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Sample records for agassiz peatlands northern

  1. Regional ground-water flow modeling of the Glacial Lake Agassiz Peatlands, Minnesota

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reeve, A. S.; Warzocha, J.; Glaser, P. H.; Siegel, D. I.

    2001-03-01

    Three-dimensional ground-water modeling experiments were done to test the hypothesis that regional ground-water flow is an important component of the water budget in the Glacial Lake Agassiz Peatlands of northern Minnesota. Previous data collected from the Glacial Lake Agassiz Peatlands suggest that regional ground-water flow discharges to these peatlands, maintaining saturation, controlling the peat pore-water chemistry, and driving ecological change. To test this hypothesis, steady-state MODFLOW models were constructed that encompassed an area of 10,160 km 2. Data used in this modeling project included surface-water and water-table elevations measured across the study area, digital elevation data, and well logs from scientific test wells and domestic water wells drilled in the study area. Numerical simulations indicate that the Itasca Moraine, located to the south of the peatland, acts as a recharge area for regional ground-water flow. Ground water recharged at the Itasca Moraine did not discharge to the Red Lake Peatlands, but rather was intercepted by the Red Lakes or adjacent rivers. Simulations suggest that ground-water flow within the peatlands consists of local-flow systems with streamlines that are less than 10 km long and that ground water from distant recharge areas does not play a prominent role in the hydrology of these peatlands. Ground-water flow reversals previously observed in the Red Lake Peatlands are either the result of interactions between local and intermediate-scale flow systems or the transient release of water stored in glacial sediments when the water-table is lowered.

  2. Time-series analysis for the episodic production and transport of methane from the Glacial Lake Agassiz peatlands, northern Minnesota. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Siegel, D.I.

    1998-01-01

    The large peat basins of North America are an important reservoir in the global carbon cycle and a significant source of atmospheric methane. The authors investigated carbon cycling in the Glacial Lake Agassiz peatlands (GLAP) of Minnesota. Initially in 1990, they identified a dramatic change in the concentration of methane in the pore-waters of the raised bogs in the GLAP during an extreme drought. This methane dissipated when the drought broke in 1991 and the occurrence of deep methane is related to changes in the direction of groundwater flow in the peat column. The production of methane and its diffusive loss to the atmosphere was modeled and was about 10 times less than that measured directly in chambers at the land surface. It is clear from the reversals in hydraulic heat, changes in pore-water chemical composition over time, and paleostratigraphic markers, that regional ground water flow systems that are controlled by climate change are unexpectedly a major control over methanogenesis and carbon cycling in GLAP. Seismic profiles made showed that buried bedrock ridges particularly deflect regional groundwater flow upwards towards the land surface and towards raised bog landforms. In addition, high-resolution GPS measurements from data stations funded by this DOE project have shown this year that the peakland land surface elevation changes daily on a scale of cms, and seasonally on a scale of 10s of cm. This most recent observation is exciting because it may reflect episodic degassing of free phase methane from the peat column to the atmosphere, a source for methane previously unaccounted for by methane researchers.

  3. Heat transport in the Red Lake Bog, Glacial Lake Agassiz Peatlands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McKenzie, J.M.; Siegel, D.I.; Rosenberry, D.O.; Glaser, P.H.; Voss, C.I.

    2007-01-01

    We report the results of an investigation on the processes controlling heat transport in peat under a large bog in the Glacial Lake Agassiz Peatlands. For 2 years, starting in July 1998, we recorded temperature at 12 depth intervals from 0 to 400 cm within a vertical peat profile at the crest of the bog at sub-daily intervals. We also recorded air temperature 1 m above the peat surface. We calculate a peat thermal conductivity of 0.5 W m-1 ??C-1 and model vertical heat transport through the peat using the SUTRA model. The model was calibrated to the first year of data, and then evaluated against the second year of collected heat data. The model results suggest that advective pore-water flow is not necessary to transport heat within the peat profile and most of the heat is transferred by thermal conduction alone in these waterlogged soils. In the spring season, a zero-curtain effect controls the transport of heat through shallow depths of the peat. Changes in local climate and the resulting changes in thermal transport still may cause non-linear feedbacks in methane emissions related to the generation of methane deeper within the peat profile as regional temperatures increase. Copyright ?? 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  4. Decomposition in northern Minnesota peatlands

    SciTech Connect

    Farrish, K.W.

    1985-01-01

    Decomposition in peatlands was investigated in northern Minnesota. Four sites, an ombrotrophic raised bog, an ombrotrophic perched bog and two groundwater minerotrophic fens, were studied. Decomposition rates of peat and paper were estimated using mass-loss techniques. Environmental and substrate factors that were most likely to be responsible for limiting decomposition were monitored. Laboratory incubation experiments complemented the field work. Mass-loss over one year in one of the bogs, ranged from 11 percent in the upper 10 cm of hummocks to 1 percent at 60 to 100 cm depth in hollows. Regression analysis of the data for that bog predicted no mass-loss below 87 cm. Decomposition estimates on an area basis were 2720 and 6460 km/ha yr for the two bogs; 17,000 and 5900 kg/ha yr for the two fens. Environmental factors found to limit decomposition in these peatlands were reducing/anaerobic conditions below the water table and cool peat temperatures. Substrate factors found to limit decomposition were low pH, high content of resistant organics such as lignin, and shortages of available N and K. Greater groundwater influence was found to favor decomposition through raising the pH and perhaps by introducing limited amounts of dissolved oxygen.

  5. Relationship between subsurface sedimentology and occurrence of vegetation communities of northern Minnesota boreal peatlands

    SciTech Connect

    Stone, M.P.; Siegel, D.I.; Romanowicz, E.A. . Dept. of Geology); Glaser, P.H. )

    1992-01-01

    A recent hydrologic and pore-water chemistry study of the 7,500 km[sup 2] Lake Agassiz Peatlands in northern Minnesota suggest that local groundwater flow through the peat in the Lake Agassiz Peatland is superimposed on a regional flow system. Discharge of the regional flow system into the peasants through the underlying lacustrine sediments controls the occurrence of vegetation communities. These peatlands have distinct vegetation communities; bogs and fens. Bogs have 0.5 to 3 meters relief above adjacent fens are dominated by Picea mariana, Carex oligosperma, and ericaceous shrubs with a continuous mat of Sphagnum moss. Fens are dominated by sedges, such as Carex lasiocarpa and Rhynchospora alba and various Amblystigeaceae mosses. Bogs and fens are hydrologically distinct. It is commonly thought that bogs are isolated from groundwater, receiving most of the water from precipitation, with fens having lateral groundwater flow. The findings indicate that, contrary to common belief, bogs in Lake Agassiz are located over areas of regional groundwater discharge with a shallow local recharging system. However, during droughts the hydrology of bogs change as the regional flow system begins to dominate while the shallow recharging system diminishes. A grain size distribution study of the lacustrine sediments underlying the peat indicate that sediments under bogs are generally coarser than sediments under adjacent fens. Consequently sediments under the bogs have higher hydraulic conductivity than the adjacent fens. The implication of this study is that placement of bogs may be controlled by regional groundwater discharge through areas of high hydraulic conductivity.

  6. Mitigating wildfire carbon loss in managed northern peatlands through restoration.

    PubMed

    Granath, Gustaf; Moore, Paul A; Lukenbach, Maxwell C; Waddington, James M

    2016-06-27

    Northern peatlands can emit large amounts of carbon and harmful smoke pollution during a wildfire. Of particular concern are drained and mined peatlands, where management practices destabilize an array of ecohydrological feedbacks, moss traits and peat properties that moderate water and carbon losses in natural peatlands. Our results demonstrate that drained and mined peatlands in Canada and northern Europe can experience catastrophic deep burns (>200 t C ha(-1) emitted) under current weather conditions. Furthermore, climate change will cause greater water losses in these peatlands and subject even deeper peat layers to wildfire combustion. However, the rewetting of drained peatlands and the restoration of mined peatlands can effectively lower the risk of these deep burns, especially if a new peat moss layer successfully establishes and raises peat moisture content. We argue that restoration efforts are a necessary measure to mitigate the risk of carbon loss in managed peatlands under climate change.

  7. Mitigating wildfire carbon loss in managed northern peatlands through restoration

    PubMed Central

    Granath, Gustaf; Moore, Paul A.; Lukenbach, Maxwell C.; Waddington, James M.

    2016-01-01

    Northern peatlands can emit large amounts of carbon and harmful smoke pollution during a wildfire. Of particular concern are drained and mined peatlands, where management practices destabilize an array of ecohydrological feedbacks, moss traits and peat properties that moderate water and carbon losses in natural peatlands. Our results demonstrate that drained and mined peatlands in Canada and northern Europe can experience catastrophic deep burns (>200 t C ha−1 emitted) under current weather conditions. Furthermore, climate change will cause greater water losses in these peatlands and subject even deeper peat layers to wildfire combustion. However, the rewetting of drained peatlands and the restoration of mined peatlands can effectively lower the risk of these deep burns, especially if a new peat moss layer successfully establishes and raises peat moisture content. We argue that restoration efforts are a necessary measure to mitigate the risk of carbon loss in managed peatlands under climate change. PMID:27346604

  8. Mitigating wildfire carbon loss in managed northern peatlands through restoration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Granath, Gustaf; Moore, Paul A.; Lukenbach, Maxwell C.; Waddington, James M.

    2016-06-01

    Northern peatlands can emit large amounts of carbon and harmful smoke pollution during a wildfire. Of particular concern are drained and mined peatlands, where management practices destabilize an array of ecohydrological feedbacks, moss traits and peat properties that moderate water and carbon losses in natural peatlands. Our results demonstrate that drained and mined peatlands in Canada and northern Europe can experience catastrophic deep burns (>200 t C ha‑1 emitted) under current weather conditions. Furthermore, climate change will cause greater water losses in these peatlands and subject even deeper peat layers to wildfire combustion. However, the rewetting of drained peatlands and the restoration of mined peatlands can effectively lower the risk of these deep burns, especially if a new peat moss layer successfully establishes and raises peat moisture content. We argue that restoration efforts are a necessary measure to mitigate the risk of carbon loss in managed peatlands under climate change.

  9. Exploring spatial heterogeneity and resilience in northern peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malhotra, A.; Roulet, N. T.

    2011-12-01

    Northern peatlands cover only 3% of the worlds land area while storing approximately 30% of the world's soil carbon making them important players in the global and regional carbon (C) cycle (Gorham 1991). Current peatland research attempts to predict changes in peatland biogeochemistry given climate change scenarios. However, the focus is primarily on linear responses to changes rather than on self regulation properties that are present in complex systems. Studying peatlands as complex adaptive systems (CAS) is important to fully understand peatland resilience and therefore to better predict response to disturbances. Peatlands possess properties of CAS such as spatial heterogeneity (SH), localized flows, self-organizing structures and non-linearity (Belyea and Baird 2006). The broad hypothesis of our proposed research is that SH in peatlands is positively connected with ecosystem resilience. To address our broad hypothesis we propose to 1) characterize SH in peatlands (using two visible indices of microtopography [MT] and vegetation structure [VEG]), 2) quantify the auto-correlation between visible SH and biogeochemical parameters and 3) investigate short term resilience using the response of biogeochemical parameters to environmental changes. The selection of biogeochemical parameters is based on prevalent theories on the persistence of MT in peatlands and parameters are related to peat accumulation (function of decomposition and net primary production; NPP), hydrology and nutrients (Swanson and Grigal 1988, Belyea and Clymo 2001, Eppinga et al. 2009). Field measurements will be conducted in the Stordalen mire in Abisko, Sweden. This site provides a steep environmental gradient with the presence of 3 peatland types- palsa, bog and fen. Each of these peatland types have varying degrees of spatial heterogeneity, exogenous controls (related to hydrology and permafrost), and therefore hypothesized varying degrees of resilience. Measurements will include nutrients, NPP

  10. Nitrogen dynamics in northern peatland ecosystems

    EPA Science Inventory

    Nitrogen pollution has become a global issue over the last century due to increased fertilizer use and burning of fossil fuels. Excess N has been responsible for algal blooms, hypoxic zones, climate change, and human health issues. Extent of peatlands in the Great Lakes basin is ...

  11. Environmental factors controlling methane emissions from peatlands in northern Minnesota

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dise, Nancy B.; Gorham, Eville; Verry, Elon S.

    1993-01-01

    The environmental factors affecting the emission of methane from peatlands were investigated by correlating CH4 emission data for two years, obtained from five different peatland ecosystems in northern Minnesota, with peat temperature, water table position, and degree of peat humification. The relationship obtained between the CH4 flux and these factors was compared to results from a field manipulation experiment in which the water table was artificially raised in three experimental plots within the driest peatland. It was found that peat temperature, water table position, and degree of peat humification explained 91 percent of the variance in log CH4 flux, successfully predicted annual CH4 emission from individual wetlands, and predicted the change in flux due to the water table manipulation. Raising the water table in the bog corrals by an average of 6 cm in autumn 1989 and 10 cm in summer 1990 increased CH4 emission by 2.5 and 2.2 times, respectively.

  12. Microbial community structure and activity linked to contrasting biogeochemical gradients in bog and fen environments of the Glacial Lake Agassiz Peatland.

    PubMed

    Lin, X; Green, S; Tfaily, M M; Prakash, O; Konstantinidis, K T; Corbett, J E; Chanton, J P; Cooper, W T; Kostka, J E

    2012-10-01

    The abundances, compositions, and activities of microbial communities were investigated at bog and fen sites in the Glacial Lake Agassiz Peatland of northwestern Minnesota. These sites contrast in the reactivity of dissolved organic matter (DOM) and the presence or absence of groundwater inputs. Microbial community composition was characterized using pyrosequencing and clone library construction of phylogenetic marker genes. Microbial distribution patterns were linked to pH, concentrations of dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen, C/N ratios, optical properties of DOM, and activities of laccase and peroxidase enzymes. Both bacterial and archaeal richness and rRNA gene abundance were >2 times higher on average in the fen than in the bog, in agreement with a higher pH, labile DOM content, and enhanced enzyme activities in the fen. Fungi were equivalent to an average of 1.4% of total prokaryotes in gene abundance assayed by quantitative PCR. Results revealed statistically distinct spatial patterns between bacterial and fungal communities. Fungal distribution did not covary with pH and DOM optical properties and was vertically stratified, with a prevalence of Ascomycota and Basidiomycota near the surface and much higher representation of Zygomycota in the subsurface. In contrast, bacterial community composition largely varied between environments, with the bog dominated by Acidobacteria (61% of total sequences), while the Firmicutes (52%) dominated in the fen. Acetoclastic Methanosarcinales showed a much higher relative abundance in the bog, in contrast to the dominance of diverse hydrogenotrophic methanogens in the fen. This is the first quantitative and compositional analysis of three microbial domains in peatlands and demonstrates that the microbial abundance, diversity, and activity parallel with the pronounced differences in environmental variables between bog and fen sites.

  13. Development of peatlands in northern Minnesota. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Wright, H.E. Jr.; Glaser, P.H.; Janssens, J.A.

    1985-01-01

    Boreal peatlands are widely distributed across northern Minnesota, where they cover more than 20% of the regional landscape. A regional survey of these peatlands reveals a remarkable degree of uniformity among the vegetation assemblages and an exceptionally close relationship among the vegetation, water chemistry, water level, and presumed hydrology. These relationships are best integrated by the striking landform patterns that, from the air, resemble fluvial landforms such as islands, rivers, and ripple marks. The patterns instead indicate a sensitive adjustment of peat growth to local hydrology and water quality, making the landform patterns an exceptionally important tool for discerning the potential directions and controls on peatland development. A detailed investigation of the Red Lake peatland was undertaken to test a hypothesis on landform development based on an analysis of variations in the present-day landforms, vegetation, water chemistry, and inferred direction of water movement. The peat stratigraphy, based largely on an analysis of fossil bryophytes, indicates that the west-central watershed at Red Lake was overrum by an ombrotrophic bog forest approximately 2000 years ago, but that the forest was subsequently replaced by non-forested Sphagnum communities similar to the vegetation in the present-day bog drains and Sphagnum lawns. These results agree with the initial hypothesis. The stratigraphy indicates that the forested bog islands have expanded over the last 400 years, which indicates a more sensitive adjustment of the patterns to hydrological variations than predicted by the hypothesis. These results may be applicable to a much wider area because of the broad regional uniformity of the peatland patterns. 57 references, 14 figures, 6 tables.

  14. Dissolved Organic Nitrogen Composition and Reactivity as a Function of Surface Vegetation and Microbial Community Structure in Northern Minnesota Peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cooper, W. T.; Tfaily, M.; Podgorski, D.; Chanton, J.; Lin, X.; Kostka, J. E.

    2012-12-01

    Peatlands sequester one-third of all soil carbon and currently act as major sinks of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The ability to predict or simulate the fate of stored carbon in response to climatic disruption remains hampered by our limited understanding of the controls of carbon and nitrogen turnover and the composition and functioning of peatland microbial communities. Recent studies using some advanced analytical chemistry and microbial sequencing techniques, in particular ultrahigh resolution Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR MS) (Chanton et al., 2009; D'Andrilli J, et al.,2010) and bacterial/archaeal 16S rRNA sequencing (Lin X., et al., 2012) suggest that differences in enhanced carbon storage in northern peatlands that have been attributed to an inhibition of microbial metabolism can be identified and understood using this combined molecular-genetic approach. However, these studies have focused exclusively on dissolved organic carbon (DOC). In this presentation we report on similar molecular- and genetic-based studies that link microbial community structure and activity to the composition and reactivity of dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) in bog and fen sites dominated by contrasting plant species. These sites were located in the Glacial Lake Agassiz Peatland (GLAP) and Spruce and Peatland Response under Climatic and Environmental Change (SPRUCE) project area, both located in Northern Minnesota. Our study of DON reactivity was made possible by the recognition that positive- mode Atmospheric Pressure Photoionization (APPI) coupled to FT-ICR MS was able to selectively visualize the low-abundance organic nitrogen that is usually undetectable in the large background of dissolved organic carbon. This work was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF-EAR-0628349, NSF-DMR-06-54118) and Department of Energy (DE-SC0007144). Chanton JP, et al. (2008). Global Biogeochem Cy 22: GB4022, doi:4010.1029/2008GB003274. D

  15. Use of hydraulic head to estimate volumetric gas content and ebullition flux in northern peatlands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rosenberry, D.O.; Glaser, P.H.; Siegel, D.I.; Weeks, E.P.

    2003-01-01

    Hydraulic head was overpressured at middepth in a 4.2-m thick raised bog in the Glacial Lake Agassiz peatlands of northern Minnesota, and fluctuated in response to atmospheric pressure. Barometric efficiency (BE), determined by calculating ratios of change in hydraulic head to change in atmospheric pressure, ranged from 0.05 to 0.15 during July through November of both 1997 and 1998. The overpressuring and a BE response were caused by free-phase gas contained primarily in the center of the peat column between two or more semielastic, semiconfining layers of more competent peat. Two methods were used to determine the volume of gas bubbles contained in the peat, one using the degree of overpressuring in the middepth of the peat, and the other relating BE to specific yield of the shallow peat. The volume of gas calculated from the overpressuring method averaged 9%, assuming that the gas was distributed over a 2-m thick overpressured interval. The volume of gas using the BE method averaged 13%. Temporal changes in overpressuring and in BE indicate that the volume of gaseous-phase gas also changed with time, most likely because of rapid degassing (ebullition) that allowed sudden loss of gas to the atmosphere. Estimates of gas released during the largest ebullition events ranged from 0.3 to 0.7 mol m-2 d-1. These ebullition events may contribute a significant source of methane and carbon dioxide to the atmosphere that has so far largely gone unmeasured by gas-flux chambers or tower-mounted sensors.

  16. Northern peatland initiation lagged abrupt increases in deglacial atmospheric CH4.

    PubMed

    Reyes, Alberto V; Cooke, Colin A

    2011-03-22

    Peatlands are a key component of the global carbon cycle. Chronologies of peatland initiation are typically based on compiled basal peat radiocarbon (14C) dates and frequency histograms of binned calibrated age ranges. However, such compilations are problematic because poor quality 14C dates are commonly included and because frequency histograms of binned age ranges introduce chronological artefacts that bias the record of peatland initiation. Using a published compilation of 274 basal 14C dates from Alaska as a case study, we show that nearly half the 14C dates are inappropriate for reconstructing peatland initiation, and that the temporal structure of peatland initiation is sensitive to sampling biases and treatment of calibrated 14C dates. We present revised chronologies of peatland initiation for Alaska and the circumpolar Arctic based on summed probability distributions of calibrated 14C dates. These revised chronologies reveal that northern peatland initiation lagged abrupt increases in atmospheric CH4 concentration at the start of the Bølling-Allerød interstadial (Termination 1A) and the end of the Younger Dryas chronozone (Termination 1B), suggesting that northern peatlands were not the primary drivers of the rapid increases in atmospheric CH4. Our results demonstrate that subtle methodological changes in the synthesis of basal 14C ages lead to substantially different interpretations of temporal trends in peatland initiation, with direct implications for the role of peatlands in the global carbon cycle.

  17. Environmental factors controlling methane emissions for peatlands in Northern Minnesota

    SciTech Connect

    Dise, N.B.; Gorham, E.; Verry, E.S.

    1993-06-20

    Controls on methane emission from peatlands in northern Minnesota were investigated by correlation to environmental variables and by field manipulations. From September 1988 through September 1990, methane flux measurements were made at weekly to monthly intervals at six sites in the Marcell Experimental Forest, northern Minnesota (two open bog sites, two forested bog sites, a poor fen, and a fen lagg). Flux was related to water table position and peat temperature with simple correlations at individual sites and multiple regression on all sites together. The effect of water table was also investigated experimentally in {open_quotes}bog corrals{close_quotes} (open-ended metal enclosures set in the peat) in which water table was artificially raised to the surface in the driest peatland. Temperature largely controlled variation in flux within individual ecosystems at Marcell, but hydrology distinguished between-site variation. Water table position, peat temperature, and degree of peat humification explained 91% of the variance in log CH{sub 4} flux, predicted annual methane emission from individual wetlands successfully, and predicted the change in flux due to the water table manipulation. Raising the water table in the bog corrals by an average of 6 cm in autumn 1989 and 10 cm in summer 1990 increased emission by 2.5x and 2.2x, respectively. Just as expanding the scale of investigation from a single habitat in a wetland to several wetlands necessitates incorporation of additional variables to explain flux (water table, peat characteristics), modeling flux from several wetland regions, if possible, will require the addition of climate parameters. 30 refs., 8 figs., 21 tabs.

  18. Predicting methane emission from bryophyte distribution in northern Canadian peatlands

    SciTech Connect

    Bubier, J.L.; Moore, T.R.; Juggins, S.

    1995-04-01

    A predictive model for bryophyte distribution, water table position, and seasonal mean methane (CH{sub 4}) emission was developed for two areas of northern peatland: the Clay Belt of Ontario and the Labrador Trough of Quebec. Water table position and CH{sub 4} flux were the most important environmental variables in canonical correspondence analyses (CCA) of bryophyte data. Water chemistry constituted a second environmental gradient, independent of hydrology and CH{sub 4} flux. Weighted averaging regression and calibration were used to develop a model for predicting log CH{sub 4} flux from bryophyte distribution. The model showed an increase in log CH{sub 4} flux from hummock to carpet and pool species, corresponding with a decrease in height above the mean water table position. The exceptions were rich-fen pool species, which had low CH{sub 4} flux optima in spite of their moisture status. Tolerances were greatest for mid-hummock species and least for carpet and pool species. No overlap in tolerances occurred between hummock and pool species, suggesting that at either end of the height gradient are the best predictors of CH{sub 4} flux. Error analyses showed that bryophytes are equally as effective as water table position for predicting mean CH{sub 4} flux. Bryophytes are distributed in well-defined zones along microtopographic gradients: they integrate long-term changes in the water table, which fluctuates on a daily and seasonal basis along with CH{sub 4} flux, and may be more easily mapped with remote-sensing techniques. Bryophytes, however, are only useful for predicting CH{sub 4} flux within a region; similar species values cannot be extrapolated to other northern peatlands where different climatic and biogeochemical factors may exist. The model may be used in paleoreconstructions of methane emission and for biological monitoring of climate change. 62 refs., 8 figs., 3 tabs.

  19. The ecology of patterned boreal peatlands of northern Minnesota: A community profile

    SciTech Connect

    Glaser, P.H.

    1987-06-01

    This report reviews the ecological information available for patterned boreal peatlands in northern Minnesota. Although vast areas of Canada and Alaska are covered by boreal forests, they extend southward into the continental United States only in northern Minnesota and to a lesser extent in northern Michigan. In northern Minnesota these peatlands comprise large areas of freshwater wetlands whose unique hydrological characteristics promote the development of patterned vegetation. This publication describes the distribution of peatlands, the physical settings in which they exist, and the processes leading to their development on the landscape. Hydrology, water chemistry, and nutrient cycling in bogs and fens are discussed. The plant communities unique to these types of wetlands, their successional trends, and the animal communities inhabiting them are also described. The profile closes with a summary of past human impacts on peatlands and recommendations for future management.

  20. Representing northern peatland microtopography and hydrology within the Community Land Model

    SciTech Connect

    Shi, X.; Thornton, P. E.; Ricciuto, D. M.; Hanson, P. J.; Mao, J.; Sebestyen, S. D.; Griffiths, N. A.; Bisht, G.

    2015-02-20

    Predictive understanding of northern peatland hydrology is a necessary precursor to understanding the fate of massive carbon stores in these systems under the influence of present and future climate change. Current models have begun to address microtopographic controls on peatland hydrology, but none have included a prognostic calculation of peatland water table depth for a vegetated wetland, independent of prescribed regional water tables. We introduce here a new configuration of the Community Land Model (CLM) which includes a fully prognostic water table calculation for a vegetated peatland. Our structural and process changes to CLM focus on modifications needed to represent the hydrologic cycle of bogs environment with perched water tables, as well as distinct hydrologic dynamics and vegetation communities of the raised hummock and sunken hollow microtopography characteristic of peatland bogs. The modified model was parameterized and independently evaluated against observations from an ombrotrophic raised-dome bog in northern Minnesota (S1-Bog), the site for the Spruce and Peatland Responses Under Climatic and Environmental Change experiment (SPRUCE). Simulated water table levels compared well with site-level observations. The new model predicts significant hydrologic changes in response to planned warming at the SPRUCE site. At present, standing water is commonly observed in bog hollows after large rainfall events during the growing season, but simulations suggest a sharp decrease in water table levels due to increased evapotranspiration under the most extreme warming level, nearly eliminating the occurrence of standing water in the growing season. Simulated soil energy balance was strongly influenced by reduced winter snowpack under warming simulations, with the warming influence on soil temperature partly offset by the loss of insulating snowpack in early and late winter. The new model provides improved predictive capacity for seasonal hydrological dynamics

  1. Representing northern peatland microtopography and hydrology within the Community Land Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shi, X.; Thornton, P. E.; Ricciuto, D. M.; Hanson, P. J.; Mao, J.; Sebestyen, S. D.; Griffiths, N. A.; Bisht, G.

    2015-11-01

    Predictive understanding of northern peatland hydrology is a necessary precursor to understanding the fate of massive carbon stores in these systems under the influence of present and future climate change. Current models have begun to address microtopographic controls on peatland hydrology, but none have included a prognostic calculation of peatland water table depth for a vegetated wetland, independent of prescribed regional water tables. We introduce here a new configuration of the Community Land Model (CLM) which includes a fully prognostic water table calculation for a vegetated peatland. Our structural and process changes to CLM focus on modifications needed to represent the hydrologic cycle of bogs environment with perched water tables, as well as distinct hydrologic dynamics and vegetation communities of the raised hummock and sunken hollow microtopography characteristic of peatland bogs. The modified model was parameterized and independently evaluated against observations from an ombrotrophic raised-dome bog in northern Minnesota (S1-Bog), the site for the Spruce and Peatland Responses Under Climatic and Environmental Change experiment (SPRUCE). Simulated water table levels compared well with site-level observations. The new model predicts hydrologic changes in response to planned warming at the SPRUCE site. At present, standing water is commonly observed in bog hollows after large rainfall events during the growing season, but simulations suggest a sharp decrease in water table levels due to increased evapotranspiration under the most extreme warming level, nearly eliminating the occurrence of standing water in the growing season. Simulated soil energy balance was strongly influenced by reduced winter snowpack under warming simulations, with the warming influence on soil temperature partly offset by the loss of insulating snowpack in early and late winter. The new model provides improved predictive capacity for seasonal hydrological dynamics in northern

  2. Emissions of methane from northern peatlands: a review of management impacts and future implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdalla, Mohamed; Hastings, Astley; Mander, Ulo; Smith, Pete; Nilsson, Mats

    2016-04-01

    Northern peatlands constitute a significant source of atmospheric methane (CH4). However, management of undisturbed peatlands, as well as restoration of disturbed peatlands, will alter the exchange of methane with the atmosphere. The aim of this literature review and meta-analysis was to collate and analyse recent literature to improve our understanding of the impacts of management on CH4 emissions from northern peatlands i.e. latitude 40 to 70o N. Results show that CH4 emissions from natural northern peatlands range from 0 to 154 g C m-2 yr-1 and the overall annual average (mean ± standard deviation) is 11.7 ± 21 g C m-2 yr-1 with the highest emissions from fen ecosystems. Drainage significantly (p<0.05) reduces CH4 emissions to the atmosphere, on average by 84%. However, restoration by rewetting of peatlands and application of N fertilizer both significantly (p<0.05) increase the emissions compared to the original pre-management CH4 fluxes. Methane emissions are mainly controlled by water table (WT) depth, plant community composition and soil pH. Although temperature is not a good predictor of CH4 emissions by itself, the interaction between temperatures, plant community cover, WT depth and soil pH is important. According to short-term forecasts of climate change, these complex interactions will be the main determinant of increased CH4 emissions from northern peatlands. However, to fully evaluate the net effect of management practice on high latitude peatlands both net ecosystem exchange (NEE) and carbon exports needs to be considered.

  3. Representing northern peatland microtopography and hydrology within the Community Land Model

    SciTech Connect

    Shi, Xiaoying; Thornton, Peter E.; Ricciuto, Daniel M.; Hanson, Paul J.; Mao, Jiafu; Sebestyen, Stephen D.; Griffiths, Natalie A.; Bisht, Gautam

    2015-11-12

    Predictive understanding of northern peatland hydrology is a necessary precursor to understanding the fate of massive carbon stores in these systems under the influence of present and future climate change. Current models have begun to address microtopographic controls on peatland hydrology, but none have included a prognostic calculation of peatland water table depth for a vegetated wetland, independent of prescribed regional water tables. We introduce here a new configuration of the Community Land Model (CLM) which includes a fully prognostic water table calculation for a vegetated peatland. Our structural and process changes to CLM focus on modifications needed to represent the hydrologic cycle of bogs environment with perched water tables, as well as distinct hydrologic dynamics and vegetation communities of the raised hummock and sunken hollow microtopography characteristic of peatland bogs. The modified model was parameterized and independently evaluated against observations from an ombrotrophic raised-dome bog in northern Minnesota (S1-Bog), the site for the Spruce and Peatland Responses Under Climatic and Environmental Change experiment (SPRUCE). Simulated water table levels compared well with site-level observations. The new model predicts hydrologic changes in response to planned warming at the SPRUCE site. At present, standing water is commonly observed in bog hollows after large rainfall events during the growing season, but simulations suggest a sharp decrease in water table levels due to increased evapotranspiration under the most extreme warming level, nearly eliminating the occurrence of standing water in the growing season. Simulated soil energy balance was strongly influenced by reduced winter snowpack under warming simulations, with the warming influence on soil temperature partly offset by the loss of insulating snowpack in early and late winter. Furthermore, the new model provides improved predictive capacity for seasonal hydrological dynamics

  4. Representing northern peatland microtopography and hydrology within the Community Land Model

    DOE PAGES

    Shi, X.; Thornton, P. E.; Ricciuto, D. M.; ...

    2015-02-20

    Predictive understanding of northern peatland hydrology is a necessary precursor to understanding the fate of massive carbon stores in these systems under the influence of present and future climate change. Current models have begun to address microtopographic controls on peatland hydrology, but none have included a prognostic calculation of peatland water table depth for a vegetated wetland, independent of prescribed regional water tables. We introduce here a new configuration of the Community Land Model (CLM) which includes a fully prognostic water table calculation for a vegetated peatland. Our structural and process changes to CLM focus on modifications needed to representmore » the hydrologic cycle of bogs environment with perched water tables, as well as distinct hydrologic dynamics and vegetation communities of the raised hummock and sunken hollow microtopography characteristic of peatland bogs. The modified model was parameterized and independently evaluated against observations from an ombrotrophic raised-dome bog in northern Minnesota (S1-Bog), the site for the Spruce and Peatland Responses Under Climatic and Environmental Change experiment (SPRUCE). Simulated water table levels compared well with site-level observations. The new model predicts significant hydrologic changes in response to planned warming at the SPRUCE site. At present, standing water is commonly observed in bog hollows after large rainfall events during the growing season, but simulations suggest a sharp decrease in water table levels due to increased evapotranspiration under the most extreme warming level, nearly eliminating the occurrence of standing water in the growing season. Simulated soil energy balance was strongly influenced by reduced winter snowpack under warming simulations, with the warming influence on soil temperature partly offset by the loss of insulating snowpack in early and late winter. The new model provides improved predictive capacity for seasonal hydrological

  5. Representing northern peatland microtopography and hydrology within the Community Land Model

    DOE PAGES

    Shi, Xiaoying; Thornton, Peter E.; Ricciuto, Daniel M.; ...

    2015-11-12

    Predictive understanding of northern peatland hydrology is a necessary precursor to understanding the fate of massive carbon stores in these systems under the influence of present and future climate change. Current models have begun to address microtopographic controls on peatland hydrology, but none have included a prognostic calculation of peatland water table depth for a vegetated wetland, independent of prescribed regional water tables. We introduce here a new configuration of the Community Land Model (CLM) which includes a fully prognostic water table calculation for a vegetated peatland. Our structural and process changes to CLM focus on modifications needed to representmore » the hydrologic cycle of bogs environment with perched water tables, as well as distinct hydrologic dynamics and vegetation communities of the raised hummock and sunken hollow microtopography characteristic of peatland bogs. The modified model was parameterized and independently evaluated against observations from an ombrotrophic raised-dome bog in northern Minnesota (S1-Bog), the site for the Spruce and Peatland Responses Under Climatic and Environmental Change experiment (SPRUCE). Simulated water table levels compared well with site-level observations. The new model predicts hydrologic changes in response to planned warming at the SPRUCE site. At present, standing water is commonly observed in bog hollows after large rainfall events during the growing season, but simulations suggest a sharp decrease in water table levels due to increased evapotranspiration under the most extreme warming level, nearly eliminating the occurrence of standing water in the growing season. Simulated soil energy balance was strongly influenced by reduced winter snowpack under warming simulations, with the warming influence on soil temperature partly offset by the loss of insulating snowpack in early and late winter. Furthermore, the new model provides improved predictive capacity for seasonal hydrological

  6. Control of Methane Production and Exchange in Northern Peatlands

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Crill, Patrick

    1997-01-01

    This proposal has successfully supported studies that have developed unique long ten-n datasets of methane (CH4) emissions and carbon dioxide (CO2) exchange in order to quantify the controls on CH4 production and exchange especially the linkages to the carbon cycle in northern peatlands. The primary research site has been a small fen in southeastern New Hampshire where a unique multi-year data baseline of CH4 flux measurements was begun (with NASA funding) in 1989. The fen has also been instrumented for continuous hydrological and meteorological observations and year-round porewater sampling. Multiyear datasets of methane flux are very valuable and very rare. Datasets using the same sampling techniques at the same sites are the only way to assess the effect of the integrated ecosystem response to climatological variability. The research has had two basic objectives: 1. To quantify the effect of seasonal and interannual variability on CH4flux. 2. To examine process level controls on methane dynamics.

  7. Ebullition events monitored from northern peatlands using electrical imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kettridge, Nicholas; Binley, Andrew; Green, Sophie M.; Baird, Andy J.

    2011-12-01

    Within northern peatlands, ebullition is potentially an important mechanism for the transport of methane (CH4) to the atmosphere. We applied electrical imaging to characterize the buildup and ebullition of biogenic gas bubbles in a spatially explicit manner. Ebullition events were monitored from a range of different peat types, with and without a vascular plant cover, under different meteorological conditions. Weekly changes in bulk electrical conductivity (σ) were analyzed, during which variations in pore water conductivity had only a small effect on σ. Bulk ebullition losses from the peat cores were independently measured using Mariotte regulators. The largest ebullition events were found to be spatially diffuse: the gas was released from a large volume of peat. We used a measure of the roughness of the electrical images to characterize the magnitude of gas bubble movement within each peat core. Our results show that small variations in air temperatures of 3°C and variations in peat type between different microhabitats have a statistically significant influence on gas bubble dynamics.

  8. Seasonal changes in peatland surface elevation recorded at GPS stations in the Red Lake Peatlands, northern Minnesota, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Andrew Reeve,; Paul Glaser,; Rosenberry, Donald O.

    2013-01-01

    Northern peatlands appear to hold large volumes of free-phase gas (e.g., CH4 and CO2), which has been detected by surface deformations, pore pressure profiles, and electromagnetic surveys. Determining the gas content and its impact in peat is challenging because gas storage depends on both the elastic properties of the peat matrix and the buoyant forces exerted by pore fluids. We therefore used a viscoelastic deformation model to estimate these variables by adjusting model runs to reproduce observed changes in peat surface elevation within a 1300 km2 peatland. A local GPS network documented significant changes in surface elevations throughout the year with the greatest vertical displacements associated with rapid changes in peat water content and unloadings due to melting of the winter snowpack. These changes were coherent with changes in water table elevation and also abnormal pore pressure changes measured by nests of instrumented piezometers. The deformation model reproduced these changes when the gas content was adjusted to 10% of peat volume, and Young's modulus was varied between 5 and 100 kPa as the peat profile shifted from tension to compression. In contrast, the model predicted little peat deformation when the gas content was 3% or lower. These model simulations are consistent with previous estimates of gas volume in northern peatlands and suggest an upper limit of gas storage controlled by the elastic moduli of the peat fabric.

  9. A temporal study of permafrost thaw for a subarctic peatland in northern Sweden

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Connolly, John; Persson, Andreas; Giljum, Marco; Crill, Patrick; Roulet, Nigel; Eklundh, Lars; Pilesjö, Petter

    2014-05-01

    Peatlands or mires contain about one third of the global terrestrial carbon pool and are located on between 3-6% of the global land area. In boreal and sub-arctic regions peatland cover about 3.5 million km2 and are underlain with continuous, discontinuous, sporadic and isolated patches of permafrost. In these areas the soil organic carbon (SOC) pools are stable and decomposition is suspended only as long as the soil is frozen or in an anaerobic state. Climate warming is projected to be greater in the high latitudes where most northern peatlands are found. Observed mean annual air temperatures in northern Sweden have increased by 2-3oC since the 1950s. This is causing permafrost thaw and increasing the vulnerability of peatland C, especially in discontinuous and sporadic permafrost area. A growing number of studies have examined the impact of climate-induced thaw and the potential vulnerability of carbon stored in frozen peatlands. Thawing permafrost leads to changes in the form and function of northern peatlands. This is characterised by the transition of dry palsa mires to wetter peatland pits, depressions and pools. These new hydrological regimes also lead to increased production of methane through subsequent decomposition of plant material. Increases in temperature therefore leads to changes in permafrost distribution, receding palsa areas, geomorphology (thermokarst terrain), hydrology (thus affecting plant community structure, productivity, increased wetter vegetation communities) and C efflux. An increasing number of studies examining the impact of climate change on peatlands in these regions and measurement of CO2 and CH4 fluxes occurs at several discrete peatland sites across the sub-Arctic. However, regional estimations of these fluxes are limited. Geospatial technologies may be used to aid the understanding of the patterns and processes that are occurring in these transition mires over space and time. Several satellite and airborne images have been

  10. Experimental drying intensifies burning and carbon losses in a northern peatland.

    PubMed

    Turetsky, M R; Donahue, W F; Benscoter, B W

    2011-11-01

    For millennia, peatlands have served as an important sink for atmospheric CO(2) and today represent a large soil carbon reservoir. While recent land use and wildfires have reduced carbon sequestration in tropical peatlands, the influence of disturbance on boreal peatlands is uncertain, yet it is important for predicting the fate of northern high-latitude carbon reserves. Here we quantify rates of organic matter storage and combustion losses in a boreal peatland subjected to long-term experimental drainage, a portion of which subsequently burned during a wildfire. We show that drainage doubled rates of organic matter accumulation in the soils of unburned plots. However, drainage also increased carbon losses during wildfire ninefold to 16.8±0.2 kg C m(-2), equivalent to a loss of more than 450 years of peat accumulation. Interactions between peatland drainage and fire are likely to cause long-term carbon emissions to far exceed rates of carbon uptake, diminishing the northern peatland carbon sink.

  11. Nitrogen removal in Northern peatlands treating mine wastewaters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palmer, Katharina; Karlsson, Teemu; Turunen, Kaisa; Liisa Räisänen, Marja; Backnäs, Soile

    2015-04-01

    Natural peatlands can be used as passive purification systems for mine wastewaters. These treatment peatlands are well-suited for passive water treatment as they delay the flow of water, and provide a large filtration network with many adsorptive surfaces on plant roots or soil particles. They have been shown to remove efficiently harmful metals and metalloids from mine waters due to variety of chemical, physical and biological processes such as adsorption, precipitation, sedimentation, oxidation and reduction reactions, as well as plant uptake. Many factors affect the removal efficiency such as inflow water quality, wetland hydrology, system pH, redox potential and temperature, the nature of the predominating purification processes, and the presence of other components such as salts. However, less attention has been paid to nitrogen (N) removal in peatlands. Thus, this study aimed to assess the efficiency of N removal and seasonal variation in the removal rate in two treatment peatlands treating mine dewatering waters and process effluent waters. Water sampling from treatment peatland inflow and outflow waters as well as pore waters in peatland were conducted multiple times during 2012-2014. Water samples were analysed for total N, nitrate-N and ammonium-N. Additionally, an YSI EXO2 device was used for continuous nitrate monitoring of waters discharged from treatment peatlands to the recipient river during summer 2014. The results showed that the oxic conditions in upper peat layer and microbial activity in treatment peatlands allowed the efficient oxidation of ammonium-N to nitrite-N and further to nitrate-N during summer time. However, the slow denitrification rate restricts the N removal as not all of the nitrate produced during nitrification is denitrified. In summer time, the removal rate of total N varied between 30-99 % being highest in late summer. N removal was clearly higher for treatment peatland treating process effluent waters than for peatland

  12. Bacterial and Fungal Activities of Northern Peatland Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winsborough, C.; Basiliko, N.

    2009-05-01

    High latitude peatlands play a unique role in global climate through the long-term net sequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide in organic soils. Fungi and bacteria dominate microfloral communities in soils and typically are responsible for the majority of direct organic matter decomposition and mineralization, yet each of these groups of microorganisms, with physiological and metabolic differences, potentially plays unique roles in nutrient and carbon cycling in soils. The ability to characterize fungal v bacterial decomposition in peatlands is therefore exceptionally important to understand and predict peatland carbon dynamics, particularly under changing environmental conditions. Here, we demonstrate for the first time, the potential of applying the glucose induced selective inhibition technique, previously used in partitioning bacterial and fungal respiration in forest and agricultural systems, to peatland soils. Using 3 ecologically and hydrologically diverse and spatially dispersed peatlands ranging from a bog to a rich fen, we demonstrated a slight bacterial dominance in a bog and a poor fen both with acidic and primarily Sphagnum peat and a strong bacterial dominance in a near pH neutral, wetter rich fen with sedge peat. This is interesting, as it was expected that microbial respiration in the surface peat profile would be dominated by fungi owing to the acidic and better drained conditions, as is the case with upland riparian forest soils. Furthermore, the maximum non-target inhibition was only 20%, indicating that the SI approach in organic wetland soils works as well as, or better than in, many upland agricultural and forest soils. As the overall importance of fungal and bacterial activities in peatland carbon cycling is still not fully understood, further applications of this technique can develop our understanding of microbial activity in peatland soils.

  13. The importance of northern peatland expansion to the late-Holocene rise of atmospheric methane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korhola, Atte; Ruppel, Meri; Seppä, Heikki; Väliranta, Minna; Virtanen, Tarmo; Weckström, Jan

    2010-03-01

    AbstarctWetlands have been considered as the most important natural source of the atmospheric methane concentration (AMC) prior to anthropogenic influences. According to ice cores, AMC varied significantly during the Holocene, the causes of which are not completely understood. In particular, the reasons for the increased AMC during the late Holocene (from 5 ka onwards) have been debated widely, including an anthropogenic explanation. Initially, this increase was associated with increased emissions from northern wetlands, but estimated peat initiation rates seem not to support the conclusion. Based on a new data set of 954 basal peat radiocarbon dates that accounts more properly for the horizontal growth dynamics of northern peatlands (by containing only sites with multiple basal dates per site), we show here that the most extensive lateral expansion of high-latitude peatlands occurred only after 5 ka, parallel with the rise of CH 4 in the ice cores. Because this explosive increase in the extent of peatlands resulted in the formation of moist minerotrophic fen ecosystems that emit high amounts of CH 4 for a long time since their formation, and because many Arctic peatlands have remained minerotrophic throughout their development, northern peatlands cannot be neglected when seeking cause(s) for the late-Holocene rise in CH 4. A similar event in future could enhance climate change by causing a rapid shift in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations.

  14. Resilience in heterogeneous landscapes: The effect of topography on resilience of carbon uptake in northern peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nijp, Jelmer; Temme, Arnaud; van Voorn, George; Teuling, Ryan; Soons, Merel; Kooistra, Lammert

    2016-04-01

    Northern peatlands contain and store enormous amounts of carbon, and therefore represent an important component of the carbon cycle of the earth. In these wetland ecosystems, the quality of the soil added to the soil surface is determined by the type of peat-forming plants, and affects the carbon accumulated in the peat soil later formed and overall ecosystem functioning. Peatland vegetation is frequently organized in alternating dry hummocks with wet hollows. Such patterned vegetation is associated with different soil carbon accumulation rates, and may develop due to various self-regulating processes originating from ecohydrological feedbacks. Simulation models have shown that vegetation patterning may promote the resilience of peatlands to environmental change (climate, land use), hence maintaining their function as carbon sink. Critically, the results of these model studies rely on the fundamental assumption that environmental conditions are spatially homogeneous. Yet, in real landscape settings, catchment topography has a major impact on water flow and nutrient availability, and is expected to alter vegetation patterning. However, whether, where and how topography affects vegetation patterning in peatlands and associated resilience of ecosystem service provision remains unknown. By combining field observations, remote sensing, and dynamic simulation models (used both as 'sandbox' and 'resilience calculator' for given geomorphological settings), we determine how landscape topography affects ecohydrological processes, vegetation patterning, and associated resilience to environmental change in northern peatlands.

  15. A New Appraisal of Northern Peatlands and Global Atmospheric Methane Over the Holocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacDonald, G. M.; Holmquist, J. R.; Kremenetski, K.; Loisel, J.

    2015-12-01

    Use of large databases of peat cores to examine linkages between northern peatlands and atmospheric CH4 over the Holocene has been prone to uncertainties regarding 1. comparability of radiocarbon techniques and material dated, 2. appropriate summed probability distributions, 3. spatial representativeness of the sites, particularly in capturing sites south of the subarctic, 4. potential impacts of local lateral peatland expansion versus continental-scale peatland initiation, particularly in the late Holocene, and 5. impacts of changes in the proportion of high methane-producing fens vs Sphagnum bogs. We present a comparison of radiocarbon measurements from conventional counts, atomic mass spectrometry and differing peat materials to demonstrate a general compatibility of the various types of dates. We compare and apply several summed probability distribution methods to minimize any statistical bias in our analysis. We then present our analysis of a new data set of 7571 peatland cores from 4420 sites that extend into the temperate zone. Of these, 3732 cores inform on lateral expansion and 329 dates constrain the timing of fen-bog transition. Based on these data in original and gridded form we show that widespread peat initiation commenced at 16 kcal yr BP and reached a maximum rate at 11-8 kcal yr BP. Most sites began as fens, and peak transition to bogs occurred between 5 and 3 kcal yr BP, with a 1000 year lag between Eurasia and North America. There is no global late Holocene increase in lateral expansion. Based on modeled northern peatland area and ratio of fen/bog sites, CH4 production from northern peatlands increased rapidly from 11 to 9 cal yr BP, followed by slower increase until reaching a maximum at 5 kcal yr BP at 25 Tg per yr. From 4 kcal yr BP to Present, bogs become a dominant feature in the northern peatland landscape and CH4 production decreased to reach modern-day levels at about 20 Tg per yr. Northern peatlands have been a key infleunce on global

  16. Representing Northern Peatland Hydrology and Biogeochemistry within the Community Land Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shi, X.; Ricciuto, D. M.; Xu, X.; Thornton, P. E.; Hanson, P. J.; Mao, J.; Sebestyen, S.; Griffiths, N.

    2015-12-01

    Northern peatlands are projected to become very important in future carbon-climate feedback due to their large carbon storage and vulnerability to changes in hydrology and climate impacts. Understanding the hydrology and biogeochemistry is a fundamental task for projecting the fate of massive carbon stores in these systems under future climate change. Models have started to address microtopographic controls on peatland hydrology, but none have considered a prognostic calculation of water table dynamics in vegetated peatlands rather than prescribed regional water tables. We introduced here a new configuration of the Community Land Model (CLM), which includes a fully prognostic water table calculation between hummock and hollow microtopography in a vegetated peatland. We further integrated the hydrology treatment with vertically structured soil organic matter pools, and a newly developed microbial functional group-based methane module. The model was further used to test against observational data obtained within Spruce and Peatland Responses Under Climatic and Environmental Change (SPRUCE) project. Results for water table dynamic, carbon profile, and land surface fluxes of carbon dioxide and methane were reasonable. Model simulations showed that warming and elevated CO2 had significant impacts on land surface fluxes of methane and carbon dioxide. The warming-induced hydrological changes are another factors influencing biogeochemistry along soil profiles and land surface gas fluxes. These preliminary results provide some insights for field experiments as well as data-model comparison in next phase of the SPRUCE project.

  17. Relationship Between Ecosystem Productivity and Photosynthetically Active Radiation for Northern Peatlands

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frolking, S. E.; Bubier, J. L.; Moore, T. R.; Ball, T.; Bellisario, L. M.; Bhardwaj, A.; Carroll, P.; Crill, P. M.; Lafleur, P. M.; McCaughey, J. H.; Roulet, N. T.; Suyker, A. E.; Verma, S. B.; Waddington, J. M.; Whiting, G. J.

    1998-01-01

    We analyzed the relationship between net ecosystem exchange of carbon dioxide (NEE) and irradiance (as photosynthetic photon flux density or PPFD), using published and unpublished data that have been collected during midgrowing season for carbon balance studies at seven peatlands in North America and Europe, NEE measurements included both eddy-correlation tower and clear, static chamber methods, which gave very similar results. Data were analyzed by site, as aggregated data sets by peatland type (bog, poor fen, rich fen, and all fens) and as a single aggregated data set for all peatlands. In all cases, a fit with a rectangular hyperbola (NEE = alpha PPFD P(sub max)/(alpha PPFD + P(sub max) + R) better described the NEE-PPFD relationship than did a linear fit (NEE = beta PPFD + R). Poor and rich fens generally had similar NEE-PPFD relationships, while bogs had lower respiration rates (R = -2.0 micro mol m(exp -2) s(exp -1) for bogs and -2.7 micro mol m(exp -2) s(exp -1)) for fens) and lower NEE at moderate and high light levels (P(sub max)= 5.2 micro mol m(exp -2) s(exp -1) for bogs and 10.8 micro mol m(exp -2) s(exp -1) for fens). As a single class, northern peatlands had much smaller ecosystem respiration (R = -2.4 micro mol m(exp -2) s(exp -1)) and NEE rates (alpha = 0.020 and P(sub max)= 9.2 micro mol m(exp -2) s(exp -1)) than the upland ecosystems (closed canopy forest, grassland, and cropland). Despite this low productivity, northern peatland soil carbon pools are generally 5-50 times larger than upland ecosystems because of slow rates of decomposition caused by litter quality and anaerobic, cold soils.

  18. The hydrology of northern peatlands as affected by biogenic gas: Current developments and research needs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rosenberry, D.O.; Glaser, P.H.; Siegel, D.I.

    2006-01-01

    Recent research indicates that accumulation and release of biogenic gas from northern peatlands may substantially affect future climate. Sudden release of free-phase gas bubbles into the atmosphere may preclude the conversion of methane to carbon dioxide in the uppermost oxic layer of the peat, resulting in greater contribution of methane to the atmosphere than is currently estimated. The hydrology of these peatlands also affects and is affected by this process, especially when gas is released suddenly and episodically. Indirect hydrological evidence indicates that ebullitive gas releases are relatively frequent in some peatlands and time-averaged rates may be significantly greater than diffusive releases. Estimates of free-phase gas contained in peat have ranged from 0 to nearly 20% of the peat volume. Abrupt changes in the volume of gas may alter hydraulic gradients and movement of water and solutes in peat, which in turn could alter composition and fluxes of the gas. Peat surfaces also move vertically and horizontally in response to accumulation and release of free-phase gas. Future research should address the distribution, temporal variability, and relative significance of ebullition in peatlands and the consequent hydrological responses to these gas-emission events. Copyright ?? 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  19. Surface production fuels deep heterotrophic respiration in northern peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elizabeth Corbett, J.; Burdige, David J.; Tfaily, Malak M.; Dial, Angela R.; Cooper, William T.; Glaser, Paul H.; Chanton, Jeffrey P.

    2013-12-01

    Multiple analyses of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) from pore waters were conducted to define the processes that govern carbon balance in peatlands: (1) source, reactivity, and transport of DOC with respect to vegetation, peat, and age of carbon substrate, (2) reactivity of DOC with respect to molecular size, and (3) lability to photoxidation of surficial DOC. We found that surface organic production fuels heterotrophic respiration at depth in advection-dominated peatlands, especially in fens. Fen DOC was Δ14C enriched relative to the surrounding fen peat, and fen respiration products were similar to this enriched DOC indicating that DOC was the main microbial substrate. Bog DOC was more variable showing either enrichment in ∆14C at depth or ∆14C values that follow peat values. This variability in bogs is probably controlled by the relative importance of vertical transport of labile carbon substrates within the peat profile versus DOC production from bog peat. These results extended our set of observations to 10 years at one bog-fen pair and add two additional bog-fen pairs to our series of observations. Anaerobic incubations of peat, rinsed free of residual DOC, produced DOC and respiration products that were strikingly similar to the peat values in a bog and two fens. This result demonstrated conclusively that downward advection is the process responsible for the presence of modern DOC found at depth in the peat column. Fen DOC has lower C/N values and up to twice as much LMW (<1 kDa) DOC as bogs due to differences in organic inputs and greater microbial processing. Fluorescence irradiation experiments showed that fen DOC is more photolabile than bog DOC.

  20. Holocene Carbon Accumulation and Soil Properties in Northern Peatlands: A Circum-Arctic Synthesis (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loisel, J.; Beilman, D.; Yu, Z.; Camill, P.

