Seaweed aids in trapping CO2 in sediment

Every individual who visits the beach often enough is able to identify seaweed within the ocean or as it accumulates on the beach. However, researchers at Florida State University, working alongside their associates in the U.K., have discovered how these macro-algae plays a very significant role in the permanent elimination of CO2 from the surroundings.

Their study has been printed in Ecological Monographs.

After partnering with the U.K. Plymouth Marine Laboratory’s ecologists, the researchers inspected how seaweed carried out the process of absorbing, processing and then trapping carbon in the seafloor.

Sophie McCoy, the Assistant Professor of Biological Science, stated how seaweeds have long since been overlooked when compared with mangroves and seagrasses, which trap carbon from their biomass and also from sediments in their roots.

The carbon which is seized in marine systems through the process of photosynthesis and also by being trapped in the sea floor is known as blue carbon. By sequencing environmental genes and modeling stable isotope figures for more than a year, the researchers discovered that seaweed debris was a crucial portion of the food web for oceanic organisms, and also that most of the debris was finally kept in sediments or managed to enter the seafloor.

An investigator at the Florida State University’s Coastal and Maritime Laboratory, Jeroen Ingles, stated how the study did not only succeed in shedding light on seaweed’s contribution to the food web but also signified how the human acts that impact the seaweed and the sea floor are crucial to keeping a check on.

He concluded how this research indicates how seaweed and, consequently, benthic creatures can successfully contribute in a positive and impactful way, toward blue carbon.