Insight into the fate of kelp carbon
Research out by the KELPEX team has found that detached kelp fragments can be transported many kilometers, and have the potential to rapidly reach the continental shelf where they can be consumed by deep sea animals or get buried into sediments.
Research to date suggests that a portion of this ‘blue carbon’ (carbon stored in oceans) becomes buried in marine sediments or reaches the deep sea, where it represents a sizable portion of the global carbon sink. But these estimates are highly uncertain, mainly because the fate of kelp carbon is largely a mystery and depends on how detached kelps are transported in the ocean.
KELPEX findings were published yesterday in Scientific Reports, and shed new light on the fate of kelp carbon, and suggest that kelp forests in shallow water can support deep sea communities and contribute to the global carbon sink.