    2013-12-01

    Of all terrestrial ecosystems, peatlands are arguably the most efficient at sequestering carbon (C) over long time scales. However, ongoing and projected climate change could shift the balance between peat production and organic matter decomposition, potentially impacting the peatland C-sink capacity and modifying peat-C fluxes to the atmosphere. Yet, the sign and magnitude of the peatland carbon-climate feedback remain uncertain and difficult to assess because of (1) limited understanding of peatland responses to climate change, (2) data gaps and large uncertainties in regional peatland C stocks, and (3) non-linear peatland responses to external forcing. Here we present results from a comprehensive compilation of peat soil properties and Holocene C data for northern peatlands. Our compiled database consists of >250 peat cores from > 200 sites located north of 45N. This synthesis is novel in that our C accumulation estimates are based on directly measured bulk density and C content values. It also encompasses regions within which peat-C data have only recently become available, such as the West Siberia Lowlands, Hudson Bay Lowlands and Kamchatka. Our averaged bulk density value of 0.13 g cm-3 (n = 17,319) is about 16% higher than Gorham's (1991, Ecol. Appl.) widely used estimate of 0.112 g cm-3 for northern peatlands, and 30% larger than the generic value of 0.10 g cm-3 used in recent synthesis (Yu et al. 2009, AGU Monograph 184). When combined with our mean C content value of 48% (n = 2431), these differences in bulk density have important implications for estimating the total C stocks in northern peatlands. Soil organic carbon density (SOC) ranged from 12 to 334 kg C m-2, with a mean value of 102 kg C m-2. A regression model revealed a significant, positive correlation between peat depths and SOC (R2 = 0.675, p < 0.0001), such that higher SOC densities characterized deeper sites. Comparing these values with those published in soil-C surveys that only account for

  1. Postglacial Spatiotemporal Peatland Initiation and Lateral Expansion Dynamics in North America and Northern Europe: Implications to Carbon Uptake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korhola, Atte; Ruppel, Meri; Virtanen, Tarmo; Väliranta, Minna

    2016-04-01

    Peatlands are major ecosystems of the Northern Hemisphere and have a significant role in global biogeochemical processes. Consequently, there is growing interest in understanding past, present and future peatland dynamics. However, chronological and geographical data on peatland initiation are scattered, impeding the reliable establishment of postglacial spatiotemporal peatland formation patterns and their possible connection to climate. In order to present a comprehensive account of postglacial peatland formation histories in North America and northern Europe, we collected a data set of 1400 basal peat ages accompanied by below-peat sediment-type interpretations from literature. Our data indicate that all peatland initiation processes (i.e. primary mire formation, terrestrialization and paludification) co-occurred throughout North America and northern Europe during the Holocene, and almost equal amounts of peatlands formed via these three processes. Furthermore, the data suggest that the processes exhibited some spatiotemporal patterns. On both continents, primary mire formation seems to occur first, soon followed by terrestrialization and later paludification. Primary mire formation appears mostly restricted to coastal areas, whereas terrestrialization and paludification were more evenly distributed across the continents. Primary mire formation seems mainly connected with physical processes, such as ice sheet retreat. Terrestrialization probably reflected progressive infilling of water bodies on longer timescales but was presumably drought driven on shorter timescales. Paludification seems affected by climate as it slowed down in Europe during the driest phase of the Holocene between 6 and 5 ka. Lateral expansion of existing peatlands accelerated c. 5000 years ago on both continents, which was likely connected to an increase in relative moisture.

  2. Impact of mine wastewaters on greenhouse gas emissions from northern peatlands used for mine water treatment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palmer, Katharina; Ronkanen, Anna-Kaisa; Klöve, Björn; Hynynen, Jenna; Maljanen, Marja

    2015-04-01

    increasing distances from the ditch. NO3- concentrations were lower in pore water than in surface water, and the peak in NO3- concentration shifted further away from the distribution ditch with increasing depth. On the contrary, NH4+ concentrations were generally higher in pore water than in surface water, and peak concentrations increased with increasing depth. Highest NH4+ concentrations were detected in 30 to 60 cm depth near the outlet at the south end of TP 4. Fluxes of the greenhouse gases CH4 and N2O from 4 sampling points (2 from TP 4, 1 from TP 1, 1 from reference area) were measured on 7 different occasions 2013 and 2014. CH4 emissions were in the same range as measured in other northern pristine peatlands in the reference area, which is not influenced by mine wastewaters. Treatment peatlands showed only very minor CH4 emissions or even CH4 uptake. On the other hand, treatment peatlands showed high N2O emissions, which were in the same range as N2O emissions observed from northern peat soils used for agriculture. Highest emissions were generally observed near the wastewater distribution ditch of TP 4. N2O emissions from the reference area were negligible or even negative. NO3-, NH4+ and SO42- concentrations were determined from surface waters from each sampling point and sampling occasion. N2O emissions were positively correlated with NO3- concentrations, indicating denitrification-derived N2O production in treatment peatlands. On the other hand, CH4 emissions were negatively correlated with SO42- and NO3- concentrations, indicating that the presence of alternative electron acceptors in large amounts suppresses CH4 production in treatment peatlands. In conclusion, the study revealed that (i) treatment peatlands receive high loads of NO3-, NH4+ and SO42- which are not well retained in the peatlands, (ii) mine wastewaters positively and negatively affect N2O and CH4 emissions, respectively, (iii) N2O emissions are positively correlated with NO3- concentrations, and

  3. Contrasting controls on arsenic and lead budgets for a degraded peatland catchment in Northern England.

    PubMed

    Rothwell, James J; Taylor, Kevin G; Evans, Martin G; Allott, Timothy E H

    2011-10-01

    Atmospheric deposition of trace metals and metalloids from anthropogenic sources has led to the contamination of many European peatlands. To assess the fate and behaviour of previously deposited arsenic and lead, we constructed catchment-scale mass budgets for a degraded peatland in Northern England. Our results show a large net export of both lead and arsenic via runoff (282 ± 21.3 gPb ha(-1) y(-1) and 60.4 ± 10.5 gAs ha(-1) y(-1)), but contrasting controls on this release. Suspended particulates account for the majority of lead export, whereas the aqueous phase dominates arsenic export. Lead release is driven by geomorphological processes and is a primary effect of erosion. Arsenic release is driven by the formation of a redox-dynamic zone in the peat associated with water table drawdown, a secondary effect of gully erosion. Degradation of peatland environments by natural and anthropogenic processes has the potential to release the accumulated pool of legacy contaminants to surface waters.

  4. Domestic wastewater treatment by peatlands in a northern climate: a water quality study

    SciTech Connect

    Dubuc, Y.; Janneteau, P.; Labonte, R.; Roy, C.; Briere, F.

    1986-04-01

    The use of peatlands as the main form of wastewater treatment in a northern climate was studied for the James Bay Energy Society. The Fontanges campsite (70/sub 0/ 17' 30'' W, 54/sup 0/ 34' 00'' N) was chosen as the study site. In less than 1.5 km from the point of discharge BOD/sub 5/, COD, total hardness, inorganic carbon, orthophosphates, total phosphorus, ammonia and total nitrogen were reduced by at least 90%. The peatland treatment system studied is divided into four components, each having a specific function. The first part combines the action of microorganisms and adsorption on peat, thus reducing the organic content while increasing the inorganic constituents. The second part uses peat to adsorb the inorganic elements already present in the wastewater and those produced in the first part of the system. The third component acts as an aerator, increasing the dissolved oxygen and decreasing the BOD/sub 5/ levels of the water. The fourth part removes most of the remaining nutrients, thus acting like a tertiary treatment. Overall, peatlands seemed to be effective in treating domestic settled wastewater in a cold climate.

  5. Trace gas responses in a climate change experiment in northern peatlands

    SciTech Connect

    Bridgham, S.D.; Pastor, J.; Updegraff, K.

    1995-09-01

    We established 54 mesocosms of 2.2 m{sup 2} and approximately 0.6 m depth with intact vegetation communities, with half originating from a poor-intermediate fen and half from a bog in northern Minnesota. The mesocosms were subjected to a series of water-table (0,-10,-20 cm) and heating treatments, with the heating treatments from overhead infrared lamps (full on, half on, ambient). Heating began in late summer 1994, and gas flux measurements were taken until the onset of winter. The first year results indicate peatland type and water-table treatment had highly significant effects on CH{sub 4} emissions, while the effect of heating treatment was weaker (P=0.07). Overall CH{sub 4} fluxes were higher in bog than in fen mesocosms. Despite the significant treatment effects, a multiple regression with water-table depth and soil temperature as the independent variables only predicted 14% and 34% of the variation in CH{sub 4} flux in the bog and fen mesocosms, respectively. CO{sub 2} emissions (net ecosystem respiration) were significantly affected by peatland type (higher in bogs) and heat treatment, but not but by water-table treatment. Soil temperature predicted 34% and 48% of the CO{sub 2} flux in the bog and fen mesocosms, respectively. These preliminary results indicate that climate change will have a significant impact on trace gas emissions in northern peatlands, but that much of the variability in emission cannot be explained by environmental correlates, even under carefully controlled conditions.

  6. Surface deformations as indicators of deep ebullition fluxes in a large northern peatland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Glaser, P.H.; Chanton, J.P.; Morin, P.; Rosenberry, D.O.; Siegel, D.I.; Ruud, O.; Chasar, L.I.; Reeve, A.S.

    2004-01-01

    Peatlands deform elastically during precipitation cycles by small (??3 cm) oscillations in surface elevation. In contrast, we used a Global Positioning System network to measure larger oscillations that exceeded 20 cm over periods of 4-12 hours during two seasonal droughts at a bog and fen site in northern Minnesota. The second summer drought also triggered 19 depressuring cycles in an overpressured stratum under the bog site. The synchronicity between the largest surface deformations and the depressuring cycles indicates that both phenomena are produced by the episodic release of large volumes of gas from deep semi-elastic compartments confined by dense wood layers. We calculate that the three largest surface deformations were associated with the release of 136 g CH4 m-2, which exceeds by an order of magnitude the annual average chamber fluxes measured at this site. Ebullition of gas from the deep peat may therefore be a large and previously unrecognized source of radiocarbon depleted methane emissions from northern peatlands. Copyright 2004 by the American Geophysical Union.

  7. Can frequent precipitation moderate the impact of drought on peatmoss carbon uptake in northern peatlands?

    PubMed

    Nijp, Jelmer J; Limpens, Juul; Metselaar, Klaas; van der Zee, Sjoerd E A T M; Berendse, Frank; Robroek, Bjorn J M

    2014-07-01

    Northern peatlands represent a large global carbon store that can potentially be destabilized by summer water table drawdown. Precipitation can moderate the negative impacts of water table drawdown by rewetting peatmoss (Sphagnum spp.), the ecosystem's key species. Yet, the frequency of such rewetting required for it to be effective remains unknown. We experimentally assessed the importance of precipitation frequency for Sphagnum water supply and carbon uptake during a stepwise decrease in water tables in a growth chamber. CO2 exchange and the water balance were measured for intact cores of three peatmoss species (Sphagnum majus, Sphagnum balticum and Sphagnum fuscum) representative of three hydrologically distinct peatland microhabitats (hollow, lawn and hummock) and expected to differ in their water table-precipitation relationships. Precipitation contributed significantly to peatmoss water supply when the water table was deep, demonstrating the importance of precipitation during drought. The ability to exploit transient resources was species-specific; S. fuscum carbon uptake increased linearly with precipitation frequency for deep water tables, whereas carbon uptake by S. balticum and S. majus was depressed at intermediate precipitation frequencies. Our results highlight an important role for precipitation in carbon uptake by peatmosses. Yet, the potential to moderate the impact of drought is species-specific and dependent on the temporal distribution of precipitation.

  8. Sources and yields of dissolved carbon in northern Wisconsin stream catchments with differing amounts of Peatland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Elder, J.F.; Rybicki, N.B.; Carter, V.; Weintraub, V.

    2000-01-01

    In five tributary streams (four inflowing and one outflowing) of 1600-ha Trout Lake in northern Wisconsin, USA, we examined factors that can affect the magnitude of stream flow and transport of dissolved organic and inorganic carbon (DOC and DIC) through the streams to the lake. One catchment, the Allequash Creek basin, was investigated in more detail to describe the dynamics of carbon flow and to identify potential carbon sources. Stream flows and carbon loads showed little or no relation to surface-water catchment area. They were more closely related to ground-water watershed area because ground-water discharge, from both local and regional sources, is a major contributor to the hydrologic budgets of these catchments. An important factor in determining carbon influx to the stream is the area of peatland in the catchment. Peatland porewaters contain DOC concentrations up to 40 mg l-1 and are a significant potential carbon source. Ground-water discharge and lateral flow through peat are the suspected mechanisms for transport of that carbon to the streams. Carbon and nitrogen isotopes suggested that the sources of DOC in Allequash Creek above Allequash Lake were wetland vegetation and peat and that the sources below Allequash Lake were filamentous algae and wild rice. Catchments with high proportions of peatland, including the Allequash Creek catchment, tended to have elevated DOC loads in outflowing stream water. Respiration and carbon mineralization in lakes within the system tend to produce low DOC and low DOC/DIC in lake outflows, especially at Trout Lake. In Allequash Lake, however, the shallow peat island and vegetation-filled west end were sources of DOC. Despite the vast carbon reservoir in the peatlands, carbon yields were very low in these catchments. Maximum yields were on the order of 2.5 g m-2 y-1 DOC and 5.5 g m-2 y-1 DIC. The small yields were attributable to low stream flows due to lack of significant overland runoff and very limited stream channel

  9. Long-term monitoring of permafrost change in a palsa peatland in northern Quebec, Canada: 1983-1993

    SciTech Connect

    Laberge, M.J.; Payette, S.

    1995-05-01

    Changes in the spatial distribution of permafrost in the Ouiatchouane palsa peatland (northern Quebec) were monitored from 1957 to present, using aerial photographs taken in 1957 (starting date) and three field surveys in 1973, 1983, and 1993, respectively. Between 1983 and 1993, palsa degradation occurred at about the same rate as between 1957 and 1983, although minor differences in rate of permafrost decay during the three periods (1957-1973, 1973-1983, 1983-1993) may be attributed in part to misidentification of marginal permafrost landforms. Permafrost degradation appeared to be influenced by height of individual palsas and their location within the peatland. Since 1983, thermokarst ponds have been progressively invaded by sedges and Sphagnum, a situation promoting successional peatland development and palsa formation as suggested by the presence of a small incipient palsa. Although the main geomorphic process at work is palsa degradation, permafrost aggradation is possible under present climatic conditions. 28 refs., 3 figs., 1 tab.

  10. Quantifying groundwater contribution to the summer water-budget of a northern peatland complex, Schefferville, Québec, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brixel, Bernard; McKenzie, Jeffrey

    2010-05-01

    Northern peatlands are one of the largest, naturally occurring terrestrial stores of soil carbon and are an important component of the global carbon cycle. These systems are predominately water-saturated with the average water table position situated close to the land surface. Fundamental questions remain as to the role of deeper groundwater systems in influencing the origin and development of peatlands and how groundwater and surface water interactions control the internal movement of water. The hydrology of a 0.095 km2 peatland, located 20 km southeast of Schefferville Quebec, was studied to quantify and characterize the spatiotemporal contribution of groundwater from sub-peat deposits (>2m depth). The study site is of particular interest because it exhibits both ombrotrophic (rain-fed) and minerotrophic (rain and groundwater-fed) features drained by a single stream at the peatland outlet. A three-dimensional groundwater flow model, the finite-difference U.S. Geological Survey MODFLOW code, is used to simulate the peatland and characterize the groundwater flow system. The model is parameterized with data measured from June 17th to September 4th, 2009, including continuous meteorological measurements from an automatic weather station, 14 observation wells, and two 90° V-notch weirs. Over the study period there was an average precipitation of 65 mm month-1, a calculated potential evapotranspiration of 46 mm month-1, and the average surface discharge from the peatland was 1.64×1013 mm3 month-1, or a specific discharge of 174 mm month-1. The hydraulic conductivity of the peat was calculated from head-recovery tests at 500 and 1000 mm depths and average values were 10-2 and 10-3 mm s-1 respectively. The estimated baseflow contribution was 9.60×1012 mm3 month-1, or a specific baseflow of 101 mm month-1. The correspondence between stream stage and groundwater level fluctuations, in addition to the relatively large baseflow component of runoff, supports the hypothesis

  11. Evidence of species specific vascular plant functions as regulators of methane emissions from northern peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oquist, M. G.

    2001-05-01

    Peatlands play an indisputable role in the global carbon cycle by their net accumulation of atmospheric carbon dioxide and storage of carbon in the form of peat. They are also intimately tied into the fundamental processes of the atmospheric greenhouse gas balance through their production and concomitant emission of methane. During the last decade several studies have emphasized the function of vegetation as an important regulator of methane emissions from wetland ecosystems, including northern peatlands. Vascular plants can affect methane emissions either by facilitating transportation of methane over the soil/atmosphere interface, or by supplying the microbial soil communities with readily degradable organic substrates through root activity, stimulating biogeochemical transformation rates including methanogenesis. We found evidence of both these types of vegetation-based interactions in a sub-arctic peatland ecosystem and also indications that the two different processes of vegetation induced stimulation of methane emission rates are species specific with respect to the vascular plant communities. By reducing incoming PAR through shading manipulations and comparing these to ambient light control plots we created an intra-habitat gradient of vascular plant photosynthesis at two contrasting sites, one ombrotrophic (dominated by Eriophorum vaginatum/Carex rotundata) and one minerotrophic (dominated by Eriophorum angustifolium). The position of the water table was found to be the dominating environmental factor controlling methane emission rates in both habitat types. At the ombrotrophic site the photosynthetic rate was the second most important factor, especially during peak vascular plant activity (late June- early August) when this variable could explain ca 15% of the variations in methane flux rates. Furthermore, the photosynthetic rates in the shaded plots were reduced by ca 25% and was accompanied by a significant 20% (P=0.01) reduction in methane emission

  12. Northern Peatland Shifts Under Changing Climate and Their Impact on Permafrost

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shur, Y.; Jorgenson, T.; Kanevskiy, M. Z.

    2014-12-01

    Formation of peatlands depends primarily on climate and its interactions with hydrology, soil thermal regimes, plant composition, and nutrients. A water balance with precipitation exceeding evaporation is necessary for their formation. The rate of peat accumulation also greatly depends on thermal resources. The prominent impact of the water balance and temperature on peatland formation is evident in the West Siberia Lowland. The rate of peat accumulation steadily increases from arctic tundra to moss tundra, to forest tundra, to northern taiga, and to southern taiga. This increase is a result in increase in air temperature and length of the growing season because all of these zones have water balance favorable for peat formation. Further to south, evaporation prevails over precipitation and peat formation occurs only in isolated areas. Climate change will redefine geographical distribution of climatic and vegetation zones. It is predicted that in arctic and subarctic regions the difference between precipitation and evaporation will increase and as a result these regions will remain favorable to peat accumulation. With increase of thermal resources, the rate of peat accumulation will also increase. The Alaska Arctic Coastal Plain is of a special interest because it has thousands of shallow lakes, which due to warming climate would shift from open waterbodies to peatlands through shoreline paludification and infilling. The accumulation of organic matter will likely turn open water into shore fens and bogs, and eventually to peat plateaus, as is occurring in many boreal landscapes. Expected impact on permafrost in arctic and subarctic regions will include rise of the permafrost table, thickening of the ice-rich intermediate layer with ataxitic (suspended) cryostructure, and replacement of frost boils with earth hummocks. In the contemporary continuous permafrost zone, permafrost formed as climate-driven will be transformed into climate-driven ecosystem protected

  13. Free phase gas processes in a northern peatland inferred from autonomous field-scale resistivity imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Terry, Neil; Slater, Lee; Comas, Xavier; Reeve, Andrew S.; Schäfer, Karina V. R.; Yu, Zhongjie

    2016-04-01

    The mechanisms that control free phase gas (FPG) dynamics within peatlands, and therefore estimates of past, present, and future gas fluxes to the atmosphere remain unclear. Electrical resistivity imaging (ERI) is capable of autonomously collecting three-dimensional data on the centimeter to tens of meter scale and thus provides a unique opportunity to observe FPG dynamics in situ. We collected 127 3-D ERI data sets as well as water level, soil temperature, atmospheric pressure, and limited methane flux data at a site in a northern peatland over the period July-August 2013 to improve the understanding of mechanisms controlling gas releases at a hitherto uncaptured field scale. Our results show the ability of ERI to image the spatial distribution of gas accumulation and infer dynamics of gas migration through the peat column at high (i.e., hourly) temporal resolution. Furthermore, the method provides insights into the role of certain mechanisms previously associated with the triggering of FPG releases such as drops in atmospheric pressure. During these events, buoyancy-driven gas release primarily occurs in shallow peat as proposed by the "shallow peat model." Releases from the deeper peat are impeded by confining layers, and we observed a large loss of FPG in deep peat that may likely represent a rupture event, where accumulated FPG escaped the confining layer as suggested by the "deep peat model." Negative linear correlations between water table elevation and resistivity result from hydrostatic pressure regulating bubble volume, although these variations did not appear to trigger FPG transfer or release.

  14. Radiocarbon evidence for the substrates supporting methane formation within northern Minnesota peatlands

    SciTech Connect

    Chanton, J.P.; Bauer, J.E.; Glaser, P.A.

    1995-09-01

    Bogs and fens from northern Minnesota produce large quantities of CH{sub 4}, which may be either emitted to the atmosphere or stored in below-ground reservoirs. The identity of the organic materials that support CH{sub 4} production has been uncertain, but we present evidence that a significant fraction of surface emission and below-ground CH{sub 4} is derived from recently fixed organic compounds. First, the CH{sub 4} emitted from both bogs and fens has a {sup 14}C signature equivalent to contemporary values for atmospheric CO{sub 2}. Second, in flooded fens rates of CH{sub 4} emission are linearly related to rates of CO{sub 2} exchange to the {delta}{sup 13}C of emitted CH{sub 4}. Third, peat-porewaters as deep as several meters below the surface contain mixtures of CH{sub 4} derived from both modern and older organic substrates. The source of the modern organic substrates is most likely dissolved organic compounds produced from the decay of recently produced litter, roots and root exudation products and transported into deeper layers of the peat. These data indicate that CH{sub 4} emissions are closely linked to the living vegetation and hydrology of northern peatlands and less dependent on the lability and decomposition of peat within the deeper layers of the catotelm.

  15. Effects of soil warming and drying on methane cycling in a northern peatland mesocosm study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, Jeffrey R.; Shannon, Robert D.; Weltzin, Jake F.; Pastor, John; Bridgham, Scott D.

    2008-09-01

    Boreal peatlands contain a large portion of the Earth's terrestrial organic carbon and may be particularly vulnerable to changes in climate. Temperatures in boreal regions are predicted to increase during the twenty-first century which may accelerate changes in soil microbial processes and plant community dynamics. In particular, climate-driven changes in plant community composition might affect the pathways and rates of methanogenesis, the plant-mediated emission of methane, and the scavenging of methane by methanotrophic bacteria. Climate change may also affect methane cycling through changes in pore water chemistry. To date, these feedbacks have not been incorporated into the carbon cycling components of climate models. We investigated the effects of soil warming and water table manipulations on methane cycling in a field mesocosm experiment in northern Minnesota, USA. Large intact soil monoliths removed from a bog and fen received infrared warming treatments crossed with water table treatments for 6 years. In years 5 and 6, concentrations, fluxes, and isotopic compositions of methane were measured along with aboveground and belowground net primary productivity and pore water concentrations of acetate, sulfate, ammonium, nitrate, and dissolved organic carbon. Water table level was the dominant control over methane flux in the fen mesocosms, likely through its effect on methane oxidation rates. However, pore water chemistry and plant productivity were important secondary factors in explaining methane flux in the fen mesocosms, and these factors appeared to be the predominant controls over methane flux in the bog mesocosms. The water table and IR treatments had large effects on pore water chemistry and plant productivity, so the indirect effects of climate change appear to be just as important as the direct effects of changing temperature and water table level in controlling future methane fluxes from northern peatlands. Pore water sulfate, ammonium, nitrate, and

  16. Sphagnum's coup de grace: Carbon flow to acetate in northern peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, B.; Arthur, M. A.; House, C.; Freean, K.

    2008-12-01

    Isotopic estimates of the microbial pathway of methane formation in acidic northern peatlands conclude that methane is derived from the pathway of CO2 reduction, whereas, microbial incubation and genomic studies have identified an important role played by acetoclastic methanogens in similar acidic systems. We believe our first ever intramolecular acetate isotopic analyses from an acidic wetland in central Pennsylvania resolve the apparent conflicting pathway estimates by indicating that the isotopic and microbial incubation studies are consistent with each other and with a pathway of methane formation through acetate from an isotopically depleted autotrophic acetate source. Intramolecular acetate isotopic measurements allow us to estimate that as much as 1/3 of the acetate in acidic wetlands is derived from autotrophy. Given a simple case of glucose fermentation to acetate, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen, our acetate production pathway estimate requires that nearly all of the carbon products from fermentation must flow through the acetate pool. Our work confirms the prior hypothesis and prior observations that acetate is an important metabolic end product in northern acidic wetlands. Further, we hypothesize an alternative fate of acetate in peat porewaters that alludes to an ecological role of autotorophic acetogens and acetate oxidizers in creating the impermeable humified peat catotelm unique to sphagnum dominated systems. The diversion of carbon flow to from methane to acetate increases the organic acid production and we hypothesize that the net transport of dissolved fulvic acids into the catotelm allows coupled acetate oxidation and fulvic acid reduction. This process of acetate consumption would create a net addition of hydrophobic, amorphous, and therefore more impermeable organic carbon. We conclude that an ecological strategy of the sphagnum mosses may not simply be to decrease the pH of the environment to slow metabolism, but rather to force the microbial

  17. Effects of Soil Warming and Drying on Methane Cycling in Northern Peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, J. R.; Shannon, R. D.; Bridgham, S. D.

    2007-12-01

    Boreal peatlands contain a large portion of the earth's terrestrial organic carbon and may be particularly vulnerable to changes in climate. Temperature conditions in boreal regions are predicted to increase during the twenty-first century which may accelerate changes in soil microbial processes and plant community dynamics. Climate-driven changes in plant community composition might affect the pathways and rates of methanogenesis, the plant-mediated emission of methane and the scavenging of methane by methanotrophic bacteria. Climate change may also affect nutrient availability and cycling that indirectly affect methane cycling. To date, these feedbacks have not been incorporated into the carbon cycling components of climate models. We investigated the effects of soil warming and water-table manipulations on methane cycling in a field mesocosm experiment in northern Minnesota, USA. Large intact soil monoliths removed from a bog and fen received infrared warming treatments crossed with water-table treatments for six years. In years 5 and 6, concentrations, fluxes and isotopic compositions of methane were measured along with acetate, sulfate, ammonium, belowground net primary productivity and changes in N retention. Methane cycling is affected by changes in N availability associated with soil decomposition and through increased root productivity. An expansion of the rhizosphere of woody shrubs in bogs during the initial 4 yrs was associated with greater methane emission rates. We speculate that an increase in labile substrates associated with root exudates and enhanced plant transport may be factors contributing to the increase in methane emissions. Stable isotopic data from porewater support acetate fermentation as the principal pathway of methanogenesis in bog plots (mean ä13CH4 = -39.3 °). Under warm, wet conditions, the majority of the methane was isotopically heavy (mean ä13CH4 = -28.1 °), suggesting a predominance of methanotrophic activity throughout the

  18. Initial response of the nitrogen cycle to soil warming in Northern Minnesota peatlands

    EPA Science Inventory

    Peatlands store 30% of global soil carbon. Many of these peatlands are located in boreal regions which are expected to have the highest temperature increases in response to climate change. As climate warms, peat decomposition may accelerate and release greenhouse gases. Spruce a...

  19. Post-Fire Moss Recovery in Northern Peatlands: Separating the Effects of Species and Water Content on Moss Water Repellency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, Paul; Lukenbach, Max; Waddington, James Michael

    2016-04-01

    Wildfire is the largest disturbance affecting peatlands, where northern peat reserves are becoming increasingly vulnerable to wildfire as climate change is projected to enhance the length and severity of the fire season. However, little is known about the spatio-temporal variability of post-fire recovery in these ecosystems. High water table positions after wildfire are critical to limit atmospheric carbon losses and enable the re-establishment of keystone peatland mosses (i.e., Sphagnum). Post-fire recovery of the moss surface in Sphagnum-feathermoss peatlands, however, has been shown to be limited where moss type and burn severity interact to result in a water repellent surface. While in situ measurements of moss water repellency in peatlands has been shown to be greater for feathermoss in both a burned and unburned state in comparison to Sphagnum moss, it is difficult to separate effects of water content from species. Consequently, we carried out a drying experiment in the lab where we compared the water repellency of two dominant peatland moss species, Sphagnum and feathermoss, for several burn severity classes as well as for unburned samples. The results suggest that water repellency in moss is primarily controlled by water content, where a sharp threshold exists at gravimetric water contents (GWC) lower than ~3 g g-1. While GWC is shown to be a strong predictor of water repellency, the effect is enhanced by combustion. Based on field GWC, we show that there are significant differences in the frequency distribution of near-surface GWC between moss type and burn severity. The differences in the distributions of field GWC are related to characteristic moisture retention curves of unburned samples measured in the lab, as well as morphological differences between moss type.

  20. Long-term impacts of peatland restoration on the net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of blanket bogs in Northern Scotland.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hambley, Graham; Hill, Timothy; Saunders, Matthew; Arn Teh, Yit

    2016-04-01

    Unmanaged peatlands represent an important long-term C sink and thus play an important part of the global C cycle. Despite covering only 12 % of the UK land area, peatlands are estimated to store approximately 20 times more carbon than the UK's forests, which cover 13% of the land area. The Flow Country of Northern Scotland is the largest area of contiguous blanket bog in the UK, and one of the biggest in Europe, covering an area in excess of 4000 km2 and plays a key role in mediating regional atmospheric exchanges of greenhouse gases (GHGs) such as carbon dioxide (CO2), and water vapour (H2O). However, these peatlands underwent significant afforestation in the 1980s, when over 670 km2 of blanket bog were drained and planted with Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) and Lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta). This resulted in modifications to hydrology, micro-topography, vegetation and soil properties all of which are known to influence the production, emission and sequestration of key GHGs. Since the late 1990s restoration work has been carried out to remove forest plantations and raise water tables, by drain blocking, to encourage the recolonisation of Sphagnum species and restore ecosystem functioning. Here, we report findings of NEE and its constituent fluxes, GPP and Reco, from a study investigating the impacts of restoration on C dynamics over a chronosequence of restored peatlands. The research explored the role of environmental variables and microtopography in modulating land-atmosphere exchanges, using a multi-scale sampling approach that incorporated eddy covariance measurements with dynamic flux chambers. Key age classes sampled included an undrained peatland; an older restored peatland (17 years old); and a more recently restored site (12 years old). The oldest restored site showed the strongest uptake of C, with an annual assimilation rate of 858 g C m-2 yr-1 compared to assimilation rates of 501g C m-2 yr-1 and 575g C m-2 yr-1 from the younger restored site and

  1. The relative importance of methanogenesis in the decomposition of organic matter in northern peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corbett, J. Elizabeth; Tfaily, Malak M.; Burdige, David J.; Glaser, Paul H.; Chanton, Jeffrey P.

    2015-02-01

    Using an isotope-mass balance approach and assuming the equimolar production of CO2 and CH4 from methanogenesis (e.g., anaerobic decomposition of cellulose), we calculate that the proportion of total CO2 production from methanogenesis varies from 37 to 83% across a variety of northern peatlands. In a relative sense, methanogenesis was a more important pathway for decomposition in bogs (80 ± 13% of CO2 production) than in fens (64 ± 5.7% of CO2 production), but because fens contain more labile substrates they may support higher CH4 production overall. The concentration of CO2 produced from methanogenesis (CO2-meth) can be considered equivalent to CH4 concentration before loss due to ebullition, plant-mediated transport, or diffusion. Bogs produced slightly less CO2-meth than fens (2.9 ± 1.3 and 3.7 ± 1.4 mmol/L, respectively). Comparing the quantity of CH4 present to CO2-meth, fens lost slightly more CH4 than bogs (89 ± 2.8% and 82 ± 5.3%, respectively) likely due to the presence of vascular plant roots. In collapsed permafrost wetlands, bog moats produced half the amount of CO2-meth (0.8 ± 0.2 mmol/L) relative to midbogs (1.6 ± 0.6 mmol/L) and methanogenesis was less important (42 ± 6.6% of total CO2 production relative to 55 ± 8.1%). We hypothesize that the lower methane production potential in collapsed permafrost wetlands occurs because recently thawed organic substrates are being first exposed to the initial phases of anaerobic decomposition following collapse and flooding. Bog moats lost a comparable amount of CH4 as midbogs (63 ± 7.0% and 64 ± 9.3%).

  2. The Relative Importance of Methanogenesis in the Decomposition of Organic Matter in Northern Peatlands

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Corbett, J. Elizabeth; Tfaily, Malak M.; Burdige, David J.; Glaser, Paul H.; Chanton, Jeffrey P.

    2015-01-01

    Using an isotope-mass balance approach and assuming the equimolar production of CO2 and CH4 from methanogenesis (e.g., anaerobic decomposition of cellulose), we calculate that the proportion of total CO2 production from methanogenesis varies from 37 to 83% across a variety of northern peatlands. In a relative sense, methanogenesis was a more important pathway for decomposition in bogs (80 +/- 13% of CO2 production) than in fens (64 +/- 5.7% of CO2 production), but because fens contain more labile substrates they may support higher CH4 production overall. The concentration of CO2 produced from methanogenesis (CO2-meth) can be considered equivalent to CH4 concentration before loss due to ebullition, plant-mediated transport, or diffusion. Bogs produced slightly less CO2-meth than fens (2.9 +/- 1.3 and 3.7 +/- 1.4 mmol/L, respectively). Comparing the quantity of CH4 present to CO2-meth, fens lost slightly more CH4 than bogs (89 +/- 2.8% and 82 +/- 5.3%, respectively) likely due to the presence of vascular plant roots. In collapsed permafrost wetlands, bog moats produced half the amount of CO2-meth (0.8 +/- 0.2mmol/L) relative to midbogs (1.6 +/- 0.6 mmol/L) and methanogenesis was less important (42 +/- 6.6% of total CO2 production relative to 55 +/- 8.1%).We hypothesize that the lower methane production potential in collapsed permafrost wetlands occurs because recently thawed organic substrates are being first exposed to the initial phases of anaerobic decomposition following collapse and flooding. Bog moats lost a comparable amount of CH4 as midbogs (63 +/- 7.0% and 64 +/- 9.3%).

  3. The Effects of Peatland Plant Functional Types and Altered Hydrology on Porewater Chemistry in a Northern Bog

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daniels, A.; Kane, E. S.; Lilleskov, E. A.; Kolka, R. K.; Chimner, R. A.; Potvin, L. R.; Romanowicz, K. J.

    2012-12-01

    Northern wetlands, peatlands in particular, have been shown to store around 30% of the world's soil carbon and thus play a significant role in the carbon cycle of our planet. Carbon accumulation in peatlands is the result of retarded decomposition due to low oxygen availability in these water-logged environments. Changes in our planet's climate cycles are altering peatland hydrology and vegetation communities, resulting in changes in their ability to sequester carbon through increases in peat carbon oxidation and mineralization. To date, the consequences of altered hydrology and changes in vegetation communities, and their interactive effects on carbon storage, are not well understood. We have initiated a research plan that assesses the varying roles that water table variation and vegetation communities have on extracellular enzyme activity and labile carbon availability in porewater from an ombrotrophic bog. We assessed the effects of plant functional group (ericaceous shrubs, sedges, and bryophytes) and water table position on biogeochemical processes. Specifically, we measured dissolved organic carbon (DOC), total dissolved nitrogen (TDN), enzyme activity, organic acids, anions and cations, spectral indexes of aromaticity, and phenolic content in addressing our hypotheses of responses to climate change drivers. Research on these components will evaluate the relative importance of biology, water table, and their interactive affects on the porewater quality of peatlands. We hypothesized that oxygen availability will strongly influence decomposition in these systems but that this response will largely be mediated by changes in plant community and the enzymes associated with root exudates and mycorrhizae. To date, our data confirm vegetation and water table related patterns. Acetate and propionate concentrations in the sedge-dominated communities dropped significantly with depth and drainage, relative to the control and ericaceous treatments, which likely reflects

  4. Holocene ice-wedge polygon development in northern Yukon permafrost peatlands (Canada)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fritz, Michael; Wolter, Juliane; Rudaya, Natalia; Palagushkina, Olga; Nazarova, Larisa; Obu, Jaroslav; Rethemeyer, Janet; Lantuit, Hugues; Wetterich, Sebastian

    2016-09-01

    Ice-wedge polygon (IWP) peatlands in the Arctic and Subarctic are extremely vulnerable to climatic and environmental change. We present the results of a multidisciplinary paleoenvironmental study on IWPs in the northern Yukon, Canada. High-resolution laboratory analyses were carried out on a permafrost core and the overlying seasonally thawed (active) layer, from an IWP located in a drained lake basin on Herschel Island. In relation to 14 Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon dates spanning the last 5000 years, we report sedimentary data including grain size distribution and biogeochemical parameters (organic carbon, nitrogen, C/N ratio, δ13C), stable water isotopes (δ18O, δD), as well as fossil pollen, plant macrofossil and diatom assemblages. Three sediment units (SUs) correspond to the main stages of deposition (1) in a thermokarst lake (SU1: 4950 to 3950 cal yrs BP), (2) during transition from lacustrine to palustrine conditions after lake drainage (SU2: 3950 to 3120 cal yrs BP), and (3) in palustrine conditions of the IWP field that developed after drainage (SU3: 3120 cal yrs BP to 2012 CE). The lacustrine phase (pre 3950 cal yrs BP) is characterized by planktonic-benthic and pioneer diatom species indicating circumneutral waters, and very few plant macrofossils. The pollen record has captured a regional signal of relatively stable vegetation composition and climate for the lacustrine stage of the record until 3950 cal yrs BP. Palustrine conditions with benthic and acidophilic diatom species characterize the peaty shallow-water environments of the low-centered IWP. The transition from lacustrine to palustrine conditions was accompanied by acidification and rapid revegetation of the lake bottom within about 100 years. Since the palustrine phase we consider the pollen record as a local vegetation proxy dominated by the plant communities growing in the IWP. Ice-wedge cracking in water-saturated sediments started immediately after lake drainage at

  5. Proxy-Derived Reconstructions of Holocene Paleoclimate for the Hudson Bay Lowlands, an Extensive Peatland in Northern Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finkelstein, S. A.; Bunbury, J.; Friel, C.; O'Reilly, B.

    2013-12-01

    The Hudson Bay Lowlands (HBL) is an extensive peatland in northern Canada where an estimated 31 Pg of carbon have accumulated during the Holocene. Given the large size of this carbon pool and the rapid rate of climate warming at high latitudes, quantifying the responses of this peatland to climate change is a critical research priority. Comparing Holocene paleoclimate reconstructions and paleo-vegetation and carbon dynamics in HBL peatlands through analyses of sediment cores is an effective approach to understanding the sensitivity of the carbon pool to climate. Robust paleoclimate reconstructions for the Holocene are needed for such comparisons. Until recently, there have been few paleoclimate reconstructions available for the HBL. Owing to the unique geographic setting of this low lying region to the west of Hudson Bay, reconstructions from adjacent subarctic regions are not directly applicable. We synthesize in this paper a series of paleoenvironmental records derived from biological proxies preserved in lake and wetland sediment cores collected from within the HBL with the goal of improving available paleoclimate information for the region. Our available pollen records document a series of vegetation changes during the Holocene, beginning with the establishment of coastal or salt marsh communities after emergence of the HBL from the Tyrrell Sea, followed by establishment of vegetation typical of poor fens or bogs. These local vegetation changes are apparently primarily related to hydrological changes driven by isostatic rebound and autogenic processes. Regional assemblages composed of tree pollen, which may be more directly tied to climate, show less variability during the Holocene. Reconstructions using modern analogs suggest minimal variation in temperature during the period of record, although these reconstructions show a moderate increase in precipitation following 3000 yrs BP, corresponding to Neoglacial climates reported at other northern high latitude

  6. Ten-year interannual and seasonal variability of stream carbon export from a boreal peatland in northern Sweden

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leach, J.; Larsson, A.; Nilsson, M. B.; Laudon, H.

    2015-12-01

    High latitude peatlands constitute about 3% of the global land cover but store almost a third of the global soil carbon pool. The annual net ecosystem carbon balance at high latitude mires results from the balance between net ecosystem exchange, methane emission and stream discharge export. Understanding stream carbon export dynamics is needed to accurately predict how the carbon balance of peatlands will respond to climatic and environmental change. We use a ten year record (2004-2014) of streamflow and dissolved carbon (DOC, DIC, and CH4) measurements to assess interannual and seasonal variability in stream carbon export for a peatland catchment in northern Sweden. Mean annual total carbon export for the ten year period was 11.4 gC/m2, but individual years ranged between 6.1 and 17.2 gC/m2. DOC was the dominant form of carbon being exported, comprising 68% to 76% of total annual exports, and DIC contributed between 24% and 30%. CH4 made up less than 3% of total export. Stream carbon export and streamflow were highly synchronous. The majority of export (30% to 55% of annual totals) occurred during the spring snowmelt period. Exports during the summer and autumn were highly variable (1% to 45% and 9% to 53% of annual totals, respectively) and depended on the timing and magnitude of rain events. Winter periods were characterized by low streamflow conditions and associated low carbon export (0.6% to 10% of annual totals). These results highlight considerable interannual and seasonal variability of stream carbon export driven primarily by rain and snowmelt runoff events.

  7. Retention of contaminants in northern natural peatlands treating mine waste waters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palmer, Katharina; Ronkanen, Anna-Kaisa; Klöve, Björn

    2014-05-01

    The mining industry in Finland is growing, leading to an increasing number of working and proposed mine sites. As a consequence, the amount of mine waste waters created is likewise increasing. This poses a great challenge for water management and purification, as these mine waste waters can lead to severe environmental and health consequences when released to receiving water bodies untreated. In the past years, the use of natural peatlands for cost-effective passive waste water treatment has been increasing. In this study, the fate of mine water contaminants in a treatment peatland receiving process waters from the Kittilä gold mine was investigated. Special attention was paid to the fate of potentially harmful substances such as arsenic, antimony or nickel. During the 4 years of operation, the peatland removed contaminants from process waters at varying efficiencies. While arsenic, antimony and nickel were retained at high efficiencies (>80% retention), other contaminants such as zinc, sulfate or iron were not retained or even leaching from the peatland. Soil samples taken in 2013 showed a linear increase of arsenic, antimony and nickel concentration in the peatland as compared to earlier sampling times, in agreement with the good retention efficiencies for those contaminants. Measured concentrations exceeded guideline values for contaminated soils, indicating that the prolonged use of treatment peatlands leads to high soil contamination and restrict further uses of the peatlands without remediation measures. Soil and pore water samples were taken along a transect with varying distance from the process water distribution ditch and analyzed for total and more easily mobile concentrations of contaminants (peat soil) as well as total and dissolved contaminants (water samples). Concentrations of contaminants such as arsenic, manganese or antimony in peat and pore water samples were highest near the distribution ditch and decreased with increasing distance from the

  8. Hydraulics and flow modelling of water treatment wetlands constructed on peatlands in Northern Finland.

    PubMed

    Ronkanen, Anna-Kaisa; Kløve, Bjørn

    2008-08-01

    In this study, we evaluated flow structure, effective flow area (A(eff)) and effective porosity (theta(eff)) in three peatlands using the stable isotope (18)O/(16)O ratio and tracer tests. We also applied the readily available groundwater modelling MODFLOW code for wetland flow modelling and simulated in one study site how the hydraulic performance of the wetland will be improved by changing the design of the distribution ditch. Preferential flow paths occurred in all three studied wetlands and A(eff) varied from 40% to 90% of total wetland area while theta(eff) was 0.75-0.99. Constructed flow models accurately simulated the hydraulic head across wetlands (r(2)=0.95-0.99). Similarities between the flow models and the stable isotope distributions observed in this study suggest possibilities in using MODFLOW to design peatlands. The improvement of the inlet ditch configuration (ditch length/wetland width>0.45) can prevent or reduce short-circuiting and dead zones in peatlands treating wastewater.

  9. Drawing to Learn Science: Legacies of Agassiz

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lerner, Neal

    2007-01-01

    The use of visual representation to learn science can be traced to Louis Agassiz, Harvard Professor of Zoology, in the mid-19th century. In Agassiz's approach, students were to study nature through carefully observing, drawing and then thinking about what the observations might add up to. However, implementation of Agassiz's student-centered…

  10. Dynamic Vertical Profiles of Peat Porewater Chemistry in a Northern Peatland

    SciTech Connect

    Griffiths, Natalie A.; Sebestyen, Stephen D.

    2016-10-14

    We measured pH, cations, nutrients, and total organic carbon (TOC) over 3 years to examine weekly to monthly variability in porewater chemistry depth profiles (0–3.0 m) in an ombrotrophic bog in Minnesota, USA. We also compared temporal variation at one location to spatial variation in depth profiles at 16 locations across the bog. Most solutes exhibited large gradients with depth. pH increased by two units and calcium concentrations increased over 20 fold with depth, and may reflect peatland development from minerotrophic to ombrotrophic conditions. Ammonium concentrations increased almost 20 fold and TOC concentrations decreased by half with depth, and these patterns likely reflect mineralization of peat or decomposition of TOC. There was also considerable temporal variation in the porewater chemistry depth profiles. Ammonium, soluble reactive phosphorus, and potassium showed greater temporal variation in near-surface porewater, while pH, calcium, and TOC varied more at depth. This variation demonstrates that deep peat porewater chemistry is not static. Lastly, temporal variation in solute chemistry depth profiles was greater than spatial variation in several instances, especially in shallow porewaters. In conclusion, characterizing both temporal and spatial variability is necessary to ensure representative sampling in peatlands, especially when calculating solute pools and fluxes and parameterizing process-based models.

  11. Dynamic Vertical Profiles of Peat Porewater Chemistry in a Northern Peatland

    DOE PAGES

    Griffiths, Natalie A.; Sebestyen, Stephen D.

    2016-10-14

    We measured pH, cations, nutrients, and total organic carbon (TOC) over 3 years to examine weekly to monthly variability in porewater chemistry depth profiles (0–3.0 m) in an ombrotrophic bog in Minnesota, USA. We also compared temporal variation at one location to spatial variation in depth profiles at 16 locations across the bog. Most solutes exhibited large gradients with depth. pH increased by two units and calcium concentrations increased over 20 fold with depth, and may reflect peatland development from minerotrophic to ombrotrophic conditions. Ammonium concentrations increased almost 20 fold and TOC concentrations decreased by half with depth, and thesemore » patterns likely reflect mineralization of peat or decomposition of TOC. There was also considerable temporal variation in the porewater chemistry depth profiles. Ammonium, soluble reactive phosphorus, and potassium showed greater temporal variation in near-surface porewater, while pH, calcium, and TOC varied more at depth. This variation demonstrates that deep peat porewater chemistry is not static. Lastly, temporal variation in solute chemistry depth profiles was greater than spatial variation in several instances, especially in shallow porewaters. In conclusion, characterizing both temporal and spatial variability is necessary to ensure representative sampling in peatlands, especially when calculating solute pools and fluxes and parameterizing process-based models.« less

  12. Peat landforms along the Albany River, northern Ontario. An ecological study of peat landforms in Canada and Alaska

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glaser, P. H.

    1985-01-01

    During the summer of 1985 a field investigation was started in the Hudson Bay lowland region of northern Ontario, which represents the largest expanse of peatland in North America and is an important sink in the global carbon cycle. A key area in the lowlands is situated along the Albany River near the confluence of the Chepay River. Here the striking vegetation-landforms are transitional between those found on the bed of Glacial Lake Agassiz in northern Minnesota and southern Manitoba and the more northern peatlands in the Hudson Bay lowland region. In peatland studies elsewhere the landform patterns have been used not only to classify different peatland types but also as an indicator of potential developmetnal trends. The study area is generally defined by that covered by the TM scene E-40062-15532 taken on Sept. 16, 1982. The purpose of the field work is to acquire sufficent information to interpret the TM imagery and test various hypotheses on peatland development on the gasis of the pattern transitions.

  13. Dissolved Organic Carbon Cycling and Transformation Dynamics in A Northern Forested Peatland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tfaily, M. M.; Lin, X.; Chanton, P. R.; Steinweg, J.; Esson, K.; Kostka, J. E.; Cooper, W. T.; Schadt, C. W.; Hanson, P. J.; Chanton, J.

    2013-12-01

    Peatlands sequester one-third of all soil carbon and currently act as major sinks of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The ability to predict or simulate the fate of stored carbon in response to climatic disruption remains hampered by our limited understanding of the controls of carbon turnover and the composition and functioning of peatland microbial communities. A combination of advanced analytical chemistry and microbiology approaches revealed that organic matter reactivity and microbial community dynamics were closely coupled in an extensive field dataset compiled at the S1 bog site established for the SPRUCE program, Marcell Experimental Forest (MEF). The molecular composition and decomposition pathways of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) were contrasted using parallel factor (PARAFAC)-modeled excitation emission fluorescence spectroscopy (EEMS) and FT-ICR MS. The specific UV absorbance (SUVA) at 254 nm was calculated as an indicator of aromaticity. Fluorescence intensity ratios (BIX and FI) were used to infer the relative contributions from solid phase decomposition and microbial production. Distributions of bulk DOC, its stable (δ13C) and radioactive (Δ14C) isotopic composition were also utilized to infer information on its dynamics and transformation processes. Strong vertical stratification was observed in organic matter composition, the distribution of mineralization products (CO2, CH4), respiration rates, and decomposition pathways, whereas smaller variations were observed between sites. A decline in the aromaticity of pore water DOC was accompanied by an increase in microbially-produced DOC. Solid phase peat, on the other hand, became more humified and highly aromatic with depth. These observations were consistent with radiocarbon data that showed that the radiocarbon signatures of microbial respiration products in peat porewaters more closely resemble those of DOC rather than solid peat, indicating that carbon from recent photosynthesis is fueling the

  14. Ecological controls on methane emissions from a northern peatland complex, Manitoba, Canada

    SciTech Connect

    Bubier, J.L.; Moore, T.R.

    1995-06-01

    This study measured methane (CH{sub 4}) emissions by a static chamber technique from a wide range of sites (pH 3.9 - 7.0) in a peatland complex near Thompson, Manitoba in the Boreal Ecosystem - Atmosphere Study (BOREAS). The objectives were to identify environmental controls on CH{sub 4} emission rates, determine their spatial and temporal variability, and examine the change in CH{sub 4} emission associated with the evolution of permafrost, palsas, and collapse scars. Peak CH{sub 4} fluxes ranged from 0 in the palsas and treed peat islands to 1200 mg m{sup -2} d{sup -1} in the open sedge-rich fens and saturated lagg areas of collapse scars, where permafrost was actively degrading. The greatest variability in fluxes occurred in flooded sites where ebullition was a transport mechanism. Depth to water table and peat temperature at the average water table position explained most of the variability in CH{sub 4} fluxes, with plant composition and density, substrate type, and the CH{sub 4} production/consumption potentials of the various peats as additional factors. CH{sub 4} flux did not vary with pH in the field since water table position and temperature were overriding controls.

  15. Ideas and perspectives: why Holocene thermokarst sediments of the Yedoma region do not increase the northern peatland carbon pool

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hugelius, G.; Kuhry, P.; Tarnocai, C.

    2015-11-01

    Permafrost deposits in the Beringian Yedoma region store large amounts of organic carbon (OC). Walter Anthony et al. (2014) describe a previously unrecognized pool of 159 Pg OC accumulated in Holocene thermokarst sediments deposited in Yedoma region alases (thermokarst depressions). They claim that these alas sediments increase the previously recognized circumpolar permafrost peat OC pool by 50 %. It is stated that previous integrated studies of the permafrost OC pool have failed to account for these deposits because the Northern Circumpolar Soil Carbon Database (NCSCD) is biased towards non-alas field sites and that the soil maps used in the NCSCD underestimate coverage of organic permafrost soils. Here we evaluate these statements against a brief literature review, existing datasets on Yedoma region soil OC storage and independent field-based and geospatial datasets of peat soil distribution in the Siberian Yedoma region. Our findings are summarised in three main points. Firstly, the sediments described by Walter Anthony et al. are primarily mineral lake sediments and do not match widely used international scientific definitions of peat or organic soils. They can therefore not be considered an addition to the circumpolar peat carbon pool. Secondly, independent field data and geospatial analyses show that the Siberian Yedoma regions is dominated by mineral soils, not peatlands. Thus, there is no evidence to suggest any systematic bias in the NCSCD field data or maps. Thirdly, there is spatial overlap between these Holocene thermokarst sediments and previous estimates of permafrost soil and sediment OC stocks. These carbon stocks were already accounted for by previous studies and cannot be added to the permafrost OC count. We suggest that statements made in Walter Anthony et al. (2014) resulted from misunderstandings caused by conflicting definitions and terminologies across different geoscientific disciplines. A careful cross-disciplinary review of terminologies

  16. Elucidating effects of atmospheric deposition and peat decomposition processes on mercury accumulation rates in a northern Minnesota peatland over last 10,000 cal years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nater, E. A.; Furman, O.; Toner, B. M.; Sebestyen, S. D.; Tfaily, M. M.; Chanton, J.; Fissore, C.; McFarlane, K. J.; Hanson, P. J.; Iversen, C. M.; Kolka, R. K.

    2014-12-01

    Climate change has the potential to affect mercury (Hg), sulfur (S) and carbon (C) stores and cycling in northern peatland ecosystems (NPEs). SPRUCE (Spruce and Peatland Responses Under Climate and Environmental change) is an interdisciplinary study of the effects of elevated temperature and CO2 enrichment on NPEs. Peat cores (0-3.0 m) were collected from 16 large plots located on the S1 peatland (an ombrotrophic bog treed with Picea mariana and Larix laricina) in August, 2012 for baseline characterization before the experiment begins. Peat samples were analyzed at depth increments for total Hg, bulk density, humification indices, and elemental composition. Net Hg accumulation rates over the last 10,000 years were derived from Hg concentrations and peat accumulation rates based on peat depth chronology established using 14C and 13C dating of peat cores. Historic Hg deposition rates are being modeled from pre-industrial deposition rates in S1 scaled by regional lake sediment records. Effects of peatland processes and factors (hydrology, decomposition, redox chemistry, vegetative changes, microtopography) on the biogeochemistry of Hg, S, and other elements are being assessed by comparing observed elemental depth profiles with accumulation profiles predicted solely from atmospheric deposition. We are using principal component analyses and cluster analyses to elucidate relationships between humification indices, peat physical properties, and inorganic and organic geochemistry data to interpret the main processes controlling net Hg accumulation and elemental concentrations in surface and subsurface peat layers. These findings are critical to predicting how climate change will affect future accumulation of Hg as well as existing Hg stores in NPE, and for providing reference baselines for SPRUCE future investigations.

  17. How do climate and human impact affect Sphagnum peatlands under oceanic-continental climatic conditions? 2000 years of fire and hydrological history of a bog in Northern Poland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marcisz, Katarzyna; Tinner, Willy; Colombaroli, Daniele; Kołaczek, Piotr; Słowiński, Michał; Fiałkiewicz-Kozieł, Barbara; Lamentowicz, Mariusz

    2014-05-01

    Climate change affects many natural processes and the same applies to human impact For instance climate change and anthropogenic activities may cause increased fire activity or change peatland dynamics. Currently it is still unknown how Sphagnum peatlands in the oceanic-continental transition zone of Poland may respond to combined effects of heat waves, drought and fire. The aim of the study was to reconstruct the last 2000 years palaeohydrology and fire history at Linje bog in Northern Poland. The main task was to determine the drivers of fire episodes, particularly to identify climatic and anthropogenic forcing. A two-meter peat core was extracted and subsampled with a high resolution. Micro- and macroscopic charcoal analyses were applied to determine past fire activity and the results compared with palaeohydrological reconstructions based on testate amoeba analysis. Palynological human indicators were used to reconstruct human activity. A depth-age model including 20 14C dates was constructed to calculate peat accumulation rates and charcoal influx. We hypothesised that: 1) fire frequency in Northern Poland was determined by climatic conditions (combination of low precipitation and heat waves), as reflected in peatland water table, and that 2) past fire episodes in the last millennium were intensified by human activity. Furthermore climate may have influenced human activity over harvest success and the carrying capacity. Our study shows that fire was important for the studied ecosystem, however, its frequency has increased in the last millennium in concomitance with land use activities. Landscape humanization and vegetation opening were followed by a peatland drying during the Little Ice Age (from ca. AD 1380). Similarly to other palaeoecological studies from Poland, Linje peatland possessed an unstable hydrology during the Little Ice Age. Increased fire episodes appeared shortly before the Little Ice Age and most severe fires were present in the time when

  18. Ideas and perspectives: Holocene thermokarst sediments of the Yedoma permafrost region do not increase the northern peatland carbon pool

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hugelius, Gustaf; Kuhry, Peter; Tarnocai, Charles

    2016-04-01

    Permafrost deposits in the Beringian Yedoma region store large amounts of organic carbon (OC). Walter Anthony et al. (2014) describe a previously unrecognized pool of 159 Pg OC accumulated in Holocene thermokarst sediments deposited in Yedoma region alases (thermokarst depressions). They claim that these alas sediments increase the previously recognized circumpolar permafrost peat OC pool by 50 %. It is stated that previous integrated studies of the permafrost OC pool have failed to account for these deposits because the Northern Circumpolar Soil Carbon Database (NCSCD) is biased towards non-alas field sites and that the soil maps used in the NCSCD underestimate coverage of organic permafrost soils. Here we evaluate these statements against a brief literature review, existing data sets on Yedoma region soil OC storage and independent field-based and geospatial data sets of peat soil distribution in the Siberian Yedoma region. Our findings are summarized in three main points. Firstly, the sediments described by Walter Anthony et al. (2014) are primarily mineral lake sediments and do not match widely used international scientific definitions of peat or organic soils. They can therefore not be considered an addition to the circumpolar peat carbon pool. We also emphasize that a clear distinction between mineral and organic soil types is important since they show very different vulnerability trajectories under climate change. Secondly, independent field data and geospatial analyses show that the Siberian Yedoma region is dominated by mineral soils, not peatlands. Thus, there is no evidence to suggest any systematic bias in the NCSCD field data or maps. Thirdly, there is spatial overlap between these Holocene thermokarst sediments and previous estimates of permafrost soil and sediment OC stocks. These carbon stocks were already accounted for by previous studies and they do not significantly increase the known circumpolar OC pool. We suggest that these inaccurate

  19. Controls on northern wetland methane emissions: insights from regional synthesis studies and the Alaska Peatland Experiment (APEX)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turetsky, M. R.; Euskirchen, E. S.; Czimczik, C. I.; Waldrop, M. P.; Olefeldt, D.; Fan, Z.; Kane, E. S.; McGuire, A. D.; Harden, J. W.

