CapeCod.com - MBL Scientists Study Impact on Nitrate in Salt Marshes

Posted 1 week ago @   - 

Great Sippewissett Marsh in Falmouth. Salt marshes store carbon at higher rates than in ecosystems on land. Photo: Daniel Buckley

WOODS HOLE – Scientists at the Marine Biological Laboratory have studied salt marshes and concluded that nitrate, a common coastal water pollutant, stimulates the decomposition of organic matter in these marshes.

The matter would normally have remained stable over a long period of time.

The increase of decomposition might alter the salt marshes’ carbon capacity due to the release of carbon dioxide. Normally, salt marshes storing carbon could offset effects of climate change due to carbon dioxide building up in the atmosphere.

The study was led by scientists from the MBL in Woods Hole and Northeastern University. It was published in Global Change Biology.

The research team is now looking to analyze the microbial that has decreased the carbon build up in salt marshes.

Author: Brendan Patrick

Originally published in CapeCod.com

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