What makes mangrove forests, seagrass beds, and salt marshes such good carbon sinks?



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    Swamps, beds of seaweed and marshes are good carbon sinks because of the tremendous accumulation of biomass in these areas. A carbon sink is anything, natural or man-made, that can retain carbon compounds and keep them out of the atmosphere. Plants of any kind are very good at doing this, so areas where there are lots of living plants as well as plant litter and detritus (and the rich soils that result) are going to be good carbon sinks. Swamps and jungles, both terrestrial and underwater, have a lot of this type of biomass, so naturally they’ll be very good at sequestering carbon. Salt marshes are good because CO2 is more easily absorbed by salt water than fresh water, which is part of the reason why oceans are the largest carbon sinks on the planet.

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