    2014-12-01

    Wetlands are the largest natural source of atmospheric methane. Static chambers have been used to quantify variation in wetland CH4 flux for many decades. Regional to global scale synthesis studies of static chamber measurements show that relationships between temperature, water availability and CH4 emissions depend on wetland type (bog, fen, swamp), region (tropical, temperate, arctic) and disturbance. For example, while water table position and temperature serve as the dominant controls on bog and swamp CH4 flux, vegetation is an important control on emissions from fens. These studies highlight the fact that wetland types have distinct controls on CH4 emissions; however, it is unlikely that modeling of wetland CH4 flux will improve without a better mechanistic understanding of the processes underlying CH4 production, transport, and oxidation. At the Alaska Peatland Experiment, we are quantifying CH4 emission using static chambers, automated chambers, and towers. Our sites vary in permafrost regime, including groundwater fens without permafrost, forested peat plateaus with intact permafrost, and collapse scar bogs formed through permafrost thaw. Experimental studies that examine plant and microbial responses to altered water table position and soil temperature are complemented by a gradient approach, where we use a space-for-time substitutions to examine the consequences of thaw on time-scales of decades to centuries. Our results thus far have documented the importance of soil rewetting in governing large CH4 fluxes from northern wetland soils. Accounting for CH4, our collapse scar bog significantly contributed to the global warming potential of the landscape. A major objective of our work is to explore the role of permafrost C release in greenhouse gas fluxes from wetland soils, which we are assessing using radiocarbon as a natural tracer. We have shown, for example, that ebullition of CH4 is dominated by recently fixed C, but a significant fraction of CH4 in

  20. Louis Agassiz and the Spirit of Place

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schwarz, Jack W.

    1976-01-01

    Agassiz, one of the first great naturalists, who made significant contributions in geology, natural history, and medicine as well, is discussed with regard to his imaginative and creative teaching methods. (LBH)

  1. Mechanisms controlling the production and transport of methane, carbon dioxide, and dissolved solutes within a boreal peatland

    SciTech Connect

    Siegel, D.I.

    1992-04-09

    Peatlands are one of the most important terrestrial reservoirs in the global cycle for carbon, and are a major source for atmospheric methane. However, little is known about the dynamics of these carbon reservoirs or their feedback mechanisms with the pool of atmospheric CO{sub 2} during the Holocene. Specifically, it is unknown whether large peat basins are sources, sinks, or steady-state reservoirs for the global carbon cycle. In particular, the production and transport of methane, carbon dioxide, and dissolved organic carbon form the deeper portions of these peatlands is unknown. Our DOE research program is to conduct an integrated ecologic and hydrogeochemical study of the Glacial Lake Agassiz peatlands (northern Minnesota) to better understand the carbon dynamics in globally significant peat basins. Specifically, our study will provide local and regional data on (1), rates of carbon accumulation and loss and fluxes of methane in the peat profiles; (2) the physical and botanical factors controlling the production of methane and carbon dioxide in the wetland; and (3) the role of hydrogeologic processes in controlling the fluxes of gases and solutes through the peat. We intend to use computer simulation models, calibrated to field data, to scale-up from local to regional estimates of methane and carbon dioxide within the basin. How gases and dissolved organic carbon escapes form peatlands in unknown. It has been suggested that the concentrations of methane produced in the upper peat are sufficient to produce diffusion gradients towards the surface. Alternatively, gas may move through the peat profile by groundwater advection.

  2. Comment on Lake Agassiz Meltwater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steig, Eric

    2006-03-01

    T. V. Lowell et al., authors of ``Testing the Lake Agassiz Meltwater Trigger for the Younger Dryas,`` in the 4 October 2005 Eos, are to be commended for re-examining the evidence for the role of meltwater forcing as the cause of the Younger Dryas cooling episode. Yet the article comes up short in attempting to point toward future progress on the important question of the causes of abrupt climate change. Lowell et al. neglect to address an obvious conundrum: if the Aggasiz meltwater pulse occurred at the wrong time to have caused the Younger Dryas, then it evidently did not cause any significant climate response. Does this not suggest that the assumed importance of meltwater forcing in abrupt climate change be reconsidered entirely?

  3. Utilization of PARAFAC-Modeled Excitation-Emission Matrix (EEM) Fluorescence Spectroscopy to Identify Biogeochemical Processing of Dissolved Organic Matter in a Northern Peatland.

    PubMed

    Tfaily, Malak M; Corbett, Jane E; Wilson, Rachel; Chanton, Jeffrey P; Glaser, Paul H; Cawley, Kaelin M; Jaffé, Rudolf; Cooper, William T

    2015-01-01

    In this study, we contrast the fluorescent properties of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in fens and bogs in a Northern Minnesota peatland using excitation emission matrix fluorescence spectroscopy with parallel factor analysis (EEM-PARAFAC). EEM-PARAFAC identified four humic-like components and one protein-like component and the dynamics of each were evaluated based on their distribution with depth as well as across sites differing in hydrology and major biological species. The PARAFAC-EEM experiments were supported by dissolved organic carbon measurements (DOC), optical spectroscopy (UV-Vis), and compositional characterization by ultrahigh resolution Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectroscopy (FT-ICR MS). The FT-ICR MS data indicate that metabolism in peatlands reduces the molecular weights of individual components of DOM, and oxygen-rich less aromatic molecules are selectively biodegraded. Our data suggest that different hydrologic and biological conditions within the larger peat ecosystem drive molecular changes in DOM, resulting in distinctly different chemical compositions and unique fluorescent fingerprints. PARAFAC modeling of EEM data coupled with ultrahigh resolution FT-ICR MS has the potential to provide significant molecular-based information on DOM composition that will support efforts to better understand the composition, sources, and diagenetic status of DOM from different terrestrial and aquatic systems.

  4. Responses of carbon dioxide flux and plant biomass to drought in a treed peatland in northern Alberta: a climate change perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Munir, T. M.; Xu, B.; Perkins, M.; Strack, M.

    2013-09-01

    Northern peatland ecosystems represent large carbon stocks that are susceptible to changes such as accelerated mineralization due to water table lowering expected under a climate change scenario. During the growing seasons of 2011 and 2012 we monitored CO2 fluxes and plant biomass along a microtopographic gradient (hummocks-hollows) in an undisturbed dry continental boreal treed bog (control) and a nearby site that was drained (drained) in 2001. Ten years of drainage in the bog significantly increased coverage of shrubs at hummocks and lichens at hollows. Considering measured hummock coverage and including tree incremental growth, we estimate that the control site was a larger sink in 2011 of -40 than that of -13 g C m-2 in 2012 while the drained site was a source of 144 and 140 g C m-2 over the same years. We infer that, drainage induced changes in vegetation growth led to increased biomass to counteract a portion of soil carbon losses. These results suggest that spatial variability (microtopography) and changes in vegetation community in boreal peatlands will affect how these ecosystems respond to lowered water table potentially induced by climate change.

  5. Rapid deglacial and early Holocene expansion of peatlands in Alaska.

    PubMed

    Jones, Miriam C; Yu, Zicheng

    2010-04-20

    Northern peatlands represent one of the largest biospheric carbon (C) reservoirs; however, the role of peatlands in the global carbon cycle remains intensely debated, owing in part to the paucity of detailed regional datasets and the complexity of the role of climate, ecosystem processes, and environmental factors in controlling peatland C dynamics. Here we used detailed C accumulation data from four peatlands and a compilation of peatland initiation ages across Alaska to examine Holocene peatland dynamics and climate sensitivity. We find that 75% of dated peatlands in Alaska initiated before 8,600 years ago and that early Holocene C accumulation rates were four times higher than the rest of the Holocene. Similar rapid peatland expansion occurred in West Siberia during the Holocene thermal maximum (HTM). Our results suggest that high summer temperature and strong seasonality during the HTM in Alaska might have played a major role in causing the highest rates of C accumulation and peatland expansion. The rapid peatland expansion and C accumulation in these vast regions contributed significantly to the peak of atmospheric methane concentrations in the early Holocene. Furthermore, we find that Alaskan peatlands began expanding much earlier than peatlands in other regions, indicating an important contribution of these peatlands to the pre-Holocene increase in atmospheric methane concentrations.

  6. Gully hotspot contribution to landscape methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes in a northern peatland.

    PubMed

    McNamara, N P; Plant, T; Oakley, S; Ward, S; Wood, C; Ostle, N

    2008-10-15

    Peatlands are long term carbon catchments that sink atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO(2)) and source methane (CH(4)). In the uplands of the United Kingdom ombrotrophic blanket peatlands commonly exist within Calluna vulgaris (L.) dominated moorland ecosystems. These landscapes contain a range of topographical features that influence local hydrology, climate and plant community composition. In this study we examined the variation in ecosystem CO(2) respiration and net CH(4) fluxes from typical plant-soil systems in dendritic drainage gullies and adjacent blanket peat during the growing season. Typically, Eriophorum spp., Sphagnum spp. and mixed grasses occupied gullies while C. vulgaris dominated in adjacent blanket peat. Gross CO(2) respiration was highest in the areas of Eriophorum spp. (650+/-140 mg CO(2) m(-2) h(-1)) compared to those with Sphagnum spp. (338+/-49 mg CO(2) m(-2) h(-1)), mixed grasses (342+/-91 mg CO(2) m(-2) h(-1)) and C. vulgaris (174+/-63 mg CO(2) m(-2) h(-1)). Measurements of the net CH(4) flux showed higher fluxes from the Eriophorum spp (2.2+/-0.6 mg CH(4) m(-2) h(-1)) locations compared to the Sphagnum spp. (0.6+/-0.4 mg CH(4) m(-2) h(-1)), mixed grasses (0.1+/-0.1 mg CH(4) m(-2) h(-1)) and a negligible flux detected from C. vulgaris (0.0+/-0.0 mg CH(4) m(-2) h(-1)) locations. A GIS approach was applied to calculate the contribution of gullies to landscape scale greenhouse gas fluxes. Findings from the Moor House National Nature Reserve in the UK showed that although gullies occupied only 9.3% of the total land surface, gullies accounted for 95.8% and 21.6% of the peatland net CH(4) and CO(2) respiratory fluxes, respectively. The implication of these findings is that the relative contribution of characteristic gully systems need to be considered in estimates of landscape scale peatland greenhouse gas fluxes.

  7. Solid Phase Peat and Dissolved Organic Matter Composition and Reactivity as a Function of Surface Vegetation in Northern Minnesota Peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tfaily, M. M.; Hamdan, R.; Jaffe, R.; Cawley, K.; Cooper, W. T.; Chanton, J.

    2012-12-01

    Peatlands are unusual in greenhouse scenarios because on the one hand they sequester carbon from the atmosphere as peat, while on the other hand they re-emit it in large quantities as methane. Little is known, however, about the chemical processes that link solid phase peat and dissolved organic matter (DOM) within its porewaters. In this work we have applied FT-IR and 13C NMR spectroscopy to characterize the solid phase peat at varying depths from different sites at the Marcell Experimental Forest (MEF) where the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has begun the Spruce and Peatland Response Under Climatic and Environmental Change (SPRUCE) project. Parallel Factor analyzed Excitation/Emission Matrix fluorescence spectroscopy (PARAFAC-EEMS) and ultrahigh resolution Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometry (FT-ICR-MS) were used to characterize the molecular composition of peat porewaters. Analyses of the solid phase and the porewater suggested the presence of different zones of varying degrees of humification in the peat core. FT-IR and NMR data indicated that the relative abundances of alipahtics and aromatics increased with depth to about 100 cm, then remained relatively constant. This increase was accompanied with a concomitant decrease in the relative abundance of carbohydrates. FT-ICR MS data showed a large abundance of compounds with high O/C ratios at the surface (acrotelm) that tend to disappear with depth (catotelm), with accumulation of refractory aliphatic compounds characterized by low O/C and high H/C ratios.

  8. Detecting changes in surface moisture and water table position with spectral changes in surface vegetation in northern peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meingast, Karl M.

    Due to warmer and drier conditions, wildland fire has been increasing in extent into peatland ecosystems during recent decades. As such, there is an increasing need for broadly applicable tools to detect surface peat moisture, in order to ascertain the susceptibility of peat burning, and the vulnerability of deep peat consumption in the event of a wildfire. In this thesis, a field portable spectroradiometer was used to measure surface reflectance of two Sphagnum moss dominated peatlands. Relationships were developed correlating spectral indices to surface moisture as well as water table position. Spectral convolutions were also applied to the high resolution spectra to represent spectral sensitivity of earth observing sensors. Band ratios previously used to monitor surface moisture with these sensors were assessed. Strong relationships to surface moisture and water table position are evident for both the narrowband indices as well as broadened indices. This study also found a dependence of certain spectral relationships on changes in vegetation cover by leveraging an experimental vegetation manipulation. Results indicate broadened indices employing the 1450-1650 nm region may be less stable under changing vegetation cover than those located in the 1200 nm region.

  9. Mechanisms controlling the production and transport of methane, carbon dioxide, and dissolved solutes within a boreal peatland. Progress report, January 15, 1991--July 14, 1992

    SciTech Connect

    Siegel, D.I.

    1992-04-09

    Peatlands are one of the most important terrestrial reservoirs in the global cycle for carbon, and are a major source for atmospheric methane. However, little is known about the dynamics of these carbon reservoirs or their feedback mechanisms with the pool of atmospheric CO{sub 2} during the Holocene. Specifically, it is unknown whether large peat basins are sources, sinks, or steady-state reservoirs for the global carbon cycle. In particular, the production and transport of methane, carbon dioxide, and dissolved organic carbon form the deeper portions of these peatlands is unknown. Our DOE research program is to conduct an integrated ecologic and hydrogeochemical study of the Glacial Lake Agassiz peatlands (northern Minnesota) to better understand the carbon dynamics in globally significant peat basins. Specifically, our study will provide local and regional data on (1), rates of carbon accumulation and loss and fluxes of methane in the peat profiles; (2) the physical and botanical factors controlling the production of methane and carbon dioxide in the wetland; and (3) the role of hydrogeologic processes in controlling the fluxes of gases and solutes through the peat. We intend to use computer simulation models, calibrated to field data, to scale-up from local to regional estimates of methane and carbon dioxide within the basin. How gases and dissolved organic carbon escapes form peatlands in unknown. It has been suggested that the concentrations of methane produced in the upper peat are sufficient to produce diffusion gradients towards the surface. Alternatively, gas may move through the peat profile by groundwater advection.

  10. Peatland hydrogeological function at the regional scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larocque, M.; Avard, K.; Pellerin, S.

    2012-12-01

    Peatlands are important components of northern landscapes. In the Canadian province of Quebec, peatlands of the St. Lawrence Valley are rapidly disappearing, threatened by rapidly growing pressures from development. Peatlands are to varying extents groundwater dependent and as such are likely to respond drastically to changes in groundwater flow conditions and to contribute to the maintenance of groundwater levels within a superficial aquifer. Yet, there is very little understanding of the hydrogeological function of peatlands at the regional scale. For this reason, they are often simply discarded in complex groundwater management decisions. The implications are not clearly understood but could lead to the disruption of ecologically important fluxes and to significant impacts for the maintenance of long term water reservoirs across the land. This study was initiated in the Centre-du-Quebec region of southern Quebec to quantify how the peatland landscape has evolved in the last decades and to understand the hydrogeological function of peatlands at the regional scale. The study area (2856 km2) is located in the St. Lawrence Lowlands. The last deglaciation has contributed to a complex stratigraphy of unconsolidated sediments and peatlands have developed at the foot of the Appalachians. A recent regional study of Quaternary deposits has shown that a majority of these peatlands are found on aeolian deposits or reworked till, while only a few are set on marine clay, littoral deposits or directly on the bedrock. The area occupied by peatlands was measured with aerial photographs dating from 1966 and 2010. In 2010, peatlands were found on 6.1 % of the territory. Of these peatlands, 10 485 ha were intact and 7 015 underwent limited perturbations (e.g. drainage ditch, forest roads). Between 1966 and 2010, nearly a quarter of the peatlands observed in 1966 underwent irreversible perturbations (e.g. agriculture, paved roads). The main cause of peatland disappearance was from

  11. Ecological controls on methane emissions from a northern peatland complex in the zone of discontinuous permafrost, Manitoba, Canada

    SciTech Connect

    Bubier, J.L.; Moore, T.R.; Bellisario, L.

    1995-12-01

    The goals of this study were to: (1) measure methane (CH{sub 4}) emissions from peatland soils, (2) improve process models of peatland-atmospheric methane exchange by identifying environmental controls on methane emission, and (3) provide a method of extending CH{sub 4} emissions data from the laboratory to the landscape scale by determining the relationships between plant associations and CH{sub 4} flux. Sites representing a range of parameters were selected for CH{sub 4} sampling and analyses. Linear regression of concentration changes was used to calculate CH{sub 4} flux. In general, calculated methane emissions were larger than those reported for other boreal wetland sites at a similar latitude. The range of flux measurements showed spatial variation within and among sites as well as seasonal variation among sites. Open graminoid fens had the highest mean seasonal flux, while treed sites had the lowest mean flux. To determine the effects of environmental variables, data on seasonal patterns of water table position and peat temperature were collected and analyzed statistically. A correlation between peat temperature and water table position was observed. A predictive model for methane flux and environmental variables using multiple stepwise regression was developed. The model showed a negative correlation of CH{sub 4} flux with height above mean water table, and a weak correlation of flux with chemistry. The results of the study indicate that multivariate vegetation analyses may be a useful tool for accounting for environmental controls on methane flux and applying chamber measurements to the landscape scale using remote sensing. 43 refs., 8 figs., 3 tabs.

  12. Spatial Variability in Biogenic Gas Dynamics in Relation to Vegetation Cover in a Northern Peatland from Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Terry, N.; Slater, L. D.; Comas, X.; Mwakanyamale, K. E.; Wright, W. J.; Freeburg, Z.; Goldman, B.; Morocho, A.

    2015-12-01

    Ground penetrating radar (GPR) has been used for the last decade to investigate several aspects related to the distribution and release of biogenic gases (i.e. methane and carbon dioxide) in peat soils through well-established petrophysical relationships. We use this approach to investigate how differences in vegetation/land cover at three different field sites in Caribou Bog, Maine may alter such gas dynamics. The three study sites are characterized by: [1] a site amid standing pools of water with approximately 6 m of peat overlying an esker deposit, [2] a site dominated by low shrubs near the pools with peat down to 6.75 m, and [3] a site consisting of shrubs and trees with peat down to 6.4 m. A time-lapse series of GPR common offset (CO) and common midpoint (CMP) data were collected within hours of each other at all three sites using 100 MHz antennas during July 2013. In many cases, reciprocal data (transmitter and receiver positions switched) were also collected to gain insight on systematic errors. Water level variations and other environmental parameters were logged continuously at or near the sites, and limited gas sampling data were collected at sites [2] and [3]. Vertical 1D distributions of gas content with depth from each GPR dataset were estimated through CMP velocity analysis and application of a three component mixing model. These results were compared with CO data to observe changes in gas content along transects at each site. Preliminary results suggest site [1] (the pools site) has the highest overall gas content and exhibits the most variability in gas content through time. Despite several failed attempts to automate data acquisition in the field, manual acquisition still proves immensely valuable for quantitatively estimating spatiotemporal variability of gas content in a rapid and efficient manner in peatland ecosystems. In this case, the non-invasive monitoring of gas content variations demonstrates how free phase gas dynamics in peatlands

  13. A Year in the Life: Annual Patterns of CO2 and CH4 from a Northern Finland Peatland, Including Anaerobic Methane Oxidation and Summer Ebullition Rates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, K.; Lipson, D.; Biasi, C.; Dorodnikov, M.; Männistö, M.; Lai, C. T.

    2014-12-01

    The major ecological controls on methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes in northern wetland systems are well known, yet estimates of source/sink magnitudes are often incongruous with measured rates. This mismatch persists because holistic flux datasets are rare, preventing 'whole picture' determinations of flux controls. To combat this, we measured net CO2 and CH4 fluxes from September 2012-2013 within a peatland in northern Lapland, Finland. In addition, we performed in situ manipulations and in vitro soil incubations to quantify anaerobic methane oxidation and methanogenic rates as they related to alternative electron acceptor availability. Average annual fluxes varied substantially between different depressions within the wetland, a pattern that persisted through all seasons. Season was a strong predictor of both CO2 and CH4 flux rates, yet CH4 rates were not related to melt-season 10cm or 30cm soil temperatures, and only poorly predicted with air temperatures. We found evidence for both autumnal and spring thaw CH4 bursts, collectively accounting for 26% of annual CH4 flux, although the autumnal burst was more than 5 fold larger than the spring burst. CH4 ebullition measured throughout the growing season augmented the CH4 source load by a factor of 1.5, and was linked with fine-scale spatial heterogeneity within the wetland. Surprisingly, CH4 flux rates were insensitive to Fe(III) and humic acid soil amendments, both of which amplified CO2 fluxes. Using in vitro incubations, we determined anaerobic methane oxidation and methanogenesis rates. Measured anaerobic oxidation rates showed potential consumption of between 6-39% of the methane produced, contributing approximately 1% of total carbon dioxide flux. Treatments of nitrate, sulfate and ferric iron showed that nitrate suppressed methanogenesis, but were not associated with anaerobic oxidation rates.

  14. Flow path oscillations in transient ground-water simulations of large peatland systems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reeve, A.S.; Evensen, R.; Glaser, P.H.; Siegel, D.I.; Rosenberry, D.

    2006-01-01

    Transient numerical simulations of the Glacial Lake Agassiz Peatland near the Red Lakes in Northern Minnesota were constructed to evaluate observed reversals in vertical ground-water flow. Seasonal weather changes were introduced to a ground-water flow model by varying evapotranspiration and recharge over time. Vertical hydraulic reversals, driven by changes in recharge and evapotranspiration were produced in the simulated peat layer. These simulations indicate that the high specific storage associated with the peat is an important control on hydraulic reversals. Seasonally driven vertical flow is on the order of centimeters in the deep peat, suggesting that seasonal vertical advective fluxes are not significant and that ground-water flow into the deep peat likely occurs on decadal or longer time scales. Particles tracked within the ground-water flow model oscillate over time, suggesting that seasonal flow reversals will enhance vertical mixing in the peat column. The amplitude of flow path oscillations increased with increasing peat storativity, with amplitudes of about 5 cm occurring when peat specific storativity was set to about 0.05 m-1. ?? 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Methane flux from Minnesota peatlands

    SciTech Connect

    Crill, P.M.; Bartlett, K.B.; Harriss, R.C.; Gorham, E.; Verry, E.S. )

    1988-12-01

    Northern (> 40 deg N) wetlands have been suggested as the largest natural source of methane (CH{sub 4}) to the troposphere. To refine the authors estimates of source strengths from this region and to investigate climatic controls on the process, fluxes were measured from a variety of Minnesota peatlands during May, June, and August 1986. Late spring and summer fluxes ranged from 11 to 866 mg CH{sub 4}/sq/m/day, averaging 207 mg CH{sub 4} sq/m/day overall. At Marcell Forest, forested bogs and fen sites had lower fluxes than open bogs. In the Red Lake peatland, circumneutral fens, with standing water above the peat surface, produced more methane than acid bog sites in which the water table was beneath the moss surface. Peat temperature was an important control. Methane flux increased in response to increasing soil temperature. It is estimated that the methane flux from all peatlands north of 40 deg may be on the order of 70 to 90 Tg/yr though estimates of this sort are plagued by uncertainties in the areal extent of peatlands, length of the CH{sub 4} producing season, and the spatial and temporal variability of the flux. 60 refs., 7 figs., 5 tabs.

  16. Isotopic composition of old ground water from Lake Agassiz: Implications for late Pleistocene climate

    SciTech Connect

    Remenda, V.H.; Cherry, J.A.; Edwards, T.W.D. )

    1994-12-23

    A uniform oxygen isotope value of -25 per mil was obtained from old ground water at depths of 20 to 30 meters in a thick deposit of clay in the southern part of the glacial Lake Agassiz basin. The lake occupied parts of North Dakota and southern Manitoba at the end of the last glacial maximum and received water from the ice margin and the interior plains region of Canada. Ground water from thick late Pleistocene-age clay deposits elsewhere, a till in southern Saskatchewan, and a glaciolacustrine deposit in northern Ontario show the same value at similar depths. These sites are at about 50[degrees]N latitude, span a distance of 2000 kilometers, and like the Lake Agassiz sites, have a ground-water velocity of less than a few millimeters per year. The value of -25 per mil is characteristic of meltwater impounded in the southern basin of Lake Agassiz. This value corresponds to an estimated air temperature of -16[degrees]C, compared with the modern temperature of 0[degrees]C for this area. 15 refs., 5 figs.

  17. Ice - not just H2O (Louis Agassiz Medal Lecture)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolff, E. W.

    2009-04-01

    Many of the important properties and uses of ice that fascinate cryospheric scientists actually depend on impurities that are present: isotopic variants of water molecules, small amounts of soluble and insoluble material derived from the aerosol and gas phase, and the trace constituents of the air bubbles that make up around 10% of the volume of ice at atmospheric pressure. In this lecture, I will first discuss how these impurities, and their location within the ice structure, affect local properties of the ice such as the electrical conductivity and mechanical strength, which scale up to give ice sheets their geophysical properties. I will then consider how the concentrations of different impurities are used to give unique records of palaeoclimate and palaeoenvironmental properties, extending so far 800,000 years back in time. This will be illustrated particularly with data from the EPICA Dome C ice core. Bringing the presentation full circle (and towards Agassiz!), I will discuss how the data from ice cores and other palaeoclimatic archives are starting to lead us towards understanding of the causes of the most prominent feature of late Quaternary climate: the huge glacial/interglacial swings in temperature, that are accompanied by the waxing and waning, roughly every 100,000 years, of great northern hemisphere ice sheets.

  18. Carbon isotopes as indicators of peatland growth?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alewell, Christine; Krüger, Jan Paul; von Sengbusch, Pascal; Szidat, Sönke; Leifeld, Jens

    2016-04-01

    As undisturbed and/or growing peatlands store considerable amounts of carbon and are unique in their biodiversity and species assemblage, the knowledge of the current status of peatlands (growing with carbon sequestration, stagnating or degrading with carbon emissions) is crucial for landscape management and nature conservation. However, monitoring of peatland status requires long term measurements and is only feasible with expert knowledge. The latter determination is increasingly impeded in a scientific world, where taxonomic expert knowledge and funding of long term monitoring is rare. Stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes depth profiles in peatland soils have been shown to be a useful tool to monitor the degradation of peatlands due to permafrost thawing in Northern Sweden (Alewell et al., 2011; Krüger et al., 2014), drainage in Southern Finland (Krüger et al., 2016) as well as land use intensification in Northern Germany (Krüger et al., 2015). Here, we tackle the questions if we are able to differentiate between growing and degrading peats with the use of a combination of carbon stable (δ13C) and radiogenic isotope data (14C) with peat stratification information (degree of humification and macroscopic plant remains). Results indicate that isotope data are a useful tool to approximate peatland status, but that expert taxonomic knowledge will be needed for the final conclusion on peatland growth. Thus, isotope tools might be used for landscape screening to pin point sites for detailed taxonomic monitoring. As the method remains qualitative future research at these sites will need to integrate quantitative approaches to determine carbon loss or gain (soil C balances by ash content or C accumulation methods by radiocarbon data; Krüger et al., 2016). Alewell, C., R. Giesler, J. Klaminder, J. Leifeld, and M. Rollog. 2011. Stable carbon isotopes as indicators for micro-geomorphic changes in palsa peats. Biogeosciences, 8, 1769-1778. Krüger, J. P., Leifeld, J

  19. A 9000 year perspective on carbon accumulation rates under changing hydro-climate and vegetation conditions in a mountain peatland, northern Carpathians, Romania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feurdean, Angelica; Panait, Andrei; Gałka, Mariusz; Diaconu, Andrei; Hutchinson, Simon; Mulch, Andreas; Tantau, Ioan; Hickler, Thomas

    2016-04-01

    Peatlands, in particular ombrogenous bogs, which entirely depend on water from precipitation, are sensitive to changes in the balance between precipitation and evapotranspiration; and therefore highly suitable for hydro-climatological reconstruction. Peatlands also represent a large carbon pool in the terrestrial biosphere. However, little is known about the C sequestration processes in mountain peatlands under various competing drivers of change (climate, vegetation, fire). We applied a multi-proxy approach (bulk density, loss on ignition, total organic carbon, testate amoebae, δ13C in Sphagnum, plant macrofossils, pollen and charcoal) to a peat sequence from a mountain ombrogenous bog (Tǎul Muced) to explore how changes in hydro-climate conditions, peat plant composition and fire have affected long-term physical peat properties and the rate of carbon accumulation over the last 9000 years. Carbon accumulation at this site ranged from 7 to 105 g C cm2 yr1 (mean 23 ± 14 g C cm2 yr_1). We found that high moisture availability (P-E) as inferred from testate amoebae and δ13C values in Sphagnum increased the carbon sink capacity of peatland. The strength of the relationship between the rate of carbon accumulation and climate appears particularly evident over the last millennium when high C accumulation rates correlated with the warm and wet conditions of the Medieval Climate Anomaly and lower C accumulation rates with the dry conditions of the Little Ice Age. We also found a significant positive correlation between the rate of C accumulation and changes in vegetation; rates were lowest (17 g C cm2 yr_1), during periods of mixed Sphagnum (primarily S. magellanicum and S. angustifolium) and vascular plant (Cyperaceae, Eriophorum vaginatum) growth and increased (31 g C cm2 yr_1) during the accumulation of Sphagnum peat, regardless the dominant Sphagnum species. We did not find indication of peatland fire during the investigated interval. Our study represents one of the

  20. Moderate drop in water table increases peatland vulnerability to post-fire regime shift.

    PubMed

    Kettridge, N; Turetsky, M R; Sherwood, J H; Thompson, D K; Miller, C A; Benscoter, B W; Flannigan, M D; Wotton, B M; Waddington, J M

    2015-01-27

    Northern and tropical peatlands represent a globally significant carbon reserve accumulated over thousands of years of waterlogged conditions. It is unclear whether moderate drying predicted for northern peatlands will stimulate burning and carbon losses as has occurred in their smaller tropical counterparts where the carbon legacy has been destabilized due to severe drainage and deep peat fires. Capitalizing on a unique long-term experiment, we quantify the post-wildfire recovery of a northern peatland subjected to decadal drainage. We show that the moderate drop in water table position predicted for most northern regions triggers a shift in vegetation composition previously observed within only severely disturbed tropical peatlands. The combined impact of moderate drainage followed by wildfire converted the low productivity, moss-dominated peatland to a non-carbon accumulating shrub-grass ecosystem. This new ecosystem is likely to experience a low intensity, high frequency wildfire regime, which will further deplete the legacy of stored peat carbon.

  1. Vascular plants promote ancient peatland carbon loss with climate warming.

    PubMed

    Walker, Tom N; Garnett, Mark H; Ward, Susan E; Oakley, Simon; Bardgett, Richard D; Ostle, Nicholas J

    2016-05-01

    Northern peatlands have accumulated one third of the Earth's soil carbon stock since the last Ice Age. Rapid warming across northern biomes threatens to accelerate rates of peatland ecosystem respiration. Despite compensatory increases in net primary production, greater ecosystem respiration could signal the release of ancient, century- to millennia-old carbon from the peatland organic matter stock. Warming has already been shown to promote ancient peatland carbon release, but, despite the key role of vegetation in carbon dynamics, little is known about how plants influence the source of peatland ecosystem respiration. Here, we address this issue using in situ (14)C measurements of ecosystem respiration on an established peatland warming and vegetation manipulation experiment. Results show that warming of approximately 1 °C promotes respiration of ancient peatland carbon (up to 2100 years old) when dwarf-shrubs or graminoids are present, an effect not observed when only bryophytes are present. We demonstrate that warming likely promotes ancient peatland carbon release via its control over organic inputs from vascular plants. Our findings suggest that dwarf-shrubs and graminoids prime microbial decomposition of previously 'locked-up' organic matter from potentially deep in the peat profile, facilitating liberation of ancient carbon as CO2. Furthermore, such plant-induced peat respiration could contribute up to 40% of ecosystem CO2 emissions. If consistent across other subarctic and arctic ecosystems, this represents a considerable fraction of ecosystem respiration that is currently not acknowledged by global carbon cycle models. Ultimately, greater contribution of ancient carbon to ecosystem respiration may signal the loss of a previously stable peatland carbon pool, creating potential feedbacks to future climate change.

  2. Evidence of a 700-year Lake Agassiz megaflood in the slackwater deposits of Mississippi River tributaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, H.; Stumpf, A.; Berg, R. C.; McKay, E. D., III

    2010-12-01

    One prominent event associated with retreat of the Laurentide Ice Sheet was the release of an exceptionally large volume of meltwater from Lake Agassiz. This discharge led to a sea-level rise of 20 meters in about 500 years and caused disruption to the global thermohaline circulation that led to an overall cooling during the Younger Dryas stadial (YDS). Recent studies suggest that the eastern and northern outlets of glacial Lake Agassiz remained closed until the early YDS, but new findings by the authors indicate that catastrophic floods drained through a southern outlet along the Mississippi River at this time. Here we present a detailed description of a dune-paleosol/peat succession from the middle Illinois River valley containing a slackwater deposit (peat) associated with these floods that has been dated using 14C and OSL methods to the Bølling-Allerød interstadial. At this site, Heinrich stadial 1 (HS1) and YDS dunes are separated by a well-developed Bølling-equivalent paleosol overlain by an Allerød-equivalent slackwater peat unit. The paleosol developed under warm/humid conditions, fundamentally different from the cold and dry conditions that prevailed during dune formation. Our age model indicates that the Bølling-equivalent paleosol developed for 1200 years followed by the meltwater megaflood. Preliminary measurements indicate the flood raised the Mississippi River level at its juncture with the Illinois River 18 m higher than the 500-year flood recorded in 1993. The megaflood blocked the Illinois River forming a large slackwater swamp, which lasted for 700 years. The release of cold meltwater through the Mississippi River basin inevitably lowered the sea surface temperature (SST) in the Gulf of Mexico, shortening the northern overturning circulation and shifting the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) southward. As a consequence, the southerlies became weakened and retreated southward allowing the dry westerlies and northwesterlies to carry Pacific

  3. Greenhouse Gas Fluxes from Peatland Pools

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turner, E.; Baird, A. J.; Billett, M. F.; Chapman, P. J.; Dinsmore, K. J.; Holden, J.

    2015-12-01

    Peatlands contain around one third of the global soil carbon (C) stock. Understanding the processes in peatland C cycling, and in particular those involved in the release of the greenhouse gases (GHGs) CO2 and CH4 to the atmosphere, is a current research priority. Natural open-water pools are a common feature of many peatlands, and previous research suggests pools can be strong sources of atmospheric GHGs, particularly CH4, and thus have the potential to play an important role in global radiative forcing. The area of open-water in peatlands is rapidly expanding in a warming Arctic (e.g. Walter et al., 2007) while artificially created pools are becoming more commonplace in the recent drive to restore the hydrological functioning of drained peatlands by blocking ditches. We present the results of >2 years of comprehensive field monitoring from pool complexes in the Flow Country of northern Scotland, the largest expanse (c.4000 km2) of blanket bog in Europe. Concentrations and fluxes of CO2 and CH4 are presented from 12 intensively monitored pools and the adjacent terrestrial surface. We examined both natural (n = 6) and artificial (n = 6) pools, which allowed us to quantify how pools created during restoration compare to undisturbed sites. C and hydrology budgets were determined for the study pools and the adjacent terrestrial surface. Dissolved concentrations of GHGs ranged from 0.08-4.68 mg CO2-C L-1 and 0.01-731 µg CH4-C L-1 in natural pools, and 0.29-10.38 mg CO2-C L-1 and 0.04-239 µg CH4-C L-1 in artificial pools. GHG fluxes from natural pool surfaces ranged between -2.47-653 mg CH4 m-2 d-1 and -31.7-14.8 g CO2 m-2 d-1. Artificial pool GHG fluxes were -8.19-581 mg CH4 m-2 d-1 and -7.66-34.9 g CO2 m-2 d-1. We provide more accurate GHG budgets for peatlands with natural pool complexes by considering their relative importance at the landscape-scale, and outline the potential effect on GHG fluxes when creating artificial pools during peatland restoration

  4. Creating Original Opera at Lake Agassiz Elementary School.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sherwood, Connie; And Others

    1994-01-01

    In 1993 Lake Agassiz School in North Dakota received a Knight Foundation grant so teachers and students could participate in a program to learn how to create an opera. The program instructed teachers on how students could maximize their understanding about producing an opera. The school formed a partnership with the Metropolitan Opera Guild of New…

  5. The response of soil carbon storage and microbially mediated carbon turnover to simulated climatic disturbance in a northern peatland forest. Revisiting the concept of soil organic matter recalcitrance

    SciTech Connect

    Kostka, Joel

    2015-09-14

    The goal of this project was to investigate changes in the structure of dissolved and solid phase organic matter, the production of CO2 and CH4, and the composition of decomposer microbial communities in response to the climatic forcing of environmental processes that determine the balance between carbon gas production versus storage and sequestration in peatlands. Cutting-edge analytical chemistry and next generation sequencing of microbial genes were been applied to habitats at the Marcell Experimental Forest (MEF), where the US DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the USDA Forest Service are constructing a large-scale ecosystem study entitled, “Spruce and Peatland Responses Under Climatic and Environmental Change”(SPRUCE). Our study represented a comprehensive characterization of the sources, transformation, and decomposition of organic matter in the S1 bog at MEF. Multiple lines of evidence point to distinct, vertical zones of organic matter transformation: 1) the acrotelm consisting of living mosses, root material, and newly formed litter (0-30 cm), 2) the mesotelm, a mid-depth transition zone (30-75 cm) characterized by labile organic C compounds and intense decomposition, and 3) the underlying catotelm (below 75cm) characterized by refractory organic compounds as well as relatively low decomposition rates. These zones are in part defined by physical changes in hydraulic conductivity and water table depth. O-alkyl-C, which represents the carbohydrate fraction in the peat, was shown to be an excellent proxy for soil decomposition rates. The carbon cycle in deep peat was shown to be fueled by modern carbon sources further indicating that hydrology and surface vegetation play a role in belowground carbon cycling. We provide the first metagenomic study of an ombrotrophic peat bog, with novel insights into microbial specialization and functions in this unique terrestrial ecosystem. Vertical structuring of microbial communities

  6. Mechanisms controlling the production and transport of methane, carbon dioxide, and dissolved solutes within a boreal peatland. Progress report, July 15, 1992--July 14, 1993

    SciTech Connect

    Siegel, D.I.

    1993-06-24

    The role of freshwater peatlands in the global methane cycle remains uncertain. Field measurements of methane emissions tend to be highly variable across a peatland and exhibit sharp seasonal fluctuations. The process of extrapolating these variable measurements to regional estimates is further complicated by rudimentary knowledge of the environmental controls can the production and emissions of methane from peat. The distribution of methanogenesis within the peat profile will strongly influence the response of methane emissions to potential climatic changes. During the summers of 1990 and 1991 we conducted a study on the mechanisms for the production, transport, and storage of methane within the Glacial Lake Agassiz peatland region as the regional climate shifted from extreme drought to a period of normal rainfall. This natural experiment provided unexpected insights on the linkages among climate, hydrology, and the methane cycle in large peat basins. This report presents project progress for period July 15, 1992--July 14, 1993

  7. Late Pleistocene Palaeoenvironments of the Southern Lake Agassiz Basin, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yansa, Catherine H.; Ashworth, Allan C.

    2005-03-01

    Macroscopic plant remains, pollen, insect and mollusc fossils recovered from a cut bank on the Red River in North Dakota, USA, provide evidence that an extensive wetland occupied the southern basin of Lake Agassiz from 10 230 to 9900 14C yr BP. Marsh-dwelling plants and invertebrates had colonised the surface of a prograding delta during the low-water Moorhead Phase of Lake Agassiz. A species of Salix (willow) was abundant along distributary channels, and stands of Populus tremuloides (aspen), Ulmus sp. (elm), Betula sp. (birch), and Picea sp. (spruce) grew on the better-drained sand bars and beach ridges. Most of the species of plants, insects, and molluscs represented as fossils are within their existing geographic ranges. Based on a few species with more northerly distributions, mean summer temperature may have been about 1-2°C lower than the present day. No change in species composition occurred in the transition from the Younger Dryas to Preboreal. At the time that the wetland existed, Lake Agassiz was draining either eastward to the North Atlantic Ocean or northwestward to the Arctic Ocean. The wetland was drowned during the Emerson Phase transgression that resulted in meltwater draining southward to the Gulf of Mexico after 9900 14C yr BP.

  8. Peatland Carbon Dynamics in Alaska During Past Warm Climates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Z.; Cleary, K.; Massa, C.; Hunt, S. J.; Klein, E. S.; Loisel, J.

    2013-12-01

    and colder winters, also reducing non-growing season decomposition. Reduced summer sea ice cover would also mediate and increase summer temperatures on the North Slope. Overall, our results show that, contrary to conventional wisdom, cool and wet climates such as those that characterized the Neoglacial period may result in peatland flooding (too much water), thereby limiting peat accumulation in these wet and cold regions. If the observations from northern Alaska are also applicable to other high-latitude regions with possible 'disappeared peatlands', our findings have important implications for understanding the role of peatlands in the global C cycle in the past and future.

  9. Peatlands as Dynamic Biogeochemical Ecotones: Elemental Concentrations, Stoichiometries and Accumulation in Peatland Soils of Ontario, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, T. R.; Wang, M.; Talbot, J.; Riley, J. L.

    2015-12-01

    Peatlands act as biogeochemical interfaces between terrestrial and aquatic systems and are 'hotspots', particularly for carbon cycling and the accumulation of nutrients and other elements within the peat profile. This results in storage of substantial amounts of carbon, nutrients and metals, particularly in northern peatlands. Using a data base of over 400 peat profiles and 1700 individual peat samples from bog, fen and swamp sites in Ontario, Canada, we examine the profile concentrations of C, N, P, Ca, Mg, K, Hg, Pb, As, Cu, Mn, Zn, Fe and Al, and estimate the storage and accumulation of these elements. We show how these profiles, spatial patterns, stoichiometries and accumulation rates are controlled by biogeochemical processes and influenced by geochemical setting, hydrology, atmospheric input and pollution, and ecological and microbial transformations.

  10. Systematics and ecology of the Australasian genus Empodisma (Restionaceae) and description of a new species from peatlands in northern New Zealand

    PubMed Central

    Wagstaff, Steven J.; Clarkson, Beverley R.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract The genus Empodisma comprises two species that are ecologically important in wetland habitats. Empodisma gracillimum is restricted to south-western Australia, whereas Empodisma minus is found in Tasmania, eastern Australia and New Zealand. We sequenced three cpDNA genes for 15 individuals of Empodisma sampled from throughout the range of the species. The results support an Australian origin for Empodisma sometime during the late Oligocene to early Miocene with more recent dispersal, colonization and diversification in New Zealand. We recovered six genetically distinct maternal lineages: three Empodisma gracillimum haplotypes corresponding to the three accessions in our analysis, a wide-ranging Empodisma minus haplotype found in eastern Australia and Tasmania, an Empodisma minus haplotype found in New Zealand from Stewart Island to approximately 38° S latitude on the North Island, and a distinct haplotype restricted to the North Island of New Zealand north of 38° S latitude. The Eastern Australian and New Zealand haplotypes of Empodisma minus were supported by only one cpDNA gene, and we felt the relatively minor morphological differences and the small amount of genetic divergence did not warrant taxonomic recognition. However, we recommend that the northern New Zealand haplotype should be recognized as the new species Empodisma robustum and provide descriptions and a key to the species of Empodisma. Monophyly of Empodisma robustum is supported by all three cpDNA genes. Empodisma robustum can be distinguished from Empodisma gracillimum and Empodisma minus by its robust growth stature and distinct ecology. It is typically eliminated by fire and re-establishes by seed (seeder strategy), whereas Empodisma minus and Empodisma gracillimum regrow after fire (sprouter strategy). PMID:22787426

  11. Ecohydrology by thinking outside the bog: Shifting paradigms in an era of shifting peatland ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waddington, James; Moore, Paul

    2016-04-01

    Large shifts in vegetation distributions are occurring worldwide and at unprecedented rates. The most extreme of these regime shifts are expected to occur at ecosystem boundaries of both semi-arid and semi-humid landscapes. Despite extensive hydrological research on the interactions between water and semi-arid ecosystems, research in peatlands on the wet end of ecosystem continuum has been "bogged down" (pun fully intended) by the traditional conceptual models (paradigms?) of peatland hydrology and ecology. The consequences of this "thinking" are large given that northern peatlands provide important global and regional ecosystem services (carbon storage, water storage, and biodiversity). This is especially true because peatlands face increases in the severity, areal extent, and frequency of climate-mediated (e.g., wildfire, drought) and land-use change (e.g., drainage, flooding, and mining) disturbances placing the future security of these critical ecosystem services in doubt. We use the word doubt because while numerical modelling studies predict peatland regime shifts and the demise of global peat stocks, there is growing evidence that peatlands are self-regulating ecosystems dominated by negative ecohydrological feedbacks that stabilize the aforementioned ecosystem services through high ecosystem resilience to disturbance. This raises several important hydrological questions? "Is there field evidence of peatland regime shifts? If so, what are the potential impacts of these shifts on water resources and watershed management? If not, are researchers actually looking in the right places (or times)? In this presentation we explore the need for a "thinking outside the bog" in order to understand the ecohydrological consequences of transformative landscape change caused by peatland regime shifts. With reference to over two decades of field research, recent advances with our Peatland Hydrological Impacts model and recent research examining primary peat formation, we

  12. The effects of hydrologic fluctuation and sulfate regeneration on mercury cycling in an experimental peatland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coleman Wasik, J. K.; Engstrom, D. R.; Mitchell, C. P. J.; Swain, E. B.; Monson, B. A.; Balogh, S. J.; Jeremiason, J. D.; Branfireun, B. A.; Kolka, R. K.; Almendinger, J. E.

    2015-09-01

    A series of severe droughts during the course of a long-term, atmospheric sulfate-deposition experiment in a boreal peatland in northern Minnesota created a unique opportunity to study how methylmercury (MeHg) production responds to drying and rewetting events in peatlands under variable levels of sulfate loading. Peat oxidation during extended dry periods mobilized sulfate, MeHg, and total mercury (HgT) to peatland pore waters during rewetting events. Pore water sulfate concentrations were inversely related to antecedent moisture conditions and proportional to past and current levels of atmospheric sulfate deposition. Severe drying events caused oxidative release of MeHg to pore waters and resulted in increased net MeHg production likely because available sulfate stimulated the activity of sulfate-reducing bacteria, an important group of Hg-methylating bacteria in peatlands. Rewetting events led to increased MeHg concentrations across the peatland, but concentrations were highest in peat receiving elevated atmospheric sulfate deposition. Dissolved HgT concentrations also increased in peatland pore waters following drought but were not affected by sulfate loading and did not appear to be directly controlled by dissolved organic carbon mobilization to peatland pore waters. Peatlands are often considered to be sinks for sulfate and HgT in the landscape and sources of MeHg. Hydrologic fluctuations not only serve to release previously sequestered sulfate and HgT from peatlands but may also increase the strength of peatlands as sources of MeHg to downstream aquatic systems, particularly in regions that have experienced elevated levels of atmospheric sulfate deposition.

  13. Zero methane-emitting peatlands: biogeochemical features and forecasting response to environmental change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sirin, Andrey; Suvorov, Gennady; Glagolev, Mikhail; Kravchenko, Irina; Chistotin, Maxim; Bazhin, Nikolai

    2014-05-01

    Peatlands are one of the main sources of atmospheric CH4, a greenhouse gas responsible for a large part of current climate forcing. Existing estimates of methane flux from peatlands on a country, continental and global scale do not cover all variety of extremely diverse natural peatland ecosystems, their spatial uncertainties, and related to human impacts modifications. During last 2-3 decades numerous CH4flux measurements were conducted in northern peatlands, but many peatland types were not elaborated being suggested as unessential or even 'zero' source of methane to the atmosphere. Among them are widespread forested dwarf-shrub sphagnum peatbogs, frozen flat palsa mires, etc., as well as considered 'dry' peatlands drained and utilized for peat extraction, agriculture and forestry. Methane fluxes were measured at key peatland taiga test-plots of Central part of European Russia and taiga and tundra-forest zones of West Siberia purposely to examine periods of different level of humidity. The water level (WL) position switching from methane emission to uptake was elucidated for pine-dwarf-shrub-sphagnum ecotopes: at 50 cm WL near-zero or negative methane fluxes were registered at 86% of measurements, at 40 cm WL - emission at 89%. Observations in Central European Russia cover different natural and drained peatland types. Drainage and management usually decreased CH4 emissions relative to pristine peatlands through drying of surface peats and simultaneous decrease the size of anoxic horizons, but the rise of WL switches to CH4 fluxes. Relation between methane flux and peat wetness was additionally tested by series of lab mesocosm experiments. Processes resulting in similar final zero methane emissions under conditions of drained and intact peatland could be different. Microbial communities, involved in methane cycle, have been significantly changed in drained peatlands. Methanogens in natural peatlands were almost exclusively composed of hydrogenotrophs, whereas both

  14. Properties of peatlands in relation to environmental factors in Minnesota

    SciTech Connect

    Swanson, D.K.

    1988-01-01

    The relationship of peatland morphology and distribution to environmental factors was investigated in northern and central Minnesota by field sampling of vegetation, soils, and water, and by remote sensing. Maps of peatlands made by machine classification of Landsat data six classes matched field data in 56% of all cases; maps drawn by hand on 1:80,000 scale aerial photographs were 72% correct. Peatland sites fall into two natural groups: ombrotrophic (bogs; pH less than 4.4) and minerotrophic (fens and swamps: pH 4.4 or more and usually greater than 5.6). The presence of certain common vascular-plant taxa can be used to classify sites into these trophic classes with over 90% accuracy. The structure of peatland vegetation is controlled by the soil-water regime, the disturbance history, and, to a less degree, by trophic conditions. Sites that have relatively well-aerated soils and have not been recently disturbed support dense forests. Vegetation structure is weakly related to the degree of decomposition of peat; hence vegetation is a poor indicator for taxonomic units of organic soils. Peatlands are common in Minnesota on surfaces glaciated during the Wisconsin Stage and where the mean annual potential evapotranspiration roughly equals or exceeds the mean annual precipitation. Bogs occur most often on sites where a high water table can be maintained without groundwater discharge, such as in depressions on low-permeability substrates and near local watershed divides on plains. Fens apparently occur in or below areas of groundwater discharge. Swamps (densely forested minerotrophic peatlands) occur in a wide variety of settings where the soil is aerated during the growing season.

  15. Decomposition and organic matter quality in continental peatlands: The ghost of permafrost past

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Turetsky, M.R.

    2004-01-01

    Permafrost patterning in boreal peatlands contributes to landscape heterogeneity, as peat plateaus, palsas, and localized permafrost mounds are interspersed among unfrozen bogs and fens. The degradation of localized permafrost in peatlands alters local topography, hydrology, thermal regimes, and plant communities, and creates unique peatland features called "internal lawns." I used laboratory incubations to quantify carbon dioxide (CO 2) production in peat formed under different permafrost regimes (with permafrost, without permafrost, melted permafrost), and explored the relationships among proximate organic matter fractions, nutrient concentrations, and decomposition. Peat within each feature (internal lawn, bog, permafrost mound) is more chemically similar than peat collected within the same province (Alberta, Saskatchewan) or within depth intervals (surface, deep). Internal lawn peat produces more CO2 than the other peatland types. Across peatland features, acid-insoluble material (AIM) and AIM/nitrogen are significant predictors of decomposition. However, within each peatland feature, soluble proximate fractions are better predictors of CO2 production. Permafrost stability in peatlands influences plant and soil environments, which control litter inputs, organic matter quality, and decomposition rates. Spatial patterns of permafrost, as well as ecosystem processes within various permafrost features, should be considered when assessing the fate of soil carbon in northern ecosystems. ?? 2004 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.

  16. Acceptance of the Theory of Evolution in America: Louis Agassiz vs. Asa Gray

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wolfe, Elaine Claire Daughetee

    1975-01-01

    Provides some background information on the contributions of Louis Agassiz and Asa Gray to the history of American science as these two men disagreed concerning the ideas in Darwin's "The Orgin of Species." (PB)

  17. Spatially Explicit Simulation of Mesotopographic Controls on Peatland Hydrology and Carbon Fluxes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sonnentag, O.; Chen, J. M.; Roulet, N. T.

    2006-12-01

    A number of field carbon flux measurements, paleoecological records, and model simulations have acknowledged the importance of northern peatlands in terrestrial carbon cycling and methane emissions. An important parameter in peatlands that influences both net primary productivity, the net gain of carbon through photosynthesis, and decomposition under aerobic and anaerobic conditions, is the position of the water table. Biological and physical processes involved in peatland carbon dynamics and their hydrological controls operate at different spatial scales. The highly variable hydraulic characteristics of the peat profile and the overall shape of the peat body as defined by its surface topography at the mesoscale (104 m2) are of major importance for peatland water table dynamics. Common types of peatlands include bogs with a slightly domed centre. As a result of the convex profile, their water supply is restricted to atmospheric inputs, and water is mainly shed by shallow subsurface flow. From a modelling perspective the influence of mesotopographic controls on peatland hydrology and thus carbon balance requires that process-oriented models that examine the links between peatland hydrology, ecosystem functioning, and climate must incorporate some form of lateral subsurface flow consideration. Most hydrological and ecological modelling studies in complex terrain explicitly account for the topographic controls on lateral subsurface flow through digital elevation models. However, modelling studies in peatlands often employ simple empirical parameterizations of lateral subsurface flow, neglecting the influence of peatlands low relief mesoscale topography. Our objective is to explicitly simulate the mesotopographic controls on peatland hydrology and carbon fluxes using the Boreal Ecosystem Productivity Simulator (BEPS) adapted to northern peatlands. BEPS is a process-oriented ecosystem model in a remote sensing framework that takes into account peatlands multi

  18. Trade-Offs in Resource Allocation Among Moss Species Control Decomposition in Boreal Peatlands

    SciTech Connect

    Turetsky, M. R.; Crow, S. E.; Evans, R. J.; Vitt, D. H.; Wieder, R. K.

    2008-01-01

    We separated the effects of plant species controls on decomposition rates from environmental controls in northern peatlands using a full factorial, reciprocal transplant experiment of eight dominant bryophytes in four distinct peatland types in boreal Alberta, Canada. Standard fractionation techniques as well as compound-specific pyrolysis molecular beam mass spectrometry were used to identify a biochemical mechanism underlying any interspecific differences in decomposition rates. We found that over a 3-year field incubation, individual moss species and not micro-environmental conditions controlled early stages of decomposition. Across species, Sphagnum mosses exhibited a trade-off in resource partitioning into metabolic and structural carbohydrates, a pattern that served as a strong predictor of litter decomposition. Decomposition rates showed a negative co-variation between species and their microtopographic position, as species that live in hummocks decomposed slowly but hummock microhabitats themselves corresponded to rapid decomposition rates. By forming litter that degrades slowly, hummock mosses appear to promote the maintenance of macropore structure in surface peat hummocks that aid in water retention. Many northern regions are experiencing rapid climate warming that is expected to accelerate the decomposition of large soil carbon pools stored within peatlands. However, our results suggest that some common peatland moss species form tissue that resists decomposition across a range of peatland environments, suggesting that moss resource allocation could stabilize peatland carbon losses under a changing climate.

