability agenda.