Tidal Wetlands and Estuaries

By: , and 
Edited by: Jennifer Howard and Emily Pidgeon



1. The top 1 m of tidal wetland soils and estuarine sediments of North America contains 1,886 ± 1046 teragrams of carbon (Tg C). [High confidence, Very likely]

2. Soil carbon accumulation rate (i.e., sediment burial) in North American tidal wetlands is currently 9 ± 5 Tg C per year and estuarine carbon burial is 5 ± 3 Tg C per year. [High confidence, Likely]

3. The lateral flux of carbon from tidal wetlands to estuaries is 16 ± 10 Tg C per year for North America. [Low confidence, Likely]

4. In North America, tidal wetlands remove 27 ± 13 Tg C per year from the atmosphere, estuaries outgas 10 ± 10 Tg C per year to the atmosphere, and the net uptake by the combined wetland-estuary system is 17 ± 16 Tg C per year. [Low confidence, Likely]

5. Research and modeling needs are greatest for understanding responses to accelerated sea level rise, mapping tidal wetland and estuarine extent and quantification of CO2 and CH4 exchange with the atmosphere, especially in large, under-sampled, and rapidly changing regions. [High confidence, Likely]

Note: Confidence levels are provided as appropriate for quantitative, but not qualitative, Key Findings and statements.

Additional publication details

Publication type Book chapter
Title Tidal Wetlands and Estuaries
Chapter 15
DOI 10.7930/SOCCR2.2018.Ch15
Year Published 2018
Language English
Contributing office(s) WMA - Earth System Processes Division
Description 53 p.
Larger Work Type Report
Larger Work Subtype Federal Government Series
Larger Work Title Second state of the carbon cycle report (SOCCR2): A sustained assessment report
First page 596
Last page 648
Country Canada, Mexico, United States