  19. Selenium and metal concentrations in waterbird eggs and chicks at Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge, Minnesota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Custer, T.W.; Custer, Christine M.; Eichhorst, B.A.; Warburton, D.

    2007-01-01

    Exceptionally high cadmium (Cd) and chromium (Cr) concentrations were reported in eggs, feathers, or livers of selected waterbird species nesting at Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge (Agassiz) in 1994. Ten- to 15-day-old Franklin's gull (Larus pipixcan), black-crowned night-heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), and eared grebe (Podiceps nigricollis) chicks were collected in 1998, 1999, and 2001 at Agassiz and analyzed for selenium (Se) and metals including Cd and Cr. Freshly laid eggs were collected in 2001 from Franklin's gull, black-crowned night-heron, eared grebe, and pied-billed grebe (Podilymbus podiceps) nests at Agassiz. Based on a multivariate analysis, the pattern of Se and metal concentrations differed among species for eggs, chick feathers, and chick livers. Low Cd and Cr concentrations were measured in eggs, chick livers, and chick feathers of all four species. Mercury concentrations in black-crowned night-heron and eared grebe eggs collected from Agassiz in 2001 were lower than concentrations reported in 1994. Se and metal concentrations, including Cd and Cr, in waterbird eggs and chicks collected at Agassiz in 1998, 1999, and 2001 were not at toxic levels. ?? 2007 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

  20. Carbon pools and accumulation in peatlands of the former Soviet Union

    SciTech Connect

    Botch, M.S.; Kobak, K.I.; Vinson, T.S.

    1995-03-01

    To date, the areal extent, carbon pools, rate of carbon accumulation, and role of peatlands of the former Soviet Union (FSU) in the terrestrial carbon cycle has not been fully recognized. This is a consequence of the fact that may peatlands in the FSU, especially noncommercial peatlands, were never studied and properly mapped. An estimate of the areal extent, carbon pools, and rate of carbon accumulation in peatlands of the FSU obtained by interrelating a number of regional databases and maps, including formerly classified maps, is presented herein. Commercial peatlands were categorized by regional type which facilitated an evaluation of their age and quality. Noncommercial peatlands were evaluated from classified regional topographic maps. Air photographs were used to identify peatlands of northern landscapes. the total peatland area of the FSU was estimated at 165 Mha (10{sup 6} hectares) which was two times greater than the most recent estimates based on thematic maps. The peat carbon pool was estimated at 215 Pg C. Half of this amount was in raised bogs. The rate of peat accumulation varied from 12 g C m{sup -2} yr{sup -1} (polygonal mires) to 72-80 g C m{sup -2} yr{sup -1} (fens and marshes). The total rate of carbon accumulation in FSU peatlands was 52 Tg C yr{sup -1}. Carbon emissions from peat utilization in the FSU were estimated at 122 Tg C yr{sup -1}. Thus, at present, peat accumulation/utilization in the FSU is a net source of approximately 70 Tg C yr{sup -1} to the atmosphere. 45 refs, 1 fig., 3 tabs.

  1. Geophysical mapping of palsa peatland permafrost

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sjöberg, Y.; Marklund, P.; Pettersson, R.; Lyon, S. W.

    2015-03-01

    Permafrost peatlands are hydrological and biogeochemical hotspots in the discontinuous permafrost zone. Non-intrusive geophysical methods offer a possibility to map current permafrost spatial distributions in these environments. In this study, we estimate the depths to the permafrost table and base across a peatland in northern Sweden, using ground penetrating radar and electrical resistivity tomography. Seasonal thaw frost tables (at ~0.5 m depth), taliks (2.1-6.7 m deep), and the permafrost base (at ~16 m depth) could be detected. Higher occurrences of taliks were discovered at locations with a lower relative height of permafrost landforms, which is indicative of lower ground ice content at these locations. These results highlight the added value of combining geophysical techniques for assessing spatial distributions of permafrost within the rapidly changing sporadic permafrost zone. For example, based on a back-of-the-envelope calculation for the site considered here, we estimated that the permafrost could thaw completely within the next 3 centuries. Thus there is a clear need to benchmark current permafrost distributions and characteristics, particularly in under studied regions of the pan-Arctic.

  2. Geophysical mapping of palsa peatland permafrost

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sjöberg, Y.; Marklund, P.; Pettersson, R.; Lyon, S. W.

    2014-10-01

    Permafrost peatlands are hydrological and biogeochemical hotspots in the discontinuous permafrost zone. Non-intrusive geophysical methods offer possibility to map current permafrost spatial distributions in these environments. In this study, we estimate the depths to the permafrost table surface and base across a peatland in northern Sweden, using ground penetrating radar and electrical resistivity tomography. Seasonal thaw frost tables (at ~0.5 m depth), taliks (2.1-6.7 m deep), and the permafrost base (at ~16 m depth) could be detected. Higher occurrences of taliks were discovered at locations with a lower relative height of permafrost landforms indicative of lower ground ice content at these locations. These results highlight the added value of combining geophysical techniques for assessing spatial distribution of permafrost within the rapidly changing sporadic permafrost zone. For example, based on a simple thought experiment for the site considered here, we estimated that the thickest permafrost could thaw out completely within the next two centuries. There is a clear need, thus, to benchmark current permafrost distributions and characteristics particularly in under studied regions of the pan-arctic.

  3. Radiocarbon evidence for the importance of surface vegetation on fermentation and methanogenesis in contrasting types of boreal peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chanton, J. P.; Glaser, P. H.; Chasar, L. S.; Burdige, D. J.; Hines, M. E.; Siegel, D. I.; Tremblay, L. B.; Cooper, W. T.

    2008-12-01

    We found a consistent distribution pattern for radiocarbon in dissolved organic carbon (DOC), dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), and methane replicated across spatial and temporal scales in northern peatlands from Minnesota to Alaska. The 14C content of DOC is relatively modern throughout the peat column, to depths of 3 m. In sedge-dominated peatlands, the 14C contents of the products of respiration, CH4 and DIC, are essentially the same and are similar to that of DOC. In Sphagnum- and woody plant-dominated peatlands with few sedges, however, the respiration products are similar but intermediate between the 14C contents of the solid phase peat and the DOC. Preliminary data indicates qualitative differences in the pore water DOC, depending on the extent of sedge cover, consistent with the hypothesis that the DOC in sedge-dominated peatlands is more reactive than DOC in peatlands where Sphagnum or other vascular plants dominate. These data are supported by molecular level analysis of DOC by ultrahigh-resolution mass spectrometry that suggests more dramatic changes with depth in the composition of DOC in the sedge-dominated peatland pore waters relative to changes observed in DOC where Sphagnum dominates. The higher reactivity of DOC from sedge-dominated peatlands may be a function of either different source materials or environmental factors that are related to the abundance of sedges in peatlands.

  4. Marcell peatland carbon and nitrogen dynamics

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This dataset include US Forest Service (contact Dr. Stephen Sebestyen at USFS) long-term precipitation, atmospheric deposition, and hydrologic data for the years 2010-2013. The dataset also includes unique (never before collected) data on ammonification, denitrification, microbial enzyme activity, and nitrification. These data will be useful for long-term trend analyses and for further investigations on carbon and nitrogen cycling in peatlands.This dataset is associated with the following publication:Hill , B., T. Jicha , L. Lehto, C. Elonen , S. Sebestyen , and R. Kolka. Comparisons of soil nitrogen mass balances for an ombrotrophic bog and a minerotrophic fen in northern Minnesota. SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT. Elsevier BV, AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS, 550: 880-892, (2016).

  5. Macroinvertebrate community assembly in pools created during peatland restoration.

    PubMed

    Brown, Lee E; Ramchunder, Sorain J; Beadle, Jeannie M; Holden, Joseph

    2016-11-01

    Many degraded ecosystems are subject to restoration attempts, providing new opportunities to unravel the processes of ecological community assembly. Restoration of previously drained northern peatlands, primarily to promote peat and carbon accumulation, has created hundreds of thousands of new open water pools. We assessed the potential benefits of this wetland restoration for aquatic biodiversity, and how communities reassemble, by comparing pool ecosystems in regions of the UK Pennines on intact (never drained) versus restored (blocked drainage-ditches) peatland. We also evaluated the conceptual idea that comparing reference ecosystems in terms of their compositional similarity to null assemblages (and thus the relative importance of stochastic versus deterministic assembly) can guide evaluations of restoration success better than analyses of community composition or diversity. Community composition data highlighted some differences in the macroinvertebrate composition of restored pools compared to undisturbed peatland pools, which could be used to suggest that alternative end-points to restoration were influenced by stochastic processes. However, widely used diversity metrics indicated no differences between undisturbed and restored pools. Novel evaluations of restoration using null models confirmed the similarity of deterministic assembly processes from the national species pool across all pools. Stochastic elements were important drivers of between-pool differences at the regional-scale but the scale of these effects was also similar across most of the pools studied. The amalgamation of assembly theory into ecosystem restoration monitoring allows us to conclude with more certainty that restoration has been successful from an ecological perspective in these systems. Evaluation of these UK findings compared to those from peatlands across Europe and North America further suggests that restoring peatland pools delivers significant benefits for aquatic fauna by

  6. Constraints on Lake Agassiz discharge through the late-glacial Champlain Sea (St. Lawrence Lowlands, Canada) using salinity proxies and an estuarine circulation model

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Katz, B.; Najjar, R.G.; Cronin, T.; Rayburn, J.; Mann, M.E.

    2011-01-01

    During the last deglaciation, abrupt freshwater discharge events from proglacial lakes in North America, such as glacial Lake Agassiz, are believed to have drained into the North Atlantic Ocean, causing large shifts in climate by weakening the formation of North Atlantic Deep Water and decreasing ocean heat transport to high northern latitudes. These discharges were caused by changes in lake drainage outlets, but the duration, magnitude and routing of discharge events, factors which govern the climatic response to freshwater forcing, are poorly known. Abrupt discharges, called floods, are typically assumed to last months to a year, whereas more gradual discharges, called routing events, occur over centuries. Here we use estuarine modeling to evaluate freshwater discharge from Lake Agassiz and other North American proglacial lakes into the North Atlantic Ocean through the St. Lawrence estuary around 11.5 ka BP, the onset of the Preboreal oscillation (PBO). Faunal and isotopic proxy data from the Champlain Sea, a semi-isolated, marine-brackish water body that occupied the St. Lawrence and Champlain Valleys from 13 to 9 ka, indicate salinity fell about 7-8 (range of 4-11) around 11.5 ka. Model results suggest that minimum (1600 km3) and maximum (9500 km3) estimates of plausible flood volumes determined from Lake Agassiz paleoshorelines would produce the proxy-reconstructed salinity decrease if the floods lasted <1 day to 5 months and 1 month to 2 years, respectively. In addition, Champlain Sea salinity responds very quickly to the initiation (within days) and cessation (within weeks) of flooding events. These results support the hypothesis that a glacial lake flood, rather than a sustained routing event, discharged through the St. Lawrence Estuary during the PBO. ?? 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

  7. Do Peatlands Hibernate?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dorrepaal, E.; Signarbieux, C.; Jassey, V.; Mills, R.; Buttler, A.; Robroek, B.

    2014-12-01

    . Altogether, our data indicate that peatlands are active in winter. However, a continuous snow cover is crucial for ecosystem processes both in winter and in the subsequent summer and a reduction of snow thickness or duration due to climate change may impact on peatland ecosystem functioning at various levels.

  8. Carbon release from boreal peatland open water pools: Implication for the contemporary C exchange

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pelletier, Luc; Strachan, Ian B.; Garneau, Michelle; Roulet, Nigel T.

    2014-03-01

    While peatland ecosystems overall are long-term net carbon (C) sinks, the open water pools that are characteristic of boreal peatlands have been found to be C sources to the atmosphere. However, the contribution of these pools to the ecosystem level C budget is often ignored even if they cover a significant area of the peatland surface. Here we examine the annual CO2 and CH4 ecosystem-atmosphere exchange, including the release following ice melt, from pools in a boreal maritime peatland, in order to estimate the annual loss of C from these water bodies. Over a 16 month period, dissolved CO2 and CH4 were measured periodically in five pools while continuous measurements of CO2 were made in one pool using a nondispersive infrared (NDIR) sensor. Fluxes were calculated using the thin boundary layer model and the eddy covariance technique (spring release only). We calculated an annual C release from pools of 103.3 g C m-2 yr-1 of which 15% was released during the spring ice melt. This release is the same order of magnitude, but with the opposite sign, as the average net ecosystem carbon balance for pool-free northern peatlands (-22 to -70 g C m-2 yr-1). We discuss the origin of the released C, as the magnitude of the release could have a significant impact on the contemporary C exchange of boreal peatlands.

  9. Paleochemistry of Lakes Agassiz and Manitoba based on ostracodes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Curry, B. Brandon

    1997-01-01

    The ionic composition and salinity of Lake Manitoba and its late-glacial precursor, Lake Agassiz, changed significantly over the past 11 000 years. The paleochemical record reported here is based on modern analog environments of ostracodes identified in a new 14.5 m core from southern Lake Manitoba. The ionic composition of Lake Manitoba today is dominated by Na+, Cl-, and HCO3-, with much less Ca2+, Mg2+, and K+. Evaporative concentration of modern Lake Manitoba water would lead to greater salinity and the near depletion of Ca2+ due to continued precipitation of calcite. During periods of highest salinity in the Holocene, however, Lake Manitoba supported Limnocythere staplini. Today this species inhabits waters in which [Ca2+] > [HCO3-], including springs associated with groundwater in Paleozoic bedrock discharging into Lake Winnipegosis (and eventually, after much dilution, into Lake Manitoba). Further complicating the Holocene record are intervals containing Limnocythere friabilis that suggest periodic influxes of dilute water, probably from the Assiniboine River, which bypasses Lake Manitoba today. The variations in Holocene paleochemistry indicated by the ostracode record imply changes in the proportion of overland flow plus precipitation relative to groundwater inputs to Lake Manitoba, independent of changes in evaporation relative to precipitation.

  10. A subtropical fate awaited freshwater discharged from glacial Lake Agassiz

    SciTech Connect

    Condron, Alan; Winsor, Peter

    2011-02-10

    The 8.2 kyr event is the largest abrupt climatic change recorded in the last 10,000 years, and is widely hypothesized to have been triggered by the release of thousands of kilometers cubed of freshwater into the North Atlantic Ocean. Using a high-resolution (1/6°) global, ocean-ice circulation model we present an alternative view that freshwater discharged from glacial Lake Agassiz would have remained on the continental shelf as a narrow, buoyant, coastal current, and would have been transported south into the subtropical North Atlantic. The pathway we describe is in contrast to the conceptual idea that freshwater from this lake outburst spread over most of the sub-polar North Atlantic, and covered the deep, open-ocean, convection regions. This coastally confined freshwater pathway is consistent with the present-day routing of freshwater from Hudson Bay, as well as paleoceanographic evidence of this event. In this study, using a coarse-resolution (2.6°) version of the same model, we demonstrate that the previously reported spreading of freshwater across the sub-polar North Atlantic results from the inability of numerical models of this resolution to accurately resolve narrow coastal flows, producing instead a diffuse circulation that advects freshwater away from the boundaries. To understand the climatic impact of freshwater released in the past or future (e.g. Greenland and Antarctica), the ocean needs to be modeled at a resolution sufficient to resolve the dynamics of narrow, coastal buoyant flows.

  11. Extraction, drainage, rewetting, flooding - Patterns of greenhouse gas turnover in restoring temperate peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glatzel, Stephan

    2016-04-01

    The disturbance of natural peatlands destroys carbon sink and is often associated with nitrous oxide emissions. Therefore, the general efforts to mitigate greenhouse gas sources and to create carbon sinks also include peatland restoration. The variety of peatland type (most importantly bog or fen), use (extraction or agriculture), and restoration technique (rewetting or flooding) result in specific patterns of greenhouse gas uptake or emission. Based on examples from own work, I present an overview of the greenhouse gas turnover of following sites: • Cutover peat bogs in Eastern Canada and following rewetting, flooding, and abandonment • Drained cutover and agriculturally used peat bogs in Northern Germany and following extensive agricultural management, paludiculture, rewetting, flooding, and abandonment • Drained agriculturally used fens in Northern Germany and following flooding and paludiculture I show that rewetting, but not flooding may succeed in re-establishing long-term carbon sinks with low methane release rates comparable to the greenhouse gas turnover known from natural peatlands. Flooding risks creating, at least in the short term, extremely strong methane sources. Extensive agricultural management and paludiculture may result in low methane, carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide release rates and could be a sensible option when aiming at reconciling peatland use and protection.

  12. Response of a warm temperate peatland to Holocene climate change in northeastern Pennsylvania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cai, Shanshan; Yu, Zicheng

    2011-05-01

    Studying boreal-type peatlands near the edge of their southern limit can provide insight into responses of boreal and sub-arctic peatlands to warmer climates. In this study, we investigated peatland history using multi-proxy records of sediment composition, plant macrofossil, pollen, and diatom analysis from a 14C-dated sediment core at Tannersville Bog in northeastern Pennsylvania, USA. Our results indicate that peat accumulation began with lake infilling of a glacial lake at ~ 9 ka as a rich fen dominated by brown mosses. It changed to a poor fen dominated by Cyperaceae (sedges) and Sphagnum (peat mosses) at ~ 1.4 ka and to a Sphagnum-dominated poor fen at ~ 200 cal yr BP (~ AD 1750). Apparent carbon accumulation rates increased from 13.4 to 101.2 g C m - 2 yr - 1 during the last 8000 yr, with a time-averaged mean of 27.3 g C m - 2 yr - 1 . This relatively high accumulation rate, compared to many northern peatlands, was likely caused by high primary production associated with a warmer and wetter temperate climate. This study implies that some northern peatlands can continue to serve as carbon sinks under a warmer and wetter climate, providing a negative feedback to climate warming.

  13. Biogenic Gas Dynamics in Peat Soil Blocks using Ground Penetrating Radar: a Comparative Study in the Laboratory between Peat Soils from the Everglades and from two Northern Peatlands in Minnesota and Maine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cabolova, Anastasija

    Peatlands cover a total area of approximately 3 million square kilometers and are one of the largest natural sources of atmospheric methane ( CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO 2). Most traditional methods used to estimate biogenic gas dynamics are invasive and provide little or no information about lateral distribution of gas. In contrast, Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is an emerging technique for non-invasive investigation of gas dynamics in peat soils. This thesis establishes a direct comparison between gas dynamics (i.e. build-up and release) of four different types of peat soil using GPR. Peat soil blocks were collected at peatlands with contrasting latitudes, including the Everglades, Maine and Minnesota. A unique two-antenna GPR setup was used to monitor biogenic gas buildup and ebullition events over a period of 4.5 months, constraining GPR data with surface deformation measurements and direct CH 4 and CO2 concentration measurements. The effect of atmospheric pressure was also investigated. This study has implications for better understanding global gas dynamics and carbon cycling in peat soils and its role in climate change.

  14. Impacts of peatland restoration on dissolved carbon loss from eroded upland peatlands in the UK

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, M.; Stimson, A.; Allott, T. E. H. A.; Holland, N.

    2012-04-01

    Upland blanket peatlands in the UK are severely degraded by extensive gully erosion. Large areas have experienced complete vegetation loss. In the last decade landscape scale approaches to the restoration of eroded and bare peat have been developed in the Peak District National Park in northern England. Bare peat is re-vegetated with a nurse crop of grasses established by the aerial application of lime, seed, and fertiliser. The approach has successfully re-vegetated large areas of eroded bog a nd has been shown to dramatically reduce particulate carbon losses in runoff. The impacts of the treatment on water quality and dissolved carbon loss have not previously been fully assessed. This paper reports results from a small catchment study assessing the impacts of restoration practice in the Peak District. Data from five small catchments are presented one re-vegetated, one intact and three eroded/bare catchments. Bi-weekly water samples have been taken from the catchments between January 2011 and February 2012 and during July 2012 two of the bare sites were treated with lime, seed, and fertiliser. The data show that there are significant spikes in nutrient flux post treatment and marked effects on dissolved carbon which include initial spikes in in DOC concentration but longer term reductions in DOC concentration. Monitoring is ongoing at these sites but the evidence to date points to at least a short term benefit in DOC flux reduction from this form of peatland restoration.

  15. Carbon concentrations and transformations in peatland pools

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chapman, Pippa; Holden, Joseph; Baird, Andrew; Turner, Edward; Dooling, Gemma; Billett, Mike; McKenzie, Rebecca; Leith, Fraser; Dinsmore, Kerry

    2016-04-01

    Peatland pools may act as important features for aquatic and gaseous carbon production, transformation and release. Peatland restoration often results in new pools being created. Here we compare aquatic carbon concentrations in nearby natural and artificial pool systems monitored at three sites in northern Scotland over a three-year period. We found significant differences in pool water carbon concentrations between pool types with larger dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and dissolved carbon dioxide (CO2) in artificial pools. The differences were strong for all sites and occurred in all seasons. Importantly, the DOC outflows from natural pools were markedly lower than the DOC flowing into natural pools showing that processes in these pools were transforming and removing the DOC. These effects were not found in the artificial pools. Data on the composition of the DOC (absorbance ratios, specific ultraviolet absorbance) suggested that natural pools tended to have DOC that had been processed, and was older (radiocarbon dating) while the DOC in artificial pools was young and had not undergone much biochemical processing. Slope position was an important factor influencing pool DOC with those pools with a longer upslope contributing area and collecting water with a longer hillslope residence time having larger DOC concentrations. Dissolved methane (CH4) concentrations were not significantly different between pool types but the concentrations were always above atmospheric levels with values ˜ 200 times atmospheric concentrations not uncommon. Dissolved CO2 concentrations in the artificial pools were extremely large; typically ˜20 times atmospheric levels while those in natural pools were typically only just above atmospheric levels. The pools were strong sources of CH4 and CO2 evasion from the peat system. The smaller size of the artificial pools means that more of their CO2 is stored in the water until it reaches the stream system, while the larger natural pools have

  16. Methanotrophs Contribute to Peatland Nitrogen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larmola, Tuula; Leppänen, Sanna M.; Tuittila, Eeva-Stiina; Aarva, Maija; Merilä, Päivi; Fritze, Hannu; Tiirola, Marja

    2016-04-01

    Atmospheric nitrogen (N2) fixation is potentially an important N input mechanism to peatland ecosystems, but the extent of this process may have been underestimated because of the methods traditionally used inhibit the activity of methanothrophs. We examined the linkage of methane (CH4) oxidation and N2 fixation using 15N2 technique. Dominant flark and hummock Sphagnum species were collected from twelve pristine peatlands in Siikajoki, Finland, which varied in age from 200 to 2,500 y due to the postglacial rebound. The mosses were incubated in a two-day field 15N2 and 13CH4 pulse labelling experiment and the incorporation of 15N2 and 13CH4 in biomass was measured with Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometer. The rates of Sphagnum-associated N2 fixation (0.1-2.9 g N m-2 y-1) were up to 10 times the current N deposition rates. Methane-induced N2 fixation contributed to over 1/3 of moss-associated N2 fixation in younger stages, but was switched off in old successional stages, despite active CH4 oxidation in these stages. Both the N2 fixation rates and the methanotrophic contribution to N2 fixation during peatland succession were primarily constrained by phosphorus availability. Previously overlooked methanotrophic N contribution may explain rapid peat and N accumulation during fen stages of peatland development. Reference. Larmola T., Leppänen S.M., Tuittila E.-S, Aarva M., Merilä P., Fritze H., Tiirola M. (2014) Methanotrophy induces nitrogen fixation during peatland development. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 111 (2): 734-739.

  17. A subtropical fate awaited freshwater discharged from glacial Lake Agassiz

    DOE PAGES

    Condron, Alan; Winsor, Peter

    2011-02-10

    The 8.2 kyr event is the largest abrupt climatic change recorded in the last 10,000 years, and is widely hypothesized to have been triggered by the release of thousands of kilometers cubed of freshwater into the North Atlantic Ocean. Using a high-resolution (1/6°) global, ocean-ice circulation model we present an alternative view that freshwater discharged from glacial Lake Agassiz would have remained on the continental shelf as a narrow, buoyant, coastal current, and would have been transported south into the subtropical North Atlantic. The pathway we describe is in contrast to the conceptual idea that freshwater from this lake outburstmore » spread over most of the sub-polar North Atlantic, and covered the deep, open-ocean, convection regions. This coastally confined freshwater pathway is consistent with the present-day routing of freshwater from Hudson Bay, as well as paleoceanographic evidence of this event. In this study, using a coarse-resolution (2.6°) version of the same model, we demonstrate that the previously reported spreading of freshwater across the sub-polar North Atlantic results from the inability of numerical models of this resolution to accurately resolve narrow coastal flows, producing instead a diffuse circulation that advects freshwater away from the boundaries. To understand the climatic impact of freshwater released in the past or future (e.g. Greenland and Antarctica), the ocean needs to be modeled at a resolution sufficient to resolve the dynamics of narrow, coastal buoyant flows.« less

  18. The role of lichen on peatland development in the Hudson Bay Lowlands, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harris, Lorna; Moore, Tim; Roulet, Nigel

    2015-04-01

    Lichen (Cladina stellaris) can be a dominant vegetation cover on bogs within the extensive peatland landscape of the Hudson Bay Lowlands (HBL), northern Ontario, Canada. The unique characteristics of lichens (growth structure and function as a symbiotic organism), their ability to form thick, dense mats across the HBL bogs, and their increased tolerance of extreme environmental conditions, points to their importance as a distinct plant functional type. However, the role of lichen within the peatland ecosystem is poorly understood, particularly ecosystem interactions (vegetation associations) and peatland development (including microtopography) and the resulting carbon sink. Many studies consider the role of different plant functional types on peatland CO2 and CH4 exchange (e.g. Bubier et al., 2003; Strack et al., 2006), and this understanding is included in peatland growth and climate change models. As far as we are aware lichens are currently omitted from these models. We suggest that lichens represent a distinct plant functional type with CO2 exchange characteristics (NEE and respiration) that are quite different to vascular plants and mosses. In this study we measured lichen CO2 exchange in both natural and modified moisture conditions at field sites in the HBL over two field seasons. Our results indicate that lichen productivity is strongly influenced by abiotic factors that affect lichen moisture content, with very dry lichen exhibiting little or no photosynthetic capacity. We suggest that the low productivity of lichen mats results in lower rates of peat accumulation compared to Sphagnum-dominated peatland areas, and that this has consequences for the development of peatland microtopography (hummocks and hollows) and feedback mechanisms. To better understand the role of lichen mats on peat accumulation and to test possible feedback mechanisms we developed a model, the parameters of which are supported by data from field sites in the HBL. This dependence of

  19. Museum of Comparative Zoology Library--The Agassiz Library: Harvard University.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jonas, Eva S.; Regen, Shari S.

    1986-01-01

    Argues that the Museum of Comparative Zoology Library reflects the union between the nineteenth century natural history values of Louis Agassiz and the twentieth century library and information science methodology. Special collections, records, cataloging and classification, serials and their classification, policies, services, and procedures are…

  20. Morton, Agassiz, and the Origins of Scientific Racism in the United States.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Menand, Louis

    2002-01-01

    Describes how the racist academic consensus was established at Harvard University, focusing on two professors, Samuel George Morton and Louis Agassiz, who worked to convince U.S. scholars of the inherent inferiority and subhuman status of the black race. Morton published data on the inferiority of the black race based on analysis of his collection…

  1. Frank Parsons's Enablers: Pauline Agassiz Shaw, Meyer Bloomfield, and Ralph Albertson

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hershenson, David B.

    2006-01-01

    Frank Parsons was not the 1st American to recognize or address the need for vocational guidance. Why he, rather than his predecessors, is credited with initiating the field can be attributed to the largely overlooked contributions of 3 other persons: Pauline Agassiz Shaw, Meyer Bloomfield, and Ralph Albertson. The author calls attention to the…

  2. Blanket peatland restoration leads to reduced storm runoff from headwater systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shuttleworth, Emma; Allott, Tim; Evans, Martin; Pilkington, Mike

    2016-04-01

    This paper presents data on the impact of largescale peatland restoration on catchment runoff from peatlands in northern England. The blanket peatlands of the Pennine hills are important sources of water supply and form the headwaters of major river systems. These peatlands are severely eroded with extensive gullying and bare peat resulting from the impacts of industrial pollution, overgrazing, wildfire and climatic change over the last millennium. In the last decade there has been a major programme of peatland restoration through re-vegetation and blocking of drainage lines in these systems. The Making Space for Water project has collected hydrological data from five micro-catchments(two restoration treatments, a bare peat control, a vegetated control and a previously restored site) over a four year period. This has allowed for both Before-After-Control-Intervention and Space for Time analysis of the impact of restoration on downstream runoff. Catchments became wetter following re-vegetation, water tables rose by 35 mm and overland flow production increased by 18%. Storm-flow lag times in restored catchments increased by up to 267 %, while peak storm discharge decreased by up to 37%. There were no statistically significant changes in percentage runoff, indicating limited changes to within-storm catchment storage. Natural flood management solutions are typically focussed around one of two main mechanisms, either enhanced storage of water in catchments or measures which slow transmission of water to channels and within channels. Upland peatlands are often mischaracterised as sponges and assumed to mitigate downstream runoff through additional storage. The results of this study suggest that whilst restoration of upland peatlands can lead to significant reductions in peak discharge, and has potential to contribute to natural flood risk management, the mechanism is an increase in catchment roughness and an associated decrease in flow velocities.

  3. The Burning of Surface and Deep Peat during Boreal Forest and Peatland Fires: Implications for Fire Behaviour and Global Carbon Cycling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turetsky, M. R.

    2015-12-01

    Fire is increasingly appreciated as a threat to peatlands and their carbon stocks. The global peatland carbon pool exceeds that of global vegetation and is similar to the current atmospheric carbon pool. Under pristine conditions, most of the peat carbon stock is protected from burning, and resistance to fire has increased peat carbon storage in high latitude regions over long time scales. This, in part, is due to the high porosity and storage coefficient of surface peat, which minimizes water table variability and maintains wet conditions even during drought. However, higher levels of disturbance associated with warming and increasing human activities are triggering state changes and the loss of resiliency in some peatland systems. This presentation will summarize information on burn area and severity in peatlands under undisturbed scenarios of hydrologic self-regulation, and will assess the consequences of warming and drying on peatland vegetation and wildfire behaviour. Our goal is to predict where and when peatlands will become more vulnerable to deep smouldering, given the importance of deep peat layers to global carbon cycling, permafrost stability, and a variety of other ecosystem services in northern regions. Results from two major wildfire seasons (2004 in Alaska and 2014 in the Northwest Territories) show that biomass burning in peatlands releases similar amounts of carbon to the atmosphere as patterns of burning in upland forests, but that peatlands are less vulnerable to severe burning that tends to occur in boreal forests during late season fire activity.

  4. Including hydrological self-regulating processes in peatland models: Effects on peatmoss drought projections.

    PubMed

    Nijp, Jelmer J; Metselaar, Klaas; Limpens, Juul; Teutschbein, Claudia; Peichl, Matthias; Nilsson, Mats B; Berendse, Frank; van der Zee, Sjoerd E A T M

    2017-02-15

    The water content of the topsoil is one of the key factors controlling biogeochemical processes, greenhouse gas emissions and biosphere - atmosphere interactions in many ecosystems, particularly in northern peatlands. In these wetland ecosystems, the water content of the photosynthetic active peatmoss layer is crucial for ecosystem functioning and carbon sequestration, and is sensitive to future shifts in rainfall and drought characteristics. Current peatland models differ in the degree in which hydrological feedbacks are included, but how this affects peatmoss drought projections is unknown. The aim of this paper was to systematically test whether the level of hydrological detail in models could bias projections of water content and drought stress for peatmoss in northern peatlands using downscaled projections for rainfall and potential evapotranspiration in the current (1991-2020) and future climate (2061-2090). We considered four model variants that either include or exclude moss (rain)water storage and peat volume change, as these are two central processes in the hydrological self-regulation of peatmoss carpets. Model performance was validated using field data of a peatland in northern Sweden. Including moss water storage as well as peat volume change resulted in a significant improvement of model performance, despite the extra parameters added. The best performance was achieved if both processes were included. Including moss water storage and peat volume change consistently reduced projected peatmoss drought frequency with >50%, relative to the model excluding both processes. Projected peatmoss drought frequency in the growing season was 17% smaller under future climate than current climate, but was unaffected by including the hydrological self-regulating processes. Our results suggest that ignoring these two fine-scale processes important in hydrological self-regulation of northern peatlands will have large consequences for projected climate change impact on

  5. Simulating the long-term response of peatlands to extraction and post-extraction management strategies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quillet, Anne; Roulet, Nigel; Wu, Jianghua

    2016-04-01

    Peatlands have been and remain exploited either for agricultural purposes, forestry, peat extraction or infrastructure development in the northern latitudes as well as in the tropics. Modelling current and future carbon exchanges in peatlands thus requires further understanding of carbon dynamics in drained, exploited and restored peatlands. This study aimed at quantifying the centennial to millennial carbon balance in extracted and restored peatlands. On-site data measurements only started recently and only cover up to 15 years. The chosen approach was thus based on modelling. We modified the Holocene Peat Model (Frolking et al. 2010) to simulate peat extraction and restoration and calculate the carbon balance at different stages of exploitation and restoration. The model simulates drainage occurring prior to and during peat extraction, changes in peat bulk density and the specific vegetation succession occurring during the restoration process. As in the previous version of HPM, vegetation dynamics and interactions between vegetation and ecohydrology were included in the simulations. Simulation results offered an estimate of the amount of carbon accumulated in the peatland prior to exploitation as well as the carbon loss during exploitation. Estimates of current and future net carbon accumulation/loss, associated with different management scenarios, such as state-of-the-art restoration, drainage blocking or abandonment, gave an insight into the benefits of restoration and moreover into the millennial scale impact of peat extraction.

  6. Drivers of Holocene peatland carbon accumulation across a climate gradient in northeastern North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Charman, Dan J.; Amesbury, Matthew J.; Hinchliffe, William; Hughes, Paul D. M.; Mallon, Gunnar; Blake, William H.; Daley, Tim J.; Gallego-Sala, Angela V.; Mauquoy, Dmitri

    2015-08-01

    Peatlands are an important component of the Holocene global carbon (C) cycle and the rate of C sequestration and storage is driven by the balance between net primary productivity and decay. A number of studies now suggest that climate is a key driver of peatland C accumulation at large spatial scales and over long timescales, with warmer conditions associated with higher rates of C accumulation. However, other factors are also likely to play a significant role in determining local carbon accumulation rates and these may modify past, present and future peatland carbon sequestration. Here, we test the importance of climate as a driver of C accumulation, compared with hydrological change, fire, nitrogen content and vegetation type, from records of C accumulation at three sites in northeastern North America, across the N-S climate gradient of raised bog distribution. Radiocarbon age models, bulk density values and %C measurements from each site are used to construct C accumulation histories commencing between 11,200 and 8000 cal. years BP. The relationship between C accumulation and environmental variables (past water table depth, fire, peat forming vegetation and nitrogen content) is assessed with linear and multivariate regression analyses. Differences in long-term rates of carbon accumulation between sites support the contention that a warmer climate with longer growing seasons results in faster rates of long-term carbon accumulation. However, mid-late Holocene accumulation rates show divergent trends, decreasing in the north but rising in the south. We hypothesise that sites close to the moisture threshold for raised bog distribution increased their growth rate in response to a cooler climate with lower evapotranspiration in the late Holocene, but net primary productivity declined over the same period in northern areas causing a decrease in C accumulation. There was no clear relationship between C accumulation and hydrological change, vegetation, nitrogen content

  7. Peatland-GHG emissions in Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Droesler, Matthias

    2013-04-01

    Managed peatlands are hot spots for CO2, CH4 and N2O emissions. GHG which have been not fully integrated in past European climate projects. Peatlands contribute to European GHG emissions 10 times more per unit area than other terrestrial ecosystems. Peatland management and exploration by drainage, agricultural use and peat extraction turned pristine peatland GHG sinks into sources. Emissions can reach more than 40 t CO2equiv. ha-1 a-1 in intensively managed peatlands. On the other hand, the restoration of degraded peatlands does normally reduce these emissions significantly towards climate neutral levels, once the restoration work is done wisely. But in some cases the net climate effect do not decrease significantly depending on hydrological regimes, fertilization status of the peatlands, climate and vegetation type. In many European countries with significant peatland cover nationally funded projects were set up to investigate peatland GHG fluxes and their drivers. These scattered data and knowledge are currently being brought together under the coverage of the GHG-Europe project (Grant agreement no.: 244122) within a new synthesis to develop the relevant EF, identify the drivers and develop upscaling options for GHG-emissions. The talk will: (1) show a first cut of new Emission Factors for peatlands in Europe and compare these with IPCC-default values. (2) discuss the developed sensible response functions for GHG-fluxes against natural and anthropogenic drivers such as land use intensity, land management with drainage and climate variability. (3) show case studies from Germany show the applicability of response functions for upscaling of GHG-balances. (4) An outlook is given to the future European peatland GHG-Balance.

  8. Ecosystem-atmosphere exchange of CO2 in a temperate herbaceous peatland in the Sanjiang Plain of northeast China

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zhu, Xiaoyan; Song, Changchun; Swarzenski, Christopher M.; Guo, Yuedong; Zhang, Xinhow; Wang, Jiaoyue

    2015-01-01

    Northern peatlands contain a considerable share of the terrestrial carbon pool, which will be affected by future climatic variability. Using the static chamber technique, we investigated ecosystem respiration and soil respiration over two growing seasons (2012 and 2013) in a Carex lasiocarpa-dominated peatland in the Sanjiang Plain in China. We synchronously monitored the environmental factors controlling CO2 fluxes. Ecosystem respiration during these two growing seasons ranged from 33.3 to 506.7 mg CO2–C m−2 h−1. Through step-wise regression, variations in soil temperature at 10 cm depth alone explained 73.7% of the observed variance in log10(ER). The mean Q10 values ranged from 2.1 to 2.9 depending on the choice of depth where soil temperature was measured. The Q10 value at the 10 cm depth (2.9) appears to be a good representation for herbaceous peatland in the Sanjiang Plain when applying field-estimation based Q10values to current terrestrial ecosystem models due to the most optimized regression coefficient (63.2%). Soil respiration amounted to 57% of ecosystem respiration and played a major role in peatland carbon balance in our study. Emphasis on ecosystem respiration from temperate peatlands in the Sanjiang Plain will improve our basic understanding of carbon exchange between peatland ecosystem and the atmosphere.

  9. Tropical/Subtropical Peatland Development and Global CH4 during the Last Glaciation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Hai; Lan, Jianghu; Sheng, Enguo; Liu, Yong; Liu, Bin; Yu, Keke; Ye, Yuanda; Cheng, Peng; Qiang, Xiaoke; Lu, Fengyan; Wang, Xulong

    2016-07-01

    Knowledge of peatland development over the tropical/subtropical zone during the last glaciation is critical for understanding the glacial global methane cycle. Here we present a well-dated ‘peat deposit-lake sediment’ alternate sequence at Tengchong, southwestern China, and discuss the peatland development and its linkage to the global glacial methane cycle. Peat layers were formed during the cold Marine Isotope Stage (MIS)-2 and -4, whereas lake sediments coincided with the relatively warm MIS-3, which is possibly related to the orbital/suborbital variations in both temperature and Asian summer monsoon intensity. The Tengchong peatland formation pattern is broadly synchronous with those over subtropical southern China and other tropical/subtropical areas, but it is clearly in contrast to those over the mid-high Northern Hemisphere. The results of this work suggest that the shifts of peatland development between the tropical/subtropical zone and mid-high Northern Hemisphere may have played important roles in the glacial/interglacial global atmospheric CH4 cycles.

  10. Tropical/Subtropical Peatland Development and Global CH4 during the Last Glaciation.

    PubMed

    Xu, Hai; Lan, Jianghu; Sheng, Enguo; Liu, Yong; Liu, Bin; Yu, Keke; Ye, Yuanda; Cheng, Peng; Qiang, Xiaoke; Lu, Fengyan; Wang, Xulong

    2016-07-28

    Knowledge of peatland development over the tropical/subtropical zone during the last glaciation is critical for understanding the glacial global methane cycle. Here we present a well-dated 'peat deposit-lake sediment' alternate sequence at Tengchong, southwestern China, and discuss the peatland development and its linkage to the global glacial methane cycle. Peat layers were formed during the cold Marine Isotope Stage (MIS)-2 and -4, whereas lake sediments coincided with the relatively warm MIS-3, which is possibly related to the orbital/suborbital variations in both temperature and Asian summer monsoon intensity. The Tengchong peatland formation pattern is broadly synchronous with those over subtropical southern China and other tropical/subtropical areas, but it is clearly in contrast to those over the mid-high Northern Hemisphere. The results of this work suggest that the shifts of peatland development between the tropical/subtropical zone and mid-high Northern Hemisphere may have played important roles in the glacial/interglacial global atmospheric CH4 cycles.

  11. Tropical/Subtropical Peatland Development and Global CH4 during the Last Glaciation

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Hai; Lan, Jianghu; Sheng, Enguo; Liu, Yong; Liu, Bin; Yu, Keke; Ye, Yuanda; Cheng, Peng; Qiang, Xiaoke; Lu, Fengyan; Wang, Xulong

    2016-01-01

    Knowledge of peatland development over the tropical/subtropical zone during the last glaciation is critical for understanding the glacial global methane cycle. Here we present a well-dated ‘peat deposit-lake sediment’ alternate sequence at Tengchong, southwestern China, and discuss the peatland development and its linkage to the global glacial methane cycle. Peat layers were formed during the cold Marine Isotope Stage (MIS)-2 and -4, whereas lake sediments coincided with the relatively warm MIS-3, which is possibly related to the orbital/suborbital variations in both temperature and Asian summer monsoon intensity. The Tengchong peatland formation pattern is broadly synchronous with those over subtropical southern China and other tropical/subtropical areas, but it is clearly in contrast to those over the mid-high Northern Hemisphere. The results of this work suggest that the shifts of peatland development between the tropical/subtropical zone and mid-high Northern Hemisphere may have played important roles in the glacial/interglacial global atmospheric CH4 cycles. PMID:27465566

  12. Mechanisms for the suppression of methane production in peatland soils by a humic substance analog

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ye, R.; Keller, J. K.; Jin, Q.; Bohannan, B. J. M.; Bridgham, S. D.

    2014-01-01

    Methane (CH4) production is often impeded in many northern peatland soils, although inorganic terminal electron acceptors (TEAs) are usually present in low concentrations in these soils. Recent studies suggest that humic substances in wetland soils can be utilized as organic TEAs for anaerobic respiration and may directly inhibit CH4 production. Here we utilize the humic analog anthraquinone-2, 6-disulfonate (AQDS) to explore the importance of humic substances, and their effects on the temperature sensitivity of anaerobic decomposition, in two peatland soils. In a bog peat, AQDS was not instantly utilized as a TEA, but greatly inhibited the fermentative production of acetate, carbon dioxide (CO2), and hydrogen (H2), as well as CH4 production. When added together with glucose, AQDS was partially reduced after a lag period of 5 to 10 days. In contrast, no inhibitory effect of AQDS on fermentation was found in a fen peat and AQDS was readily reduced as an organic TEA. The addition of glucose and AQDS to both bog and fen peats caused complicated temporal dynamics in the temperature sensitivity of CH4 production, reflecting temporal changes in the temperature responses of other carbon processes with effects on methanogenesis. Our results show that the humic analog AQDS can act both as an inhibitory agent and a TEA in peatland soils. The high concentrations of humic substances in northern peatlands may greatly influence the effect of climate change on soil carbon cycling in these ecosystems.

  13. Carbon Sequestration and Peat Accretion Processes in Peatland Systems: A North-South Comparison

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richardson, C. J.; Wang, H.; Bridgham, S. D.

    2012-12-01

    Millions of hectares of peatlands exist in the U.S. and Canada but few comparisons have been made on the process controlling peat accretion, carbon sequestration and GHG losses across latitudinal gradients. Historic threats to carbon sequestration for these areas have been drainage and conversion to agriculture and forestry, which promotes the decomposition of the organic matter in the soil, leading to accelerated soil subsidence, severe carbon losses, and accelerated transport of C and nutrients to adjoining ecosystems. A more recent and insidious threat to the survival of peatlands worldwide is the increased temperature and drought conditions projected for many areas of global peatlands (IPCC 2007). A comparison of carbon sequestration rates and controlling processes for southeastern shrub bogs, the Florida Everglades and selected peatlands of the northern US and Canada under current climatic conditions reveals several major differences in controlling factors and rates of sequestration and carbon flux. Numerous studies have shown that drought or drainage can unlock historically stored carbon, thus releasing more CO2 ¬ and dissolved organic carbon (Blodau et al. 2004; Furukawa et al. 2005; Von Arnold et al. 2005; Hirano et al. 2007), and such effects might last for decades (Fenner & Freeman 2011). The main driver of this process is the O2 introduced by drought or drainage, which will increase the activity of phenol oxidase, then accelerate the decomposition of phenol compounds, which is generally considered the "enzymatic latch" for carbon storage in peatlands (Freeman et al. 2001). However, our recent studies in southeastern peatlands along the coast of North Carolina have found that drought or drainage does not affect CO2 emission in some southern peatlands where the initial water level is below the ground surface (unsaturated peats), as polyphenol increases rather than decreases. Our results suggest that additional controlling factors, rather than anoxia exist

  14. Small-scale variability in peatland pore-water biogeochemistry, Hudson Bay Lowland, Canada.

    PubMed

    Ulanowski, T A; Branfireun, B A

    2013-06-01

    The Hudson Bay Lowland (HBL) of northern Ontario, Manitoba and Quebec, Canada is the second largest contiguous peatland complex in the world, currently containing more than half of Canada's soil carbon. Recent concerns about the ecohydrological impacts to these large northern peatlands resulting from climate change and resource extraction have catalyzed a resurgence in scientific research into this ecologically important region. However, the sheer size, heterogeneity and elaborate landscape arrangements of this ecosystem raise important questions concerning representative sampling of environmental media for chemical or physical characterization. To begin to quantify such variability, this study assessed the small-scale spatial (1m) and short temporal (21 day) variability of surface pore-water biogeochemistry (pH, dissolved organic carbon, and major ions) in a Sphagnum spp.-dominated, ombrotrophic raised bog, and a Carex spp.-dominated intermediate fen in the HBL. In general, pore-water pH and concentrations of dissolved solutes were similar to previously reported literature values from this region. However, systematic sampling revealed consistent statistically significant differences in pore-water chemistries between the bog and fen peatland types, and large within-site spatiotemporal variability. We found that microtopography in the bog was associated with consistent differences in most biogeochemical variables. Temporal changes in dissolved solute chemistry, particularly base cations (Na(+), Ca(2+) and Mg(2+)), were statistically significant in the intermediate fen, likely a result of a dynamic connection between surficial waters and mineral-rich deep groundwater. In both the bog and fen, concentrations of SO4(2-) showed considerable spatial variability, and a significant decrease in concentrations over the study period. The observed variability in peatland pore-water biogeochemistry over such small spatial and temporal scales suggests that under-sampling in

  15. SPRUCE: Spruce and Peatland Responses under Climatic and Environmental Change

    DOE Data Explorer

    SPRUCE is an experiment to assess the response of northern peatland ecosystems to increases in temperature and exposures to elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations. It is the primary component of the Terrestrial Ecosystem Science Scientific Focus Area of ORNL's Climate Change Program, focused on terrestrial ecosystems and the mechanisms that underlie their responses to climatic change. The experimental work is to be conducted in a Picea mariana [black spruce] - Sphagnum spp. bog forest in northern Minnesota, 40 km north of Grand Rapids, in the USDA Forest Service Marcell Experimental Forest (MEF). The site is located at the southern margin of the boreal peatland forest. It is an ecosystem considered especially vulnerable to climate change, and anticipated to be near its tipping point with respect to climate change. Responses to warming and interactions with increased atmospheric CO2 concentration are anticipated to have important feedbacks on the atmosphere and climate, because of the high carbon stocks harbored by such ecosystems.[copied from http://mnspruce.ornl.gov/] While some data files are restricted to access by project members only, others are available for public download now, even as research is being actively conducted.

  16. Regional variation in the biogeochemical and physical characteristics of natural peatland pools.

    PubMed

    Turner, T Edward; Billett, Michael F; Baird, Andy J; Chapman, Pippa J; Dinsmore, Kerry J; Holden, Joseph

    2016-03-01

    Natural open-water pools are a common feature of northern peatlands and are known to be an important source of atmospheric methane (CH4). Pool environmental variables, particularly water chemistry, vegetation community and physical characteristics, have the potential to exert strong controls on carbon cycling in pools. A total of 66 peatland pools were studied across three regions of the UK (northern Scotland, south-west Scotland, and Northern Ireland). We found that within-region variability of pool water chemistry was low; however, for many pool variables measured there were significant differences between regions. PCA analysis showed that pools in SW Scotland were strongly associated with greater vegetative cover and shallower water depth which is likely to increase dissolved organic carbon (DOC) mineralisation rates, whereas pools in N Scotland were more open and deeper. Pool water DOC, particulate organic carbon and dissolved CH4 concentrations were significantly different between regions. Pools in Northern Ireland had the highest concentrations of DOC (mean=14.5 mg L(-1)) and CH4 (mean=20.6 μg C L(-1)). Chloride and sulphate concentrations were significantly higher in the pools in N Scotland (mean values 26.3 and 2.40 mg L(-1), respectively) than elsewhere, due to a stronger marine influence. The ratio of UV absorbance at 465 nm to absorbance at 665 nm for pools in Northern Ireland indicated that DOC was sourced from poorly humified peat, potentially increasing the bioavailability and mineralisation of organic carbon in pools compared to the pools elsewhere. This study, which specifically aims to address a lack of basic biogeochemical knowledge about pool water chemistry, clearly shows that peatland pools are highly regionally variable. This is likely to be a reflection of significant regional-scale differences in peatland C cycling.

  17. Vulnerability of North American Boreal Peatlands to Interactions between Climate, Hydrology, and Wildland Fires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bourgeau-Chavez, L. L.; Jenkins, L. K.; Kasischke, E. S.; Turetsky, M.; Benscoter, B.; Banda, E. J.; Boren, E. J.; Endres, S. L.; Billmire, M.

    2013-12-01

    North American boreal peatland sites of Alaska, Alberta Canada, and the southern limit of the boreal ecoregion (Michigan's Upper Peninsula) are the focus of an ongoing project to better understand the fire weather, hydrology, and climatic controls on boreal peatland fires. The overall goal of the research project is to reduce uncertainties of the role of northern high latitude ecosystems in the global carbon cycle and to improve carbon emission estimates from boreal fires. Boreal peatlands store tremendous reservoirs of soil carbon that are likely to become increasingly vulnerable to fire as climate change lowers water tables and exposes C-rich peat to burning. Increasing fire activity in peatlands could cause these ecosystems to become net sources of C to the atmosphere, which is likely to have large influences on atmospheric carbon concentrations through positive feedbacks that enhance climate warming. Remote sensing is key to monitoring, understanding and quantifying changes occurring in boreal peatlands. Remote sensing methods are being developed to: 1) map and classify peatland cover types; 2) characterize seasonal and inter-annual variations in the moisture content of surface peat (fuel) layers; 3) map the extent and seasonal timing of fires in peatlands; and 4) discriminate different levels of fuel consumption/burn severity in peat fires. A hybrid radar and optical infrared methodology has been developed to map peatland types (bog vs. fen) and level of biomass (open herbaceous, shrubby, forested). This methodology relies on multi-season data to detect phenological changes in hydrology which characterize the different ecosystem types. Landsat data are being used to discriminate burn severity classes in the peatland types using standard dNBR methods as well as individual bands. Cross referencing the peatland maps and burn severity maps will allow for assessment of the distribution of upland and peatland ecosystems affected by fire and quantitative analysis of

  18. Modeling streamflow response from Minnesota peatlands

    SciTech Connect

    Guertin, D.P.

    1984-01-01

    To aid in the development of Minnesota's 7 million acres of peatlands, and to evaluate the hydrologic impacts and reclamation options associated with such development, a Peatland Hydrologic Impact Model (PHIM) was devised. PHIM is a deterministic, continuous simulation model designed to simulate streamflow resulting from rainfall and snowmelt under both natural and altered (mined) conditions. It is largely physically based and requires watershed information and hydrometeorological data that are usually available in an operational setting. PHIM can provide both daily and hourly estimates of streamflow, PHIM consists of 5 submodels, 3 land type submodels for natural peatlands, mined peatlands and mineral soil uplands and 2 routing submodels for channel reaches and reservoirs. Streamflow from headwater peatland watersheds can be simulated by combining the submodels in the order that best describes the basin. The model was tested on the basis of stormflow events form a 3758 ha undisturbed peatland and a 155 ha peatland that had undergone ditching and peat mining for horticultural purposes. Simulated streamflow volumes averaged 86 and 91% of observed volumes for the undisturbed and mined area, respectively. Peat discharges were simulated within 84 and 65% of observed values, respectively.

  19. Water repellency diminishes peatland evaporation after wildfire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kettridge, Nick; Lukenbach, Max; Hokanson, Kelly; Devito, Kevin; Hopkinson, Chris; Petrone, Rich; Mendoza, Carl; Waddington, Mike

    2016-04-01

    Peatlands are a critically important global carbon reserve. There is increasing concern that such ecosystems are vulnerable to projected increases in wildfire severity under a changing climate. Severe fires may exceed peatland ecological resilience resulting in the long term degradation of this carbon store. Evaporation provides the primary mechanisms of water loss from such environments and can regulate the ecological stress in the initial years after wildfire. We examine variations in evaporation within burned peatlands after wildfire through small scale chamber and large scale remote sensing measurements. We show that near-surface water repellency limits peatland evaporation in these initial years post fire. Water repellent peat produced by the fire restricts the supply of water to the surface, reducing evaporation and providing a strong negative feedback to disturbance. This previously unidentified feedback operates at the landscape scale. High surface temperatures that result from large reductions in evaporation within water repellent peat are observed across the 60,000 ha burn scar three months after the wildfire. This promotes high water table positions at a landscape scale which limit the rate of peat decomposition and supports the post fire ecohydrological recovery of the peatlands. However, severe burns are shown to exceed this negative feedback response. Deep burns at the peatland margins remove the hydrophobic layer, increasing post fire evaporation and leaving the peatland vulnerable to drying and associated ecological shifts.

  20. Water repellency diminishes peatland evaporation after wildfire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kettridge, N.; Lukenbach, M.; Hokanson, K. J.; Devito, K. J.; Petrone, R. M.; Hopkinson, C.; Waddington, J. M.

    2015-12-01

    Peatlands are a critically important global carbon reserve. There is increasing concern that such ecosystems are vulnerable to projected increases in wildfire severity under a changing climate. Severe fires may exceed peatland ecological resilience resulting in the long term degradation of this carbon store. Evaporation provides the primary mechanisms of water loss from such environments and can regulate the ecological stress in the initial years after wildfire. We examine variations in evaporation within burned peatlands after wildfire through small scale chamber and large scale remote sensing measurements. We show that near-surface water repellency limits peatland evaporation in these initial years post fire. Water repellent peat produced by the fire restricts the supply of water to the surface, reducing evaporation and providing a strong negative feedback to disturbance. This previously unidentified feedback operates at the landscape scale. High surface temperatures that result from large reductions in evaporation within water repellent peat are observed across the 60,000 ha burn scar three months after the wildfire. This large scale reduction in evaporation promotes high water table positions at a landscape scale which limits the rate of peat decomposition and supports the post fire ecohydrological recovery of the peatlands. However, severe burns are shown to exceed this negative feedback response. Deep burns at the peatland margins remove the hydrophobic layer, increasing post fire evaporation and leaving the peatland vulnerable to drying and associated ecological shifts.

