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Benthic Carbon Sequestration

Benthic Carbon Sequestration refers to the process through which carbon dioxide (CO₂) is captured and stored in the sediments of ocean and freshwater ecosystems. This natural mechanism plays a crucial role in mitigating climate change by trapping carbon that would otherwise contribute to atmospheric greenhouse gas levels. Benthic zones, which are the lowest ecological niches in a body of water, contain a rich diversity of microorganisms and organic matter that facilitate this carbon capture.

In these benthic environments, organic material from dead plants, animals, and other detritus sinks to the ocean or lake floor. Over time, this material is buried under layers of sediment, effectively locking away the carbon content for centuries or even millennia. This long-term storage of carbon makes benthic carbon sequestration a vital component in global carbon cycling and a natural ally in the fight against climate change.

Furthermore, various human activities such as coastal development, agriculture, and pollution can disrupt these delicate ecosystems, potentially reducing their capacity to sequester carbon. Therefore, understanding and preserving benthic environments is essential for maintaining their role in mitigating the impacts of climate change and preserving aquatic biodiversity.