Keys Processes for Material Accumulation

There is general agreement that the two main factors leading to an accumulation of carbon in sediments are (i) incorporation of carbon into refractory geomacromolecules or humic substances and (ii) oxygen availability (turnover) in the sediments (e.g. Henrichs, 1992, 1993). This means on the one hand, that carbon trapped in seagrass sediments does not necessarily have to be highly refractory provided the redox potential of the sediments is low enough, and on the other hand, that highly refractory material can remain intact even in oxidizing environments. A number of biological and environmental agents will modulate the extent of these two factors.

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