  1. Methanotrophy induces nitrogen fixation during peatland development.

    PubMed

    Larmola, Tuula; Leppänen, Sanna M; Tuittila, Eeva-Stiina; Aarva, Maija; Merilä, Päivi; Fritze, Hannu; Tiirola, Marja

    2014-01-14

    Nitrogen (N) accumulation rates in peatland ecosystems indicate significant biological atmospheric N2 fixation associated with Sphagnum mosses. Here, we show that the linkage between methanotrophic carbon cycling and N2 fixation may constitute an important mechanism in the rapid accumulation of N during the primary succession of peatlands. In our experimental stable isotope enrichment study, previously overlooked methane-induced N2 fixation explained more than one-third of the new N input in the younger peatland stages, where the highest N2 fixation rates and highest methane oxidation activities co-occurred in the water-submerged moss vegetation.

  2. Methanotrophy induces nitrogen fixation during peatland development

    PubMed Central

    Larmola, Tuula; Leppänen, Sanna M.; Tuittila, Eeva-Stiina; Aarva, Maija; Merilä, Päivi; Fritze, Hannu; Tiirola, Marja

    2014-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) accumulation rates in peatland ecosystems indicate significant biological atmospheric N2 fixation associated with Sphagnum mosses. Here, we show that the linkage between methanotrophic carbon cycling and N2 fixation may constitute an important mechanism in the rapid accumulation of N during the primary succession of peatlands. In our experimental stable isotope enrichment study, previously overlooked methane-induced N2 fixation explained more than one-third of the new N input in the younger peatland stages, where the highest N2 fixation rates and highest methane oxidation activities co-occurred in the water-submerged moss vegetation. PMID:24379382

  3. Reconstructing the History of Lake of the Woods, Minnesota, a Remnant of Lake Agassiz

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hougardy, D.; Wattrus, N. J.; Colman, S. M.; Edlund, M.

    2012-12-01

    Seismic-reflection data collected from Lake of the Woods (LOW), Minnesota, reveal a detailed sequence of stratigraphy penetrating to depths of as much as 18 m below the present day lake floor. Initial analysis suggests three main seismic sequences, corresponding to (1) 3-4 m of massive Holocene LOW sediment overlying (2) 10-15 m of highly laminated Lake Agassiz sediment which is draped over (3) highly irregular glacial deposits. The stratigraphic changes are likely due to large changes in the water storage after the Last Glacial Maximum, and the following scenario is hypothesized. Irregular deposition of glacial materials represents the retreat of the Laurentide Ice Sheet (LIS) from this location ~12 cal ka BP. The various ridges observed may represent calving margins of the retreating ice-sheet that deposited large quantities of poorly sorted till and outwash. Upon the retreat of the LIS, the proglacial Lake Agassiz formed in front of the ice-sheet, its location and size constrained by the location of the ice margin and the elevation of available outlets. Following the final drainage of Lake Agassiz (~8.2 cal ka BP), the southern basin of LOW became subaerially exposed, forming paleosols in the sediment record. Differential isostatic rebound following deglaciation resulted in the newly isolated LOW transgressing southward, inundating the subaerially exposed lakebed and eventually reaching its present day position.

  4. Methane production in Minnesota peatlands

    SciTech Connect

    Williams, R.T.; Crawford, R.L.

    1984-06-01

    Rates of methane production in Minnesota peats were studied. Surface (10- to 25-cm) peats produced an average of 228 nmol of CH/sub 4/ per g (dry weight) per h at 25/sup 0/C and ambient pH. Methanogenesis rates generally decreased with depth in ombrotrophic peats, but on occasion were observed to rise within deeper layers of certain fen peats. Methane production was temperature dependent, increasing with increasing temperature (4 to 30/sup 0/C), except in peats from deeper layers. Maximal methanogenesis from these deeper regions occurred at 12/sup 0/C. Methane production rates were also pH dependent. Two peats with pHs of 3.8 and 4.3 had an optimum rate of methane production at pH 6.0. The addition to peat of glucose and H/sub 2/-CO/sub 2/ stimulated methanogenesis, whereas the addition of acetate inhibited methanogenesis. Cysteine-sulfide, nitrogen-phosphorus-trace metals, and vitamins-yeast extract affected methane production very little. Various gases were found to be trapped or dissolved (or both) within peatland waters. Dissolved methane increased linearly to a depth of 210 cm. The accumulation of metabolic end products produced within peat bogs appears to be an important mechanism limiting turnover in peatland environments.

  5. Bacterial production in subarctic peatland lakes enriched by thawing permafrost

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deshpande, Bethany N.; Crevecoeur, Sophie; Matveev, Alex; Vincent, Warwick F.

    2016-08-01

    Peatlands extend over vast areas of the northern landscape. Within some of these areas, lakes and ponds are changing in size as a result of permafrost thawing and erosion, resulting in mobilization of the carbon-rich peatland soils. Our aims in the present study were to characterize the particle, carbon and nutrient regime of a set of thermokarst (thaw) lakes and their adjacent peatland permafrost soils in a rapidly degrading landscape in subarctic Québec, Canada, and by way of fluorescence microscopy, flow cytometry, production measurements and an in situ enrichment experiment, determine the bacterial characteristics of these waters relative to other thaw lakes and rock-basin lakes in the region. The soil active layer in a degrading palsa (peatland permafrost mound) adjacent to one of the lakes contained an elevated carbon content (51 % of dry weight), high C : N ratios (17 : 1 by mass), and large stocks of other elements including N (3 % of dry weight), Fe (0.6 %), S (0.5 %), Ca (0.5 %) and P (0.05 %). Two permafrost cores were obtained to a depth of 2.77 m in the palsa, and computerized tomography scans of the cores confirmed that they contained high concentrations (> 80 %) of ice. Upon thawing, the cores released nitrate and dissolved organic carbon (from all core depths sampled), and soluble reactive phosphorus (from bottom depths), at concentrations well above those in the adjacent lake waters. The active layer soil showed a range of particle sizes with a peak at 229 µm, and this was similar to the distribution of particles in the upper permafrost cores. The particle spectrum for the lake water overlapped with those for the soil, but extended to larger (surface water) or finer (bottom water) particles. On average, more than 50 % of the bacterial cells and bacterial production was associated with particles > 3 µm. This relatively low contribution of free-living cells (operationally defined as the < 1 µm fraction) to bacterial production was a general

  6. Paludiculture as a chance for peatland and climate: the greenhouse gas balance of biomass production on two rewetted peatlands does not differ from the natural state

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Günther, Anke; Huth, Vytas; Jurasinski, Gerald; Albrecht, Kerstin; Glatzel, Stephan

    2015-04-01

    In Europe, rising prices for farm land make it increasingly difficult for government administrations to compete with external investors during the acquisition of land for wetland conservation. Thus, adding economic value to these, otherwise "lost", areas by combining extensive land use with nature conservation efforts could increase the amount of ground available for wetland restoration. Against this background, the concept of paludiculture aims to provide biomass for multiple purposes from peatlands with water tables high enough to conserve the peat body. However, as plants have been shown to contribute to greenhouse gas exchange in peatlands, manipulating the vegetation (by harvesting, sowing etc.) might alter the effect of the restored peatlands on climate. Here, we present greenhouse gas data from two experimental paludiculture systems on formerly drained intensive grasslands in northern Germany. In a fen that has been rewetted more than 15 years ago three species of reed plants were harvested to simulate biomass production for bioenergy and as construction material. And in a peat bog that has been converted from drained grassland to a field with a controlled water table around ground surface Sphagnum mosses were cultivated to provide an alternative growing substrate for horticulture. In both systems, we determined carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide exchange using closed chambers over two years. Additionally, water and peat chemistry and environmental parameters as recorded by a weather station were analyzed. Both restored peatlands show greenhouse gas balances comparable to those of natural ecosystems. Nitrous oxide was not emitted in either system. Fluctuations of the emissions reflect changes in weather conditions across the study years. In the fen, relative emission patterns between plant species were not constant over time. We did not find a negative short-term effect of biomass harvest or Sphagnum cultivation on net greenhouse gas balances

  7. Peatland microbial communities and decomposition processes in the james bay lowlands, Canada.

    PubMed

    Preston, Michael D; Smemo, Kurt A; McLaughlin, James W; Basiliko, Nathan

    2012-01-01

    Northern peatlands are a large repository of atmospheric carbon due to an imbalance between primary production by plants and microbial decomposition. The James Bay Lowlands (JBL) of northern Ontario are a large peatland-complex but remain relatively unstudied. Climate change models predict the region will experience warmer and drier conditions, potentially altering plant community composition, and shifting the region from a long-term carbon sink to a source. We collected a peat core from two geographically separated (ca. 200 km) ombrotrophic peatlands (Victor and Kinoje Bogs) and one minerotrophic peatland (Victor Fen) located near Victor Bog within the JBL. We characterized (i) archaeal, bacterial, and fungal community structure with terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism of ribosomal DNA, (ii) estimated microbial activity using community level physiological profiling and extracellular enzymes activities, and (iii) the aeration and temperature dependence of carbon mineralization at three depths (0-10, 50-60, and 100-110 cm) from each site. Similar dominant microbial taxa were observed at all three peatlands despite differences in nutrient content and substrate quality. In contrast, we observed differences in basal respiration, enzyme activity, and the magnitude of substrate utilization, which were all generally higher at Victor Fen and similar between the two bogs. However, there was no preferential mineralization of carbon substrates between the bogs and fens. Microbial community composition did not correlate with measures of microbial activity but pH was a strong predictor of activity across all sites and depths. Increased peat temperature and aeration stimulated CO(2) production but this did not correlate with a change in enzyme activities. Potential microbial activity in the JBL appears to be influenced by the quality of the peat substrate and the presence of microbial inhibitors, which suggests the existing peat substrate will have a large

  8. Peatland Microbial Communities and Decomposition Processes in the James Bay Lowlands, Canada

    PubMed Central

    Preston, Michael D.; Smemo, Kurt A.; McLaughlin, James W.; Basiliko, Nathan

    2012-01-01

    Northern peatlands are a large repository of atmospheric carbon due to an imbalance between primary production by plants and microbial decomposition. The James Bay Lowlands (JBL) of northern Ontario are a large peatland-complex but remain relatively unstudied. Climate change models predict the region will experience warmer and drier conditions, potentially altering plant community composition, and shifting the region from a long-term carbon sink to a source. We collected a peat core from two geographically separated (ca. 200 km) ombrotrophic peatlands (Victor and Kinoje Bogs) and one minerotrophic peatland (Victor Fen) located near Victor Bog within the JBL. We characterized (i) archaeal, bacterial, and fungal community structure with terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism of ribosomal DNA, (ii) estimated microbial activity using community level physiological profiling and extracellular enzymes activities, and (iii) the aeration and temperature dependence of carbon mineralization at three depths (0–10, 50–60, and 100–110 cm) from each site. Similar dominant microbial taxa were observed at all three peatlands despite differences in nutrient content and substrate quality. In contrast, we observed differences in basal respiration, enzyme activity, and the magnitude of substrate utilization, which were all generally higher at Victor Fen and similar between the two bogs. However, there was no preferential mineralization of carbon substrates between the bogs and fens. Microbial community composition did not correlate with measures of microbial activity but pH was a strong predictor of activity across all sites and depths. Increased peat temperature and aeration stimulated CO2 production but this did not correlate with a change in enzyme activities. Potential microbial activity in the JBL appears to be influenced by the quality of the peat substrate and the presence of microbial inhibitors, which suggests the existing peat substrate will have a large

  9. Modelling Holocene peatland and permafrost dynamics with the LPJ-GUESS dynamic vegetation model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chaudhary, Nitin; Miller, Paul A.; Smith, Benjamin

    2016-04-01

    Dynamic global vegetation models (DGVMs) are an important platform to study past, present and future vegetation patterns together with associated biogeochemical cycles and climate feedbacks (e.g. Sitch et al. 2008, Smith et al. 2001). However, very few attempts have been made to simulate peatlands using DGVMs (Kleinen et al. 2012, Tang et al. 2015, Wania et al. 2009a). In the present study, we have improved the peatland dynamics in the state-of-the-art dynamic vegetation model (LPJ-GUESS) in order to understand the long-term evolution of northern peatland ecosystems and to assess the effect of changing climate on peatland carbon balance. We combined a dynamic multi-layer approach (Frolking et al. 2010, Hilbert et al. 2000) with soil freezing-thawing functionality (Ekici et al. 2015, Wania et al. 2009a) in LPJ-GUESS. The new model is named LPJ-GUESS Peatland (LPJ-GUESS-P) (Chaudhary et al. in prep). The model was calibrated and tested at the sub-arctic mire in Stordalen, Sweden, and the model was able to capture the reported long-term vegetation dynamics and peat accumulation patterns in the mire (Kokfelt et al. 2010). For evaluation, the model was run at 13 grid points across a north to south transect in Europe. The modelled peat accumulation values were found to be consistent with the published data for each grid point (Loisel et al. 2014). Finally, a series of additional experiments were carried out to investigate the vulnerability of high-latitude peatlands to climate change. We find that the Stordalen mire will sequester more carbon in the future due to milder and wetter climate conditions, longer growing seasons, and the carbon fertilization effect. References: - Chaudhary et al. (in prep.). Modelling Holocene peatland and permafrost dynamics with the LPJ-GUESS dynamic vegetation model - Ekici A, et al. 2015. Site-level model intercomparison of high latitude and high altitude soil thermal dynamics in tundra and barren landscapes. The Cryosphere 9: 1343

  10. Plant phenology and composition controls of carbon fluxes in a boreal peatland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peichl, Matthias; Gažovič, Michal; Vermeij, Ilse; De Goede, Eefje; Sonnentag, Oliver; Limpens, Juul; Nilsson, Mats B.

    2016-04-01

    Vegetation drives the peatland carbon (C) cycle via the processes of photosynthesis, plant respiration and decomposition as well as by providing substrate for methane (CH4) and dissolved organic carbon production. However, due to the lack of comprehensive vegetation data, variations in the peatland C fluxes are commonly related to temperature and other more easily measured abiotic (i.e. weather and soil) variables. Due to the temporal co-linearity between plant development and abiotic variables, these relationships may describe the variations in C fluxes reasonably well, however, without representing the true mechanistic processes driving the peatland C cycle. As a consequence, current process-based models are poorly parameterized and unable to adequately predict the responses of the peatland C cycle to climate change, extreme events and anthropogenic impacts. To fill this knowledge gap, we explored vegetation phenology and composition effects on the peatland C cycle at the Degerö peatland located in northern Sweden. We used a greenness index derived from digital repeat photography to quantitatively describe plant canopy development with high temporal (i.e. daily) and spatial (plot to ecosystem) resolution. In addition, eddy covariance and static chamber measurements of carbon dioxide (CO2) and CH4 fluxes over an array of vegetation manipulation plots were conducted over multiple years. Our results suggest that vascular plant phenology controls the onset and pattern of eddy covariance-derived gross primary production (GPP) during the spring period, while abiotic conditions modify GPP during the summer period when plant canopy cover is fully developed. Inter-annual variations in the spring onset and patterns of plant canopy development were best explained by differences in the preceding growing degree day sum. We also observed strong correlations of canopy greenness with the net ecosystem CO2 exchange and ecosystem respiration. On average, vascular plant and moss

  11. Isotopic composition of Lake Agassiz-Ojibway water just prior to final drainage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hillaire-Marcel, C.; Helie, J.; McKay, J.; Lalonde, A.

    2006-12-01

    Controversies persist with respect to the impact of the final drainage of Lake Agassiz-Ojibway on the thermohaline circulation of the North Atlantic, some 8.4 ka ago. The lack of response of planktic foraminifer isotope records, off Hudson Strait (i.e., at the outlet of the drainage channel) constitutes one of the most puzzling elements in this debate. However, data on the isotopic composition of drainage waters are needed to estimate the response of the 18-O-salinity relationship in NW Atlantic surface waters. In the literature, a large array of isotopic compositions have been suggested, notably for modeling experiment purposes. Scattered information about the isotopic composition of Lake Agassiz water does exist. It includes isotopic measurements of pore waters of lacustrine sediments [1], analyses of oxygen isotopes in cellulose from algal or plant remains [2], and stable isotope compositions of concretions from varves [3]. Whereas, relatively low oxygen isotope values (apx. -25 per mil vs. VSMOW) are inferred for Lake Agassiz waters during cold pulses of the deglaciation, most data suggest much higher values during the final stages of Lake Agassiz-Ojiway, just prior to its drainage. Calcareous concretions from Lake Ojibway varves (not necessarily contemporaneous to the lacustrine stage) yielded oxygen isotope compositions of about -10 per mil (vs. VPDB), suggesting values as high as -14 per mil (vs. VSMOW) for pore waters (assuming a 0-4 degrees C temperature range). Similar high values (as high as -8 per mil vs. VSMOW [1]) were also estimated from pore water analyses of contemporaneous Lake Agassiz sediments. Here, we used a core raised from Eastern Hudson Bay, off Great Whale River, to further document isotopic compositions of the lake waters prior to their drainage into the North Atlantic. The 7.40 m long core has an apx. 1.3 m-thick lacustrine layer at its base, including the drainage sub- layer. It is overlain by Tyrrell Sea clays. Scarce valves of Candona

  12. Simulating groundwater-peatland interactions in depression and slope peatlands in southern Quebec (Canada)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larocque, M.; Quillet, A.; Paniconi, C.

    2013-12-01

    It is crucial to understand hydrogeological interactions between aquifers and peatlands in order to grasp the influence of aquifers in peatland water budgets, to understand the role of groundwater in the evolution or organic matter deposition, and to quantify how a peatland can sustain groundwater levels in a superficial aquifer. These questions have rarely been addressed in literature and there is currently no understanding of which process dominates aquifer-peatland exchanges in different geomorphological settings. The main purpose of the study was to use groundwater flow modeling to answer these questions in two contrasted geological contexts of southern Quebec (Canada). During a three-year study, six peatlands have been instrumented in the Becancour (Centre-du-Quebec) and Amos (Abitibi-Temiscamingue) regions of southern Quebec (Canada). At each site, either one or two transects of six piezometer nests (at 1.20 m depth in the organic deposits and in the mineral deposits below the peat) have been installed, for a total of twelve aquifer-peatland transects of approximately 500 m. The stratigraphy and geometry of the peatland-aquifer system, as well as the hydrodynamic properties of the organic and mineral deposits have been measured at all sites. Groundwater levels have been recorded from autumn 2010 to summer 2012. The Becancour peatlands have developed in depressions while the Amos peatlands have developed through the paludification of esker slopes. The maximum peat thickness measured in the Bécancour peatlands is 6.4 m while it is 4.5 m in the Amos region. In both regions, peatlands are fringed by sandy deposits that extend at least partly under the organic deposits. The thickness of these underlying deposits is not well defined, but available data suggests a metric scale thickness in areas close to the adjacent superficial aquifer. Field data is used to create 2D numerical models in Modflow to simulate flow between the shallow groundwater and the peatland on

  13. The Tintah-Campbell gap and implications for glacial Lake Agassiz drainage during the Younger Dryas cold interval

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Breckenridge, Andy

    2015-06-01

    Reconstructions of glacial Lake Agassiz paleogeography and drainage have been an important contribution to formulating a hypothesis in which glacial Lake Agassiz drainage to the Atlantic Ocean initiated the Younger Dryas cold interval. This study evaluates the lake level and outlet history of Lake Agassiz as recorded by strandlines visible on lidar digital elevation models from North Dakota and Minnesota. The former lake levels are warped due to glacial isostatic adjustment. Older levels have experienced more uplift and therefore have more curvature. The strandline data establish that the Moorhead lowstand of Lake Agassiz was bracketed by the strongly diverging Campbell and Tintah lake levels, which creates a vertical gap between the former lake levels. This gap exists due to a lake level drop of ˜90 m when the Laurentide Ice Sheet retreat opened a lower outlet, which must have been a northwest outlet to the Arctic Ocean. By applying an exponential decay rebound model, this event dates to 12,180 ± 480 cal yr BP, post-dating the beginning of the Younger Dryas at 12,900 cal yr BP. Eastern drainage outlets to the Atlantic Ocean through the Laurentian Great Lakes that were contemporaneous with the onset of the Younger Dryas cannot be ruled out, but if these outlets existed, their duration of occupation was short-lived and not characterized by significant drawdown events within glacial Lake Agassiz.

  14. Responsible management of peatlands in Canada, from peat industry to oil sands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rochefort, Line

    2013-04-01

    Canada harbors one third of the peat resources of the world. Peat is an accumulated organic matter composed of dead and partly decomposed plant material, forming huge deposit through time in wetlands like peatlands and boreal coniferous swamps. Peat is a valuable resource as a growing media and soil amendments, an eco-friendly absorbent, also used as biofilters, for body care and for wastewater treatment. Peatlands also offer valuable ecological services : for example, they are the most efficient terrestrial ecosystem to store carbon on a long-term basis. Their ability to "cool off" the planet warrants a good look at their management. The horticultural peat industry of Canada has invested 22 years in R&D in habitat restoration and is now a strong leader in managing industrial peatlands in a sustainable way. The oil sand industry, which is strongly impacting the wetland landscapes of northern Canada, does realize that it has to reduce its ecological footprint, which is heavily criticized around the world. Decommissioned open mines near Fort McMurray have already begun recreating peatland ecosystems, and some restoration attempts of former oil pads are underway in the Peace River region. But the restoration of the largely disturbed wetland landscape of the oil sands is commanding innovative solutions.

  15. Impact of peatland drainage and restoration on esker groundwater resources: modeling future scenarios for management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rossi, Pekka M.; Ala-aho, Pertti; Doherty, John; Kløve, Bjørn

    2014-08-01

    Esker aquifers are common groundwater bodies in Europe. Management of these aquifers should take account of the sustainability of groundwater-dependent ecosystems and land use in an integrated way. An unconfined esker aquifer in northern Finland was modelled with MODFLOW to determine how groundwater resources are impacted by the surrounding peatland drainage scheme and to simulate scenarios for possible drainage restoration. The impacts of groundwater abstraction and climate change were also simulated. A calibration-constrained Monte Carlo method was used to provide information on the uncertainties associated with model predictions. The results suggest that peatland drainage in the vicinity of eskers can have a significant role in lowering the water table, even though climate variability may mask these impacts. Drainage restoration by filling the ditches might have positive impacts on the aquifer water levels. Comparison of water-table changes caused by peatland drainage with the changes brought by water abstraction and climate variability helped to quantify impacts of different land-use scenarios and facilitated discussion with the local stakeholders. Based on this study, more attention should be devoted to peatland drainage schemes in integrated groundwater management of esker aquifers.

  16. Management of sediment and erosion processes in boreal headwaters affected by peatland drainage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marttila, H.; Tammela, S.; Kløve, B.

    2009-04-01

    Peatland drainage for forestry, agriculture, peat harvesting and urban infrastructure has been altered landscape in Finland. Pristine peatlands and headwaters provide important hydrological and ecological functions that can be lost after drainage. The drainage has resulted in increase of forest resources but also negative environmental effects including changes in runoffs, erosion processes, siltation and eutrophication. The changes that can occur after drainage are, however, complex and must be better understood if the negative impacts of drainage are to be reduced or prevented. Especially erosion and transport processes of organic peat sediment are not well understood (Marttila and Kløve, 2008). Methods for controlling the sediment load include erosion and transport control practices in the catchment area (Marttila and Kløve, 2009; Tammela et al. 2009). The presentation/poster will present methods and preliminary results project from Northern Finland. The issues especially covered are sediment erosion and transport and methods to restore and reduce impacts of peatland drainage in boreal headwaters. Keywords: sediment transport, erosion, peatland drainage, organic and inorganic sediment, stream and catchment restoration, management, environment References: Marttila, H. and Kløve. B. 2008. Erosion and delivery of deposited peat sediment. Water Resources Research. 44 (6). Marttila, H. Kløve. B. 2009. Retention of sediment and nutrient loads with peak runoff control. Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering (in press). Tammela, S. Marttila, H. and Kløve. B. 2009. Effect and design of an underminer structure on flow distribution and local bed topography (submitted).

  17. Factors affecting re-vegetation dynamics of experimentally restored extracted peatland in Estonia.

    PubMed

    Karofeld, Edgar; Müür, Mari; Vellak, Kai

    2016-07-01

    Increasing human activity continues to threaten peatlands, and as the area of natural mires declines, our obligation is to restore their ecosystem functions. Several restoration strategies have been developed for restoration of extracted peatlands, including "The moss layer transfer method", which was initiated on the Tässi extracted peatland in central Estonia in May 2012. Three-year study shows that despite the fluctuating water table, rainfall events can compensate for the insufficient moisture for mosses. Total plant cover on the restoration area attained 70 %, of which ~60 % is comprised of target species-Sphagnum mosses. From restoration treatments, spreading of plant fragments had a significant positive effect on the cover of bryophyte and vascular plants. Higher water table combined with higher plant fragments spreading density and stripping of oxidised peat layer affected positively the cover of targeted Sphagnum species. The species composition in the restoration area became similar to that in the donor site in a natural bog. Based on results, it was concluded that the method approved for restoration in North America gives good results also in the restoration of extracted peatland towards re-establishment of bog vegetation under northern European conditions.

  18. River ecosystem response to prescribed vegetation burning on Blanket Peatland.

    PubMed

    Brown, Lee E; Johnston, Kerrylyn; Palmer, Sheila M; Aspray, Katie L; Holden, Joseph

    2013-01-01

    Catchment-scale land-use change is recognised as a major threat to aquatic biodiversity and ecosystem functioning globally. In the UK uplands rotational vegetation burning is practised widely to boost production of recreational game birds, and while some recent studies have suggested burning can alter river water quality there has been minimal attention paid to effects on aquatic biota. We studied ten rivers across the north of England between March 2010 and October 2011, five of which drained burned catchments and five from unburned catchments. There were significant effects of burning, season and their interaction on river macroinvertebrate communities, with rivers draining burned catchments having significantly lower taxonomic richness and Simpson's diversity. ANOSIM revealed a significant effect of burning on macroinvertebrate community composition, with typically reduced Ephemeroptera abundance and diversity and greater abundance of Chironomidae and Nemouridae. Grazer and collector-gatherer feeding groups were also significantly less abundant in rivers draining burned catchments. These biotic changes were associated with lower pH and higher Si, Mn, Fe and Al in burned systems. Vegetation burning on peatland therefore has effects beyond the terrestrial part of the system where the management intervention is being practiced. Similar responses of river macroinvertebrate communities have been observed in peatlands disturbed by forestry activity across northern Europe. Finally we found river ecosystem changes similar to those observed in studies of wild and prescribed forest fires across North America and South Africa, illustrating some potentially generic effects of fire on aquatic ecosystems.

  19. River Ecosystem Response to Prescribed Vegetation Burning on Blanket peatland

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Lee E.; Johnston, Kerrylyn; Palmer, Sheila M.; Aspray, Katie L.; Holden, Joseph

    2013-01-01

    Catchment-scale land-use change is recognised as a major threat to aquatic biodiversity and ecosystem functioning globally. In the UK uplands rotational vegetation burning is practised widely to boost production of recreational game birds, and while some recent studies have suggested burning can alter river water quality there has been minimal attention paid to effects on aquatic biota. We studied ten rivers across the north of England between March 2010 and October 2011, five of which drained burned catchments and five from unburned catchments. There were significant effects of burning, season and their interaction on river macroinvertebrate communities, with rivers draining burned catchments having significantly lower taxonomic richness and Simpson’s diversity. ANOSIM revealed a significant effect of burning on macroinvertebrate community composition, with typically reduced Ephemeroptera abundance and diversity and greater abundance of Chironomidae and Nemouridae. Grazer and collector-gatherer feeding groups were also significantly less abundant in rivers draining burned catchments. These biotic changes were associated with lower pH and higher Si, Mn, Fe and Al in burned systems. Vegetation burning on peatland therefore has effects beyond the terrestrial part of the system where the management intervention is being practiced. Similar responses of river macroinvertebrate communities have been observed in peatlands disturbed by forestry activity across northern Europe. Finally we found river ecosystem changes similar to those observed in studies of wild and prescribed forest fires across North America and South Africa, illustrating some potentially generic effects of fire on aquatic ecosystems. PMID:24278367

  20. Medium term ecohydrological response of peatland bryophytes to canopy disturbance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leonard, Rhoswen; Kettridge, Nick; Krause, Stefan; Devito, Kevin; Granath, Gustaf; Petrone, Richard; Mandoza, Carl; Waddington, James Micheal

    2016-04-01

    Canopy disturbance in northern forested peatlands is widespread. Canopy changes impact the ecohydrological function of moss and peat, which provide the principal carbon store within these carbon rich ecosystems. Different mosses have contrasting contributions to carbon and water fluxes (e.g. Sphagnum fuscum and Pleurozium schreberi) and are strongly influenced by canopy cover. As a result, changes in canopy cover lead to long-term shifts in species composition and associated ecohydrological function. Despite this, the medium-term response to such disturbance, the associated lag in this transition to a new ecohydrological and biogeochemical regime, is not understood. Here we investigate this medium term ecohydrological response to canopy removal using a randomised plot design within a north Albertan peatland. We show no significant ecohydrological change in treatment plots four years after canopy removal. Notably, Pleurozium schreberi and Sphagnum fuscum remained within respective plots post treatment and there was no significant difference in plot resistance to evapotranspiration or carbon exchange. Our results show that canopy removal alone has little impact on bryophyte ecohydrology in the short/medium term. This resistance to disturbance contrasts strongly with dramatic short-term changes observed within mineral soils suggesting that concurrent shifts in the large scale hydrology induced within such disturbances are necessary to cause rapid ecohydrological transitions. Understanding this lagged response is critical to determine the decadal response of carbon and water fluxes in response to disturbance and the rate at which important medium term ecohydrological feedbacks are invoked.

  1. Improving conceptual models of water and carbon transfer through peat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McKenzie, Jeffery M.; Siegel, Donald I.; Rosenberry, Donald O.; Baird, Andrew J.; Belyea, Lisa R.; Comas, Xavier; Reeve, A.S.; Slater, Lee D.

    2009-01-01

    Northern peatlands store 500 × 1015 g of organic carbon and are very sensitive to climate change. There is a strong conceptual model of sources, sinks, and pathways of carbon within peatlands, but challenges remain both in understanding the hydrogeology and the linkages between carbon cycling and peat pore water flow. In this chapter, research findings from the glacial Lake Agassiz peatlands are used to develop a conceptual framework for peatland hydrogeology and identify four challenges related to northern peatlands yet to be addressed: (1) develop a better understanding of the extent and net impact of climate-driven groundwater flushing in peatlands; (2) quantify the complexities of heterogeneity on pore water flow and, in particular, reconcile contradictions between peatland hydrogeologic interpretations and isotopic data; (3) understand the hydrogeologic implications of free-phase methane production, entrapment, and release in peatlands; and (4) quantify the impact of arctic and subarctic warming on peatland hydrogeology and its linkage to carbon cycling.

  2. Restoration of a mined peatland

    SciTech Connect

    Zolidis, N.R.

    1987-07-01

    A study of the hydrogeology of a 106 hectare mined peatland in southeastern Wisconsin was undertaken to determine hydroperiod, depth to water table and major source of water in order to plan for the restoration of sedge meadow, deepwater marsh and bog communities. A network of 20 surface stage posts, 21 shallow wells and 10 deeper piezometers was monitored to delineate groundwater and surface water elevations, and groundwater flowpaths. Results indicate that both groundwater recharge and discharge occur, however groundwater discharge is the major source of water. Depths to water table provide estimates of water level increases needed to ensure conditions favorable for desired wetland communities. Preliminary results suggest that changes in groundwater flowpaths may result from regulation of water levels, thus decreasing groundwater flow into the wetland.

  3. Carbon dynamics in peatland pool systems: the role of light

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pickard, Amy; Heal, Kate; McLeod, Andy; Dinsmore, Kerry

    2016-04-01

    Open-water pools are widespread in peatlands and are considered to represent biogeochemical hotspots within the peatland landscape. However the contribution of pool systems to wider peatland C cycling has not been quantified fully and there is a lack of knowledge of the role of photochemical processes in such environments. In this study, light exposure experiments were conducted in two contrasting pools to test the reactivity of aquatic C. The first study site was located at Cross Lochs (CL), Forsinard, in the Flow Country of Northern Scotland, in a 412 m2 pool characterised by low dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations (˜15 mg C L-1). The second site was located at Red Moss of Balerno (RM), a raised bog in central Scotland, in a 48 m2 pool with high DOC concentrations (˜35 mg C L-1). Experiments took place over 9 days in situ at each pool in mid-summer 2015, with 500 mL water samples contained in bags transparent to sunlight and in opaque control bags. After field exposure, optical, chemical and stable C isotope analyses were conducted on the samples. Significant differences in biogeochemical cycling of DOC were detected between the two systems, with DOC losses as a percentage of the total C pool 15% higher at RM than at CL after light exposure. The mean DOC concentration of light exposed samples at RM declined steeply initially, with 83% observed DOC degradation occurring by day 3 of the experiment. Total losses of 7.9 mg DOC L-1were observed in light exposed samples at RM, along with decreasing E4:E6 ratios, suggesting that material remaining at the end of the experiment was humified. Depletion of DOC was positively correlated with production of CO2 at both sites, with concentrations of up to 4.3 mg CO2-C L-1 recorded at RM. Stable C isotope signatures at both sites were altered under light treatment, as demonstrated by the production of enriched δ13C-DOC (+0.46 ‰ relative to opaque bags) and depleted δ13C-DIC (-0.97 ‰ relative to opaque bags) at

  4. Identification of Younger Dryas outburst flood path from Lake Agassiz to the Arctic Ocean.

    PubMed

    Murton, Julian B; Bateman, Mark D; Dallimore, Scott R; Teller, James T; Yang, Zhirong

    2010-04-01

    The melting Laurentide Ice Sheet discharged thousands of cubic kilometres of fresh water each year into surrounding oceans, at times suppressing the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation and triggering abrupt climate change. Understanding the physical mechanisms leading to events such as the Younger Dryas cold interval requires identification of the paths and timing of the freshwater discharges. Although Broecker et al. hypothesized in 1989 that an outburst from glacial Lake Agassiz triggered the Younger Dryas, specific evidence has so far proved elusive, leading Broecker to conclude in 2006 that "our inability to identify the path taken by the flood is disconcerting". Here we identify the missing flood path-evident from gravels and a regional erosion surface-running through the Mackenzie River system in the Canadian Arctic Coastal Plain. Our modelling of the isostatically adjusted surface in the upstream Fort McMurray region, and a slight revision of the ice margin at this time, allows Lake Agassiz to spill into the Mackenzie drainage basin. From optically stimulated luminescence dating we have determined the approximate age of this Mackenzie River flood into the Arctic Ocean to be shortly after 13,000 years ago, near the start of the Younger Dryas. We attribute to this flood a boulder terrace near Fort McMurray with calibrated radiocarbon dates of over 11,500 years ago. A large flood into the Arctic Ocean at the start of the Younger Dryas leads us to reject the widespread view that Agassiz overflow at this time was solely eastward into the North Atlantic Ocean.

  5. The Effects of Climate and Fire on Peatland Carbon Dynamics in Central and Eastern Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lesser, D.; Adams, C.; Westervelt, A.; Bourakovsky, A.; Hamley, C.; Hall, A.; Camill, P.; Umbanhowar, C. E., Jr.

    2014-12-01

    Carbon fluxes in subarctic peatlands could change significantly in response to high-latitude warming. To examine the sensitivity of peatland carbon storage to changes in regional climate, moisture, and disturbance, we measured carbon accumulation and peat characteristics in cores through the transition from the Holocene Thermal Maximum (HTM, ~6-4 ka cal. yr. BP) to the Neoglacial cooling (NGC, ~4-0 ka) as possible analogs to future climate change. We sampled six cores from northern Manitoba and seven cores across southeast Labrador, Canada. These regional contrasts permitted analysis of net moisture regimes on carbon accumulation. We used calibrated 14C dates, percent carbon, and bulk density measurements to determine long-term carbon accumulation rates for the Holocene. Areal charcoal concentrations were measured as a proxy for historic fire severity, which may mediate the climate-carbon accumulation relationship. Carbon accumulation rates in Labrador showed a clear increase of 29.6 ± 2.4 g C m-2 yr-1 during the local HTM and a subsequent decrease of 15.9 ± 2.9 g C m-2 yr-1 during the NGC indicating possible influence of regional temperature on carbon dynamics in eastern Canada. In contrast, the Manitoba peatlands did not show a clear relationship between climate and carbon accumulation. Fires were common and severe in Manitoba and often slowed sedimentation rate and C storage, but were rarely present in Labrador. Local variables, including peatland development and fire, may therefore play a larger role in controlling carbon accumulation in the continental interior. The results from these two subaratic regions complicate general hypotheses that high latitude peatlands will be either carbon sinks or sources in the upcoming decades.

  6. Rain events decrease boreal peatland net CO2 uptake through reduced light availability.

    PubMed

    Nijp, Jelmer J; Limpens, Juul; Metselaar, Klaas; Peichl, Matthias; Nilsson, Mats B; van der Zee, Sjoerd E A T M; Berendse, Frank

    2015-06-01

    Boreal peatlands store large amounts of carbon, reflecting their important role in the global carbon cycle. The short-term exchange and the long-term storage of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2 ) in these ecosystems are closely associated with the permanently wet surface conditions and are susceptible to drought. Especially, the single most important peat forming plant genus, Sphagnum, depends heavily on surface wetness for its primary production. Changes in rainfall patterns are expected to affect surface wetness, but how this transient rewetting affects net ecosystem exchange of CO2 (NEE) remains unknown. This study explores how the timing and characteristics of rain events during photosynthetic active periods, that is daytime, affect peatland NEE and whether rain event associated changes in environmental conditions modify this response (e.g. water table, radiation, vapour pressure deficit, temperature). We analysed an 11-year time series of half-hourly eddy covariance and meteorological measurements from Degerö Stormyr, a boreal peatland in northern Sweden. Our results show that daytime rain events systematically decreased the sink strength of peatlands for atmospheric CO2 . The decrease was best explained by rain associated reduction in light, rather than by rain characteristics or drought length. An average daytime growing season rain event reduced net ecosystem CO2 uptake by 0.23-0.54 gC m(-2) . On an annual basis, this reduction of net CO2 uptake corresponds to 24% of the annual net CO2 uptake (NEE) of the study site, equivalent to a 4.4% reduction of gross primary production (GPP) during the growing season. We conclude that reduced light availability associated with rain events is more important in explaining the NEE response to rain events than rain characteristics and changes in water availability. This suggests that peatland CO2 uptake is highly sensitive to changes in cloud cover formation and to altered rainfall regimes, a process hitherto largely

  7. Changes in vascular plant functional types drive carbon cycling in peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeh, Lilli; Bragazza, Luca; Erhagen, Björn; Limpens, Juul; Kalbitz, Karsten

    2016-04-01

    Northern peatlands store a large organic carbon (C) pool that is highly exposed to future environmental changes with consequent risk of releasing enormous amounts of C. Biotic changes in plant community structure and species abundance might have an even stronger impact on soil organic C dynamics in peatlands than the direct effects of abiotic changes. Therefore, a sound understanding of the impact of vegetation dynamics on C cycling will help to better predict the response of peatlands to environmental changes. Here, we aimed to assess the role of plant functional types (PFTs) in affecting peat decomposition in relation to climate warming. To this aim, we selected two peatlands at different altitude (i.e. 1300 and 1700 m asl) on the south-eastern Alps of Italy. The two sites represent a contrast in temperature, overall vascular plant biomass and relative ericoids abundance, with the highest biomass and ericoids occurrence at the low latitude. Within the sites we selected 20 plots of similar microtopographical position and general vegetation type (hummocks). All plots contained both graminoids and ericoids and had a 100% cover of Sphagnum mosses. The plots were subjected to four treatments (control, and three clipping treatments) in which we selectively removed aboveground biomass of ericoids, graminoids or both to explore the contribution of the different PFTs for soil respiration (n=5) and peat chemistry. Peat chemical composition was determined by the analysis of C and N and their stable isotopes in association with pyrolysis GC/MS. Soil respiration was measured after clipping with a Licor system. Preliminary findings suggest that peat decomposition pathway and rate depend on plant species composition and particularly on differences in root activity between PFTs. Finally, this study underlines the importance of biotic drivers to predict the effects of future environmental changes on peatland C cycling.

  8. (Model) Peatlands in late Quaternary interglacials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kleinen, Thomas; Brovkin, Victor

    2016-04-01

    Peatlands have accumulated a substantial amount of carbon, roughly 600 PgC, during the Holocene. Prior to the Holocene, there is relatively little direct evidence of peatlands, though coal deposits bear witness to a long history of peat-forming ecosystems going back to the Carboniferous. We therefore need to rely on models to investigate peatlands in times prior to the Holocene. We have developed a dynamical model of wetland extent and peat accumulation, integrated in the coupled climate carbon cycle model of intermediate complexity CLIMBER2-LPJ, in order to mechanistically model interglacial carbon cycle dynamics. This model consists of the climate model of intermediate complexity CLIMBER2 and the dynamic global vegetation model LPJ, which we have extended with modules to determine peatland extent and carbon accumulation. The model compares reasonably well to Holocene peat data. We have used this model to investigate the dynamics of atmospheric CO2 in the Holocene and two other late Quaternary interglacials, namely the Eemian, which is interesting due to its warmth, and Marine Isotope Stage 11 (MIS11), which is the longest interglacial during the last 500ka. We will also present model results of peatland extent and carbon accumulation for these interglacials. We will discuss model shortcomings and knowledge gaps currently preventing an application of the model to full glacial-interglacial cycles.

  9. Multidisciplinary approach to identify aquifer-peatland connectivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larocque, Marie; Pellerin, Stéphanie; Cloutier, Vincent; Ferlatte, Miryane; Munger, Julie; Quillet, Anne; Paniconi, Claudio

    2015-04-01

    In southern Quebec (Canada), wetlands sustain increasing pressures from agriculture, urban development, and peat exploitation. To protect both groundwater and ecosystems, it is important to be able to identify how, where, and to what extent shallow aquifers and wetlands are connected. This study focuses on peatlands which are especially abundant in Quebec. The objective of this research was to better understand aquifer-peatland connectivity and to identify easily measured indicators of this connectivity. Geomorphology, hydrogeochemistry, and vegetation were selected as key indicators of connectivity. Twelve peatland transects were instrumented and monitored in the Abitibi (slope peatlands associated with eskers) and Centre-du-Quebec (depression peatlands) regions of Quebec (Canada). Geomorphology, geology, water levels, water chemistry, and vegetation species were identified/measured on all transects. Flow conditions were simulated numerically on two typical transects. Results show that a majority of peatland transects receives groundwater from a shallow aquifer. In slope peatlands, groundwater flows through the organic deposits towards the peatland center. In depression peatlands, groundwater flows only 100-200 m within the peatland before being redirected through surface routes towards the outlet. Flow modeling and sensitivity analysis have identified that the thickness and hydraulic conductivity of permeable deposits close to the peatland and beneath the organic deposits influence flow directions within the peatland. Geochemical data have confirmed the usefulness of total dissolved solids (TDS) exceeding 14 mg/L as an indicator of the presence of groundwater within the peatland. Vegetation surveys have allowed the identification of species and groups of species that occur mostly when groundwater is present, for instance Carex limosa and Sphagnum russowii. Geomorphological conditions (slope or depression peatland), TDS, and vegetation can be measured

  10. Energy from peatlands: options and impacts - executive summary. [Report

    SciTech Connect

    Mundale, S.M.

    1981-01-01

    A nine-member panel reports on issues related to peatland development. The report analyzes options for using peatlands and reviews the potential economic, social, and environmental impacts of developing peatlands for energy. It examines the existing legal and regulatory framework governing Minnesota peatlands. The panel's recommendations are designed to assist lawmakers and other government officials in formulating public policy and to suggest ways that industry can use the state's peatland resource that will enhance the state's economy and energy position while minimizing detrimental effects. 2 figures.

  11. Discoloration of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) tape as a proxy for water-table depth in peatlands: validation and assessment of seasonal variability

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Booth, Robert K.; Hotchkiss, Sara C.; Wilcox, Douglas A.

    2005-01-01

    Summary: 1. Discoloration of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) tape has been used in peatland ecological and hydrological studies as an inexpensive way to monitor changes in water-table depth and reducing conditions. 2. We investigated the relationship between depth of PVC tape discoloration and measured water-table depth at monthly time steps during the growing season within nine kettle peatlands of northern Wisconsin. Our specific objectives were to: (1) determine if PVC discoloration is an accurate method of inferring water-table depth in Sphagnum-dominated kettle peatlands of the region; (2) assess seasonal variability in the accuracy of the method; and (3) determine if systematic differences in accuracy occurred among microhabitats, PVC tape colour and peatlands. 3. Our results indicated that PVC tape discoloration can be used to describe gradients of water-table depth in kettle peatlands. However, accuracy differed among the peatlands studied, and was systematically biased in early spring and late summer/autumn. Regardless of the month when the tape was installed, the highest elevations of PVC tape discoloration showed the strongest correlation with midsummer (around July) water-table depth and average water-table depth during the growing season. 4. The PVC tape discoloration method should be used cautiously when precise estimates are needed of seasonal changes in the water-table.

  12. Long-term macronutrient stoichiometry of UK ombrotrophic peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schillereff, Daniel; Boyle, John; Toberman, Hannah; Adams, Jessica; Tipping, Ed

    2016-04-01

    Ombrotrophic peatlands across northern latitudes represent a globally-important store for carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) through the Holocene. A key characteristic of ombrotrophic bogs is that N, P and other elements vital to their biogeochemical functioning are almost exclusively supplied by hydrological and biological inputs from the atmosphere. While different mechanisms regulating the atmospheric supply of N and P and their limiting effects on bog productivity have been widely studied, limited attention has been paid to the long-term patterns of, and controls on, macronutrient accumulation, cycling and stoichiometry in ombrotrophic peatlands. Indeed there is a dearth of C, N and P stoichiometric data from the UK despite decades of peatland research. Using data from 15 sites, we report the first estimates of millennial-scale macronutrient concentrations and accumulation rates in UK ombrotrophic peats. Carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations were measured on cores from five ombrotrophic blanket mires, spanning 4000-10000 years to present, and integrated with existing nutrient profiles from ten Scottish sites. Long-term C, N and P concentrations for the UK are 55.1, 1.55 and 0.037 wt%, similar to the few existing northern and tropical comparable sites worldwide. The uppermost peat (0 - 0.2 m) is more enriched in P and N (51.0, 1.86, and 0.070 wt%), while the deeper peat (0.5 - 1.25 m) is more depleted (56.6, 1.39, and 0.028 wt%). Long-term average (whole core) accumulation rates of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus are 25.3±2.2 gC m-2 yr-1, 0.70±0.09 gN m-2 yr-1 and 0.018±0.004 gP m-2 yr-1, again similar to values reported elsewhere in the world. A number of significant findings can be drawn from our results: i) N and P concentrations in ombrotrophic peat are strongly associated, such that a regression model of N concentration on P concentration and mean annual precipitation, based on global meta data for surface peat samples, can explain 54

  13. The role of sustained water table drawdown and wildfire on C emissions in boreal peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kotowska, A.; Turetsky, M. R.; Benscoter, B.

    2011-12-01

    Northern peatlands store up to 370 Pg C, or ~80% of boreal soil carbon (C). In general, peat accumulates where water table (WT) levels at or near the soil surface lead to high primary productivity and low rates of decomposition. However, increased evapotranspiration under warmer, drier conditions predicted for boreal peatlands under future climate change are expected to decrease seasonal WT levels and increase the potential for deep peat fires. The effects of long-term changes in hydrology on northern peatland vegetation and C cycling are not well understood, nor are the effects of wildfire on interactions between C cycling and peatland hydrology. The objective of this study was to examine the net effects of fire and long-term water table drawdown on CO2 and CH4 fluxes. We utilized a rich fen impacted by road construction in the early 1990's and a bog that experienced a severe fire 4 years prior to study initiation to examine drought and fire disturbances, respectively. We found that 20 years of sustained WT drawdown had no effect on understory net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2. However, WT drawdown did increase ecosystem respiration (ER) and gross primary productivity (GPP) relative to pristine plots. WT drawdown also altered the response of GPP to light availability and WT position, as well as the temperature sensitivity (Q10) of ER. Surprisingly, mean CH4 emissions did not change as a result of WT drawdown, though fewer ebullition events were observed in the drought plot. Four years post-fire, NEE was higher (net C sink) in the burned plot compared to the unburned (75 years since fire) plot. As expected, we found a negative relationship between ER and WT in the unburned plot, but this pattern was reversed in the burned plot, where ER was highest under relatively wet conditions. Despite lower plant cover in the burned plot, there were no differences in GPP between the sites, indicating high photosynthetic capacity in surviving and newly-colonizing vegetation

  14. The impact of high tephra loading on late-Holocene carbon accumulation and vegetation succession in peatland communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hughes, P. D. M.; Mallon, G.; Brown, A.; Essex, H. J.; Stanford, J. D.; Hotes, S.

    2013-05-01

    Peatlands are major terrestrial stores of carbon (C) of importance to the global climate system. Recent studies have made progress in understanding the climatic controls on the C cycle; however, important interactions between volcanic deposition and peatland C stores remain to be addressed. This study uses a 3000-year peatland record from northern Japan to examine the interactions between carbon accumulation, vegetation community succession and volcanic ash deposition. Plant macrofossil and testate amoebae records are presented alongside records of total organic carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous. Age-depth models are developed using a Bayesian approach, with seven AMS radiocarbon dates and two identified historical tephras from Baitoushan (AD 969 (981 cal. BP)), and Hokkaido-Komagatake (AD 1640 (310 cal. BP)) volcanoes. Results show that moderate to high tephra loading can shift peatland plant communities from Sphagnum to monocotyledon domination. This vegetation change is associated with increased peat humification and reduced carbon accumulation. Where tephra deposition and reworking has occurred, the apparent rate of carbon accumulation can be halved while high tephra loading of the mire surface is sustained. Sphagnum species vary in their tolerance to tephra deposition. After each ash fall Sphagnum magellanicum disappeared from the plant macrofossil record, whereas Sphagnum papillosum showed apparent continuity of development through the 1856 (94 cal. BP) Ko-c1 tephra. High rates of carbon accumulation (peaking at >100 g m-2 yr-1), 2-3 times faster than the average for northern peatlands, were recorded in the Sphagnum communities that established after the cessation of tephra deposition and reworking from the AD 969 Baitoushan ash fall (B-Tm tephra). This peak in C accumulation was coincident with a radical shift in mire nutrient cycling most probably caused by the interaction of S. magellanicum with leachates from the underlying tephras. The phase of high C

  15. Peatland Structural Controls on Spring Distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hare, D. K.; Boutt, D. F.; Hackman, A. M.; Davenport, G.

    2013-12-01

    The species richness of wetland ecosystems' are sustained by the presence of discrete groundwater discharge, or springs. Springs provide thermal refugia and a source of fresh water inflow crucial for survival of many wetland species. The subsurface drivers that control the spatial distribution of surficial springs throughout peatland complexes are poorly understood due to the many challenges peatlands pose for hydrologic characterization, such as the internal heterogeneities, soft, dynamic substrate, and low gradient of peat drainage. This has previously made it difficult to collect spatial data required for restoration projects that seek to support spring obligate and thermally stressed species such as trout. Tidmarsh Farms is a 577-acre site in Southeastern Massachusetts where 100+ years of cranberry farming has significantly altered the original peatland hydrodynamics and ecology. Farming practices such as the regular application of sand, straightening of the main channel, and addition of drainage ditches has strongly degraded this peatland ecosystem. Our research has overlain non-invasive geophysical, thermal, and water isotopic data from the Tidmarsh Farms peatland to provide a detailed visualization of how subsurface peat structure and spring patterns correlate. Ground penetrating radar (GPR) has proven particularly useful in characterizing internal peat structure and the mineral soil interface beneath peatlands, we interpolate the peatland basin at a large scale (1 km2) and compare this 3-D surface to the locations of springs on the peat platform. Springs, expressed as cold anomalies in summer and warm anomalies in winter, were specifically located by combining fiber-optic and infrared thermal surveys, utilizing the numerous relic agricultural drainage ditches as a sampling advantage. Isotopic signatures of the spring locations are used to distinguish local and regional discharge, differences that can be explained in part by the peat basin structure

  16. Anaerobic nitrite-dependent methane-oxidizing bacteria - novel participants in methane cycling of drained peatlands ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kravchenko, Irina; Sukhacheva, Marina; Menko, Ekaterina; Sirin, Andrey

    2014-05-01

    Northern peatlands are one of the key sources of atmospheric methane. Process-based studies of methane dynamic are based on the hypothesis of the balance between microbial methane production and oxidation, but this doesn't explain all variations in and constraints on peatland CH4 emissions. One of the reasons for this discrepancy could be anaerobic methane oxidation (AOM) - the process which is still poorly studied and remained controversial. Very little is known about AOM in peatlands, where it could work as an important 'internal' sink for CH4. This lack of knowledge primarily originated from researchers who generally consider AOM quantitatively insignificant or even non-existent in northern peatland ecosystems. But not far ago, Smemo and Yavitt (2007) presented evidence for AOM in freshwater peatlands used indirect techniques including isotope dilution assays and selective methanogenic inhibitors. Nitrite-dependent anaerobic methane oxidation NC10 group bacteria (n-damo) were detected in a minerotrophic peatland in the Netherlands that is infiltrated by nitrate-rich ground water (Zhu et al., 2012). Present study represents the first, to our knowledge, characterization of AOM in human disturbed peatlands, including hydrological elements of artificial drainage network. The experiments were conducted with samples of peat from drained peatlands, as well as of water and bottom sediments of ditches from drained Dubnensky mire massif, Moscow region (Chistotin et al., 2006; Sirin et al., 2012). This is the key testing area of our research group in European part of Russia for the long-term greenhouse gases fluxes measurements supported by testing physicochemical parameters, intensity and genomic diversity of CH4-cycling microbial communities. Only in sediments of drainage ditches the transition anaerobic zone was found, where methane and nitrate occurred, suggested the possible ecological niche for n-damo bacteria. The NC10 group methanotrophs were analyzed by PCR

  17. Managing peatland vegetation for drinking water treatment.

    PubMed

    Ritson, Jonathan P; Bell, Michael; Brazier, Richard E; Grand-Clement, Emilie; Graham, Nigel J D; Freeman, Chris; Smith, David; Templeton, Michael R; Clark, Joanna M

    2016-11-18

    Peatland ecosystem services include drinking water provision, flood mitigation, habitat provision and carbon sequestration. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) removal is a key treatment process for the supply of potable water downstream from peat-dominated catchments. A transition from peat-forming Sphagnum moss to vascular plants has been observed in peatlands degraded by (a) land management, (b) atmospheric deposition and (c) climate change. Here within we show that the presence of vascular plants with higher annual above-ground biomass production leads to a seasonal addition of labile plant material into the peatland ecosystem as litter recalcitrance is lower. The net effect will be a smaller litter carbon pool due to higher rates of decomposition, and a greater seasonal pattern of DOC flux. Conventional water treatment involving coagulation-flocculation-sedimentation may be impeded by vascular plant-derived DOC. It has been shown that vascular plant-derived DOC is more difficult to remove via these methods than DOC derived from Sphagnum, whilst also being less susceptible to microbial mineralisation before reaching the treatment works. These results provide evidence that practices aimed at re-establishing Sphagnum moss on degraded peatlands could reduce costs and improve efficacy at water treatment works, offering an alternative to 'end-of-pipe' solutions through management of ecosystem service provision.

  18. Managing peatland vegetation for drinking water treatment

    PubMed Central

    Ritson, Jonathan P.; Bell, Michael; Brazier, Richard E.; Grand-Clement, Emilie; Graham, Nigel J. D.; Freeman, Chris; Smith, David; Templeton, Michael R.; Clark, Joanna M.

    2016-01-01

    Peatland ecosystem services include drinking water provision, flood mitigation, habitat provision and carbon sequestration. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) removal is a key treatment process for the supply of potable water downstream from peat-dominated catchments. A transition from peat-forming Sphagnum moss to vascular plants has been observed in peatlands degraded by (a) land management, (b) atmospheric deposition and (c) climate change. Here within we show that the presence of vascular plants with higher annual above-ground biomass production leads to a seasonal addition of labile plant material into the peatland ecosystem as litter recalcitrance is lower. The net effect will be a smaller litter carbon pool due to higher rates of decomposition, and a greater seasonal pattern of DOC flux. Conventional water treatment involving coagulation-flocculation-sedimentation may be impeded by vascular plant-derived DOC. It has been shown that vascular plant-derived DOC is more difficult to remove via these methods than DOC derived from Sphagnum, whilst also being less susceptible to microbial mineralisation before reaching the treatment works. These results provide evidence that practices aimed at re-establishing Sphagnum moss on degraded peatlands could reduce costs and improve efficacy at water treatment works, offering an alternative to ‘end-of-pipe’ solutions through management of ecosystem service provision. PMID:27857210

  19. Managing peatland vegetation for drinking water treatment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ritson, Jonathan P.; Bell, Michael; Brazier, Richard E.; Grand-Clement, Emilie; Graham, Nigel J. D.; Freeman, Chris; Smith, David; Templeton, Michael R.; Clark, Joanna M.

