Frankignoulle M. & Gattuso J.-P., 1993. Air-sea CO2 exchange in coastal ecosystems. In: eds Wollast R., Mackenzie F. T., Chou L., Interactions of C, N, P and S biogeochemical cycles and global change, NATO ASI Series, 14: pp. 233-248.- Berlin: Springer-Verlag.


Processes and fluxes occuring in coastal areas should not be disregarded when considering global oceanic budgets. The exchange of CO2 at the air-sea interface is of special interest and must be compared to the other fluxes of CO2 to determine whether a coastal ecosystem is a net source or sink of carbon. Two marine coastal ecosystems are considered: a marine macrophyte meadow and coral reefs. In a Posidonia ecosystem, both the seagrass bed and the atmosphere are global annual C sinks with the same order of magnitude. Scleractinian corals fix more C than C lost as CO2 through the air-sea interface and are therefore a net sink for carbon. Direct measurements of air-sea CO2 exchange above coral reefs are needed before a conclusion about the status of the coral reef ecosystem with respect to the global C cycle can be drawn.

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