Journal of Ecology and Environment

pISSN 2287-8327 eISSN 2288-1220


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Published online March 22, 2019

Journal of Ecology and Environment (2019) 43:08

Estimation of carbon storage in coastal wetlands and comparison of different management schemes in South Korea

Chaeho Byun1, Shi-Hoon Lee1 and Hojeong Kang1

School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea

Correspondence to:Hojeong Kang

Received: December 4, 2018; Accepted: February 25, 2019

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Organic carbon stored in coastal wetlands, which comprises the major part of oceanic “blue carbon,” is a subject of growing interest and concern. In this study, organic carbon storage in coastal wetlands and its economic value were estimated using the raw data of 25 studies related to soil carbon storage. Data were collected from three tidal flats (one protected and two developed areas) and two estuarine salt marshes (one protected and one restored area). Bulk density, soil organic matter content, and standing biomass of vegetation were all considered, with Monte Carlo simulation applied to estimate the uncertainty.>


Mean carbon storage in two salt marshes ranged between 14.6 and 25.5 kg C m−2. Mean carbon storage in tidal flats ranged from 18.2 to 28.6 kg C m−2, with variability possibly related to soil texture. The economic value of stored carbon was estimated by comparison with the price of carbon in the emission trading market. The value of US $6600 ha−1 is ~ 45% of previously estimated ecosystem services from fishery production and water purification functions in coastal areas.>


Although our study sites do not cover all types of large marine ecosystem, this study highlights the substantial contribution of coastal wetlands as carbon sinks and the importance of conserving these habitats to maximize their ecosystem services.

Keywords: Blue carbon; Tidal flat; Salt marsh; Soil organic matter; Ecosystem services

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Journal of Ecology and Environment

pISSN 2287-8327 eISSN 2288-1220