0000-0002-8859-7096 (Burdige), 0000-0003-2422-3252 (Tamborski)

Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

Nature Communications






8196 (1-8)


Mangroves and saltmarshes are biogeochemical hotspots storing carbon in sediments and in the ocean following lateral carbon export (outwelling). Coastal seawater pH is modified by both uptake of anthropogenic carbon dioxide and natural biogeochemical processes, e.g., wetland inputs. Here, we investigate how mangroves and saltmarshes influence coastal carbonate chemistry and quantify the contribution of alkalinity and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) outwelling to blue carbon budgets. Observations from 45 mangroves and 16 saltmarshes worldwide revealed that >70% of intertidal wetlands export more DIC than alkalinity, potentially decreasing the pH of coastal waters. Porewater-derived DIC outwelling (81 ± 47 mmol m−2d−1 in mangroves and 57 ± 104 mmol m−2d−1 in saltmarshes) was the major term in blue carbon budgets. However, substantial amounts of fixed carbon remain unaccounted for. Concurrently, alkalinity outwelling was similar or higher than sediment carbon burial and is therefore a significant but often overlooked carbon sequestration mechanism.


© The Authors 2023.

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Original Publication Citation

Reithmaier, G. M. S., Cabral, A., Akhand, A., Bogard, M. J., Borges, A. V., Bouillon, S., Burdige, D. J., Call, M., Chen, N., Chen, X., Cotovicz, L. C., Jr., Eagle, M. J., Kristensen, E., Kroeger, K. D., Lu, Z., Maher, D. T., Pérez-Lloréns, J. L., Ray, R., Taillardat, P., . . . Santos, I. R. (2023). Carbonate chemistry and carbon sequestration driven by inorganic carbon outwelling from mangroves and saltmarshes. Nature Communications, 14(1), 1-8, Article 8196. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-023-44037-w