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  1. Blue carbon habitats, such as mangroves and salt marshes, have been recognized as carbon burial hotspots; however, methods on measuring blue carbon stocks have varied and thus leave uncertainty in global blue carbon stock estimates. This study analyzes blue carbon stocks in northern Florida wetlands along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Carbon measurements within 1–3m length vibracores yield total core stocks of 9.9–21.5 kgC·m −2 and 7.7–10.9 kgC·m −2 for the Atlantic and Gulf coast cores, respectively. Following recent IPCC guidelines, blue carbon stock estimates in the top meter are 7.0 kgC·m −2 –8.0 kgC·m −2 and 6.1 kgC·m −2more »–8.6 kgC·m −2 for the Atlantic and Gulf cores, respectively. Changes in stable isotopic (δ 13 C, C/N) and lignin biomarker (C/V) indices suggest both coastlines experienced salt marsh and mangrove transgressions into non-blue carbon habitats during the mid- to late-Holocene following relative sea-level rise. These transgressions impact carbon storage within the cores as the presence of carbon-poor soils, characteristic of non-blue carbon habitats, result in lower 1m carbon stocks in north Florida Gulf wetlands, and a deeper extent of carbon-rich soils, characteristic of blue carbon habitats, drive higher 1m and total carbon stocks in north Florida Atlantic wetlands. Future blue carbon research should assess carbon stocks down to bedrock when possible, as land-cover and/or climate change can impact different depths across localities. Ignoring carbon-rich soil below the top meter of soil may underestimate potential carbon emissions based on these changes.« less
  2. Benthic animals profoundly influence the cycling and storage of carbon and other elements in marine systems, particularly in coastal sediments. Recent climate change has altered the distribution and abundance of many seafloor taxa and modified the vertical exchange of materials between ocean and sediment layers. Here, we examine how climate change could alter animal-mediated biogeochemical cycling in ocean sediments. The fossil record shows repeated major responses from the benthos during mass extinctions and global carbon perturbations, including reduced diversity, dominance of simple trace fossils, decreased burrow size and bioturbation intensity, and nonrandom extinction of trophic groups. The broad dispersal capacitymore »of many extant benthic species facilitates poleward shifts corresponding to their environmental niche as overlying water warms. Evidence suggests that locally persistent populations will likely respond to environmental shifts through either failure to respond or genetic adaptation rather than via phenotypic plasticity. Regional and global ocean models insufficiently integrate changes in benthic biological activity and their feedbacks on sedimentary biogeochemical processes. The emergence of bioturbation, ventilation, and seafloor-habitat maps and progress in our mechanistic understanding of organism–sediment interactions enable incorporation of potential effects of climate change on benthic macrofaunal mediation of elemental cycles into regional and global ocean biogeochemical models.« less