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About this Research Topic

Manuscript Submission Deadline 01 August 2023
Manuscript Extension Submission Deadline 02 August 2023

Coastal wetlands, including salt marshes, mangrove forests, seagrass meadows, and mud flats, represent particularly productive and economically valuable ecosystems that provide a range of ecological services. They sequester far greater amounts of carbon than they naturally release, making them one of the most ...

Coastal wetlands, including salt marshes, mangrove forests, seagrass meadows, and mud flats, represent particularly productive and economically valuable ecosystems that provide a range of ecological services. They sequester far greater amounts of carbon than they naturally release, making them one of the most efficient and nature-based “carbon pools”. Despite covering an area of 2 to 4% of global land, they store approximately 20 to 30% of the world’s total carbon, capturing 202~535 Gt of C. Estimates show that the carbon accumulation rate is 15 to 50 times greater in coastal wetlands, per unit area basis, than that of other terrestrial and marine ecosystems, thereby serving as a major coastal “blue carbon” sink.

Nevertheless, coastal wetlands are one of the most fragile and threatened ecosystems, and even minor disturbances can potentially impact their ecological integrity and carbon sequestration potential. The direction and magnitude of such disturbances remain a source of uncertainty but is, however, a subject of growing interest and concern globally.

In this research topic, we highlight the influences from numerous disturbances, both naturally or anthropogenically induced, such as fluctuation in nutrient salts (i.e., S、N、P), global warming, environmental pollution, land-use change, sea-level rise, and plant invasion, etc., on carbon sink capacity in different types of coastal wetlands. These studies will improve our understanding of coastal wetlands' responses to these disturbances, and consequently, will assist us in assessing the carbon budget and future trajectories.

Herein, we invite submissions directed at assessing the available knowledge and evidence on the carbon pool and carbon sequestration potential of coastal wetlands across a wide range of disciplines (e.g., biology, ecology, geomorphology, oceanography, hydrology, and coastal zone management). They can be based on simulated/manipulative experiments, field observational, modeling, and meta-analytic techniques. Research areas may include, but are not limited to, the following:

1) The influence and mechanism of heavy metal pollution, organic pollution, global warming, and other environmental factors on the function of carbon sink in coastal wetlands;

2) The influence and mechanism of biological invasion and population\community structure change (including plants, animals, and microorganisms) on the carbon sink function in coastal wetlands.

3) The linkages between carbon cycling and other elements (such as nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, and silicon) in coastal wetlands;

4) Conservation and restoration solutions to improve the ecological services of coastal wetlands, and ultimately enhance their carbon sink function.

All types of manuscripts are welcome.

Keywords: Coastal wetlands, Carbon sink (source), Greenhouse gas emission, Wetland restoration and/or management, Climate change, Environmental factors, Biogeochemical cycle


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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