This study provides an audit of the potential blue carbon resources present in the coastal waters around Orkney, bounded by the 12 nautical mile limit and including the Loch of Stenness brackish water lagoon. This report builds on previous work in which blue carbon stocks in Marine Protected Areas in Scottish waters were estimated from i) contributions of biological material to the fixation of carbon, also referred to as production, and ii) contributions of sediments to blue carbon storage. The methodology has been further developed here to allow regional-scale estimation of habitat extent and provides estimates of blue carbon associated with habitats and surface sediments.
Data and Resources
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UK Open Government Licence (OGL)
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The Orkney Blue Carbon Audit was conducted using a four-stage approach: 1) assessment of habitat abundance based on data collected during in situ surveys; 2) mapping of areas of known habitats compiled from various data sources to inform habitat prediction models; 3) determination of carbon content for specific habitats based on recent and current in situ sample collection and laboratory analysis; 4) calculation of total organic and inorganic carbon contribution by combining areas and estimated carbon content of known habitats. Methods developed here will help inform similar studies as part of future audits of regional marine resources.
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