Oscar Serrano, Edith Cowan University
Catherine E. Lovelock, University of Queensland
Trisha B. Atwood, Utah State UniversityFollow
Peter I. Macreadie, Deakin University
Robert Canto, University of Queensland
Stuart Phinn, University of Queensland
Ariane Arias-Ortiz, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Le Bai, Charles Darwin University
Jeff Baldock, CSIRO Agriculture and Food
Camila Bedulli, The University of Western Australia
Paul Carnell, Deakin University
Rod M. Connolly, Griffith University
Paul Donaldson, BMT Environment
Alba Esteban, Edith Cowan University
Carolyn J. Ewers Lewis, Deakin University
Bradley D. Eyre, Southern Cross University
Matthew A. Hayes, Griffith University
Pierre Horwitz, Edith Cowan University
Lindsay B. Hutley, Charles Darwin University
Christopher R. J. Kavazos, University of New South Wales
Jeffrey J. Kelleway, University of Wollongong
Gary A. Kendrick, The University of Western Australia
Kieryn Kilminster, The University of Western Australia
Anna Lafratta, Edith Cowan University
Shing Lee, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Paul S. Lavery, Edith Cowan University
Damien T. Maher, Southern Cross University
Núria Marbà, Institut Mediterrani d'Estudis Avançats
Pere Masque, The University of Western Australia
Miguel A. Mateo, Edith Cowan University
Richard Mount, University of Tasmania
Peter J. Ralph, University of Technology Sydney
Chris Roelfsema, University of Queensland
Mohammad Rozaimi, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
Radhiyah Ruhon, The University of Western Australia
Cristian Salinas, Edith Cowan University
Jimena Samper-Villarreal, University of Queensland
Jonathan Sanderman, CSIRO Agriculture and Food
Christian J. Sanders, Southern Cross University
Isaac Santos, Southern Cross University
Chris Sharples, University of Tasmania
Andrew D. L. Steven, Queensland Biosciences Precinct
Toni Cannard, Queensland Biosciences Precinct
Stacey M. Trevathan-Tackett, Deakin University
Carlos M. Duarte, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Policies aiming to preserve vegetated coastal ecosystems (VCE; tidal marshes, mangroves and seagrasses) to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions require national assessments of blue carbon resources. Here, we present organic carbon (C) storage in VCE across Australian climate regions and estimate potential annual CO2 emission benefits of VCE conservation and restoration. Australia contributes 5–11% of the C stored in VCE globally (70–185 Tg C in aboveground biomass, and 1,055–1,540 Tg C in the upper 1 m of soils). Potential CO2 emissions from current VCE losses are estimated at 2.1–3.1 Tg CO2-e yr-1, increasing annual CO2 emissions from land use change in Australia by 12–21%. This assessment, the most comprehensive for any nation to-date, demonstrates the potential of conservation and restoration of VCE to underpin national policy development for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.