Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Shifts in Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Productivity of Coastal Wetlands in Response to Anthropogenic N Loading and Rising Sea Level

Wetlands are important in mediating the effects of global climate change by sequestering CO2 in recalcitrant plant biomass or anoxic soils. Alternatively, these ecosystems may be sites of greenhouse gas (CH4, CO2, N2O) production. Using existing gradients in nitrogen loading and elevation among salt marshes in Waquoit Bay, Mass., on the south side of Cape Cod, Woods Hole Sea Grant funded investigators examined the hypotheses that net N2O emissions and ecosystem respiration from coastal marshes increase under conditions of nitrogen loading, with sufficient changes to potentially offset a substantial portion of the net CO2 uptake from the atmosphere; that plant productivity in each marsh is related to nitrogen loading rate; and that greenhouse gas emissions from salt marsh sediments vary as a function of soil elevation. In the final comparison of greenhouse gas fluxes across the anthropogenic nitrogen gradient in Waquoit Bay, permanently inundated ponds were consistently a net source of CO2 to the atmosphere, whereas vegetated marsh zones were a sink of CO2. In addition, neither condition emitted significant quantities of methane compared to less saline habitats. This suggests that sea level rise may at least transiently decrease the carbon sequestration potential of coastal marshes.

Related Posts

Sea Grant Aquaculture Academy in New Hampshire

Sea Grant aquaculture professionals from across the country convened in Portsmouth, NH in early April for a 4-day intensive “Sea Grant Aquaculture Academy” hosted by New Hampshire Sea Grant with support from North Carolina Sea Grant.

Read More >
Images of Sea Grant's work in research, education and extension provided by (from left to right) Wisconsin, Guam and Florida Sea Grant programs. Design by Hallee Meltzer | National Sea Grant Office.

Sea Grant takes center stage in Oceanography special issue

NOAA Sea Grant-funded research and work with coastal and Great Lakes communities across the nation are being highlighted in a special issue of “Oceanography,” the official journal of The Oceanography Society. 

This special issue, published in April 2024, features 36 articles contributed by Sea Grant authors across 29 programs and the NOAA National Sea Grant Office. 

Read More >
Scroll to Top