Workshop in Granada about the role of macroalgae in the global carbon budget

Sixteen researchers from Europe, Australia and USA were in April gathered in Granada to discuss the role of macroalgae in the global carbon budget. Participants from the Norwegian Blue Forest Network were Kasper Hancke and Hege Gundersen from NIVA, and Karen Filbee-Dexter from IMR. In charge of the workshop were Carlos Duarte and Dorte Krause-Jensen, also known as the authors of the Nature paper from 2016 that for the first time suggested that the worlds macroalgae are potentially storing as much carbon as the other blue forests together! With the historical Alhambra palace right outside our window (see picture), we were gathered for three days in the same room to share knowledge about kelp forests and other macroalgae distribution, production, export to other ecosystems, and final destiny. Estimates and “guestimates” on rates and sizes were sent across the room and into a joint Google Document. When we didn’t know the answer, we sought the literature, and where we didn’t find the answer, we need further research! Well back home, we are working to finish the papers. And with this productive gang at work, we expect several outcomes already this year. Hence are some new pieces added to the puzzle on the role of kelp and other macroalgae in the carbon budget, and thereby its role in the climate budget!