    2016-11-01

    Peatland ecosystem services include drinking water provision, flood mitigation, habitat provision and carbon sequestration. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) removal is a key treatment process for the supply of potable water downstream from peat-dominated catchments. A transition from peat-forming Sphagnum moss to vascular plants has been observed in peatlands degraded by (a) land management, (b) atmospheric deposition and (c) climate change. Here within we show that the presence of vascular plants with higher annual above-ground biomass production leads to a seasonal addition of labile plant material into the peatland ecosystem as litter recalcitrance is lower. The net effect will be a smaller litter carbon pool due to higher rates of decomposition, and a greater seasonal pattern of DOC flux. Conventional water treatment involving coagulation-flocculation-sedimentation may be impeded by vascular plant-derived DOC. It has been shown that vascular plant-derived DOC is more difficult to remove via these methods than DOC derived from Sphagnum, whilst also being less susceptible to microbial mineralisation before reaching the treatment works. These results provide evidence that practices aimed at re-establishing Sphagnum moss on degraded peatlands could reduce costs and improve efficacy at water treatment works, offering an alternative to ‘end-of-pipe’ solutions through management of ecosystem service provision.

  20. First isolation and characterization of Lactococcus garvieae from Brazilian Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus, (L.), and pintado, Pseudoplathystoma corruscans (Spix and Agassiz)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Lactococcus garvieae infection in cultured Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus, (Linnaeus) and pintado, Pseudoplathystoma corruscans, (Spix and Agassiz) from Brazil is reported. The commercial bacterial identification system, Biolog Microlog®, confirmed the identity of L. garvieae. Infectivity tri...

  1. Trace element content of northern Ontario peat

    SciTech Connect

    Glooschenko, W.A.; Capoblanco, J.A.

    1982-03-01

    Peat samples were collected at 0-20- and 20-40-cm depths from several peatland ecosystems located in northern Ontario, Canada. Analysis was made for the trace metals Zn, Pb, Cu, Cr, Cd, and Hg. Concentration values in general were in the low ppm range and did not significantly differ in terms of peatland type or depth except for Pb. This element was signficantly higher in surface peats in bogs and fens. Concentration of metals in peats found in the study were equivalent to those in US coals, suggesting caution during combustion in terms of potential atmospheric input of metals.

  2. Individual rain events decrease long-term boreal peatland net CO2 uptake through reduced light availability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nijp, Jelmer; Limpens, Juul; Metselaar, Klaas; Peichl, Matthias; Nilsson, Mats B.; van der Zee, Sjoerd; Berendse, Frank

    2016-04-01

    Northern peatlands sequester enormous quantities of carbon, suggesting these wetland ecosystems are of fundamental importance for the global carbon cycle. The long-term carbon storage of these wetland ecosystems depends on wet surface conditions, and is prone to drought. Future climate predictions indicate that most of the northern hemisphere is projected to become wetter, but that precipitation will fall in less frequent but more intense events. How such fine-scale climatic changes will affect long-term future net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of northern peatlands remains unknown. In this study we explored the short-term peatland NEE response to day time rain events during the growing season, how timing and characteristics of individual events and environmental conditions modify this response, and the impact of NEE responses to individual rain events for the longer-term (annual) carbon uptake. We used an 11-year time series of half-hourly eddy covariance and meteorological measurements from Degerö Stormyr, a peatland in northern Sweden. Our study shows daytime precipitation events systematically decreased the sink strength for atmospheric CO2. An individual daytime precipitation event reduced net ecosystem CO2 uptake by 0.23-0.54 gC m-2 on average. This reduction was best explained by the reduction in light associated with precipitation events, rather than by precipitation characteristics, timing of events, or drought length. On an annual basis, this reduction of net CO2 uptake corresponds to 24% of the annual net CO2 uptake (NEE) of the study site, equivalent to a 4.4% reduction of gross primary production (GPP) during the growing season. We conclude that accounting for the short-term response of NEE to individual rain events is crucial in determining climate change impacts on long-term sink strength of peatlands to atmospheric CO2. Moreover, reduced light availability associated with rain events is more important in explaining the NEE response to rain events than

  3. Seasonal changes in Sphagnum peatland testate amoeba communities along a hydrological gradient.

    PubMed

    Marcisz, Katarzyna; Lamentowicz, Lukasz; Słowińska, Sandra; Słowiński, Michał; Muszak, Witold; Lamentowicz, Mariusz

    2014-10-01

    Testate amoebae are an abundant and functionally important group of protists in peatlands, but little is known about the seasonal patterns of their communities. We investigated the relationships between testate amoeba diversity and community structure and water table depth and light conditions (shading vs. insolation) in a Sphagnum peatland in Northern Poland (Linje mire) in spring and summer 2010. We monitored the water table at five sites across the peatland and collected Sphagnum samples in lawn and hummock micro-sites around each piezometer, in spring (3 May) and mid-summer (6 August) 2010. Water table differed significantly between micro-sites and seasons (Kruskal-Wallis test, p=0.001). The community structure of testate amoebae differed significantly between spring and summer in both hummock and lawn micro-sites. We recorded a small, but significant drop in Shannon diversity, between spring and summer (1.76 vs. 1.72). Strongest correlations were found between testate amoeba communities and water table lowering and light conditions. The relative abundance of mixotrophic species Hyalosphenia papilio, Archerella flavum and of Euglypha ciliata was higher in the summer.

  4. Using hydrologic measurements to investigate free-phase gas ebullition in a Maine peatland, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bon, C. E.; Reeve, A. S.; Slater, L.; Comas, X.

    2014-03-01

    Northern peatlands cover more than 350 million ha and are an important source of methane (CH4) and other biogenic gases contributing to climate change. Free-phase gas (FPG) accumulation and episodic release has recently been recognized as an important mechanism for biogenic gas flux from peatlands. It is likely that gas production and groundwater flow are interconnected in peatlands: groundwater flow influences gas production by regulating geochemical conditions and nutrient supply available for methanogenesis, while FPG influences groundwater flow through a reduction in peat permeability and by creating excess pore water pressures. Water samples collected from three well sites at Caribou Bog, Maine, show substantial dissolved CH4 (5-16 mg L-1) in peat waters below 2 m depth and an increase in concentrations with depth. This suggests production and storage of CH4 in deep peat that may be episodically released as FPG. Two min increment pressure transducer data reveal approximately 5 cm fluctuations in hydraulic head from both deep and shallow peat that are believed to be indicative of FPG release. FPG release persists up to 24 h during decreasing atmospheric pressure and a rising water table. Preferential flow is seen towards an area of relatively lower hydraulic head associated with the esker and pool system. Increased CH4 concentrations are also found at the depth of the esker crest, suggesting that the high permeability esker is acting as a conduit for groundwater flow, driving a downward transport of labile carbon, resulting in higher rates of CH4 production.

  5. Using hydrologic measurements to investigate free phase gas ebullition in a Maine Peatland, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bon, C. E.; Reeve, A. S.; Slater, L.; Comas, X.

    2013-07-01

    Northern Peatlands cover more than 350 million ha and are an important source of methane (CH4) and other biogenic gases contributing to climate change. Free phase gas (FPG) accumulation and episodic release has recently been recognized as an important mechanism for biogenic gas flux from peatlands. It is likely that gas production and groundwater flow are interconnected in peatlands: groundwater flow influences gas production by regulating geochemical conditions and nutrient supply available for methanogenesis while FPG influences groundwater flow through a reduction in peat permeability and by creating excess pore water pressures. Water samples collected from three well sites at Caribou Bog, Maine, show substantial dissolved CH4 (5-16 mg L-1) in peat waters below 2 m depth and an increase in concentrations with depth. This suggests substantial production and storage of CH4 in deep peat that may be episodically released as FPG. Two minute increment pressure transducer data reveal approximately 5 cm fluctuations in hydraulic head from both deep and shallow peat that are believed to be indicative of FPG release. FPG release persists up to 24 h during decreasing atmospheric pressure and a rising water table. Preferential flow is seen towards an area of relatively lower hydraulic head associated with the esker and pool system. Increased CH4 concentrations are also found at the depth of the esker crest suggesting that the high permeability esker is acting as a conduit for groundwater flow, driving a downward transport of labile carbon, resulting in higher rates of CH4 production.

  6. Quantification of peatland specific yield: toward a general peatland water storage indicator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bourgault, Marc-André; Larocque, Marie; Garneau, Michelle

    2016-04-01

    Peatlands are water saturated environment that can be connected to rivers and aquifers. This connectivity is in part controlled by peat properties such as hydraulic conductivity (K) and specific yield (SY). For the last twenty years, many studies have quantified these parameters in peatlands, contributing to better understand peatland hydrological functions such as water storage, river base flows, and groundwater recharge. Nonetheless, the understanding of peatland water storage capacity is still very limited both at local and global scale, in part due to the lack of unique and simple method to quantify the spatial variations of these properties. The objective of this project is to 1) develop a new in situ method to quantify vertical specific yield variations and 2) evaluate the use of this method to quantify storage capacity of peatland. Using an approach based on the water table fluctuation (WTF) method, a program was developed in R to quantify vertical variation of SY with depth for the hydrologically active layer of five southern ombrotrophic peatland complexes of the St. Lawrence Lowlands (southern Quebec, Canada). In each peatland, three water table wells (2 cm diameter and 1 m deep) were installed upgradient, mi-gradient, and downgradient. The wells were instrumented to measure water levels every 5 minutes during summer 2014 and 2015. The range of mean annual water table depths varies from 9.4 to 49.3 cm below the peat surface. Near each piezometer, a 1 m long peat core was sampled using a box corer. Each core was divided into 7 x 7 x 7 cm3 peat cubes and analysed using gravitational drainage experiments. In one of the peatland complexes, a 25 x 60 x 40 cm3 peat sample was collected in the upgradient location. Using a tension table, specific storage was measured on this peat sample at 1.0 cm intervals between 0-20 cm and 2.5 cm intervals between 20-36 cm. The WTF method and the gravitational drainage experiments show similar results, confirming the validity

  7. Vegetation exerts a greater control on litter decomposition than climate warming in peatlands.

    PubMed

    Ward, Susan E; Orwin, Kate H; Ostle, Nicholas J; Briones, J I; Thomson, Bruce C; Griffiths, Robert I; Oakley, Simon; Quirk, Helen; Bardget, Richard D

    2015-01-01

    Historically, slow decomposition rates have resulted in the accumulation of large amounts of carbon in northern peatlands. Both climate warming and vegetation change can alter rates of decomposition, and hence affect rates of atmospheric CO2 exchange, with consequences for climate change feedbacks. Although warming and vegetation change are happening concurrently, little is known about their relative and interactive effects on decomposition processes. To test the effects of warming and vegetation change on decomposition rates, we placed litter of three dominant species (Calluna vulgaris, Eriophorum vaginatum, Hypnum jutlandicum) into a peatland field experiment that combined warming.with plant functional group removals, and measured mass loss over two years. To identify potential mechanisms behind effects, we also measured nutrient cycling and soil biota. We found that plant functional group removals exerted a stronger control over short-term litter decomposition than did approximately 1 degrees C warming, and that the plant removal effect depended on litter species identity. Specifically, rates of litter decomposition were faster when shrubs were removed from the plant community, and these effects were strongest for graminoid and bryophyte litter. Plant functional group removals also had strong effects on soil biota and nutrient cycling associated with decomposition, whereby shrub removal had cascading effects on soil fungal community composition, increased enchytraeid abundance, and increased rates of N mineralization. Our findings demonstrate that, in addition to litter quality, changes in vegetation composition play a significant role in regulating short-term litter decomposition and belowground communities in peatland, and that these impacts can be greater than moderate warming effects. Our findings, albeit from a relatively short-term study, highlight the need to consider both vegetation change and its impacts below ground alongside climatic effects when

  8. Twelve year interannual and seasonal variability of stream carbon export from a boreal peatland catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leach, J. A.; Larsson, A.; Wallin, M. B.; Nilsson, M. B.; Laudon, H.

    2016-07-01

    Understanding stream carbon export dynamics is needed to accurately predict how the carbon balance of peatland catchments will respond to climatic and environmental change. We used a 12 year record (2003-2014) of continuous streamflow and manual spot measurements of total organic carbon (TOC), dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), methane (CH4), and organic carbon quality (carbon-specific ultraviolet absorbance at 254 nm per dissolved organic carbon) to assess interannual and seasonal variability in stream carbon export for a peatland catchment (70% mire and 30% forest cover) in northern Sweden. Mean annual total carbon export for the 12 year period was 12.2 gCm-2 yr-1, but individual years ranged between 6 and 18 gCm-2 yr-1. TOC, which was primarily composed of dissolved organic carbon (>99%), was the dominant form of carbon being exported, comprising 63% to 79% of total annual exports, and DIC contributed between 19% and 33%. CH4 made up less than 5% of total export. When compared to previously published annual net ecosystem exchange (NEE) for the studied peatland system, stream carbon export typically accounted for 12 to 50% of NEE for most years. However, in 2006 stream carbon export accounted for 63 to 90% (estimated uncertainty range) of NEE due to a dry summer which suppressed NEE, followed by a wet autumn that resulted in considerable stream export. Runoff exerted a primary control on stream carbon export from this catchment; however, our findings suggest that seasonal variations in biologic and hydrologic processes responsible for production and transport of carbon within the peatland were secondary influences on stream carbon export. Consideration of these seasonal dynamics is needed when predicting stream carbon export response to environmental change.

  9. Evapotranspiration dynamics in a boreal peatland and its impact on the water and energy balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Jiabing; Kutzbach, Lars; Jager, Daniel; Wille, Christian; Wilmking, Martin

    2010-12-01

    Hydrological conditions play a key role in the carbon cycle of northern peatlands. This study examines the evapotranspiration (ET) dynamics and its impact on the water and energy balance in response to differing meteorological conditions during the exceptionally dry year 2006 and the normal wet year 2007 at a boreal peatland in Finland. Energy and water vapor fluxes were determined continuously using the eddy covariance approach. Daily ET rates varied considerably during the growing season and averaged 2.23 ± 0.15 mm d-1 and 1.59 ± 0.07 mm d-1 in the dry and wet year, respectively. Synoptic weather conditions as reflected by incoming radiation and water vapor pressure deficit (VPD) were the key factors controlling ET. Differences in the precipitation patterns and summer temperature also accounted for some of the observed differences in ET between the 2 years. No evidence was found for a relationship between ET rates and water table level, probably due to the relatively high water table level even in the dry year. Latent heat flux dominated the energy balance, particularly in the dry year 2006 with 60% of cumulative precipitation returned to the atmosphere through ET. In the wet year 2007, runoff dominated the water loss, and only 36% of the cumulative precipitation was returned to the atmosphere through ET. While the annual water balance regime of the peatland was mainly regulated by the precipitation pattern, daily measured ET was closely related to potential evaporation, and latent heat flux could be well modeled by the Penman-Monteith approach, suggesting two feasible schemes for ET prediction in peatlands under well watered conditions.

  10. Nest guarding by female Agassiz's desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) at a wind-energy facility near Palm Springs, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Agha, Mickey; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Ennen, Joshua R.; Wilcox, Ethan

    2013-01-01

    We observed behavior consistent with nest-guarding in Agassiz's desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) at two nests in a large wind-energy-generation facility near Palm Springs, California, locally known as the Mesa Wind Farm. As researchers approached the nests, female desert tortoises moved to the entrance of their burrows and positioned themselves sideways, directly over their nests. One female stretched her limbs outward and wedged herself into the burrow (her plastron directly above the nest). Guarding of nests is rarely observed in Agassiz's desert tortoise but can occur as a result of attempted predation on eggs by Gila monsters (Heloderma suspectum) or in direct response to the perceived threat posed by researchers. This is the first report of nest-guarding for G. agassizii in the Sonoran Desert ecosystem of California.

  11. Spatiotemporal variability in peatland subsurface methane dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strack, M.; Waddington, J. M.

    2008-06-01

    Peatlands are large natural sources of atmospheric methane (CH4). While many studies have measured CH4 emissions to the atmosphere, less is known about the stock and residence time of subsurface CH4. In this study we examined dissolved CH4 concentration in near-surface peatland pore waters of a poor fen near Québec City, Canada, in order to (1) investigate the variability in and potential controls on these concentrations and (2) combine measured dissolved CH4 concentration with estimated bubble CH4 stock and measured CH4 fluxes to estimate the mean residence time of subsurface CH4. Concentrations ranged from 1 to 450 μM during both study seasons. Depth profiles were generally consistent at one location within the peatland throughout the sampling period but varied between locations. Patterns with depth were not well correlated to pore water pH or EC; however, changes in CH4 concentration through time in the upper 30 cm were related to temperature and water table at some locations. Depth profiles taken at 2- to 5-cm intervals revealed discrete concentration "spikes" which were often maintained throughout the season and are likely related to bubble CH4 dynamics. Estimated subsurface CH4 stocks indicate that even when relatively low bubble volume (5% of peat volume) is assumed, bubble CH4 accounted for greater than half of total stocks. Calculated mean residence times were 28-120 days. This implies that CH4 flux may lag changes in water table and temperature which happen on shorter timescales (hours or days). To improve our description of subsurface CH4 stocks, links between dissolved and bubble CH4 stocks and peatland CH4 residence time, coincident measurement of pore water CH4 concentrations, entrapped gas content and composition, diffusive CH4 flux, and ebullition are required.

  12. Sequestration of arsenic in ombrotrophic peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rothwell, James; Hudson-Edwards, Karen; Taylor, Kevin; Polya, David; Evans, Martin; Allott, Tim

    2014-05-01

    Peatlands can be important stores of arsenic but we are lacking spectroscopic evidence of the sequestration pathways of this toxic metalloid in peatland environments. This study reports on the solid-phase speciation of anthropogenically-derived arsenic in atmospherically contaminated peat from the Peak District National Park (UK). Surface and sub-surface peat samples were analysed by synchrotron X-ray absorption spectroscopy on B18 beamline at Diamond Light Source (UK). The results suggest that there are contrasting arsenic sequestration mechanisms in the peat. The bulk arsenic speciation results, in combination with strong arsenic-iron correlations at the surface, suggest that iron (hydr)oxides are key phases for the immobilisation of arsenic at the peat surface. In contrast, the deeper peat samples are dominated by arsenic sulphides (arsenopyrite, realgar and orpiment). Given that these peats receive inputs solely from the atmosphere, the presence of these sulphide phases suggests an in-situ authigenic formation. Redox oscillations in the peat due to a fluctuating water table and an abundant store of legacy sulphur from historic acid rain inputs may favour the precipitation of arsenic sequestering sulphides in sub-surface horizons. Oxidation-induced loss of these arsenic sequestering sulphur species by water table drawdown has important implications for the mobility of arsenic and the quality of waters draining peatlands.

  13. Preliminary Cosmogenic Surface Exposure Ages on Laurentide Ice-sheet Retreat and Opening of the Eastern Lake Agassiz Outlets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leydet, D.; Carlson, A. E.; Sinclair, G.; Teller, J. T.; Breckenridge, A. J.; Caffee, M. W.; Barth, A. M.

    2015-12-01

    The chronology for the eastern outlets of glacial Lake Agassiz holds important consequences for the cause of Younger Dryas cold event during the last deglaciation. Eastward routing of Lake Agassiz runoff was originally hypothesized to have triggered the Younger Dryas. However, currently the chronology of the eastern outlets is only constrained by minimum-limiting radiocarbon ages that could suggest the eastern outlets were still ice covered at the start of the Younger Dryas at ~12.9 ka BP, requiring a different forcing of this abrupt climate event. Nevertheless, the oldest radiocarbon ages are still consistent with an ice-free eastern outlet at the start of the Younger Dryas. Here we will present preliminary 10-Be cosmogenic surface exposure ages from the North Lake, Flat Rock Lake, glacial Lake Kaministiquia, and Lake Nipigon outlets located near Thunder Bay, Ontario. These ages will date the timing of the deglaciation of the Laurentide ice sheet in the eastern outlet region of glacial Lake Agassiz. This will provide an important constraint for the hypothesized freshwater forcing of the cause of Younger Dryas cold event.

  14. Improving peatland erosion rate measurements through the use of terrestrial laser scanning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grayson, R.; Holden, J.; Jones, R.; Lloyd, A.

    2013-12-01

    Globally peatlands account for 30-50% of all carbon stored within soils (Holden, 2005). Within the UK they represent the single largest terrestrial carbon store, with blanket bogs covering roughly 7.5% (Tallis et al., 1997); unfortunately these upland blanket bogs are often found in a degraded state. The amount of carbon being lost to erosional processes in peatlands is poorly constrained, with estimates typically being based on traditional low-tech methods. Erosion pins have been the primary method for measuring erosion rates in peatlands; however their use is prone to error due to the depth of peat and its high water content which allows both horizontal and vertical movement through time. Erosion pins can only realistically be used over a relatively small area and assume erosion remains constant between pins making any upscaling problematic. Therefore, innovative methods are required to improve estimates of peatland erosion that are capable of increasing both spatial coverage and accuracy. Terrestrial laser scanning is increasingly being used by geomorphologists to produce highly detailed 3D topographic maps. A pilot study was undertaken to assess the ability of terrestrial laser scanning to measure erosion rates within peatlands and to identify any obstacles that may need to be overcome. An actively eroding blanket bog in northern England was chosen as the test site with surveys being carried out before and after winter as active erosion is most likely during winter months. Erosion measurements were also made using erosion pins to allow comparisons between the two methods. Terrestrial laser scanning was not only found to offer vastly improved spatial coverage compared with erosion pins but was also able to provide data at a much higher resolution. Erosion rates calculated using erosion pins were significantly higher than the average rate calculated using terrestrial laser scanning (-35mm compared to +2.5mm), this overestimation by the erosion pins primarily

  15. Dissolved Organic Carbon in Marginal, Damaged Peatlands: Using 14C to Understand DOC Losses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luscombe, D.; Grand-Clement, E.; Garnett, M.; Anderson, K.; Gatis, N.; Benaud, P.; Brazier, R.

    2013-12-01

    Peatlands are widely represented throughout the world and act as an important store of carbon, as well as providing society with a range of other ecosystem services, such as drinking water or the support of rare habitats. However, the combination of historical management practices, and the predicted impact of climate change means that they are now largely under threat. In the shallow peatlands of Exmoor National Park (South West UK), peat cutting and intensive drainage in the 19th and 20th century for agricultural reclamation have changed the hydrological behaviour of the peat. This damage has dried out the upper layers, causing oxidation, erosion and vegetation change. In addition, their location on the southernmost limit of peatlands geographical extent in northern Europe makes them particularly vulnerable to the predicted changes in rainfall and temperature. Recent modelling work has shown that such marginal peatlands may disappear as early as 2050. Restoration programs are currently in place, aiming to restore the hydrological functioning of the peat. However, current dissolved organic carbon (DOC) losses from damaged peatlands are especially of concern, because of the contribution of the aquatic pathways in the C flux, and because of the impact on water quality. DOC has been shown to originate from the drainage of highly-aged organic matter. In stream waters, DOC from low flow tends to contain a larger component of older C compared to that of high flow. Both the impact of extensive drainage on where DOC is originating from and the effect of peatland restoration on this process remain poorly understood. We used 14C dating of DOC from streams and pore water, as well as from damaged peat, in order to gain a better understanding of the process and origin of DOC loss in drained shallow peatlands. This will further help us understand the potential for peatland restoration. Work was carried out in a small intensively monitored catchment in Exmoor. Samples were taken

  16. Family Matters: Sphagnaceae Versus Cyperaceae in Peatland Carbon Storage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nichols, J. E.; Peteet, D. M.; Gemma, M.; Fedio, C.; Pavia, F. J.

    2013-12-01

    Peatlands are a vitally important part of the Earth's carbon cycle. What is unclear, however, is how peatland type influences the rate of carbon accumulation, the fate of that accumulated carbon in the short and long term, and the role of methane in the overall carbon cycle. Studies of modern peatlands have shown that fens (dominated by Cyperaceae) may accumulate peat more quickly than bogs (dominated by Sphagnaceae), but in many downcore studies, bog peat may have higher apparent accumulation rates. These generalizations, however, do not apply in all locations, climates, or times throughout the Holocene. To address this conundrum, we present data from several peatland locations throughout the circum-Arctic to determine what types of environments and climate regimes are effective for the long-term storage of carbon, fens or bogs, and what climate conditions promote the development of each peatland type. Our sites include peatlands in the Arctic and boreal regions of North America and Asia. We use a multiproxy approach to directly compare the apparent carbon accumulation rate and methane-recycling rate with peatland type and specific hydroclimatic parameters. To reconstruct peatland type, we use macrofossil analysis. We use compound-specific hydrogen isotope ratios of leaf-wax biomarkers to assess hydrological parameters such as growing season evaporation and seasonality of precipitation. We use the carbon isotope ratios of these same compounds to reconstruct the rate of methane recycling. By reconstructing peat type, carbon cycle and hydroclimatic parameters in the same samples, we most effectively compare their mutual influence.

  17. Lateglacial and Holocene climate, disturbance and permafrost peatland dynamics on the Seward Peninsula, western Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunt, Stephanie; Yu, Zicheng; Jones, Miriam

    2013-03-01

    Northern peatlands have accumulated large carbon (C) stocks, acting as a long-term atmospheric C sink since the last deglaciation. How these C-rich ecosystems will respond to future climate change, however, is still poorly understood. Furthermore, many northern peatlands exist in regions underlain by permafrost, adding to the challenge of projecting C balance under changing climate and permafrost dynamics. In this study, we used a paleoecological approach to examine the effect of past climates and local disturbances on vegetation and C accumulation at a peatland complex on the southern Seward Peninsula, Alaska over the past ˜15 ka (1 ka = 1000 cal yr BP). We analyzed two cores about 30 m apart, NL10-1 (from a permafrost peat plateau) and NL10-2 (from an adjacent thermokarst collapse-scar bog), for peat organic matter (OM), C accumulation rates, macrofossil, pollen and grain size analysis. A wet rich fen occurred during the initial stages of peatland development at the thermokarst site (NL10-2). The presence of tree pollen from Picea spp. and Larix laricinia at 13.5-12.1 ka indicates a warm regional climate, corresponding with the well-documented Bølling-Allerød warm period. A cold and dry climate interval at 12.1-11.1 ka is indicated by the disappearance of tree pollen and increase in Poaceae pollen and an increase in woody material, likely representing a local expression of the Younger Dryas (YD) event. Following the YD, the warm Holocene Thermal Maximum (HTM) is characterized by the presence of Populus pollen, while the presence of Sphagnum spp. and increased C accumulation rates suggest high peatland productivity under a warm climate. Toward the end of the HTM and throughout the mid-Holocene a wet climate-induced several major flooding disturbance events at 10 ka, 8.1 ka, 6 ka, 5.4 ka and 4.7 ka, as evidenced by decreases in OM, and increases in coarse sand abundance and aquatic fossils (algae Chara and water fleas Daphnia). The initial peatland at permafrost

  18. Threats to intact tropical peatlands and opportunities for their conservation.

    PubMed

    Roucoux, K H; Lawson, I T; Baker, T R; Del Castillo Torres, D; Draper, F C; Lähteenoja, O; Gilmore, M P; Honorio Coronado, E N; Kelly, T J; Mitchard, E T A; Vriesendorp, C

    2017-03-08

    Large, intact areas of tropical peatland are highly threatened at a global scale by the expansion of commercial agriculture and other forms of economic development. Conserving peatlands on a landscape scale, with their hydrology intact, is of international conservation importance to preserve their distinctive biodiversity and ecosystem services, and maintain their resilience to future environmental change. Here, we explore the threats and opportunities for conserving remaining intact tropical peatlands. Our focus therefore largely excludes the peatlands of Indonesia and Malaysia, where extensive deforestation, drainage and conversion to plantation of peat swamp forests over the last few decades means that conservation efforts in this region are reduced to protecting small fragments of the original ecosystem, attempting to restore drained peatlands, or dissuading companies from expanding existing plantations. In contrast, here we focus on a case study, the Pastaza-Marañón Foreland Basin (PMFB) in Peru, which is among the largest known intact tropical peatland landscapes in the world and representative of their vulnerability. Maintenance of the hydrological conditions critical for carbon storage and ecosystem function of peatlands is, in the PMFB, primarily threatened by expansion of commercial agriculture linked to new transport infrastructure that is facilitating access to remote areas. In contrast to Indonesia and Malaysia, there remain opportunities in the PMFB and elsewhere to develop alternative, more sustainable land-use practices. Although some of the peatlands in the PMFB fall within existing legally protected areas, this protection is patchy, weak and not focused on protecting the most carbon-dense areas. New carbon-based conservation funding, developing markets for sustainable peatland products, transferring land title to local communities, and expanding protected areas offer pathways to increased protection for intact tropical peatlands in Amazonia and

  19. Do oxygen stable isotopes track precipitation moisture source in vascular plant dominated peatlands?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Charman, D.; Amesbury, M. J.; Newnham, R.; Loader, N.; Goodrich, J. P.; Gallego-Sala, A. V.; Royles, J.; Keller, E. D.; Baisden, W. T.

    2014-12-01

    Variations in the isotopic composition of precipitation are determined by fractionation processes which occur during temperature and humidity dependent phase changes associated with evaporation and condensation. Oxygen stable isotope ratios have therefore been frequently used as a source of palaeoclimate data from a variety of proxy archives. Exploitation of this record from ombrotrophic peatlands, where the source water used in cellulose synthesis is derived solely from precipitation, has been mostly limited to Northern Hemisphere Sphagnum-dominated bogs, with limited application in the Southern Hemisphere (SH) or in peatlands dominated by vascular plants. Throughout New Zealand (NZ), the preserved root matrix of the restionaceous wire rush (Empodisma spp.) forms deep peat deposits. NZ provides an ideal location to undertake empirical research into oxygen isotope fractionation in vascular peatlands because sites are ideally suited to single taxon analysis, preserve potentially high resolution full Holocene palaeoclimate records and are situated in the climatically sensitive SH mid-latitudes. Crucially, large gradients exist in the mean isotopic composition of precipitation across NZ, caused primarily by the relative influence of different climate modes. We test the capacity for δ18O analysis of Empodisma alpha cellulose from ombrotrophic restiad peatlands in NZ to provide a methodology for developing palaeoclimate records. We took surface plant, water and precipitation samples over spatial (six sites spanning >10° latitude) and temporal (monthly measurements over one year) gradients. We found a strong link between the isotopic compositions of surface root water, the most likely source water for plant growth, and precipitation in both datasets. Back-trajectory modelling of precipitation moisture source for rain days prior to sampling showed clear seasonality in the temporal data that was reflected in surface root water. The link between source water and plant

  20. Greenhouse gas flux measurements in a forestry-drained peatland indicate a large carbon sink

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lohila, A.; Minkkinen, K.; Aurela, M.; Tuovinen, J.-P.; Penttilä, T.; Ojanen, P.; Laurila, T.

    2011-11-01

    Drainage for forestry purposes increases the depth of the oxic peat layer and leads to increased growth of shrubs and trees. Concurrently, the production and uptake of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) change: due to the accelerated decomposition of peat in the presence of oxygen, drained peatlands are generally considered to lose peat carbon (C). We measured CO2 exchange with the eddy covariance (EC) method above a drained nutrient-poor peatland forest in southern Finland for 16 months in 2004-2005. The site, classified as a dwarf-shrub pine bog, had been ditched about 35 years earlier. CH4 and N2O fluxes were measured at 2-5-week intervals with the chamber technique. Drainage had resulted in a relatively little change in the water table level, being on average 40 cm below the ground in 2005. The annual net ecosystem exchange was -870 ± 100 g CO2 m-2 yr-1 in the calendar year 2005, indicating net CO2 uptake from the atmosphere. The site was a small sink of CH4 (-0.12 g CH4 m-2 yr-1) and a small source of N2O (0.10 g N2O m-2 yr-1). Photosynthesis was detected throughout the year when the air temperature exceeded -3 °C. As the annual accumulation of C in the above and below ground tree biomass (175 ± 35 g C m-2) was significantly lower than the accumulation observed by the flux measurement (240 ± 30 g C m-2), about 65 g C m-2 yr-1 was likely to have accumulated as organic matter into the peat soil. This is a higher average accumulation rate than previously reported for natural northern peatlands, and the first time C accumulation has been shown by EC measurements to occur in a forestry-drained peatland. Our results suggest that forestry-drainage may significantly increase the CO2 uptake rate of nutrient-poor peatland ecosystems.

  1. Greenhouse gas flux measurements in a forestry-drained peatland indicate a large carbon sink

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lohila, A.; Minkkinen, K.; Aurela, M.; Tuovinen, J.-P.; Penttilä, T.; Laurila, T.

    2011-06-01

    Drainage for forestry purposes changes the conditions in the peat and leads to increased growth of shrubs and trees. Concurrently, the production and uptake of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) are likely to change: due to the accelerated decomposition of oxic peat, drained peatlands are generally considered to loose peat carbon (C). We measured CO2 exchange with the eddy covariance (EC) method above a drained nutrient-poor peatland forest in Southern Finland for 16 months in 2004-2005. The site, classified as a dwarf-shrub pine bog, had been ditched about 35 years earlier. CH4 and N2O fluxes were measured at 2-5 week intervals with the chamber technique. Drainage had resulted in a relatively little change in the water table level, being on average 40 cm below the ground in 2005. The annual net ecosystem exchange was -870 g CO2 m-2 yr-1 in the calendar year 2005, varying from -810 to -900 g CO2 m-2 yr-1 during the 16 month period under investigation. The site was a small sink of CH4 (-0.12 g CH4 m-2 yr-1) and a small source of N2O (0.10 g N2O m-2 yr-1). Photosynthesis was detected throughout the year when the air temperature exceeded -3 °C. As the annual accumulation of C in the above and below ground tree biomass (550 g CO2 m-2) was significantly less than the net exchange of CO2, about 300 g CO2 m-2 yr-1 (~80 g C m-2) was likely to have accumulated as organic matter into the peat soil. This is a higher average accumulation rate than previously reported for natural northern peatlands, and the first time C accumulation has been shown, by EC measurements, to occur in a drained peatland. Our results suggest that forestry-drainage may significantly increase the CO2 uptake rate of nutrient-poor peatland ecosystems.

  2. Nutrient Controls on Methane Emissions in a Permafrost Thaw Subarctic Peatland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kashi, N. N.; Perryman, C. R.; Malhotra, A.; Marek, E. A.; Giesler, R.; Varner, R. K.

    2015-12-01

    Permafrost peatlands in northern latitudes are large reservoirs of sequestered carbon that are vulnerable to climate change. While peatlands account for a small fraction of total global land surfaces, their potential to release sequestered carbon in response to higher temperatures is of concern. Of particular relevance is the conversion of these carbon stores into methane (CH4), a strong greenhouse gas with a global warming potential 20 times greater than that of CO2 over a 100-year time frame. Here, we explore how key nutrients impact the consumption of CH4 at the Stordalen Mire in Abisko, Sweden, a discontinuous permafrost peatland with expanding thaw over the last century. Peatland CH4 emissions are highly spatially variable due to multiple emission pathways and strong dependence on several environmental factors. Among controls on CH4 emissions, such as temperature and water table depth, primary production of wetland vegetation is also a strong factor in the variability of CH4 emissions. Plant community shifts among permafrost thaw stages subsequently change nutrient cycling and availability, which in turn impacts primary production. Early stages of permafrost thaw are mosaicked with a variety of vascular plants and mosses. We analyzed potential enzymatic activities of chitinase, glucosidase, and phosphatase as proxies for organic nitrogen, carbon, and phosphorus cycling, respectively, in tandem with potential CH4 oxidation rates. In addition, stoichiometric ratios of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus concentrations are used to illustrate nutrient limitation controls on CH4 oxidation rates. While CH4 emissions are low throughout initial thaw stages, < 7 CH4 mg m-2 day-1, we found they had the highest rates of potential CH4 oxidation. These permafrost thaw-induced CH4 oxidation rates are 5 and 11 times higher, in the surface and depth of the peat profile respectively, than subsequent aerobic permafrost thaw stages. As CH4 emissions are low in intact permafrost

  3. Impact of hydrological variations on modeling of peatland CO2 fluxes: Results from the North American Carbon Program site synthesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sulman, Benjamin N.; Desai, Ankur R.; Schroeder, Nicole M.; Ricciuto, Dan; Barr, Alan; Richardson, Andrew D.; Flanagan, Lawrence B.; Lafleur, Peter M.; Tian, Hanqin; Chen, Guangsheng; Grant, Robert F.; Poulter, Benjamin; Verbeeck, Hans; Ciais, Philippe; Ringeval, Bruno; Baker, Ian T.; Schaefer, Kevin; Luo, Yiqi; Weng, Ensheng

    2012-03-01

    Northern peatlands are likely to be important in future carbon cycle-climate feedbacks due to their large carbon pools and vulnerability to hydrological change. Use of non-peatland-specific models could lead to bias in modeling studies of peatland-rich regions. Here, seven ecosystem models were used to simulate CO2fluxes at three wetland sites in Canada and the northern United States, including two nutrient-rich fens and one nutrient-poor,sphagnum-dominated bog, over periods between 1999 and 2007. Models consistently overestimated mean annual gross ecosystem production (GEP) and ecosystem respiration (ER) at all three sites. Monthly flux residuals (simulated - observed) were correlated with measured water table for GEP and ER at the two fen sites, but were not consistently correlated with water table at the bog site. Models that inhibited soil respiration under saturated conditions had less mean bias than models that did not. Modeled diurnal cycles agreed well with eddy covariance measurements at fen sites, but overestimated fluxes at the bog site. Eddy covariance GEP and ER at fens were higher during dry periods than during wet periods, while models predicted either the opposite relationship or no significant difference. At the bog site, eddy covariance GEP did not depend on water table, while simulated GEP was higher during wet periods. Carbon cycle modeling in peatland-rich regions could be improved by incorporating wetland-specific hydrology and by inhibiting GEP and ER under saturated conditions. Bogs and fens likely require distinct plant and soil parameterizations in ecosystem models due to differences in nutrients, peat properties, and plant communities.

  4. Modelling Seasonal Carbon Dynamics on Fen Peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giebels, Michael; Beyer, Madlen; Augustin, Jürgen; Roppel, Mario; Juszczak, Radoszlav; Serba, Tomasz

    2010-05-01

    In Germany more than 99 % of fens have lost their carbon and nutrient sink function due to heavy drainage and agricultural land use especially during the last decades and thus resulted in compression and heavy peat loss (CHARMAN 2002; JOOSTEN & CLARKE 2002; SUCCOW & JOOSTEN 2001; AUGUSTIN et al. 1996; KUNTZE 1993). Therefore fen peatlands play an important part (4-5 %) in the national anthropogenic trace gas budget. But only a small part of drained and agricultural used fens in NE Germany can be restored. Knowledge of the influence of land use to trace gas exchange is important for mitigation of the climate impact of the anthropogenic peatland use. We study carbon exchanges between soil and atmosphere on several fen peatland use areas at different sites in NE-Germany. Our research covers peatlands of supposed strongly climate forcing land use (cornfield and intensive pasture) and of probably less forcing, alternative types (meadow and extensive pasture) as well as rewetted (formerly drained) areas and near-natural sites like a low-degraded fen and a wetted alder woodland. We measured trace gas fluxes with manual and automatic chambers in periodic routines since spring 2007. The used chamber technique bases on DROESLER (2005). In total we now do research at 22 sites situated in 5 different locations covering agricultural, varying states of rewetted and near-natural treatments. We present results of at least 2 years of measurements on our site of varying types of agricultural land use. There we found significant differences in the annual carbon balances depending on the genesis of the observed sites and the seasonal dynamics. Annual balances were constructed by applying single respiration and photosynthesis CO2 models for each measurement campaign. These models were based on LLOYD-TAYLOR (1994) and Michaelis-Menten-Kinetics respectively. Crosswise comparison of different site treatments combined with the seasonal environmental observations give good hints for the

  5. Relationship between Trophic Status and Methanogenic Pathways in Alaskan Peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, L.; Liu, X.; Sidelinger, W.; Wang, Y.; Hines, M. E.; Langford, L.; Chanton, J.

    2015-12-01

    To improve predictions of naturally emitted CH4 from northern wetlands, it is necessary to further examine the methanogenic pathways in these wetlands. Stable isotope C ratios (δ13C) have been used as a robust tool to distinguish different pathways, but different sources of parent compounds (acetate and CO2) with unique δ13C may add complexity to previously established criteria. Large portions of peatlands accommodate a mixture of different sphagna and sedges. Plant species may look very similar and belong to the same genus but are different morphologically and physiologically. To better understand the relationships between surface vegetation patterns and methanogenic pathways, 26 peatland sites were studied in Fairbanks and Anchorage, Alaska in summers of 2014 and 2015. These sites were ordinated using multiple factor analysis into 3 clusters based on pH, temp, CH4 and volatile fatty acids production rates, δ13C values, and surface vegetation species/pattern. In the low-pH trophic cluster (pH~3.5), non-vascular/vascular plant ratios (NV/V) were ~ 0.87 and dominated by diverse Sphagnum species and specific sedges (Eriophorum vaginatum), and fermentation was the dominant end-point in decomposition with no CH4 detected. Although NV/V is about the same in the intermediate cluster (0.74) (pH~4.5), and Sphagnum squarrosum was largely present, both hydrogenotrophic (HM) and acetoclastic methanogenesis (AM) were very active. Syntrophy was present at certain sites, which may provide CO2 with unique δ13C for CH4 production. At the highest pH trophic cluster examined in this study (pH~5), non-vascular plants were almost not existent and Carex aquatilis dominated. CH4 production rates (mainly HM) were slower than those in the intermediate cluster and the apparent fractionation factor a was lower than in the sites with syntrophy, which warrants further investigation of the position and compound specific δ13C analysis of volatile fatty acids.

  6. Reducing uncertainty in methane emission estimates from permafrost peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christensen, Torben R.

    2016-04-01

    Reducing uncertainty in methane emission estimates from permafrost peatlands Torben R. Christensen1,2 and coworkers 1) Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science, Lund University, Sweden 2) Arctic Research Centre, Aarhus University, Denmark Depending on factors including temperature, snow duration and soil moisture conditions, emissions of the greenhouse gas methane from permafrost peatlands can vary by factors of 2-4 between years. This variability is clear in atmospheric measurements of the gas, but a lack of ground-based data is making it hard to locate the methane sources responsible. Methane monitoring in the Arctic is expensive, requiring sophisticated analysis equipment such as power requiring laser spectrometer analysis made in remote places. This also puts demands on the logistics where infrastructures and field stations that offer line-power in the field are in high demand but very rarely found. Research projects therefore typically focus on one site, and run for a year or two. Longer term monitoring programs, which document climate, hydrology, phenology and population dynamics of birds and mammals, rarely include carbon fluxes since it is technically challenging to measure. One that does is the Greenland Ecosystem Monitoring program that started at the Zackenberg research station, which has recorded substantial methane flux variations for almost a decade in North-east Greenland. Such multi-year studies show that, while there is some connection between the amounts of methane released from one year to the next, accurate forecasting is difficult. They also highlight the importance of extending monitoring beyond the growing period into the frozen season, both in spring and autumn. A spatially distributed network of long-term monitoring stations in the Arctic, with consistency between measurements, is badly needed to improve this situation. Productive methane 'hot spots', many sporadic, have also been identified in recent studies. By ventilating

  7. Stability of peatland carbon to rising temperatures

    SciTech Connect

    Wilson, R. M.; Hopple, A. M.; Tfaily, M. M.; Sebestyen, S. D.; Schadt, C. W.; Pfeifer-Meister, L.; Medvedeff, C.; McFarlane, K. J.; Kostka, J. E.; Kolton, M.; Kolka, R. K.; Kluber, L. A.; Keller, J. K.; Guilderson, T. P.; Griffiths, N. A.; Chanton, J. P.; Bridgham, S. D.; Hanson, P. J.

    2016-12-13

    Peatlands contain one-third of the world’s soil carbon (C), mostly in the deep permanently saturated anoxic zone (i.e., catotelm)1 where C mineralization rates may be constrained, in part, by low temperatures; yet all soil warming experiments to date have focused on the response of peatland C degradation to surface warming2, 3. If the slow decomposition of deep peat C is due to kinetic constraints, then increasing temperatures at depth should cause parallel increases in carbon dioxide (CO2) and/or methane (CH4) production rates. Increasing CH4 emissions are of particular concern because CH4 has a sustained-flux global warming potential (SGWP) 45-times greater than CO2 over a 100- year timeframe4, creating a significant positive feedback to climate warming. Using a novel whole-ecosystem scale experiment in a regression-based design we show that ecosystem scale warming of deep peat exponentially increased CH4 emissions —but not ecosystem respiration of CO2— in the first year. Multiple lines of evidence, including laboratory incubations and in situ analyses of 14C, dissolved gases, and microbial community metabolic potential, indicate that CH4 emissions increased due to surface processes and not degradation of deep C. Our results indicate that rapid changes to the large bank of deep buried C in temperate peatlands may be minimal under future climatic warming.

  8. Translocation as a conservation tool for Agassiz's desert tortoises: survivorship, reproduction, and movements

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nussear, K.E.; Tracy, C.R.; Medica, P.A.; Wilson, D.S.; Marlow, R.W.; Corn, P.S.

    2012-01-01

    We translocated 120 Agassiz's desert tortoises to 5 sites in Nevada and Utah to evaluate the effects of translocation on tortoise survivorship, reproduction, and habitat use. Translocation sites included several elevations, and extended to sites with vegetation assemblages not typically associated with desert tortoises in order to explore the possibility of moving animals to upper elevation areas. We measured survivorship, reproduction, and movements of translocated and resident animals at each site. Survivorship was not significantly different between translocated and resident animals within and among sites, and survivorship was greater overall during non-drought years. The number of eggs produced by tortoises was similar for translocated and resident females, but differed among sites. Animals translocated to atypical habitat generally moved until they reached vegetation communities more typical of desert tortoise habitat. Even within typical tortoise habitat, tortoises tended to move greater distances in the first year after translocation than did residents, but their movements in the second or third year after translocation were indistinguishable from those of resident tortoises. Our data show that tortoises translocated into typical Mojave desert scrub habitats perform well; however, the large first-year movements of translocated tortoises have important management implications. Projects that employ translocations must consider how much area will be needed to contain translocated tortoises and whether roads need fencing to prevent the loss of animals.

  9. Serologic and molecular evidence for Testudinid herpesvirus 2 infection in wild Agassiz's desert tortoises, Gopherus agassizii.

    PubMed

    Jacobson, Elliott R; Berry, Kristin H; Wellehan, James F X; Origgi, Francesco; Childress, April L; Braun, Josephine; Schrenzel, Mark; Yee, Julie; Rideout, Bruce

    2012-07-01

    Following field observations of wild Agassiz's desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) with oral lesions similar to those seen in captive tortoises with herpesvirus infection, we measured the prevalence of antibodies to Testudinid herpesvirus (TeHV) 3 in wild populations of desert tortoises in California. The survey revealed 30.9% antibody prevalence. In 2009 and 2010, two wild adult male desert tortoises, with gross lesions consistent with trauma and puncture wounds, respectively, were necropsied. Tortoise 1 was from the central Mojave Desert and tortoise 2 was from the northeastern Mojave Desert. We extracted DNA from the tongue of tortoise 1 and from the tongue and nasal mucosa of tortoise 2. Sequencing of polymerase chain reaction products of the herpesviral DNA-dependent DNA polymerase gene and the UL39 gene respectively showed 100% nucleotide identity with TeHV2, which was previously detected in an ill captive desert tortoise in California. Although several cases of herpesvirus infection have been described in captive desert tortoises, our findings represent the first conclusive molecular evidence of TeHV2 infection in wild desert tortoises. The serologic findings support cross-reactivity between TeHV2 and TeHV3. Further studies to determine the ecology, prevalence, and clinical significance of this virus in tortoise populations are needed.

  10. Peatland geoengineering: an alternative approach to terrestrial carbon sequestration.

    PubMed

    Freeman, Christopher; Fenner, Nathalie; Shirsat, Anil H

    2012-09-13

    Terrestrial and oceanic ecosystems contribute almost equally to the sequestration of ca 50 per cent of anthropogenic CO(2) emissions, and already play a role in minimizing our impact on Earth's climate. On land, the majority of the sequestered carbon enters soil carbon stores. Almost one-third of that soil carbon can be found in peatlands, an area covering just 2-3% of the Earth's landmass. Peatlands are thus well established as powerful agents of carbon capture and storage; the preservation of archaeological artefacts, such as ancient bog bodies, further attest to their exceptional preservative properties. Peatlands have higher carbon storage densities per unit ecosystem area than either the oceans or dry terrestrial systems. However, despite attempts over a number of years at enhancing carbon capture in the oceans or in land-based afforestation schemes, no attempt has yet been made to optimize peatland carbon storage capacity or even to harness peatlands to store externally captured carbon. Recent studies suggest that peatland carbon sequestration is due to the inhibitory effects of phenolic compounds that create an 'enzymic latch' on decomposition. Here, we propose to harness that mechanism in a series of peatland geoengineering strategies whereby molecular, biogeochemical, agronomical and afforestation approaches increase carbon capture and long-term sequestration in peat-forming terrestrial ecosystems.

  11. Cutover peatlands: A persistent source of atmospheric CO2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waddington, J. M.; Warner, K. D.; Kennedy, G. W.

    2002-01-01

    Peatlands represent an important component of the global carbon cycle, storing 23 g C m-2 yr-1. Peatland mining eliminates the carbon sink function of the peatland. In this paper we measure the total ecosystem respiration in a natural, 2 and 3 year (young) and 7 and 8 year (old) postcutover peatland near Sainte-Marguerite-Marie, Québec, during the summers of 1998 and 1999. Although the natural site was a source of CO2 during the dry 1998 study season (138 g C m-2), CO2 emissions were between 260 and 290% higher in the cutover sites (363 and 399 g C m-2 for young and old, respectively). Cutover site CO2 emissions were only 88 and 112 g CO2-C m-2 at the young and old sites during the wet 1999 study season. Total ecosystem respiration was more dependent on the water table position than on changes in the thermal regime or the labile carbon of the peat in a dry summer, but the opposite was the case in a wet summer. CO2 emissions increased with postharvest time regardless of a decrease in labile carbon, demonstrating that cutover peatlands are a large persistent source of atmospheric CO2. Direct measurement of the net ecosystem CO2 exchange in cutover peatlands, as opposed to determining the loss of carbon from bulk density determinations, provides a better understanding of how peat drainage and harvesting operations affect the carbon balance in peatlands.

  12. Physical and chemical differences between natural and artificial pools in blanket peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turner, Ed; Baird, Andy; Billett, Mike; Chapman, Pippa; Dinsmore, Kerry; Holden, Joseph

    2014-05-01

    Natural pools are common features of many northern peatlands. Numerous artificial pools are being created behind dams installed during drain-blocking, a common peatland restoration technique, significantly increasing the area of open water. Natural pools are known to be major sources of GHGs (e.g. Hamilton et al. 1994), but the reasons they are such 'hotspots' is poorly understood. We hypothesize that pools act as 'biochemical reactors' of particulate and dissolved organic carbon (POC and DOC) transported from surrounding peat that is processed into a range of products including CH4 and CO2. Therefore, understanding the processes operating in both natural and artificial pool systems is fundamental to elucidating this hypothesis. Water levels and temperature have been continuously monitored at six natural and six artificial pools within the 'Flow Country' blanket peatland in northern Scotland since May 2013. Bi-weekly sampling of waters from pools, peat matrix through-flow (via piezometers) and surface flow has been conducted for analysis of DOC, POC, DIC, CH4diss and CO2diss, together with GHG flux measurements from pool surfaces and adjacent peat. We show that, to date, pool water levels rapidly respond to rainfall, although artificial pools appear to respond with greater magnitude. For example, over the course of same rainfall event (20-23 June 2013), natural and artificial pool levels increased between 5.3 and 9.8 cm, and 12.5 and 22.6 cm respectively. Temperature measured at c. 5 cm from the base of each pool shows distinct diurnal fluctuations, which are of greater magnitude in all but one of the natural pools compared to the artificial pools: over the same period (20-23 July 2013), the maximum diurnal variation at the artificial pool site was 5.1 °C compared to 9.2 °C within the natural pools. Vegetation cover is generally higher in artificial pools and may have a moderating effect on variations in pool temperature. Results of pool-water DOC analysis from

  13. Effects of Permafrost Thaw on Net Ecosystem Carbon Balance in a Subarctic Peatland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Z.; Roulet, N. T.; Moore, T. R.

    2014-12-01

    This research is to assess changes in net ecosystem carbon balance (NECB) with permafrost thaw in northern peatland: in particular how changes in C biogeochemistry influence NECB. Thawed transects associated with varying stages of permafrost thaw: from palsas with intact permafrost (P), through edge of palsa (EP), dry lawn (DL), wet lawn (WL), edge of thawed pond (ET), pond sedges (PS), to several thawed ponds (TP) in a subarctic peatland in northern Quebec were sampled in the snow free seasons of 2013 and 2014. The exchange of CO2 and CH4, vegetation, dissolved organic C (DOC) concentration and biodegradability, active layer depth, air and peat temperatures, water table depth (WT), pH, and conductivity were measured. Peat temperatures were quite similar among different locations, but the WT decreased significantly along the transect creating varied environmental conditions that supporting different plant communities. From dry to wet area, vegetation abundance and biomass showed reductions of shrubs and lichens, and increases of Sphagnum, grasses and sedges. Pore water pH increased from dry to wet area, and conductivity slightly decreased. Wet thaw area WL, ET and PS had relatively higher season gross ecosystem production (GEP) and higher season ecosystem respiration (ER), but relative similar net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE). Only TP had a significant higher positive season NEE. Palsa was the only CH4 sink, and quite high CH4 emissions were found after it thawed. CH4-C release significantly increased from dry to wet in thawed area, which even several times bigger than total C exchange in ET and PS. Generally, wet area had higher DOC concentration and higher DOC biodegradability indicated by lower SUVA254 (except PS which received great influence from pond). All components in the NECB (GEP, ER, CH4, DOC) increased significantly in magnitude from palsa to wet thawed area, and ecosystem C sink turned into source as palsa thawed into PS and TP. These results

  14. The role of hydrological transience in peatland pattern formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morris, P. J.; Baird, A. J.; Belyea, L. R.

