Restoration Returns ‘Blue Carbon’ Stores

Virginia Coast Reserve LTER
A 20-year landscape-scale experiment at VCR LTER was the first to show the role of restoration in reestablishing carbon burial in seagrass meadows, which matches natural systems after a decade. Virginia Coast Reserve scientists authored the international protocol through Verified Carbon Standards for issuing seagrass restoration carbon offset credits on the voluntary market. Carbon stored... Read more »

Climate Change Shifts Grasslands to Shrublands

Virginia Coast Reserve LTER
Over the last 30 years, nearly half of the upland area on the barrier islands has changed from grassland to shrub thickets, similar to transitions observed in other drylands. For coastal systems, this transition is driven by regional climate (higher winter temperatures, lower precipitation) and shrub feedbacks on microclimate (warmer winter and cooler summer temperatures).... Read more »

Coastal Change is Accelerating

Virginia Coast Reserve LTER
Historically, this undeveloped landscape has been a shifting mosaic; a new 30-year retrospective now shows directional change and accelerating ecosystem loss. Barrier island upland area has declined by a third, and island marsh loss due to storm overwash has increased, especially in the last decade. Feedbacks between vegetation and sediment transport determine barrier island dune... Read more »