Indexed on: 24 May '14Published on: 24 May '14Published in: Chinese Journal of Oceanology and Limnology
Marine macroalgae can absorb carbon and play an important role in carbon sequestration. As an important economic macroalga, Gracilariopsis lemaneiformis has the potential to significantly affect carbon absorption and storage in wave-sheltered intertidal reef systems. However, detailed knowledge on seasonal biomass changes and carbon storage of G. lemaneiformis is lacking, especially in many small and scattered ecosystems. Considering the influence of human activities on wild distribution of G. lemaneiformis, the understanding of seasonal dynamics of an economically important species in nature is necessary. In this study, we first investigated seasonal variations in biomass, coverage area, and carbon storage during low tide from August 2011 to July 2012 in Zhanshan Bay, Qingdao, China. Furthermore, we estimated the carbon storage potential of wild G. lemaneiformis using light use efficiency (LUE). The results show that the standing biomass and coverage area changed significantly with season. However, seasonal variations in carbon content and water content were not obvious, with an average content of 35.1% and 83.64%, respectively. Moreover, carbon storage in individual months varied between 0.67 and 47.03 g C/m2, and the value of carbon storage was the highest in August and June and the lowest in February. In Zhanshan Bay, LUE of G. lemaneiformis was only 0.23%. If it is increased to the theoretical maximum (5%–6%), the carbon storage will have an increase of at least 21 times compared with the current, which suggested that carbon storage of wild G. lemaneiformis had a high enhancement potential. The study will help to assess a potential role of G. lemaneiformis in reducing atmospheric CO2.