    2013-06-01

    The sloping flanks of peatlands are commonly patterned with non-random, contour-parallel stripes of distinct microhabitats such as hummocks, lawns and hollows. Patterning seems to be governed by feedbacks among peatland hydrological processes, plant micro-succession, plant litter production and peat decomposition. An improved understanding of peatland patterning may provide important insights into broader aspects of the long-term development of peatlands and their likely response to future climate change. We recreated a cellular simulation model from the literature, as well as three subtle variants, to explore the controls over peatland patterning. Our models each consist of three submodels, which simulate: peatland water tables in a gridded landscape; a simple representation of microhabitat dynamics in response to water-table depths; and changes in peat hydraulic properties. We found that the strength and nature of simulated patterning was highly dependent on the degree to which water tables had reached a steady state in response to hydrological inputs. Contrary to previous studies, we found that under a true steady state the models predict largely unpatterned landscapes that cycle rapidly between contrasting dry and wet states, dominated by hummocks and hollows, respectively. Realistic patterning only developed when simulated water tables were still transient. Literal interpretation of the degree of hydrological transience required for patterning suggests that the model should be discarded; however, the transient water tables appear to have captured some aspect of real peatland behaviour that generates patterning. Recently-buried peat layers may remain hydrologically active despite no longer reflecting current vegetation patterns, providing a form of ecological memory. Furthermore, the models were highly sensitive to the assumed values of peat hydraulic properties, which we take to indicate that the models are missing an important negative feedback between peat

  15. A reconstruction of vegetation and paleohydrologycal changes from peatland in Kansk forest-steppe, Yenisei Siberia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodionova, Alexandra

    2016-04-01

    Peatlands are an important natural archive for past climatic changes. Climatic changes throughout the Holocene have been reconstructed from peat using a wide array of biological and other proxies. Many different proxy indicators can be derived from peat cores allowing for a multi-proxy approach to climatic reconstructions. Peat-based climatic and environmental reconstructions are currently available from many sites in Yenisei Siberia, mainly for its northern territories. The purpose of this paper is to study some features of peatland development and environmental reconstructions from the Holocene period in the south part of Yenisei Siberia (Kansk forest-steppe zone). The main method used in this research is macrofossil analysis. It can be used to reconstruct the development of local vegetation and surface wetness on peatlands. The macrofossil analysis in the peat resulted from the study of the vegetation in a particular place over a period of time, and it allowed the reconstruction of environmental changes that have occurred since the Late Glacial. Then we used ecological scales of moisture and reconstructed surface wetness for the entire period of the bog formation. Radiocarbon dating was carried out at Sobolev Institute of Geology and Mineralogy, Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk . Peatland "Pinchinskoye" was selected for investigation in Kansk forest-steppe. It is located on the right bank of the Yenisei River in the floodplain of Esaulovka River. Peat cores of 350 cm were selected in the southern part of the peatbog, including 225 cm of peat (with loam layers in the range of 90 to 135 cm), 75 cm of organic and mineral sapropel with the inclusion of fossil shells of mollusks and different plant macrofossils and 50 cm of the loam below. The process of peat accumulation dated back 8400 ± 140 years, which is the oldest date for the forest-steppe zone of Yenisei Siberia. The climate of Boreal period of the Holocene was chilly. Under these conditions, in the

  16. Contaminated sediment dynamics in peatland headwaters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shuttleworth, Emma; Clay, Gareth; Evans, Martin; Hutchinson, Simon; Rothwell, James

    2016-04-01

    Peatlands are an important store of soil carbon, provide multiple ecosystem services, and when located in close proximity to urban and industrial areas, can also act as sinks of atmospherically deposited heavy metals. The near-surface layer of the blanket peats of the Peak District National Park, UK, is severely contaminated with high concentrations of anthropogenically derived, atmospherically deposited lead (Pb). These peats are severely degraded, and there is increasing concern that erosion is releasing considerable quantities of this legacy pollution into surface waters. Despite substantial research into Pb dynamics in peatlands formal description of the possible mechanisms of contaminated sediment mobilisation is limited. However, there is evidence to suggest that a substantial proportion of contaminated surface sediment may be redistributed elsewhere in the catchment. This study uses the Pb contamination stored near the peat's surface as a fingerprint to trace contaminated sediment dynamics and storage in three severely degraded headwater catchments. Erosion is exposing high concentrations of Pb on interfluve surfaces, and substantial amounts of reworked contaminated material are stored on other catchment surfaces (gully walls and floors). We propose a variety of mechanisms as controls of Pb release and storage on the different surfaces, including: (i) wind action on interfluves; (ii) the aspect of gully walls, and (iii) gully depth. Vegetation also plays an important role in retaining contaminated sediment on all surfaces.

  17. Decision analysis of mitigation and remediation of sedimentation within large wetland systems: a case study using Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Post van der Burg, Max; Jenni, Karen E.; Nieman, Timothy L.; Eash, Josh D.; Knutsen, Gregory A.

    2014-01-01

    Sedimentation has been identified as an important stressor across a range of wetland systems. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has the responsibility of maintaining wetlands within its National Wildlife Refuge System for use by migratory waterbirds and other wildlife. Many of these wetlands could be negatively affected by accelerated rates of sedimentation, especially those located in agricultural parts of the landscape. In this report we document the results of a decision analysis project designed to help U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff at the Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge (herein referred to as the Refuge) determine a strategy for managing and mitigating the negative effects of sediment loading within Refuge wetlands. The Refuge’s largest wetland, Agassiz Pool, has accumulated so much sediment that it has become dominated by hybrid cattail (Typha × glauca), and the ability of the staff to control water levels in the Agassiz Pool has been substantially reduced. This project consisted of a workshop with Refuge staff, local and regional stakeholders, and several technical and scientific experts. At the workshop we established Refuge management and stakeholder objectives, a range of possible management strategies, and assessed the consequences of those strategies. After deliberating a range of actions, the staff chose to consider the following three strategies: (1) an inexpensive strategy, which largely focused on using outreach to reduce external sediment inputs to the Refuge; (2) the most expensive option, which built on the first option and relied on additional infrastructure changes to the Refuge to increase management capacity; and (3) a strategy that was less expensive than strategy 2 and relied mostly on existing infrastructure to improve management capacity. Despite the fact that our assessments were qualitative, Refuge staff decided they had enough information to select the third strategy. Following our qualitative assessment, we discussed

  18. CO2 and CH4 isotope compositions and production pathways in a tropical peatland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holmes, M. Elizabeth; Chanton, Jeffrey P.; Tfaily, Malak M.; Ogram, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    While it is widely recognized that peatlands are important in the global carbon cycle, there is limited information on belowground gas production in tropical peatlands. We measured pore water methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations and δ13C isotopic composition and CH4 and CO2 production rates in peat incubations from the Changuinola wetland in Panama. Our most striking finding was that CH4 was depleted in 13C (-94‰ in pore water and produced at -107‰ in incubated peat) relative to CH4 found in most temperate and northern wetlands, potentially impacting the accuracy of approaches that use carbon isotopes to constrain global mass balance estimates. Fractionation factors between CH4 and CO2 showed that hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis was the dominant CH4 production pathway, with up to 100% of the CH4 produced via this route. Far more CO2 than CH4 (7 to 100X) was measured in pore water, due in part to loss of CH4 through ebullition or oxidation and to the production of CO2 from pathways other than methanogenesis. We analyzed data on 58 wetlands from the literature to determine the dominant factors influencing the relative proportions of CH4 produced by hydrogenotrophic and acetoclastic methanogenesis and found that a combination of environmental parameters including pH, vegetation type, nutrient status, and latitude are correlated to the dominant methanogenic pathway. Methane production pathways in tropical peatlands do not correlate with these variables in the same way as their more northerly counterparts and thus may be differently affected by climate change.

  19. Rebuilding Peatlands on Mineral Soils Utilizing Lessons Learned from Past Peatland Initiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vitt, D. H.; Koropchak, S. C.; Xu, B.; Bloise, R.; Wieder, R.; Mowbray, S.

    2010-12-01

    Recent surveys of peatland initiation during the past 10,000 years in northeastern Alberta have revealed that nearly all peatlands, regardless of whether they are currently bogs and fens, were initiated by paludification, or swamping of upland soils. Terrestrialization (or infilling of water bodies) rarely if ever was involved in the initiation of peatlands across the mid boreal of Canada. Although the importance of paludification as a significant natural process in the initiation of peatland ecosystems has long been known by peatland ecologists, this knowledge has not been transferred to peatland and wetland restoration methodologies. We initiated this study to determine if wetland structure and function could be re-established on mineral gas/oil pads that were originally placed on organic soils. We have attempted to emulate the paludification process by removing mineral material to near the surrounding peatland natural water level and introducing a suite of wetland plants to the rewetted mineral soils. The experimental design comprised two well sites at the Shell Carmon Creek in situ plant near Peace River, Alberta. We placed 292 2 x 2 m plots over a series of fertilizer, water level, cultivation, and amendment treatments. In this presentation, we address four questions: 1) Will locally available peatland vascular plant species establish on these wet, compacted, mineral soils? If so; 2) Are species responses affected by water level, amendment, cultivation, and fertilization treatments, 3) Are invasive weeds a concern in these re-establishment trials, and 4) Will the surrounding bog water chemistry have an effect on water in contact with the mineral soils? Results after three growing season are: 1) All three species originally planted (a sedge, a willow, and tamarack) have successfully established at both well sites; 2) Carex aquatilis has performed well and responses to differing water levels and cultivation are not significant; 3) The plant responses to

  20. Testing a new version of the DigiBog model to explore the differential response of peatland microforms to shifts in surface wetness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garneau, Michelle; Baird, Andrew J.; Morris, Paul J.; van Bellen, Simon

    2016-04-01

    Over the last decades, many hypotheses have been put forward to explain pool formation in northern peatlands including topographic, biotic or climatic factors. Several studies suggest that pool formation is primarily controlled by autogenic, edaphic and topographic factors rather than external climatic influences (allogenic factors). However, there is still no consensus to explain pool formation and to confirm whether their initiation is primarily associated with autogenic or allogenic processes. Subarctic fens in northeastern Canada are characterized by a patterned surface of pools, flarks and narrow strings. Due to their geographic location at the northern ombrotrophic peatland distribution, these poor fens have been highly sensitive to hydroclimatic variations that influenced pool development and expansion. Our data indicate that wet hollows or shallow pools developed at minimal ages between ca 4200 cal BP and ca 2500 cal BP. We hypothesize that pool developed as secondary features under wetter and cooler conditions that (i) caused shorter growing seasons which negatively impacted on peat accumulation and (ii) led to lower rates of evaporation, and that (i) and (ii) in combination led to increased surface wetness. The differential response of microforms to shifts in surface wetness show the complexity of processes involved in pool initiation. A recent version of the DigiBog model (Morris et al, 2015), that allows for sub-seasonal variations in precipitation and evaporation, is used to explore the interactions between climate, growing season, peat productivity, peat hydraulic properties and water-table behaviour. Model results suggest that decreases in growing season length, combined with decreases in evapotranspiration, can explain long-lived shifts to wetter conditions in peatlands. If evapotranspiration is reduced but growing season does not vary, long-lived shifts in peatland wetness are less likely and the peatland instead tends to show a homeostatic

  1. Methods for assessing the quality of runoff from Minnesota peatlands

    SciTech Connect

    Clausen, J.C.

    1981-01-01

    The quality of runoff from large, undisturbed peatlands in Minnesota is chaaracterized and sampling results from a number of bogs (referred to as a multiple watershed approach) was used to assess the effects of peat mining on the quality of bog runoff. Runoff from 45 natural peatlands and one mined bog was sampled five times in 1979-80 and analyzed for 34 water quality characteristics. Peatland watersheds were classified as bog, transition, or fen, based upon both water quality and watershed characteristics. Alternative classification methods were based on frequency distributions, cluster analysis, discriminant analysis, and principal component analysis results. A multiple watershed approach was used as a basis of drawing inferences regarding the quality of runoff from a representative sample of natural bogs and a mined bog. The multiple watershed technique applied provides an alternative to long-term paired watershed experiments in evaluating the effects of land use activities on the quality of runoff from peatlands in Minnesota.

  2. Multiple factors affect a population of Agassiz's desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) in the Northwestern Mojave Desert

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Berry, Kristin H.; Yee, Julie L.; Coble, Ashley A.; Perry, William M.; Shields, Timothy A.

    2013-01-01

    Numerous factors have contributed to declines in populations of the federally threatened Agassiz's Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) and continue to limit recovery. In 2010, we surveyed a low-density population on a military test facility in the northwestern Mojave Desert of California, USA, to evaluate population status and identify potential factors contributing to distribution and low densities. Estimated densities of live tortoises ranged spatially from 1.2/km2 to 15.1/km2. Although only one death of a breeding-age tortoise was recorded for the 4-yr period prior to the survey, remains of 16 juvenile and immature tortoises were found, and most showed signs of predation by Common Ravens (Corvus corax) and mammals. Predation may have limited recruitment of young tortoises into the adult size classes. To evaluate the relative importance of different types of impacts to tortoises, we developed predictive models for spatially explicit densities of tortoise sign and live tortoises using topography (i.e., slope), predators (Common Raven, signs of mammalian predators), and anthropogenic impacts (distances from paved road and denuded areas, density of ordnance fragments) as covariates. Models suggest that densities of tortoise sign increased with slope and signs of mammalian predators and decreased with Common Ravens, while also varying based on interaction effects involving these predictors as well as distances from paved roads, denuded areas, and ordnance. Similarly, densities of live tortoises varied by interaction effects among distances to denuded areas and paved roads, density of ordnance fragments, and slope. Thus multiple factors predict the densities and distribution of this population.

  3. Status of peatland degradation and development in Sumatra and Kalimantan.

    PubMed

    Miettinen, Jukka; Liew, Soo Chin

    2010-01-01

    Peatlands cover around 13 Mha in Sumatra and Kalimantan, Indonesia. Human activities have rapidly increased in the peatland ecosystems during the last two decades, invariably degrading them and making them vulnerable to fires. This causes high carbon emissions that contribute to global climate change. For this article, we used 94 high resolution (10-20 m) satellite images to map the status of peatland degradation and development in Sumatra and Kalimantan using visual image interpretation. The results reveal that less than 4% of the peatland areas remain covered by pristine peatswamp forests (PSFs), while 37% are covered by PSFs with varying degree of degradation. Furthermore, over 20% is considered to be unmanaged degraded landscape, occupied by ferns, shrubs and secondary growth. This alarming extent of degradation makes peatlands vulnerable to accelerated peat decomposition and catastrophic fire episodes that will have global consequences. With on-going degradation and development the existence of the entire tropical peatland ecosystem in this region is in great danger.

  4. The cascade of C:N:P stoichiometry in an ombrotrophic peatland: from plants to peat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Meng; Moore, Tim R.; Talbot, Julie; Richard, Pierre J. H.

    2014-01-01

    Northern peatlands are important carbon (C) sinks and while the patterns of C accumulation have been frequently investigated, nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) accumulation are often neglected. Here we link the C:N:P stoichiometry from foliar plant tissues, through senescent litters to peat, and determine C, N and P accumulation rates at Mer Bleue Bog, eastern Canada. Average C:N:P ratios changed from 794:17:1 in the foliar tissues to 911:10:1 in litter and 1285:32:1 in acrotelm peat. The increase in C:N and C:P ratios from mature to senescent tissues is related to nutrient resorption. The increase in C:P and N:P ratios in peat, which was contrary to that observed in Canadian forest soils, may be related to plant/mycorrhizae uptake of P. The long-term apparent rates of C, N and P accumulation were 29.5 ± 2.1 (SE) g C, 0.87 ± 0.01 g N and 0.017 ± 0.002 g P m-2 yr-1, respectively. The significant correlation between the accumulation rates of N and P and that of C suggests more attention be placed on C:N:P stoichiometry in peatland biogeochemistry, in particular in understanding why C:P ratios are so large in the lower parts of the profile.

  5. Understanding diversity patterns in bacterioplankton communities from a sub-Antarctic peatland.

    PubMed

    Quiroga, María Victoria; Valverde, Angel; Mataloni, Gabriela; Cowan, Don

    2015-06-01

    Bacterioplankton communities inhabiting peatlands have the potential to influence local ecosystem functions. However, most microbial ecology research in such wetlands has been done in ecosystems (mostly peat soils) of the Northern Hemisphere, and very little is known of the factors that drive bacterial community assembly in other regions of the world. In this study, we used high-throughput sequencing to analyse the structure of the bacterial communities in five pools located in a sub-Antarctic peat bog (Tierra del Fuego, Argentina), and tested for relationships between bacterial communities and environmental conditions. Bacterioplankton communities in peat bog pools were diverse and dominated by members of the Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Verrucomicrobia. Community structure was largely explained by differences in hydrological connectivity, pH and nutrient status (ombrotrophic versus minerotrophic pools). Bacterioplankton communities in ombrotrophic pools showed phylogenetic clustering, suggesting a dominant role of deterministic processes in shaping these assemblages. These correlations between habitat characteristics and bacterial diversity patterns provide new insights into the factors regulating microbial populations in peatland ecosystems.

  6. Investigating late Holocene variations in hydroclimate and the stable isotope composition of precipitation using southern South American peatlands: a hypothesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daley, T. J.; Mauquoy, D.; Chambers, F. M.

    2012-02-01

    Ombrotrophic raised peatlands provide an ideal archive for integrating late Holocene records of variations in hydroclimate and the estimated stable isotope composition of precipitation with recent instrumental measurements. Modern measurements of mean monthly surface air temperature, precipitation and δD and δ18O values in precipitation from the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries provide a short but invaluable record with which to investigate modern relationships between these variables, thereby enabling improved interpretation of the peatland palaeodata. Data from two stations in the Global Network for Isotopes in Precipitation (GNIP) from Tierra del Fuego (Punta Arenas, Chile and Ushuaia, Argentina) were analysed for the period 1982 to 2008. In both locations, δD and δ18O values have decreased in response to quite different trends in local surface air temperature and total precipitation amount. At Ushuaia, the fall in δ18O values is associated with an increase in the mean annual amount of precipitation. At Punta Arenas, the fall in δ18O values is weakly associated with decrease in the precipitation amount and an increase in local temperatures. The pattern in both records is consistent with an increase in the zonal intensity of the southern westerly wind belt. These regional differences, observed in response to a known driver, should be detectable in peatland sites close to the GNIP stations. There is currently insufficient availability of suitably temporally resolved data to test for these regional differences over the last 3000 yr. Existing peatland palaeoclimate data from two sites near Ushuaia, however, provide evidence for changes in the late Holocene that are consistent with the pattern observed in modern observations. Furthermore, the records suggest synchroneity in millennial-scale oscillations between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

  7. UK peatland restoration: some economic arithmetic.

    PubMed

    Moxey, Andrew; Moran, Dominic

    2014-06-15

    Over 80% of UK peatlands are degraded to some extent and their widespread restoration could contribute to meeting various climate change, water quality and biodiversity policy challenges. Economic analysis of costs and benefits is, however, hampered by scientific uncertainty and a lack of data on biophysical conditions as well as the impacts and costs of restoration. This paper presents a simple 'ready-reckoner' of possible net economic benefits under different combinations of simplifying 'what if?' assumptions for key restoration parameters. The results strongly suggest that even a narrow focus on carbon benefits alone is sufficient to justify restoration in many cases, and the inclusion of possible additional non-carbon benefits reinforces this. However, results are sensitive to assumptions and better data for, in particular, restoration costs associated with modest emission savings from lightly degraded sites would be helpful. Some other areas for further research are also identified.

  8. Stability of peatland carbon to rising temperatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, R. M.; Hopple, A. M.; Tfaily, M. M.; Sebestyen, S. D.; Schadt, C. W.; Pfeifer-Meister, L.; Medvedeff, C.; McFarlane, K. J.; Kostka, J. E.; Kolton, M.; Kolka, R. K.; Kluber, L. A.; Keller, J. K.; Guilderson, T. P.; Griffiths, N. A.; Chanton, J. P.; Bridgham, S. D.; Hanson, P. J.

    2016-12-01

    Peatlands contain one-third of soil carbon (C), mostly buried in deep, saturated anoxic zones (catotelm). The response of catotelm C to climate forcing is uncertain, because prior experiments have focused on surface warming. We show that deep peat heating of a 2 m-thick peat column results in an exponential increase in CH4 emissions. However, this response is due solely to surface processes and not degradation of catotelm peat. Incubations show that only the top 20-30 cm of peat from experimental plots have higher CH4 production rates at elevated temperatures. Radiocarbon analyses demonstrate that CH4 and CO2 are produced primarily from decomposition of surface-derived modern photosynthate, not catotelm C. There are no differences in microbial abundances, dissolved organic matter concentrations or degradative enzyme activities among treatments. These results suggest that although surface peat will respond to increasing temperature, the large reservoir of catotelm C is stable under current anoxic conditions.

  9. Simulated influences of Lake Agassiz on the climate of central North America 11,000 years ago

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hostetler, S.W.; Bartlein, P.J.; Clark, P.U.; Small, E.E.; Solomon, A.M.

    2000-01-01

    Eleven thousand years ago, large lakes existed in central and eastern North America along the margin of the Laurentide Ice Sheet. The large-scale North American climate at this time has been simulated with atmospheric general circulation models, but these relatively coarse global models do not resolve potentially important features of the mesoscale circulation that arise from interactions among the atmosphere, ice sheet, and proglacial lakes. Here we present simulations of the climate of central and eastern North America 11,000 years ago with a high-resolution, regional climate model nested within a general circulation model. The simulated climate is in general agreement with that inferred from palaeoecological evidence. Our experiments indicate that through mesoscale atmospheric feedbacks, the annual delivery of moisture to the Laurentide Ice Sheet was diminished at times of a large, cold Lake Agassiz relative to periods of lower lake stands. The resulting changes in the mass balance of the ice sheet may have contributed to fluctuations of the ice margin, thus affecting the routing of fresh water to the North Atlantic Ocean. A retreating ice margin during periods of high lake level may have opened an outlet for discharge of Lake Agassiz into the North Atlantic. A subsequent advance of the ice margin due to greater moisture delivery associated with a low lake level could have dammed the outlet, thereby reducing discharge to the North Atlantic. These variations may have been decisive in causing the Younger Dryas cold even.

  10. Uplifting of palsa peatlands by permafrost identified by stable isotope depth profiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krüger, Jan Paul; Conen, Franz; Leifeld, Jens; Alewell, Christine

    2015-04-01

    Natural abundances of stable isotopes are a widespread tool to investigate biogeochemical processes in soils. Palsas are peatlands with an ice core and are common in the discontinuous permafrost region. Elevated parts of palsa peatlands, called hummocks, were uplifted by permafrost out of the influence of groundwater. Here we used the combination of δ15N values and C/N ratio along depth profiles to identify perturbation of these soils. In the years 2009 and 2012 we took in total 14 peat cores from hummocks in two palsa peatlands near Abisko, northern Sweden. Peat samples were analysed in 2 to 4 cm layers for stable isotope ratios and concentrations of C and N. The uplifting of the hummocks by permafrost could be detected by stable isotope depth patterns with the highest δ15N value at permafrost onset, a so-called turning point. Regression analyses indicated in 11 of 14 peat cores increasing δ15N values above and decreasing values below the turning point. This is in accordance with the depth patterns of δ13C values and C/N ratios in these palsa peatlands. Onset of permafrost aggradation identified by the highest δ15N value in the profile and calculated from peat accumulation rates show ages ranging from 80 to 545 years and indicate a mean (±SD) peat age at the turning points of 242 (±66) years for Stordalen and 365 (±53) years for Storflaket peatland. The mean peat ages at turning points are within the period of the Little Ice Age. Furthermore, we tested if the disturbance, in this case the uplifting of the peat material, can be displayed in the relation of δ15N and C/N ratio following the concept of Conen et al. (2013). In unperturbed sites soil δ15N values cover a relatively narrow range at any particular C/N ratio. Changes in N cycling, i.e. N loss or gain, results in the loss or gain of 15N depleted forms. This leads to larger or smaller δ15N values than usual at the observed C/N ratio. All, except one, turning point show a perturbation in the depth

  11. The role of hydrological transience in peatland pattern formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morris, P. J.; Baird, A. J.; Belyea, L. R.

    2013-10-01

    The sloping flanks of peatlands are commonly patterned with non-random, contour-parallel stripes of distinct micro-habitats such as hummocks, lawns and hollows. Patterning seems to be governed by feedbacks among peatland hydrological processes, plant micro-succession, plant litter production and peat decomposition. An improved understanding of peatland patterning may provide important insights into broader aspects of the long-term development of peatlands and their likely response to future climate change. We recreated a cellular simulation model from the literature, as well as three subtle variants of the model, to explore the controls on peatland patterning. Our models each consist of three submodels, which simulate: peatland water tables in a gridded landscape, micro-habitat dynamics in response to water-table depths, and changes in peat hydraulic properties. We found that the strength and nature of simulated patterning was highly dependent on the degree to which water tables had reached a steady state in response to hydrological inputs. Contrary to previous studies, we found that under a true steady state the models predict largely unpatterned landscapes that cycle rapidly between contrasting dry and wet states, dominated by hummocks and hollows, respectively. Realistic patterning only developed when simulated water tables were still transient. Literal interpretation of the degree of hydrological transience required for patterning suggests that the model should be discarded; however, the transient water tables appear to have inadvertently replicated an ecological memory effect that may be important to peatland patterning. Recently buried peat layers may remain hydrologically active despite no longer reflecting current vegetation patterns, thereby highlighting the potential importance of three-dimensional structural complexity in peatlands to understanding the two-dimensional surface-patterning phenomenon. The models were highly sensitive to the assumed values

  12. Autochamber measurements of Net Ecosystem (CO2) Exchange at a subarctic mire in Northern Sweden

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walthall, M.; Parker-Smith, X.; Lawrence, R. D.; Crill, P. M.

    2015-12-01

    Northern latitude wetlands (>~50°N) are characterized by cold and wet conditions that result in low decomposition rates for plant litter. This process promotes the sequestration of carbon (C) in the form of organic matter (i.e. peat) and the formation of widespread peatands. Peatlands, particularly in the Northern Hemisphere, have accumulated C by removing atmospheric CO2 for approximately the past 10,000 years. Historically, peatlands represent a net C sink; however, increases in the global average temperature could alter peatlands ability to store carbon. With a warming climate and permafrost thaw, the pool of once stable soil organic C available for decomposition is increasing. Like all terrestrial ecosystems, a number of environmental factors (e.g. peat temperature and vegetation) play important roles in governing the fate of C in peatlands. Projected climate change is expected to affect these regulating factors. Subarctic peatlands in zones of discontinuous permafrost are experiencing widespread environmental changes due to climate warming. In this study, we present net ecosystem (CO2) exchange and δ13C-CO2 data from Stordalen Mire in northern Sweden (68°22'N, 19°03'E). Measurements were made using a quantum cascade laser spectrometer connected to automatic chambers placed in the three predominant ecosystems (a dry, elevated Palsa; an intermediate thaw regime dominated by Sphagnum spp. and; a completely thawed, inundated site dominated by Eriophorum angustifolium). Team was mentored by Mr. Ryan Lawrence from The University of New Hampshire.

  13. Fire and Microtopography in Peatlands: Feedbacks and Carbon Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benscoter, B.; Turetsky, M. R.

    2011-12-01

    Fire is the dominant natural disturbance in peatland ecosystems. Over the past decade, peat fires have emerged as an important issue for global climate change, human health, and economic loss, largely due to the extreme peat fire events in Indonesia and Russia that severely impacted metropolitan areas and social infrastructure. However, the impact and importance of fire in peatland ecosystems are more far-reaching. Combustion of vegetation and soil organic matter releases an average of 2.2 kg C m-2 to the atmosphere, primarily as CO2, as well as a number of potentially harmful emissions such as fine particulate matter and mercury. Additionally, while peatlands are generally considered to be net sinks of atmospheric carbon, the removal of living vegetation by combustion halts primary production following fire resulting in a net loss of ecosystem carbon to the atmosphere for several years. The recovery of carbon sink function is linked to plant community succession and development, which can vary based on combustion severity and the resulting post-fire microhabitat conditions. Microtopography has a strong influence on fire behavior and combustion severity during peatland wildfires. In boreal continental peatlands, combustion severity is typically greatest in low-lying hollows while raised hummocks are often lightly burned or unburned. The cross-scale influence of microtopography on landscape fire behavior is due to differences in plant community composition between microforms. The physiological and ecohydrological differences among plant communities result in spatial patterns in fuel availability and condition, influencing the spread, severity, and type of combustion over local to landscape scales. In addition to heterogeneous combustion loss of soil carbon, this differential fire behavior creates variability in post-fire microhabitat conditions, resulting in differences in post-fire vegetation succession and carbon exchange trajectories. These immediate and legacy

  14. Effects of winter temperature and summer drought on net ecosystem exchange of CO2 in a temperate peatland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helfter, Carole; Campbell, Claire; Dinsmore, Kerry; Drewer, Julia; Coyle, Mhairi; Anderson, Margaret; Skiba, Ute; Nemitz, Eiko; Billett, Michael; Sutton, Mark

    2014-05-01

    Northern peatlands are one of the most important global sinks of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2); their ability to sequester C is a natural feedback mechanism controlled by climatic variables such as precipitation, temperature, length of growing season and period of snow cover. In the UK it has been predicted that peatlands could become a net source of carbon in response to climate change with climate models predicting a rise in global temperature of ca. 3oC between 1961-1990 and 2100. Land-atmosphere exchange of CO2in peatlands exhibits marked seasonal and inter-annual variations, which have significant short- and long-term effects on carbon sink strength. Net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 has been measured continuously by eddy-covariance (EC) at Auchencorth Moss (55° 47'32 N, 3° 14'35 W, 267 m a.s.l.), a temperate peatland in central Scotland, since 2002. Auchencorth Moss is a low-lying, ombrotrophic peatland situated ca. 20 km south-west of Edinburgh. Peat depth ranges from 5 m and the site has a mean annual precipitation of 1155 mm. The vegetation present within the flux measurement footprint comprises mixed grass species, heather and substantial areas of moss species (Sphagnum spp. and Polytrichum spp.). The EC system consists of a LiCOR 7000 closed-path infrared gas analyser for the simultaneous measurement of CO2 and water vapour and of a Gill Windmaster Pro ultrasonic anemometer. Over the 10 year period, the site was a consistent yet variable sink of CO2 ranging from -34.1 to -135.9 g CO2-C m-2 yr-1 (mean of -69.1 ± 33.6 g CO2-C m-2 yr-1). Inter-annual variability in NEE was positively correlated to the length of the growing seasons and mean winter air temperature explained 93% of the variability in summertime sink strength, indicating a phenological memory-effect. Plant development and productivity were stunted by colder winters causing a net reduction in the annual carbon sink strength of this peatland where autotrophic processes are thought to be

  15. Towards a Global High Resolution Peatland Map in 2020

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barthelmes, Alexandra; Barthelmes, Karen-Doreen; Joosten, Hans; Dommain, Rene; Margalef, Olga

    2015-04-01

    Some 3% of land area on planet Earth (approx. 4 million km2) is covered by peatlands. About 10% (~ 0.3 % of the land area) are drained and responsible for a disproportional 5 % of the global anthropogenic CO2 emissions (Victoria et al., 2012). Additionally, peatland drainage and degradation lead to land subsidence, soil degradation, water pollution, and enhanced susceptibility to fire (Holden et al., 2004; Joosten et al., 2012). The global importance of peatlands for carbon storage and climate change mitigation has currently been recognized in international policy - since 2008 organic soils are subject of discussion in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (Joosten, 2011). In May 2013 the European Parliament decided that the global post 2020 climate agreement should include the obligation to report emissions and removals from peatland drainage and rewetting. Implementation of such program, however, necessitates the rapid availability of reliable, comprehensive, high resolution, spatially explicit data on the extent and status of peatlands. For many reporting countries this requires an innovation in peatland mapping, i.e. the better and integrative use of novel, but already available methods and technologies. We developed an approach that links various science networks, methodologies and data bases, including those of peatland/landscape ecology for understanding where and how peatlands may occur, those of remote sensing for identifying possible locations, and those of pedology (legacy soil maps) and (palaeo-)ecology for ground truthing. Such integration of old field data, specialized knowledge, and modern RS and GIS technologies enables acquiring a rapid, comprehensive, detailed and rather reliable overview, even on a continental scale. We illustrate this approach with a high resolution overview of peatland distribution, area, status and greenhouse gas fluxes e.g. for the East African countries Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Zambia. Furthermore, we

  16. Towards a Global High Resolution Peatland Map in 2020

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barthelmes, Alexandra; Barthelmes, Karen-Doreen; Dommain, Rene; Margalef, Olga; Joosten, Hans

    2014-05-01

    Some 3% of land area on planet Earth (approx. 4 million km2) is covered by peatlands. About 10% (~ 0.3 % of the land area) are drained and responsible for a disproportional 5 % of the global anthropogenic CO2 emissions (Victoria et al., 2012). Additionally, peatland drainage and degradation lead to land subsidence, soil degradation, water pollution, and enhanced susceptibility to fire (Holden et al., 2004; Joosten et al., 2012). The global importance of peatlands for carbon storage and climate change mitigation has only recently been recognized in international policy - only since 2008 organic soils are subject of discussion in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (Joosten, 2011). In May 2013 the European Parliament decided that the global post 2020 climate agreement should include the obligation to report emissions and removals from peatland drainage and rewetting. Implementation of such program, however, necessitates the rapid availability of reliable, comprehensive, high resolution, spatially explicit data on the extent and status of peatlands. For many reporting countries this requires an innovation in peatland mapping, i.e. the better and integrative use of novel, but already available methods and technologies. We developed an approach that links various science networks, methodologies and data bases, including those of peatland/landscape ecology for understanding where and how peatlands may occur, those of remote sensing for identifying possible locations, and those of pedology (legacy soil maps) and (palaeo-)ecology for ground truthing. Such integration of old field data, specialized knowledge, and modern RS and GIS technologies enables acquiring a rapid, comprehensive, detailed and rather reliable overview, even on a continental scale. We illustrate this approach with a high resolution overview of peatland distribution, area, status and greenhouse gas fluxes for East Africa (including the Horn of Africa, the African Great Lakes region and

  17. The effects of permafrost thaw on soil hydrologic, thermal, and carbon dynamics in an Alaskan peatland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    O'Donnell, J. A.; Jorgenson, M.T.; Harden, Jennifer W.; McGuire, A.D.; Kanevskiy, M.Z.; Wickland, K.P.

    2012-01-01

    Recent warming at high-latitudes has accelerated permafrost thaw in northern peatlands, and thaw can have profound effects on local hydrology and ecosystem carbon balance. To assess the impact of permafrost thaw on soil organic carbon (OC) dynamics, we measured soil hydrologic and thermal dynamics and soil OC stocks across a collapse-scar bog chronosequence in interior Alaska. We observed dramatic changes in the distribution of soil water associated with thawing of ice-rich frozen peat. The impoundment of warm water in collapse-scar bogs initiated talik formation and the lateral expansion of bogs over time. On average, Permafrost Plateaus stored 137 ± 37 kg C m-2, whereas OC storage in Young Bogs and Old Bogs averaged 84 ± 13 kg C m-2. Based on our reconstructions, the accumulation of OC in near-surface bog peat continued for nearly 1,000 years following permafrost thaw, at which point accumulation rates slowed. Rapid decomposition of thawed forest peat reduced deep OC stocks by nearly half during the first 100 years following thaw. Using a simple mass-balance model, we show that accumulation rates at the bog surface were not sufficient to balance deep OC losses, resulting in a net loss of OC from the entire peat column. An uncertainty analysis also revealed that the magnitude and timing of soil OC loss from thawed forest peat depends substantially on variation in OC input rates to bog peat and variation in decay constants for shallow and deep OC stocks. These findings suggest that permafrost thaw and the subsequent release of OC from thawed peat will likely reduce the strength of northern permafrost-affected peatlands as a carbon dioxide sink, and consequently, will likely accelerate rates of atmospheric warming.

  18. Quality of runoff from Minnesota peatlands. I. A characterization

    SciTech Connect

    Clausen, J.C.; Brooks, K.N.

    1983-10-01

    The likelihood of expanded use of Minnesota's 3 million hectares of peatlands prompted the state to initiate a hydrologic study to characterize these groundwater-linked systems. Determining the quality of stream flow from these peatlands was an integral part of the study. Peatlands could be differentiated either on the basis of stream flow quality or on soil-vegetation characteristics. The quality of stream flow from 45 undisturbed peatlands was characterized by collecting samples five times in 1979-1980 and analyzing them for 27 water quality characteristics. Runoff pH, specific conductance, alkalinity, calcium, and magnesium were used to classify the peatlands as bog, transition, or fen. Bog runoff was lower (..cap alpha.. = 0.05) in pH, calcium, sodium, manganese, and ammonia nitrogen than fen runoff, but was higher in acidity, color, aluminum, humic and fulvic acid, and chemical oxygen demand than fen runoff. Bogs had more fibric peat of a lower pH than fens; fens exhibited tall woody shrubs which were virtually absent on bogs. 5 references, 3 figures, 3 tables.

  19. Environmental controls on δ13C variations of Sphagnum derived n-alkanes in the Dajiuhu peatland, central China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, X.; Xue, J.; Wang, X.; WANG, H.; Meyers, P. A.; Qin, Y.; Gong, L.; Ding, W.

    2012-12-01

    Northern peatlands are one of the very important atmospheric carbon sinks and represent about 30% of the global soil organic carbon (Gorham, 1991). In peatland conditions, high water levels and consequent anoxia make them an important source of methane. A recent study revealed that methanotrophic bacteria growing on stems or in hyaline cells of Sphagnum can provide methane derived carbon for photosynthesis (Raghoebarsing et al., 2005). This interaction has been found to be globally prevalent in peat-moss ecosystems and can contribute up to 30% of carbon for Sphagnum photosynthesis (Kip et al., 2010). Due to the uptake of 13C-depleted methane-derived CO2 and the sensitivity of methane oxidizing bacteria to the surface wetness, the carbon isotopic signatures of Sphagnum derived lipids have the potential to be used as a proxy for the surface wetness in peatlands and hence as paleoclimate archives (Nichols et al., 2009). In this study, we report the δ13C variations of the Sphagnum derived n-C23 alkane in both fresh Sphagnum and surface peat samples in the Dajiuhu peatland, a small fen located in the Shennongjia forestry region, Hubei province, central China. The δ13C23 values of Sphagnum show a negative correlation with the water level, supporting the idea that that the carbon isotope fractionation of Sphagnum is mainly manifested by the diffusion resistance of CO2 in hyaline cells of Sphagnum. However, δ13C23 values of surface peats collected in Sphagnum dominated ecosystems display a positive relation with the water level when the water level is less than 30 cm. Such an inconsistency probably results from the higher potential for methane-oxidizing activity in the lower parts of Sphagnum in fen meadows. When the water level is higher than 30 cm, the influence of symbiotic methanotrophic bacteria on Sphagnum derived n-C23 alkane is weak or nearly absent. These findings provide direct evidence to support the hypothesis that the carbon isotopic signatures of Sphagnum

  20. The 8.4 ka lake Agassiz drainage event: its deep-sea sedimentary record and impact on the Atlantic Meridional Overturning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hillaire-Marcel, C.; de Vernal, A.; Piper, D. J.; St-Onge, G.

    2005-12-01

    Many papers have linked the ca. 8.4 ka drainage of the Laurentide Ice Sheet pro-glacial Lake Agassiz (Barber et al, 2002, Nature 400, 344-348) to a significant reduction in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning (AMO) and to climate excursions of variable age and duration in the 8.5-8 ka time frame, with reference to the so-called "8.2 ka event" (see refs. in Rohling and Pelike, 2004, Nature 434, 975-979) based on the Greenland ice core chronology. Unfortunately, none of these papers provide direct marine evidence for a collapse or significant reduction in the AMO, neither for a widespread change in sea-surface conditions over the northern North Atlantic. Moreover, model experiments made with reference to this event lack critical evaluation based on data. Here, we present paleoceanographical records near the source area in the northwest North Atlantic with chronological resolution as high as 15 years per sample in some instances. They provide evidence for two short duration, local sedimentological events (possibly each of one year duration according to Clarke et al., 2003, Science 301, 922-923), but indicate the absence of significant change in sea-surface conditions as well as in the outflow of the deep Western Boundary Under Current, at the resolvable time scale. We conclude that there is no evidence for a significant change in the AMO linked to the drainage event that lasted more than a few tens of years, if at all. Nonetheless, all marine records indicate that the 8.5 to 7.5 ka time interval does correspond to a major large scale re-organisation both of land drainage in NE America and of the North Atlantic climate-ocean system (cf. St-Onge et al., 2003, EPSL 209, 113-130; Keigwin et al., 2005, Paleoceanography, 20, 10.1029/2004PA001074), notably marked by a reduction in the North East North Atlantic Water outflow, an increasing Denmark Strait Overflow and the inception of Labrador Sea Water formation.

  1. Can oxygen stable isotopes be used to track precipitation moisture source in vascular plant-dominated peatlands?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amesbury, Matthew J.; Charman, Dan J.; Newnham, Rewi M.; Loader, Neil J.; Goodrich, Jordan; Royles, Jessica; Campbell, David I.; Keller, Elizabeth D.; Baisden, W. Troy; Roland, Thomas P.; Gallego-Sala, Angela V.

    2015-11-01

    Variations in the isotopic composition of precipitation are determined by fractionation processes which occur during temperature- and humidity-dependent phase changes associated with evaporation and condensation. Oxygen stable isotope ratios have therefore been frequently used as a source of palaeoclimate data from a variety of proxy archives, which integrate this signal over time. Applications from ombrotrophic peatlands, where the source water used in cellulose synthesis is derived solely from precipitation, have been mostly limited to Northern Hemisphere Sphagnum-dominated bogs, with few in the Southern Hemisphere or in peatlands dominated by vascular plants. New Zealand (NZ) provides an ideal location to undertake empirical research into oxygen isotope fractionation in vascular peatlands because single taxon analysis can be easily carried out, in particular using the preserved root matrix of the restionaceous wire rush (Empodisma spp.) that forms deep Holocene peat deposits throughout the country. Furthermore, large gradients are observed in the mean isotopic composition of precipitation across NZ, caused primarily by the relative influence of different climate modes. Here, we test whether δ18O of Empodisma α-cellulose from ombrotrophic restiad peatlands in NZ can provide a methodology for developing palaeoclimate records of past precipitation δ18O. Surface plant, water and precipitation samples were taken over spatial (six sites spanning >10° latitude) and temporal (monthly measurements over one year) gradients. A link between the isotopic composition of root-associated water, the most likely source water for plant growth, and precipitation in both datasets was found. Back-trajectory modelling of precipitation moisture source for rain days prior to sampling showed clear seasonality in the temporal data that was reflected in root-associated water. The link between source water and plant cellulose was less clear, although mechanistic modelling predicted mean

  2. Nelson's big horn sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni) trample Agassiz's desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) burrow at a California wind energy facility

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Agha, Mickey; Delaney, David F.; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Briggs, Jessica; Austin, Meaghan; Price, Steven J.

    2015-01-01

    Research on interactions between Agassiz's desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) and ungulates has focused exclusively on the effects of livestock grazing on tortoises and their habitat (Oldemeyer, 1994). For example, during a 1980 study in San Bernardino County, California, 164 desert tortoise burrows were assessed for vulnerability to trampling by domestic sheep (Ovis aries). Herds of grazing sheep damaged 10% and destroyed 4% of the burrows (Nicholson and Humphreys 1981). In addition, a juvenile desert tortoise was trapped and an adult male was blocked from entering a burrow due to trampling by domestic sheep. Another study found that domestic cattle (Bos taurus) trampled active desert tortoise burrows and vegetation surrounding burrows (Avery and Neibergs 1997). Trampling also has negative impacts on diversity of vegetation and intershrub soil crusts in the desert southwest (Webb and Stielstra 1979). Trampling of important food plants and overgrazing has the potential to create competition between desert tortoises and domestic livestock (Berry 1978; Coombs 1979; Webb and Stielstra 1979).

  3. Stability of peatland carbon to rising temperatures.

    PubMed

    Wilson, R M; Hopple, A M; Tfaily, M M; Sebestyen, S D; Schadt, C W; Pfeifer-Meister, L; Medvedeff, C; McFarlane, K J; Kostka, J E; Kolton, M; Kolka, R K; Kluber, L A; Keller, J K; Guilderson, T P; Griffiths, N A; Chanton, J P; Bridgham, S D; Hanson, P J

    2016-12-13

    Peatlands contain one-third of soil carbon (C), mostly buried in deep, saturated anoxic zones (catotelm). The response of catotelm C to climate forcing is uncertain, because prior experiments have focused on surface warming. We show that deep peat heating of a 2 m-thick peat column results in an exponential increase in CH4 emissions. However, this response is due solely to surface processes and not degradation of catotelm peat. Incubations show that only the top 20-30 cm of peat from experimental plots have higher CH4 production rates at elevated temperatures. Radiocarbon analyses demonstrate that CH4 and CO2 are produced primarily from decomposition of surface-derived modern photosynthate, not catotelm C. There are no differences in microbial abundances, dissolved organic matter concentrations or degradative enzyme activities among treatments. These results suggest that although surface peat will respond to increasing temperature, the large reservoir of catotelm C is stable under current anoxic conditions.

  4. Stability of peatland carbon to rising temperatures

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, R. M.; Hopple, A. M.; Tfaily, M. M.; Sebestyen, S. D.; Schadt, C. W.; Pfeifer-Meister, L.; Medvedeff, C.; McFarlane, K. J.; Kostka, J. E.; Kolton, M.; Kolka, R.K.; Kluber, L. A.; Keller, J. K.; Guilderson, T. P.; Griffiths, N. A.; Chanton, J. P.; Bridgham, S. D.; Hanson, P. J.

    2016-01-01

    Peatlands contain one-third of soil carbon (C), mostly buried in deep, saturated anoxic zones (catotelm). The response of catotelm C to climate forcing is uncertain, because prior experiments have focused on surface warming. We show that deep peat heating of a 2 m-thick peat column results in an exponential increase in CH4 emissions. However, this response is due solely to surface processes and not degradation of catotelm peat. Incubations show that only the top 20–30 cm of peat from experimental plots have higher CH4 production rates at elevated temperatures. Radiocarbon analyses demonstrate that CH4 and CO2 are produced primarily from decomposition of surface-derived modern photosynthate, not catotelm C. There are no differences in microbial abundances, dissolved organic matter concentrations or degradative enzyme activities among treatments. These results suggest that although surface peat will respond to increasing temperature, the large reservoir of catotelm C is stable under current anoxic conditions. PMID:27958276

  5. Stability of peatland carbon to rising temperatures

    DOE PAGES

    Wilson, R. M.; Hopple, A. M.; Tfaily, M. M.; ...

    2016-12-13

    Peatlands contain one-third of soil carbon (C), mostly buried in deep, saturated anoxic zones (catotelm). The response of catotelm C to climate forcing is uncertain, because prior experiments have focused on surface warming. Here, we show that deep peat heating of a 2 m-thick peat column results in an exponential increase in CH4 emissions. But, this response is due solely to surface processes and not degradation of catotelm peat. Incubations show that only the top 20–30 cm of peat from experimental plots have higher CH4 production rates at elevated temperatures. Radiocarbon analyses demonstrate that CH4 and CO2 are produced primarilymore » from decomposition of surface-derived modern photosynthate, not catotelm C. Furthermore, there are no differences in microbial abundances, dissolved organic matter concentrations or degradative enzyme activities among treatments. Our results suggest that although surface peat will respond to increasing temperature, the large reservoir of catotelm C is stable under current anoxic conditions.« less

  6. Stability of peatland carbon to rising temperatures

    SciTech Connect

    Wilson, R. M.; Hopple, A. M.; Tfaily, M. M.; Sebestyen, S. D.; Schadt, C. W.; Pfeifer-Meister, L.; Medvedeff, C.; McFarlane, K. J.; Kostka, J. E.; Kolton, M.; Kolka, R. K.; Kluber, L. A.; Keller, J. K.; Guilderson, T. P.; Griffiths, N. A.; Chanton, J. P.; Bridgham, S. D.; Hanson, P. J.

    2016-12-13

    Peatlands contain one-third of soil carbon (C), mostly buried in deep, saturated anoxic zones (catotelm). The response of catotelm C to climate forcing is uncertain, because prior experiments have focused on surface warming. Here, we show that deep peat heating of a 2 m-thick peat column results in an exponential increase in CH4 emissions. But, this response is due solely to surface processes and not degradation of catotelm peat. Incubations show that only the top 20–30 cm of peat from experimental plots have higher CH4 production rates at elevated temperatures. Radiocarbon analyses demonstrate that CH4 and CO2 are produced primarily from decomposition of surface-derived modern photosynthate, not catotelm C. Furthermore, there are no differences in microbial abundances, dissolved organic matter concentrations or degradative enzyme activities among treatments. Our results suggest that although surface peat will respond to increasing temperature, the large reservoir of catotelm C is stable under current anoxic conditions.

  7. Hydrology and Geostatistics of a Vermont, USA Kettlehole Peatland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mouser, Paula J.; Hession, W. Cully; Rizzo, Donna M.; Gotelli, Nicholas J.

    2005-01-01

    The ability to predict the response of peatland ecosystems to hydrologic changes is imperative for successful conservation and remediation efforts. We studied a 1.25-ha Vermont kettlehole bog for one year (September 2001-October 2002) to identify hydrologic controls, temporal and spatial variability in flow regimes, and to link hydrologic processes to density of the carnivorous plant ( Sarracenia purpurea), an ombrotrophic bog specialist. Using a spatial array of nested piezometers, we measured surface and subsurface flow in shallow peat and surrounding mineral soil. Our unique sampling array was based on a repeated measures factorial design with: (1) incremental distances from a central kettlehole pond; (2) equal distances between piezometers; and (3) at three depths from the peat surface. Local flow patterns in the peat were controlled by snowpack storage during winter and spring months and by evapotranspiration and pond water elevation during summer and fall months. Hydraulic head values showed a local reversal within the peat during spring months which was reflected in higher chemical constituent concentrations in these wells. On a regional scale, higher permeable soils diverted groundwater beneath the peatland to a nearby wetland complex. Horizontal water gradient magnitudes were larger in zones where the peatland was perched above regional groundwater and smaller in zones where a hydraulic connection existed between the peatland and the regional groundwater. The density of pitcher plants ( S. purpurea) is strongly correlated to the distance from a central pond, [Fe 3+], [Na +], [Cl -], and [SO42-]. The pH, conductivity, and [Ca 2+] had significant effects of depth and time with horizontal distance correlations between 20 and 26 m. The pH samples had temporal correlations between 27 and 79 days. The link between pitcher plants and ion chemistry; significant effects of peatland chemistry on distance, depth, and time; and spatial and temporal correlations are

  8. Calibration of Rainfall-Runoff Parameters in Peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walle Menberu, Meseret; Torabi Haghighi, Ali; Kløve, Bjørn

    2013-04-01

    Finland is a country where its possession of peatlands compared to the total surface area of the country puts in the leading categories globally in peatland possession having 33.5% of its total land area covered with peatlands. Recent interest has grown in using peatlands as temporary flood control barriers by taking advantage of the high water holding capacity of peat soils. Water holding capacity of peat soils enables to reduce high rate of runoff and peak flow which might endanger downstream of the flow and in the process of doing that, the rest of the water leaving the peatland areas is less polluted due to the wetlands' potential in purifying polluted water. Therefore, in order to understand how capable enough peatlands are in holding water by reducing the peak flow or slowing down the rate of runoff, this paper analyses the rainfall-runoff phenomena in peatland catchments through important runoff parameters. Among the most important runoff parameters; the initial abstraction, the curve number and lag time are selected for this paper due to their highest impact on rainfall-runoff process. For this study, two peatland catchments of drained and pristine are selected. Managing to explain the initial abstraction and curve number behaviour in the catchments will able to clearly understand and as well predict the rainfall-runoff process in the catchments. In the selected study sites, observed rainfall and runoff data are collected. The study sites are modelled with the help of Arc-GIS and Hec-GeoHMS and from that are exported to HEC-HMS (Hydrologic modelling software) for rainfall-runoff analysis. The two important parameters; the initial abstraction and curve number are used to calibrate the model. And finally, the parameters that have given the best fit between the modelled and observed rainfall-runoff process are suggested for the study sites. Having these parameters estimated eases to understand rainfall-runoff process in the catchments for whatsoever purpose

  9. Hydrogeological controls on post-fire moss recovery in peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lukenbach, M. C.; Devito, K. J.; Kettridge, N.; Petrone, R. M.; Waddington, J. M.

    2015-11-01

    Wildfire is the largest disturbance affecting boreal peatlands, however, little is known about the controls on post-fire peatland vegetation recovery. While small-scale variation in burn severity can reduce post-fire moss water availability, high water table (WT) positions following wildfire are also critical to enable the re-establishment of keystone peatland mosses (i.e. Sphagnum). Thus, post-fire moss water availability is also likely a function of landscape-scale controls on peatland WT dynamics, specifically, connectivity to groundwater flow systems (i.e. hydrogeological setting). For this reason, we assessed the interacting controls of hydrogeological setting and burn severity on post-fire moss water availability in three burned, Sphagnum-dominated peatlands in Alberta's Boreal Plains. At all sites, variation in burn severity resulted in a dichotomy between post-fire surface covers that: (1) exhibited low water availability, regardless of WT position, and had minimal (<5%) moss re-establishment (i.e. lightly burned feather mosses and severely burned Sphagnum fuscum) or (2) exhibited high water availability, depending on WT position, and had substantial (>50%) moss re-establishment (i.e. lightly burned S. fuscum and where depth of burn was >0.05 m). Notably, hydrogeological setting influenced the spatial coverage of these post-fire surface covers by influencing pre-fire WTs and stand characteristics (e.g., shading). Because feather moss cover is controlled by tree shading, lightly burned feather mosses were ubiquitous (>25%) in drier peatlands (deeper pre-fire WTs) that were densely treed and had little connection to large groundwater flow systems. Moreover, hydrogeological setting also controlled post-fire WT positions, thereby affecting moss re-establishment in post-fire surface covers that were dependent on WT position (e.g., lightly burned S. fuscum). Accordingly, higher recolonization rates were observed in a peatland located in a groundwater flow through

  10. Hydrogeological controls on post-fire moss recovery in peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lukenbach, Max; Devito, Kevin; Kettridge, Nicholas; Petrone, Richard; Waddington, James

    2015-04-01

    Wildfire is the largest disturbance affecting peatlands, however, little is known about the spatiotemporal variability of post-fire recovery in these ecosystems. High water table (WT) positions after wildfire are critical to limit atmospheric carbon losses and enable the re-establishment of keystone peatland mosses (i.e. Sphagnum). While small-scale variation in burn severity can reduce capillary flow from the WT and lead to a dry surface after fire, steep WT declines can also limit post-fire moss water availability. As such, post-fire moss water availability is also a function of large-scale controls on peatland WT dynamics, specifically, connectivity to groundwater flow systems (i.e. hydrogeological setting). For this reason, we assessed the interacting controls of hydrogeological setting and burn severity on post-fire moss water availability by measuring peatland WTs, soil tension (Ψ) and surface volumetric moisture content (θ) in three burned, Sphagnum-dominated peatlands located in different hydrogeological settings for three years following wildfire. The effect of burn severity on post-fire moss water availability did not vary with hydrogeological setting, however, the spatial coverage of high and low burn severity did vary between peatlands located in different hydrogeological settings due to its influence on pre-fire fuel loads and species cover. Locations covered by S. fuscum prior to fire exhibited decreasing post-fire water availability with increasing burn severity. In contrast, the lowest water availability (Ψ > 400 cm, θ < 0.02) was observed in feather mosses that underwent low burn severity (residual branches identifiable). Where depth of burn was > 0.05 m (high burn severity) and pre-fire species were not identifiable, water availability was highest (Ψ < 90 cm). Where burn severity did not limit water availability through a reduction of capillary flow, depth to WT (and therefore hydrogeological setting) played a large role in affecting post

  11. Long-term macronutrient stoichiometry of UK ombrotrophic peatlands.

    PubMed

    Schillereff, Daniel N; Boyle, John F; Toberman, Hannah; Adams, Jessica L; Bryant, Charlotte L; Chiverrell, Richard C; Helliwell, Rachel C; Keenan, Patrick; Lilly, Allan; Tipping, Edward

    2016-12-01

    In this paper we report new data on peat carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) concentrations and accumulation rates for 15 sites in the UK. Concentrations of C, N and P measured in peat from five ombrotrophic blanket mires, spanning 4000-10,000years to present were combined with existing nutrient data from ten Scottish ombrotrophic peat bogs to provide the first UK perspective on millennial scale macronutrient concentrations in ombrotrophic peats. Long-term average C, N and P concentrations (0-1.25m) for the UK are 54.8, 1.56 and 0.039wt%, of similar magnitude to the few published comparable sites worldwide. The uppermost peat (0-0.2m) is enriched in P and N (51.0, 1.86, and 0.070wt%) relative to the deeper peat (0.5-1.25m, 56.3, 1.39, and 0.027wt%). Long-term average (whole core) accumulation rates of C, N and P are 25.3±2.2gCm(-2)year(-)(1) (mean±SE), 0.70±0.09gNm(-2)year(-1) and 0.018±0.004gPm(-2)year(-1), again similar to values reported elsewhere in the world. The two most significant findings are: 1) that a regression model of N concentration on P concentration and mean annual precipitation, based on global meta data for surface peat samples, can explain 54% of variance in N concentration in these UK peat profiles; and 2) budget calculations for the UK peat cores yield an estimate for long-term average N-fixation of 0.8gm(-2)year(-1). Our UK results, and comparison with others sites, corroborate published estimates of N storage in northern boreal peatlands through the Holocene as ranging between 8 and 15Pg N. However, the observed correlation of N% with both mean annual precipitation and P concentration allows a potential bias in global estimates that do not take this into account. The peat sampling data set has been deposited at the NERC Data Centre (Toberman et al., 2016).

