Estimating the value of carbon sequestration ecosystem services in the mediterranean sea: An ecological economics approach

Donata Melaku Canu, Andrea Ghermandi, Paulo A.L.D. Nunes, Paolo Lazzari, Gianpiero Cossarini, Cosimo Solidoro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ocean and marine ecosystems provide a range of valuable services to humans, including benefits such as carbon sequestration, whose economic value are as yet poorly understood. This paper presents a novel contribution to the valuation of carbon sequestration services in marine ecosystems with an application to the Mediterranean Sea. We combine a state-of-the-art biogeochemical model with various estimates of the social cost of carbon emissions to provide a spatially explicit characterization of the current flow of values that are attributable to the various sequestration processes, including the biological component. Using conservative estimates of the social cost of carbon, we evaluate the carbon sequestration value flows over the entire basin to range between 127 and 1722 million €/year. Values per unit area range from -135 to 1000 €/km2 year, with the exclusive economic zone of some countries acting as net carbon sources. Whereas the contribution of physical processes can be either positive or negative, also depending on the properties of incoming Atlantic water, the contribution of biological processes to the marine "blue carbon" sequestration is always positive, and found to range between 100 to 1500 million €/year for the whole basin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-95
Number of pages9
JournalGlobal Environmental Change
StatePublished - 1 May 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme under grant agreement 265103 (Project MedSeA) and from the italian project

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 The Authors.


  • Blue carbon
  • Carbon sequestration
  • Ecosystem services
  • Integrated assessment
  • Mediterranean sea
  • Regulating services

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Ecology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Estimating the value of carbon sequestration ecosystem services in the mediterranean sea: An ecological economics approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this