  12. Russian boreal peatlands dominate the natural European methane budget

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneider, Julia; Jungkunst, Hermann F.; Wolf, Ulrike; Schreiber, Peter; Gažovič, Michal; Miglovets, Mikhail; Mikhaylov, Oleg; Grunwald, Dennis; Erasmi, Stefan; Wilmking, Martin; Kutzbach, Lars

    2016-01-01

    About 60% of the European wetlands are located in the European part of Russia. Nevertheless, data on methane emissions from wetlands of that area are absent. Here we present results of methane emission measurements for two climatically different years from a boreal peatland complex in European Russia. Winter fluxes were well within the range of what has been reported for the peatlands of other boreal regions before, but summer fluxes greatly exceeded the average range of 5-80 mg CH4 m-2 d-1 for the circumpolar boreal zone. Half of the measured fluxes ranged between 150 and 450 mg CH4 m-2 d-1. Extrapolation of our data to the whole boreal zone of European Russia shows that theses emissions could amount to up to 2.7 ± 1.1 Tg CH4 a-1, corresponding to 69% of the annual emissions from European wetlands or 33% of the total annual natural European methane emission. In 2008, climatic conditions corresponded to the long term mean, whereas the summer of 2011 was warmer and noticeably drier. Counterintuitively, these conditions led to even higher CH4 emissions, with peaks up to two times higher than the values measured in 2008. As Russian peatlands dominate the areal extend of wetlands in Europe and are characterized by very high methane fluxes to the atmosphere, it is evident, that sound European methane budgeting will only be achieved with more insight into Russian peatlands.

  13. An Integration of a GIS with Peatland Management

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoshal, J. C.; Johnson, R. L.

    1982-01-01

    The complexities of peatland management in Minnesota and the use of a geographic information system, the Minnesota Land Management Information System (MLMIS) in the management process are examined. General information on the nature of peat and it quantity and distribution in Minnesota is also presented.

  14. Peatland and River Water Biogeochemistry of the West Siberian Plain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frey, K. E.; Smith, L. C.; MacDonald, G. A.; Velichko, A. A.; Borisova, O. K.; Kremenetski, K. V.; Kremenetski, K. V.

    2001-12-01

    The West Siberian Plain (WSP) of arctic Russia stores a major fraction of the global soil carbon pool in the form of peat, with annual accumulation rates thought to be on the order of 1012 g C. Determining locations of present carbon accumulation in this region is essential for understanding future possible carbon cycle dynamics and globally significant greenhouse gas exchange. Despite their importance, however, locations and amounts of carbon accumulation within the WSP are poorly constrained. The relative amount of carbon sequestered in these peatlands compared with that exported through the adjacent rivers ultimately entering the Arctic Ocean is also of great interest. Water biogeochemistry of rivers draining nearby peatlands is extremely important for understanding the hydrologic exchange between these systems and to determine sources and sinks of organic carbon. Peatlands export more organic carbon per unit area than any other biogeographical land type in the world. Thus, oceans are an important sink for terrestrial organic carbon as well as nutrients, which are crucial for the high biologic productivity seen in both coastal and interior areas of the Arctic Ocean. Field campaigns in 1999, 2000, and 2001 have been conducted in the WSP. A total of 201 locations distributed throughout the WSP have been sampled, including 98 river, 49 peatland lake, 40 peat surface, 12 peat pore, and 2 ground water samples. Measurements of pH, specific conductivity, and temperature were taken in the field. Filtered water samples were taken both for cation analysis (Ag, As, Al, B, Ba, Ca, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, K, Li, Mg, Mo, Mn, Na, Ni, P, Pb, S, Sb, Se, Si, Sn, Sr, Ti, Tl, V, and Zn) and anion/nutrient analysis (NO3N, NH4N, total nitrogen, dissolved organic nitrogen, dissolved organic carbon, total phosphorus, Cl, and SO4). Samples for particulate analysis were also taken. Peatland type and potential for peat accumulation have been shown to be quantifiable through surface water

  15. Impacts of peatland forestation on regional climate conditions in Finland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Yao; Markkanen, Tiina; Backman, Leif; Henttonen, Helena M.; Pietikäinen, Joni-Pekka; Laaksonen, Ari

    2014-05-01

    Climate response to anthropogenic land cover change happens more locally and occurs on a shorter time scale than the global warming due to increased GHGs. Over the second half of last Century, peatlands were vastly drained in Finland to stimulate forest growth for timber production. In this study, we investigate the biophysical effects of peatland forestation on near-surface climate conditions in Finland. For this, the regional climate model REMO, developed in Max Plank Institute (currently in Climate Service Center, Germany), provides an effective way. Two sets of 15-year climate simulations were done by REMO, using the historic (1920s; The 1st Finnish National Forest Inventory) and present-day (2000s; the 10th Finnish National Forest Inventory) land cover maps, respectively. The simulated surface air temperature and precipitation were then analyzed. In the most intensive peatland forestation area in Finland, the differences in monthly averaged daily mean surface air temperature show a warming effect around 0.2 to 0.3 K in February and March and reach to 0.5 K in April, whereas a slight cooling effect, less than 0.2 K, is found from May till October. Consequently, the selected snow clearance dates in model gridboxes over that area are advanced 0.5 to 4 days in the mean of 15 years. The monthly averaged precipitation only shows small differences, less than 10 mm/month, in a varied pattern in Finland from April to September. Furthermore, a more detailed analysis was conducted on the peatland forestation area with a 23% decrease in peatland and a 15% increase in forest types. 11 day running means of simulated temperature and energy balance terms, as well as snow depth were averaged over 15 years. Results show a positive feedback induced by peatland forestation between the surface air temperature and snow depth in snow melting period. This is because the warmer temperature caused by lower surface albedo due to more forest in snow cover period leads to a quicker and

  16. Age, carbon content and climatic stability of West Siberian peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacDonald, G.; Frey, K. E.; Sheng, Y.; Peugh, S.; Velichko, A.; Kremenetski, K.; Borisova, O.; Forster, R. R.

    2001-12-01

    The West Siberian Lowland (WSL) is the world's largest high-latitude wetland, with a 1.8 X 106 km2 forest-palustrine zone covering nearly 2/3 of western Siberia. Over half of this area consists of peatlands, which since the early Holocene have sequestered atmospheric carbon in the form of undecomposed plant matter. The total carbon pool of the WSL has been roughly estimated at ~215 Pg C, suggesting that nearly one-tenth of the world's soil carbon pool lies stored in these peatlands. The region has recently attracted attention from the global change community, owing to recent studies elsewhere that suggest CO2 and methane exchange from peatlands may change dramatically under a warming climate. Since 1999 an international team of scientists from UCLA, The Russian Academy of Sciences, Tomsk State University and the University of Utah, has conducted a major field and satellite remote sensing study of the role of WSL peatlands in the global carbon cycle. Central to the study is the extraction of peat cores throughout the region, from which peatland age and carbon content are determined from thermal analysis and radiocarbon dating. After successful summer field campaigns in 1999, 2000 and 2001 we have collected nearly 100 cores, as well as thousands of other measurements and samples of peat depth, surface moisture, botany, water geochemistry, river sediment load and land surface cover. The scope and scale of these data are unprecedented in the region. Numerous satellite images of the area have also been compiled, including 150 m MSU-SK visible/near-infrared imagery from the Russian RESURS-01 platform since 1994, ERS synthetic aperture radar and scatterometer products since 1991, DMSP SSM/I passive microwave data since 1987, and 52 Landsat MSS scenes acquired in 1973. These satellite datasets are now being combined with point field observations to determine the Holocene evolution, total carbon content, desiccation susceptibility and contemporary wetness variability of the

  17. Response of Sphagnum fuscum to Nitrogen Deposition: A Case Study of Ombrogenous Peatlands in Alberta, Canada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vitt, D.H.; Wieder, K.; Halsey, L.A.; Turetsky, M.

    2003-01-01

    Peatlands cover about 30% of northeastern Alberta and are ecosystems that are sensitive to nitrogen deposition. In polluted areas of the UK, high atmospheric N deposition (as a component of acid deposition) has been considered among the causes of Sphagnum decline in bogs (ombrogenous peatlands). In relatively unpolluted areas of western Canada and northern Sweden, short-term experimental studies have shown that Sphagnum responds quickly to nutrient loading, with uptake and retention of nitrogen and increased production. Here we examine the response of Sphagnum fuscum to enhanced nitrogen deposition generated during 34 years of oil sands mining through the determination of net primary production (NPP) and nitrogen concentrations in the upper peat column. We chose six continental bogs receiving differing atmospheric nitrogen loads (modeled using a CALPUFF 2D dispersion model). Sphagnum fuscum net primary production (NPP) at the high deposition site (Steepbank - mean of 600 g/m2; median of 486 g/m2) was over three times as high than at five other sites with lower N deposition. Additionally, production of S. fuscum may be influenced to some extent by distance of the moss surface from the water table. Across all sites, peat nitrogen concentrations are highest at the surface, decreasing in the top 3 cm with no significant change with increasing depth. We conclude that elevated N deposition at the Steepbank site has enhanced Sphagnum production. Increased N concentrations are evident only in the top 1-cm of the peat profile. Thus, 34 years after mine startup, increased N-deposition has increased net primary production of Sphagnum fuscum without causing elevated levels of nitrogen in the organic matter profile. A response to N-stress for Sphagnum fuscum is proposed at 14-34 kg ha-1 yr-1. A review of N-deposition values reveals a critical N-deposition value of between 14.8 and 15.7 kg ha -1 yr-1 for NPP of Sphagnum species.

  18. Production of Excess CO2 relative to methane in peatlands: a new H2 sink

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, R.; Woodcroft, B. J.; Varner, R. K.; Tyson, G. W.; Tfaily, M. M.; Sebestyen, S.; Saleska, S. R.; Rogers, K.; Rich, V. I.; McFarlane, K. J.; Kostka, J. E.; Kolka, R. K.; Keller, J.; Iversen, C. M.; Hodgkins, S. B.; Hanson, P. J.; Guilderson, T. P.; Griffiths, N.; de La Cruz, F.; Crill, P. M.; Chanton, J.; Bridgham, S. D.; Barlaz, M.

    2015-12-01

    Methane is generated as the end product of anaerobic organic matter degradation following a series of reaction pathways including fermentation and syntrophy. Along with acetate and CO2, syntrophic reactions generate H2 and are only thermodynamically feasible when coupled to an exothermic reaction that consumes H2. The usual model of organic matter degradation in peatlands has assumed that methanogenesis is that exothermic H2-consuming reaction. If correct, this paradigm should ultimately result in equimolar production of CO2 and methane from the degradation of the model organic compound cellulose: i.e. C6H12O6 à 3CO2 + 3CH4. However, dissolved gas measurement and modeling results from field and incubation experiments spanning peatlands across the northern hemisphere have failed to demonstrate equimolar production of CO2 and methane. Instead, in a flagrant violation of thermodynamics, these studies show a large bias favoring CO2 production over methane generation. In this talk, we will use an array of complementary analytical techniques including FT-IR, cellulose and lignin measurements, 13C-NMR, fluorescence spectroscopy, and ultra-high resolution mass spectrometry to describe organic matter degradation within a peat column and identify the important degradation mechanisms. Hydrogenation was the most common transformation observed in the ultra-high resolution mass spectrometry data. From these results we propose a new mechanism for consuming H2 generated during CO2 production, without concomitant methane formation, consistent with observed high CO2/CH4 ratios. While homoacetogenesis is a known sink for H2 in these systems, this process also consumes CO2 and therefore does not explain the excess CO2 measured in field and incubation samples. Not only does the newly proposed mechanism consume H2 without generating methane, but it also yields enough energy to balance the coupled syntrophic reactions, thereby restoring thermodynamic order. Schematic of organic matter

  19. Identification of microbial populations driving biopolymer degradation in acidic peatlands by metatranscriptomic analysis.

    PubMed

    Ivanova, Anastasia A; Wegner, Carl-Eric; Kim, Yongkyu; Liesack, Werner; Dedysh, Svetlana N

    2016-10-01

    Northern peatlands play a crucial role in the global carbon balance, serving as a persistent sink for atmospheric CO2 and a global carbon store. Their most extensive type, Sphagnum-dominated acidic peatlands, is inhabited by microorganisms with poorly understood degradation capabilities. Here, we applied a combination of barcoded pyrosequencing of SSU rRNA genes and Illumina RNA-Seq of total RNA (metatranscriptomics) to identify microbial populations and enzymes involved in degrading the major components of Sphagnum-derived litter and exoskeletons of peat-inhabiting arthropods: cellulose, xylan, pectin and chitin. Biopolymer addition to peat induced a threefold to fivefold increase in bacterial cell numbers. Functional community profiles of assembled mRNA differed between experimental treatments. In particular, pectin and xylan triggered increased transcript abundance of genes involved in energy metabolism and central carbon metabolism, such as glycolysis and TCA cycle. Concurrently, the substrate-induced activity of bacteria on these two biopolymers stimulated grazing of peat-inhabiting protozoa. Alveolata (ciliates) was the most responsive protozoa group as confirmed by analysis of both SSU rRNA genes and SSU rRNA. A stimulation of alphaproteobacterial methanotrophs on pectin was consistently shown by rRNA and mRNA data. Most likely, their significant enrichment was due to the utilization of methanol released during the degradation of pectin. Analysis of SSU rRNA and total mRNA revealed a specific response of Acidobacteria and Actinobacteria to chitin and pectin, respectively. Relatives of Telmatobacter bradus were most responsive among the Acidobacteria, while the actinobacterial response was primarily affiliated with Frankiales and Propionibacteriales. The expression of a wide repertoire of carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZymes) corresponded well to the detection of a highly diverse peat-inhabiting microbial community, which is dominated by yet uncultivated

  20. Using Satellite Measurements of Surface Soil Moisture to Improve Estimates of CO2 and CH4 from Peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacBean, N.; Disney, M.; Gomez-Dans, J.; Lewis, P.; Ineson, P.

    2010-12-01

    Peatlands are important stores of carbon through the partial decomposition of organic matter. However peatlands not only sequester CO2 but they are the main natural source of methane (CH4) due to anaerobic microbial activity under waterlogged conditions. Northern wetlands contribute about 35TgCH4yr-1 [1]. The uncertainty on this estimate is large (from 1mgCH4 m-2 y-1 to 2200mgCH4 m-2 y-1), therefore there is a need to better quantify CH4 emissions and their role in the net carbon balance of peatlands. A correct representation of the hydrology of the system is necessary for modelling CH4 flux as the water table depth controls the area where methanogenic bacteria are active. One of the key variables in the calculation of water table depth is the soil moisture. Soil moisture also affects the decomposition rates of carbon in the soil and influences the water and energy fluxes at the land surface - atmosphere boundary. Microwave measurements of surface soil moisture from satellites can theoretically be used to improve estimates predicted by models. Results from an Observing System Simulation Experiment (OSSE), designed to investigate how observations from satellites may be able to constrain modelled carbon fluxes, are presented. An adapted version of the Carnegie-Ames-Stanford Approach (CASA) model [2] is used that includes a representation of methane dynamics [3]. Synthetic satellite observations of soil moisture are used to update model estimates using a Metropolis Hastings Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) approach. The effect of temporal frequency and spacing, and precision of observations, is examined with a view to establishing the set of observations that would make a significant improvement in model uncertainty. The results are compared with the system characteristics of existing satellite soil moisture measurements. We believe this is the first attempt to assimilate surface soil moisture into an ecosystem model that includes a full representation of CH4 flux.

  1. Effect of permafrost thaw on CO2 and CH4 exchange in a western Alaska peatland chronosequence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnston, Carmel E.; Ewing, Stephanie A.; Harden, Jennifer W.; Varner, Ruth K.; Wickland, Kimberly P.; Koch, Joshua C.; Fuller, Christopher C.; Manies, Kristen; Torre Jorgenson, M.

    2014-08-01

    Permafrost soils store over half of global soil carbon (C), and northern frozen peatlands store about 10% of global permafrost C. With thaw, inundation of high latitude lowland peatlands typically increases the surface-atmosphere flux of methane (CH4), a potent greenhouse gas. To examine the effects of lowland permafrost thaw over millennial timescales, we measured carbon dioxide (CO2) and CH4 exchange along sites that constitute a ˜1000 yr thaw chronosequence of thermokarst collapse bogs and adjacent fen locations at Innoko Flats Wildlife Refuge in western Alaska. Peak CH4 exchange in July (123 ± 71 mg CH4-C m-2 d-1) was observed in features that have been thawed for 30 to 70 (<100) yr, where soils were warmer than at more recently thawed sites (14 to 21 yr; emitting 1.37 ± 0.67 mg CH4-C m-2 d-1 in July) and had shallower water tables than at older sites (200 to 1400 yr; emitting 6.55 ± 2.23 mg CH4-C m-2 d-1 in July). Carbon lost via CH4 efflux during the growing season at these intermediate age sites was 8% of uptake by net ecosystem exchange. Our results provide evidence that CH4 emissions following lowland permafrost thaw are enhanced over decadal time scales, but limited over millennia. Over larger spatial scales, adjacent fen systems may contribute sustained CH4 emission, CO2 uptake, and DOC export. We argue that over timescales of decades to centuries, thaw features in high-latitude lowland peatlands, particularly those developed on poorly drained mineral substrates, are a key locus of elevated CH4 emission to the atmosphere that must be considered for a complete understanding of high latitude CH4 dynamics.

  2. CO2 fluxes at northern fens and bogs have opposite responses to inter-annual fluctuations in water table

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sulman, Benjamin N.; Desai, Ankur R.; Saliendra, Nicanor Z.; Lafleur, Peter M.; Flanagan, Lawrence B.; Sonnentag, Oliver; Mackay, D. Scott; Barr, Alan G.; van der Kamp, Garth

    2010-10-01

    This study compares eddy-covariance measurements of carbon dioxide fluxes at six northern temperate and boreal peatland sites in Canada and the northern United States of America, representing both bogs and fens. The two peatland types had opposite responses of gross ecosystem photosynthesis (GEP) and ecosystem respiration (ER) to inter-annual fluctuations in water table level. At fens, wetter conditions were correlated with lower GEP and ER, while at bogs wetter conditions were correlated with higher GEP and ER. We hypothesize that these contrasting responses are due to differences in the relative contributions of vascular plants and mosses. The coherence of our results between sites representing a range of average environmental conditions indicates ecosystem-scale differences in resilience to hydrological changes that should be taken into account when considering the future of peatland ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration under changing environmental conditions.

  3. Peatmoss (Sphagnum) diversification associated with Miocene Northern Hemisphere climatic cooling?

    PubMed

    Shaw, A Jonathan; Devos, Nicolas; Cox, Cymon J; Boles, Sandra B; Shaw, Blanka; Buchanan, Alex M; Cave, Lynette; Seppelt, Rodney

    2010-06-01

    Global climate changes sometimes spark biological radiations that can feed back to effect significant ecological impacts. Northern Hemisphere peatlands dominated by living and dead peatmosses (Sphagnum) harbor almost 30% of the global soil carbon pool and have functioned as a net carbon sink throughout the Holocene, and probably since the late Tertiary. Before that time, northern latitudes were dominated by tropical and temperate plant groups and ecosystems. Phylogenetic analyses of mosses (phylum Bryophyta) based on nucleotide sequences from the plastid, mitochondrial, and nuclear genomes indicate that most species of Sphagnum are of recent origin (ca. <20 Ma). Sphagnum species are not only well-adapted to boreal peatlands, they create the conditions that promote development of peatlands. The recent radiation that gave rise to extant diversity of peatmosses is temporally associated with Miocene climatic cooling in the Northern Hemisphere. The evolution of Sphagnum has had profound influences on global biogeochemistry because of the unique biochemical, physiological, and morphological features of these plants, both while alive and after death.

  4. Climatic variability in Mfabeni peatlands (South Africa) since the late Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baker, Andrea; Pedentchouk, Nikolai; Routh, Joyanto; Roychoudhury, Alakendra N.

    2017-03-01

    It has been postulated that a bipolar seesaw interhemispheric mechanism dominated the relationship between the Northern and Southern hemisphere climates since the late Pleistocene. A key test for this proposition would be to undertake palaeoenvironmental studies on terrestrial archives in climatically sensitive regions. Southern Africa's contemporary C3 and C4 terrestrial plant distributions display a definitive geographical pattern dictated by different growing season rainfall and temperature zones; however, the region is generally archive poor due to its overall semi-arid climate and high relief topography. The Mfabeni peatland, with a basal age of c. 47 k yrs calibrated before present (kcal yr BP), is one of the oldest continuous coastal peat deposits in Southern Africa. Molecular leaf wax isotopes (δ13Cwax) were generated for a 810 cm long core, and combined with previously published bulk geochemical (δ13Cbulk, %TOC), palynological, and stratigraphic data, to reconstruct the late Pleistocene and Holocene palaeoenvironments. We interpreted environmental shifts associated with the Heinrich 4, Last Glacial Maximum, deglacial and Holocene periods, which are consistent with adjacent Indian Ocean sea surface temperature records. However, the other shorter climate perturbations during the Heinrich 5, 3, 2, 1, Antarctic cold reversal and Younger Dryas, were muted, most likely due to local hydrological overprinting on the Mfabeni record. A general anti-phase sequence was observed between the Mfabeni record and better established Northern Hemisphere events, underpinning the bipolar seesaw interhemispheric mechanism proposed for global climate forcing since the Late Pleistocene.

  5. The influence of climate on peatland extent in Western Siberia since the Last Glacial Maximum.

    PubMed

    Alexandrov, G A; Brovkin, V A; Kleinen, T

    2016-04-20

    Boreal and subarctic peatlands are an important dynamical component of the earth system. They are sensitive to climate change, and could either continue to serve as a carbon sink or become a carbon source. Climatic thresholds for switching peatlands from sink to source are not well defined, and therefore, incorporating peatlands into Earth system models is a challenging task. Here we introduce a climatic index, warm precipitation excess, to delineate the potential geographic distribution of boreal peatlands for a given climate and landscape morphology. This allows us to explain the present-day distribution of peatlands in Western Siberia, their absence during the Last Glacial Maximum, their expansion during the mid-Holocene, and to form a working hypothesis about the trend to peatland degradation in the southern taiga belt of Western Siberia under an RCP 8.5 scenario for the projected climate in year 2100.

  6. Peatland growth rate and water table variations during the last millennium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallego-Sala, Angela; Charman, Dan; Prentice, I. Colin; Friedlingstein, Pierre; Page, Sue; Brewer, Simon; Blundell, Anthony; Booth, Robert K.; Clifford, Michael J. Clifford [Michael J.; Garneau, Michelle; Hohl, Veronica; Lamarre, Alexandre; Lamentowicz, Mariusz; Magnan, Grabriel; Massa, Charly; Swindles, Graeme; Van Bellen, Simon; Mauquoy, Dmitri

    2014-05-01

    As carbon dioxide concentrations and temperatures rise, rates of decomposition processes and decay of peat are likely to increase while on the other hand, even quite small increases in productivity may compensate for this or even exceed it, especially in high latitude peatlands. A further complication in assessing whether peatlands will remain sinks or become sources of carbon is that peatlands emit quite large quantities of methane, fluxes which are linked to the water table position. Our project aims to assess the contribution of peatlands to the global carbon cycle over the past 1000 years by putting together a global dataset of high resolution C accumulation data together with regional scale peatland hydrology reconstructions. This data will then be used to calibrate models that simulate the distribution and growth of peatlands and of methane emissions on a global scale.

  7. The influence of climate on peatland extent in Western Siberia since the Last Glacial Maximum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alexandrov, G. A.; Brovkin, V. A.; Kleinen, T.

    2016-04-01

    Boreal and subarctic peatlands are an important dynamical component of the earth system. They are sensitive to climate change, and could either continue to serve as a carbon sink or become a carbon source. Climatic thresholds for switching peatlands from sink to source are not well defined, and therefore, incorporating peatlands into Earth system models is a challenging task. Here we introduce a climatic index, warm precipitation excess, to delineate the potential geographic distribution of boreal peatlands for a given climate and landscape morphology. This allows us to explain the present-day distribution of peatlands in Western Siberia, their absence during the Last Glacial Maximum, their expansion during the mid-Holocene, and to form a working hypothesis about the trend to peatland degradation in the southern taiga belt of Western Siberia under an RCP 8.5 scenario for the projected climate in year 2100.

  8. The influence of climate on peatland extent in Western Siberia since the Last Glacial Maximum

    PubMed Central

    Alexandrov, G. A.; Brovkin, V. A.; Kleinen, T.

    2016-01-01

    Boreal and subarctic peatlands are an important dynamical component of the earth system. They are sensitive to climate change, and could either continue to serve as a carbon sink or become a carbon source. Climatic thresholds for switching peatlands from sink to source are not well defined, and therefore, incorporating peatlands into Earth system models is a challenging task. Here we introduce a climatic index, warm precipitation excess, to delineate the potential geographic distribution of boreal peatlands for a given climate and landscape morphology. This allows us to explain the present-day distribution of peatlands in Western Siberia, their absence during the Last Glacial Maximum, their expansion during the mid-Holocene, and to form a working hypothesis about the trend to peatland degradation in the southern taiga belt of Western Siberia under an RCP 8.5 scenario for the projected climate in year 2100. PMID:27095029

  9. Extent and status of mires, peatlands, and organic soils in Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanneberger, Franziska; Barthelmes, Alexandra; Tegetmeyer, Cosima; Busse, Stephan; Joosten, Hans

    2016-04-01

    Key words: peatland distribution, peatland drainage, GIS, Global Peatland Database, European Mires Book The relevance of drained peatlands to climate change due to emission of huge amounts of greenhouse gases has recently been recognised e.g. by IPCC, FAO, and the European Union. Oppositely, natural and restored peatlands provide ecosystem services like enhancing biodiversity, nutrient retention, groundwater storage, flood mitigation, and cooling. To evaluate the drainage status of peatlands and organic soils and to develop specific restoration strategies comprehensive and exact geospatial data are needed. The Global Peatland Database (GPD) is hosted at Greifswald Mire Centre (http://tiny.cc/globalpeat). Currently, it provides estimates on location, extent, and drainage status of peatlands and organic soils for 268 countries and regions of the world. Due to the large diversity of definitions and terms for peatlands and organic soils, this mapping follows the broad definition of organic soils from IPCC that gives a minimum soil organic carbon threshold of 12% and considers any depth of the organic layer larger than 10 cm. GIS datasets are continuously collected, specific terms and definitions analysed and the completeness and accuracy of the datasets evaluated. Currently, the GPD contains geospatial data on peatlands and organic soils for all European countries (except Moldova). Recent information on status, distribution, and conservation of mires and peatlands in Europe is summarised in the European Mires Book. It includes descriptions from 49 countries and other geographic entities in Europe. All country chapters follow a generic structure and include also extensive descriptions of national terminology (also in national languages and script) and typologies as well as up to date area statistics and maps. They are complemented by integrative chapters presenting mire classification, mire regionality, peatland use, and mire conservation in Europe. The European Mires

  10. Climate and peat type in relation to spatial variation of the peatland carbon mass in the Hudson Bay Lowlands, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Packalen, Maara S.; Finkelstein, Sarah A.; McLaughlin, James W.

    2016-04-01

    Northern peatlands store ~500 Pg of carbon (C); however, controls on the spatial distribution of the stored C may differ regionally, owing to the complex interaction among climate, ecosystem processes, and geophysical controls. As a globally significant C sink, elucidation of controls on the distribution of C in the Hudson Bay Lowlands, Canada (HBL), is of particular importance. Although peat age is related to timing of land emergence and peat depth in the HBL, considerable variation in the total C mass (kg m-2) among sites of similar peat age suggests that other factors may explain spatial patterns in C storage (Pg) and sequestration. Here we quantify the role of two key factors in explaining the spatial distribution of the C mass in the HBL (n = 364 sites), (i) climate variability and (ii) peat lithology, for two major peatland classes in the HBL (bogs and fens). We find that temperature, precipitation, and evapotranspiration each explained nearly half of the C mass variability. Regions characterized by warmer and wetter conditions stored the most C as peat. Our results show that bogs and fens store similar amounts of C within a given climate domain, although via distinct storage mechanisms. Namely, fen peats tend to be shallower and more C dense (kg m-3) compared to bogs. Following geophysical controls on the timing of peat initiation, our results reveal that both the widespread bog-fen patterning and variability in regional climate contribute to explaining the spatial distribution of the peat C mass in the HBL.

  11. The Stability of Peatland Carbon Stores to Global Change: Evidence for Enhanced Methane and Carbon Dioxide Production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chanton, J.; Wilson, R.; Tfaily, M. M.; Sebestyen, S. D.; Medvedeff, C.; McFarlane, K. J.; Kolka, R. K.; Kostka, J. E.; Keller, J.; Hanson, P. J.; Guilderson, T. P.; de La Cruz, F.; Cooper, W. T.; Bridgham, S. D.; Barlaz, M.

    2015-12-01

    Peatlands sequester large stores of carbon in sedimentary sequences that can be meters thick. Peatlands can be separated into two main layers: the acrotelm, which is exposed to the atmosphere and dominated by living plants, and the catotelm, which tends to be anoxic and is where the majority of organic matter is stored. In response to warming climate, to what extent will peatland organic matter be activated to form additional CH4 and CO2 relative to current production rates? To predict the answer to this question the SPRUCE (Spruce and Peatland Responses Under Climatic and Environmental Change) project is being conducted in a bog ecosystem in northern Minnesota. The study is designed to improve predictive skill in peat and wetland-methane models by defining quantitative relationships among decomposition indices, microbial communities, and CO2 and CH4 production rates. The manipulation is being conducted in a staged approach, and deep warming through the entire ~2 m peat profile was initiated in June of 2014 at +0, +2.2, +4.5, +6.8 and +9C. Starting in summer 2015, the project will enhance both above and belowground temperature and CO2 levels. Following months of temperature enhancement there is no evidence of an effect on catotelm peat. In bog pre-treatment, control and treatment plots, microbial respiration and CO2 and CH4 production in the deep peat is driven primarily by recent plant production and to date, this trend continues in the catolem following treatment. Methane d13C and fractionation factors are invariant across the treatments, as are gas concentrations at depth. Surface CH4 emission, however, has shown a positive correlation with peat temperature, and measurements of CH4 production in incubations across the depth profile suggest that surface peat is more responsive to increases in soil temperature, apparently driving the emission response. Shifts in the composition and metabolic potential of microbial communities are being examined using next

  12. Elemental composition and optical properties reveal changes in dissolved organic matter along a permafrost thaw chronosequence in a subarctic peatland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hodgkins, Suzanne B.; Tfaily, Malak M.; Podgorski, David C.; McCalley, Carmody K.; Saleska, Scott R.; Crill, Patrick M.; Rich, Virginia I.; Chanton, Jeffrey P.; Cooper, William T.

    2016-08-01

    The fate of carbon stored in permafrost-zone peatlands represents a significant uncertainty in global climate modeling. Given that the breakdown of dissolved organic matter (DOM) is often a major pathway for decomposition in peatlands, knowledge of DOM reactivity under different permafrost regimes is critical for determining future climate feedbacks. To explore the effects of permafrost thaw and resultant plant succession on DOM reactivity, we used a combination of Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR MS), UV/Vis absorbance, and excitation-emission matrix spectroscopy (EEMS) to examine the DOM elemental composition and optical properties of 27 pore water samples gathered from various sites along a permafrost thaw sequence in Stordalen Mire, a thawing subarctic peatland in northern Sweden. The presence of dense Sphagnum moss, a feature that is dominant in the intermediate thaw stages, appeared to be the main driver of variation in DOM elemental composition and optical properties at Stordalen. Specifically, DOM from sites with Sphagnum had greater aromaticity, higher average molecular weights, and greater O/C, consistent with a higher abundance of phenolic compounds that likely inhibit decomposition. These compounds are released by Sphagnum and may accumulate due to inhibition of phenol oxidase activity by the acidic pH at these sites. In contrast, sites without Sphagnum, specifically fully-thawed rich fens, had more saturated, more reduced compounds, which were high in N and S. Optical properties at rich fens indicated the presence of microbially-derived DOM, consistent with the higher decomposition rates previously measured at these sites. These results indicate that Sphagnum acts as an inhibitor of rapid decomposition and CH4 release in thawing subarctic peatlands, consistent with lower rates of CO2 and CH4 production previously observed at these sites. However, this inhibitory effect may disappear if Sphagnum-dominated bogs

  13. Elemental composition and optical properties reveal changes in dissolved organic matter along a permafrost thaw chronosequence in a subarctic peatland

    SciTech Connect

    Hodgkins, Suzanne B.; Tfaily, Malak M.; Podgorski, David C.; McCalley, Carmody K.; Saleska, Scott R.; Crill, Patrick M.; Rich, Virginia I.; Chanton, Jeffrey P.; Cooper, William T.

    2016-08-01

    The fate of carbon stored in permafrost-zone peatlands represents a significant uncertainty in global climate modeling. Given that the breakdown of dissolved organic matter (DOM) is often a major pathway for decomposition in peatlands, knowledge of DOM reactivity under different permafrost regimes is critical for determining future climate feedbacks. To explore the effects of permafrost thaw and resultant plant succession on DOM reactivity, we used a combination of Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR MS), UV/Vis absorbance, and excitation-emission matrix spectroscopy (EEMS) to examine the DOM elemental composition and optical properties of 27 pore water samples gathered from various sites along a permafrost thaw sequence in Stordalen Mire, a thawing subarctic peatland in northern Sweden. The presence of dense Sphagnum moss, a feature that is dominant in the intermediate thaw stages, appeared to be the main driver of variation in DOM elemental composition and optical properties at Stordalen. Specifically, DOM from sites with Sphagnum had greater aromaticity, higher average molecular weights, and greater O/C, consistent with a higher abundance of phenolic compounds that likely inhibit decomposition. These compounds are released by Sphagnum and may accumulate due to inhibition of phenol oxidase activity by the acidic pH at these sites. In contrast, sites without Sphagnum, specifically fully-thawed rich fens, had more saturated, more reduced compounds, which were high in N and S. Optical properties at rich fens were indicated the presence of microbially-derived DOM, consistent with the higher decomposition rates previously measured at these sites. These results indicate that Sphagnum acts as an inhibitor of rapid decomposition and CH4 release in thawing subarctic peatlands, consistent with lower rates of CO2 and CH4 production previously observed at these sites. However, this inhibitory effect may disappear if Sphagnumdominated bogs

  14. Palaeoecology of testate amoebae in a tropical peatland.

    PubMed

    Swindles, Graeme T; Lamentowicz, Mariusz; Reczuga, Monika; Galloway, Jennifer M

    2016-09-01

    We present the first detailed analysis of subfossil testate amoebae from a tropical peatland. Testate amoebae were analysed in a 4-m peat core from western Amazonia (Peru) and a transfer function developed from the site was applied to reconstruct changes in water table over the past ca. 8,000 years. Testate amoebae were in very low abundance in the core, especially in the lower 125cm, due to a combination of poor preservation and obscuration by other organic matter. A modified preparation method enabled at least 50 testate amoebae to be counted in each core sample. The most abundant taxa preserved include Centropyxis aculeata, Hyalosphenia subflava, Phryganella acropodia and Trigonopyxis arcula. Centropyxis aculeata, an unambiguous wet indicator, is variably present and indicates several phases of near-surface water table. Our work shows that even degraded, low-abundance assemblages of testate amoebae can provide useful information regarding the long-term ecohydrological developmental history of tropical peatlands.

  15. High-resolution peatland photos show change with global warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schultz, Colin

    2011-11-01

    As global average temperatures rise, vast tracks of peatland currently encased in permafrost will be affected. As the ground thaws, peatlands will evolve in either of two directions. Along one path, land that was previously propped up by supportive permafrost subsides, forming a shallow basin that fills with water—a thermokarst lake. In the new lake, peat undergoes anaerobic bacterial decay, releasing methane to the environment. Alternatively, permafrost thawing can result in lake drainage. In the drained lake beds, fen vegetation and mosses can grow, drawing down atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. The prevalence of these two processes, and their relationship to changing temperatures, remains an important question in understanding the consequences of permafrost thaw on the global carbon cycle.

  16. Environmental factors explaining the vegetation patterns in a temperate peatland.

    PubMed

    Pellerin, Stéphanie; Lagneau, Louis-Adrien; Lavoie, Martin; Larocque, Marie

    2009-08-01

    Although ombrotrophic temperate peatlands are important ecosystems for maintaining biodiversity in eastern North America, the environmental factors influencing their flora are only partly understood. The relationships between plant species distribution and environmental factors were thus studied within the oldest temperate peatland of Québec. Plant assemblages were identified by cluster analysis while CCA was used to related vegetation gradients to environmental factors. Five assemblages were identified; three typical of open bog and two characterized by more minerotrophic vegetation. Thicker peat deposit was encounter underlying the bog assemblages while higher water table level and percentage of free surface water distinguished the minerotrophic assemblages. Overall, the floristic patterns observed were spatially structured along the margins and the expanse. The most important environmental factors explaining this spatial gradient were the percentage of free surface water and the highest water-table level.

  17. Hydrology and hydraulics of treatment wetlands constructed on drained peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Postila, Heini; Ronkanen, Anna-Kaisa; Kløve, Bjørn

    2013-04-01

    Treatment wetlands are globally used for wastewater purification purposes. In Finland, these wetlands are commonly peatland-based and are used to treat runoff from peat extraction sites and peatland forestry. Wetlands are also used for polishing municipal wastewaters and mining waters. In peat extraction the structures are usually called overland flow areas (OFAs), which are traditionally established on pristine peatlands. However, nowadays establishing of new peat extraction sites is guided to drained peatland areas due to the Finnish Peat Use Strategy, which leads difficulties to find undisturbed peatland area for OFA. Therefore treatment wetlands have had to construct also on drained peatland areas. In drained areas peat physical properties have changed due to oxidation and subsidence and the water flow pathways differs from OFAs flow patterns, which maybe have effect on purification results. Thus in the present study we aim to clarify the hydrology and hydraulic properties of treatment wetlands constructed on drained peatland areas. For this purposes, 20 treatment wetlands on drained peatland areas across Finland were detailed measured for peat hydraulic conductivity. In selected areas, runoff was continuously monitored, flow distribution at treatment areas was studied and water residence times measured with tracer tests using potassium iodide (KI). Generally, in the study areas, the ditches had been completely blocked, partly blocked e.g with peat dams or not blocked at all. The ditches were located partly parallel to the flow direction and partly perpendicular to it. The distribution of water to the wetlands has been implemented in many different ways e.g. by distribution ditch or by perforated pipes. Based on the results, in majority of the wetlands, the peat drainage has clearly affected the hydraulic properties of wetlands, but not on all sites. In more than half of the wetlands (12), the median hydraulic conductivity of peat drastically decreased at the

  18. Vegetation management with fire modifies peatland soil thermal regime.

    PubMed

    Brown, Lee E; Palmer, Sheila M; Johnston, Kerrylyn; Holden, Joseph

    2015-05-01

    Vegetation removal with fire can alter the thermal regime of the land surface, leading to significant changes in biogeochemistry (e.g. carbon cycling) and soil hydrology. In the UK, large expanses of carbon-rich upland environments are managed to encourage increased abundance of red grouse (Lagopus lagopus scotica) by rotational burning of shrub vegetation. To date, though, there has not been any consideration of whether prescribed vegetation burning on peatlands modifies the thermal regime of the soil mass in the years after fire. In this study thermal regime was monitored across 12 burned peatland soil plots over an 18-month period, with the aim of (i) quantifying thermal dynamics between burned plots of different ages (from <2 to 15 + years post burning), and (ii) developing statistical models to determine the magnitude of thermal change caused by vegetation management. Compared to plots burned 15 + years previously, plots recently burned (<2-4 years) showed higher mean, maximum and range of soil temperatures, and lower minima. Statistical models (generalised least square regression) were developed to predict daily mean and maximum soil temperature in plots burned 15 + years prior to the study. These models were then applied to predict temperatures of plots burned 2, 4 and 7 years previously, with significant deviations from predicted temperatures illustrating the magnitude of burn management effects. Temperatures measured in soil plots burned <2 years previously showed significant statistical disturbances from model predictions, reaching +6.2 °C for daily mean temperatures and +19.6 °C for daily maxima. Soil temperatures in plots burnt 7 years previously were most similar to plots burned 15 + years ago indicating the potential for soil temperatures to recover as vegetation regrows. Our findings that prescribed peatland vegetation burning alters soil thermal regime should provide an impetus for further research to understand the consequences of thermal regime

  19. Divergent environmental filters drive functional segregation of European peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robroek, B.; Jassey, V.; Bragazza, L.; Buttler, A.

    2015-12-01

    Plant communities are largely shaped by prevailing climatic conditions. As a result, environmental change is expected to alter the (functional) composition in plant communities. Because plants, and particularly the composition of plant species, play an important role in driving ecosystem processes, it is crucial that we improve our understanding on which environmental factors are most important in shaping plant communities. Here we presnt the results for a cross-Eurpean study, were we assessed the role of environmnetal conditions on plant community composition in 56 peatlands. We show that plant species richness and diversity are relatively stable across the main environmental gradients. Nevertheless, we observe large changes in the plant community structure. In other words, species turnover increased with increasing differences in environmental viariables. Such turnover in the community composition is largely associated to gradients temperature and precipitation, whilst nutrients -often reported as major driver for changes in peatland ecosystems- were only important at the end of the gradient of current deposition levels in Europe. Using a combination of species distribution modelling and species co-occurence patterns, we identified two spatially non-exclusive groups of plant species. Species within a distinct group responded similarly to bioclimatic variables and nutrient deposition levels, whilst between group response was mirrored. These results suggest that these two groups of plants are subjected to divergent environmental filters. Additionally, European peatlands aggregate into two distinct clusters based on plant functional trait composition. Each cluster was dominated by plant species from either one of the two co-response groups. Overall, our results demonstrate that environmental change results in a gradual replacement of plant species from two divergent groups, consequently affecting the functional trait composition in peatlands.

  20. Climate Change Driven Implications on Spatial Distribution of High Andean Peatlands in the Central Andes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Otto, Marco; Gibbons, Richard E.

    2013-04-01

    High Andean peatlands are among the most unique habitats in the tropical Andes and certainly among the least studied. High Andean peatlands occur patchily in montane grassland and scrub below snow line and above tree line. These high-elevation peatlands are sustained by glacial runoff and seasonal precipitation. We used remote sensing data to estimate that peatland habitat is approximately 2.5 % of our study region in the Puna, an ecoregion located in the high Andes above 4000 m a.s.l. Individual sizes of our estimated peatland polygons ranged from 0.72 ha to 1079 ha with a mean size of 4.9 ha. Climate change driven implications on spatial distribution of high Andean peatlands were assessed in two ways. First, we estimated the effect of predicted regional temperature increase by using the standard lapse rate of 2° C per 300 m for assessing peatland habitat patches that would remain above a critical thermocline. Nearly 80% of peatland habitat patches were predicted to occur below the thermocline if the prediction of 4° C temperature increase is realized. The second assessment relied on the quantified assumption that permanent snow or glacier cover, topographic characteristics (e.g. slope) and precipitation of a basin are essential variables in the occurrence of high Andean peatlands. All 17 basins were predicted to have a decrease in peatland habitat due to snow line uplift, decrease in precipitation and consequent insufficient wetland inflows. Total habitat loss was predicted for two basins in the semi-arid part of the study area with a snow line uplift to 5600 m and a projected decrease in precipitation of 1 mm per year over the next 40 years. A combined result of both assessments provides important information on climate change driven implications on the hydrology of high Andean peatlands and potential consequences for their spatial distribution within the Central Andes.

  1. Land-use Changes on Peatlands in Russia and Green House Gas Emissions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sirin, A.; Minaeva, T.; Chistotin, M.; Glagolev, M.; Suvorov, G.

    2009-04-01

    Russia possesses vast areas of peatlands and associated paludified shallow peat lands, over 8 and 20% respectively. The country is the largest World peatland nation, and thus could be responsible for the large part of GHG exchange between peatlands and the atmosphere. Russian peatlands present a high variety of natural conditions from permafrost mires to bogs, fens and swamps within boreal, temperate, steppe and semi-arid zones, which have quite different rates of GHG flux, emitting or absorbing carbon dioxide and methane. Many regions of Russia still contain vast areas of virgin mires but in the central European part of Russia, West Siberia and Far East the appreciable part of peatlands was already modified. Peatlands were used in a broad spectrum of human activities connected with direct water level draw-down: peat extraction for different purposes (up to 1.5 million ha), drainage for agriculture, and drainage for forestry (each over 3 million ha). Many peatlands all the over the country were affected by infrastructure development (by road, pipe line construction etc.) with related changes of their hydrology and GHG fluxes. These land uses are under consideration of LULUFC issues of UNFCCC, and peat excavation is directly included in IPCC 2006 Guidelines as a main wetland/peatland land use activity related to climate change mitigation. General estimates and geographical distribution of peatlands drained for agriculture and forestry as well as peatlands under excavation, extracted or abandoned are given based on existing statistical and sectoral information. GHG fluxes from disturbed peatlands are analyzed using available Russian data and the results of specially organized observations in 2004-2008 in the pilot regions in Central European Russia and West Siberia which included a variety of modified and virgin control sites.

  2. Experimental sulfate amendment alters peatland bacterial community structure.

    PubMed

    Strickman, R J S; Fulthorpe, R R; Coleman Wasik, J K; Engstrom, D R; Mitchell, C P J

    2016-10-01

    As part of a long-term, peatland-scale sulfate addition experiment, the impact of varying sulfate deposition on bacterial community responses was assessed using 16S tag encoded pyrosequencing. In three separate areas of the peatland, sulfate manipulations included an eight year quadrupling of atmospheric sulfate deposition (experimental), a 3-year recovery to background deposition following 5years of elevated deposition (recovery), and a control area. Peat concentrations of methylmercury (MeHg), a bioaccumulative neurotoxin, were measured, the production of which is attributable to a growing list of microorganisms, including many sulfate-reducing Deltaproteobacteria. The total bacterial and Deltaproteobacterial community structures in the experimental treatment differed significantly from those in the control and recovery treatments that were either indistinguishable or very similar to one another. Notably, the relatively rapid return (within three years) of bacterial community structure in the recovery treatment to a state similar to the control, demonstrates significant resilience of the peatland bacterial community to changes in atmospheric sulfate deposition. Changes in MeHg accumulation between sulfate treatments correlated with changes in the Deltaproteobacterial community, suggesting that sulfate may affect MeHg production through changes in the community structure of this group.

  3. Dual controls on carbon loss during drought in peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Hongjun; Richardson, Curtis J.; Ho, Mengchi

    2015-06-01

    Peatlands store one-third of global soil carbon. Drought/drainage coupled with climate warming present the main threat to these stores. Hence, understanding drought effects and inherent feedbacks related to peat decomposition has been a primary global challenge. However, widely divergent results concerning drought in recent studies challenge the accepted paradigm that waterlogging and associated anoxia are the overarching controls locking up carbon stored in peat. Here, by linking field and microcosm experiments, we show how previously unrecognized mechanisms regulate the build-up of phenolics, which protects stored carbon directly by reducing phenol oxidase activity during short-term drought and, indirectly, through a shift from low-phenolic Sphagnum/herbs to high-phenolic shrubs after long-term moderate drought. We demonstrate that shrub expansion induced by drought/warming in boreal peatlands might be a long-term self-adaptive mechanism not only increasing carbon sequestration but also potentially protecting historic soil carbon. We therefore propose that the projected `positive feedback loop’ between carbon emission and drought in peatlands may not occur in the long term.

  4. FY10 RARE Final Report to Region 10: The functional Assessment of Alaska Peatlands in Cook Inlet Basin - report

    EPA Science Inventory

    Peatlands in south central Alaska form the predominant wetland class in the lowlands that encompass Cook Inlet. These peatlands are also in areas of increasing human development in Alaska. Currently Alaska peatlands are extensive and largely pristine. This study focused onobtaini...

  5. Measurement of Entrapped Biogenic Gas Bubbles in Northern Peat Soils: Application of Resistivity and X-ray Computed Tomography.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kettridge, N.; Binley, A.; Baird, A.

    2008-05-01

    Peatlands are the largest natural source per annum of CH4 emissions to the atmosphere. CH4 is lost from peatlands via diffusion or active transport through vascular plants, and as bubbles moving to the peatland surface - ebullition. The build up and ebullition of biogenic gas bubbles within northern peatlands is spatially variable and depends on the rate of CH4 production, the transport of dissolved CH4 to bubbles through pore water, and the physical properties of the peat. Recent measurements suggest a threshold bubble volume must be reached to trigger episodic or cyclic ebullition, which is assumed to be dependent on peat type. However, this threshold theory lacks a secure physical basis and therefore cannot be applied to simulate methane ebullition from northern peatlands with any confidence. We develop an approach to examine the structural attributes of the peat that cause and promote the trapping and release of bubbles by combining resistivity and X-ray computed tomography (CT). The spatial and temporal variation in the biogenic gas content of peat cores are identified from resistivity measurements. Areas of high and low entrapped gas content are subsequently correlated with the pore structure of the peat samples, characterised using CT. The CT images of the peat structure are vectorised to allow them to be analysed for metrics which relate to the ability of the peat to trap bubbles: e.g. stem length and width, number of branches, angle of branches. Difficulties applying these approaches within northern peatlands are examined. The low pore water conductivity of poorly decomposed near surface peat can hamper resistivity measurements at the laboratory scale, and electrolytic reactions induce the development of artificial gas bubbles. The similarity in linear attenuations between poorly decomposed Sphagnum and pore water also makes the peat structure indistinguishable from the pore water within standard CT scans. The peat samples must, therefore, first be doped

  6. 10Be ages of glacial and meltwater features northwest of Lake Superior: a chronology of Laurentide Ice sheet deglaciation and eastward flooding from Glacial Lake Agassiz

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelly, M. A.; Fisher, T. G.; Lowell, T.; Barnett, P.; Schaefer, J. M.; Schwartz, R.

    2009-12-01

    Significant controversy exists as to the role of Laurentide Ice Sheet meltwater in causing the Younger Dryas cold event. Recently, Lowell et al. (2009) presented a radiocarbon chronology of Laurentide Ice Sheet deglaciation along a north-south transect located northwest of Lake Superior. These authors concluded that the presence of the Laurentide Ice Sheet precluded an eastward drainage of glacial Lake Agassiz until mid-Younger Dryas time. Here, we use 10Be surface exposure dating to examine the timing of the eastward drainage of Lake Agassiz. We present 10Be ages of moraines and erratic boulders in meltwater pathways along the same transect as Lowell et al. (2009), northwest of Lake Superior. In general, 10Be ages of glacial features are similar to, or slightly older than, basal radiocarbon ages of nearby lakes. Based on the 10Be chronology, deglaciation of the Laurentide Ice Sheet in this region occurred between ~13,000 and 10,000 yr BP. We also present the first direct ages of flood deposits in bedrock channels presumably associated with the eastern drainage of Lake Agassiz. Evidence for flooding includes extensive channels incised into bedrock and enormous bedforms located north of Lake Superior. 10Be ages of two flood deposits near the Roaring River and Mundell Lake yield mean 10Be ages of ~11,700 and 11,000 yr BP, respectively. These ages indicate that occupation of the channels postdates initiation of the Younger Dryas by more than 1,000 years and are in general agreement with a basal radiocarbon age from nearby Lower Vail Lake (Teller et al., 2005). Preliminary paleohydrological estimates based on bedform clast sizes and channel geometries are velocities and discharges of 2.8-19.8 ms-1 and 4,200-30,000 m3s-1 at the Roaring River location and 2.5-17.5 ms-1 and 49,000-349,000 m3s-1 at the Mundell Lake location.

  7. Effect of water level drawdown on decomposition in boreal peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Straková, Petra; Penttilä, Timo; Laiho, Raija

    2010-05-01

    Plant litter production and decomposition are key processes in element cycling in most ecosystems. In peatlands, there has been a long-term imbalance between litter production and decay caused by high water levels (WL) and consequent anoxia. This has resulted in peatlands being a significant sink of carbon (C) from the atmosphere. However, peatlands are experiencing both "natural" (global climate change) and anthropogenic (ditching) changes that threaten their ability to retain this ecosystem identity and function. Many of these alterations can be traced back to WL drawdown, which can cause increased aeration, higher acidity, falling temperatures, and a greater probability of drought. Such changes are also associated with an increasing decomposition rate, and therefore a greater amount of C released back to the atmosphere. Yet studies about how the overall C balance of peatlands will be affected have come up with conflicting conclusions, demonstrating that the C store could increase, decrease, or remain static. A factor that has been largely overlooked is the change in litter type composition following persistent WL drawdown. It is the aim of our study, then, to help to resolve this issue. We studied the effects of short-term (ca. 4 years) and long-term (ca. 40 years) persistent WL drawdown on the decomposition of numerous types of above-ground and below-ground plant litters at three boreal peatland sites: bog, oligotrophic fen and mesotrophic fen. We thus believe that enough permutations have been created to obtain a good assessment of how each factor, site nutrient level, WL regime, and litter type composition, influences decomposition. We used the litter bag method to measure the decomposition rates: placed measured amounts of plant litter, or cellulose strips as a control, into closed mesh bags, and installed the bags in the natural environment for decomposition for each litter type for varying amounts of time. Following litter bag recovery, the litter was

  8. The role of pipes in carbon transfer in and from peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holden, J.; Smart, R. P.; Chapman, P. J.; Baird, A. J.; Billett, M. F.

    2009-04-01

    Natural pipes are tunnels or conduits for water within soils and are often greater than 10 cm in diameter. Such natural pipes have been reported in most types of northern peatlands and have been observed to play an important role in water transfers within peat systems. However, until now no-one has studied carbon exports from natural pipe waters in deep peats. Pipes form complex undulating networks within the peat profile and may, under differing flow conditions, combine both water and carbon from various depths within the peat. Research has shown that environmental change in peatlands can lead to increased pipe formation. Pipes may therefore release greater amounts of carbon from deep within the peat to the aquatic and atmospheric systems in response to climate change. We studied a blanket peatland in northern England where dissolved, gaseous and particulate carbon fluxes were monitored. The mean annual dissolved organic carbon (DOC) flux from the site is 218 kg ha-1 yr-1. Of the 88 pipes found in this catchment, 8 representative pipes and the catchment outlet were monitored routinely and during rainfall events. Pipe and stream waters were analysed for DOC, particulate organic carbon (POC), pH, conductivity, CO2 and CH4 with analysis of base cations and major anions on storm samples. Flow was also measured at these points. Deep and shallow pipes respond rapidly to rainfall inputs demonstrating strong connectivity with the peat surface. However, pipes also transported water from deeper layers of the peat. While many perennially flowing pipes respond quickly to rainfall events, pH and cation data show they also appear to obtain waters from deep peat layers and underlying mineral strata and thereby connect deep matrix and near-surface/overland flow. This mix of different sources of water results in highly variable concentrations of DOC and dissolved CO2 and CH4 within pipe water. Results to date show that 20 to 30% of the flow recorded at the catchment outlet can be

  9. Improving Indonesian peatland C stock estimates using ground penetrating radar (GPR) and electrical resistivity imaging (ERI)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Terry, N.; Comas, X.; Slater, L. D.; Warren, M.; Kolka, R. K.; Kristijono, A.; Sudiana, N.; Nurjaman, D.; Darusman, T.

    2014-12-01

    Tropical peatlands sequester an estimated 15% of the carbon pool from peatlands worldwide. Indonesian peatlands account for approximately 65% of all tropical peat, and are believed to be the largest global source of carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere from degrading peat. However, there is great uncertainty in these estimates due to insufficient data regarding the thickness of organic peat soils and their carbon content. Meanwhile, Indonesian peatlands are threatened by heightening pressure to drain and develop. Indirect geophysical methods have garnered interest for their potential to non-invasively estimate peat depth and gas content in boreal peatlands. Drawing from these techniques, we employed ground penetrating radar (GPR) and electrical resistivity imaging (ERI) in tandem with direct methods (core sampling) to evaluate the potential of these methods for tropical peatland mapping at 2 distinct study sites on West Kalimantan (Indonesia). We find that: [1] West Kalimantan peatland thicknesses estimated from GPR and ERI in intermediate/shallow peat can vary substantially over short distances (for example, > 2% over less than 0.02° surface topography gradient), [2] despite having less vertical resolution, ERI is able to better resolve peatland thickness in deep peat, and [3] GPR provides useful data regarding peat matrix attributes (such as the presence of wood layers). These results indicate GPR and ERI could help reduce uncertainty in carbon stocks and aid in responsible land management decisions in Indonesia.

  10. Functional Assessment of Alaska Peatlands in Cook Inlet Basin, Region 10 Regional Applied Research Effort (RARE)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Peatlands in south central Alaska are the dominant wetland class in the lowlands of the Cook Inlet Basin. Currently Alaska peatlands are extensive and largely pristine but these areas are facing increasing human development. This study focused on obtaining measures of ecologica...

  11. Do peatlands or lakes provide the most comprehensive distal tephra records?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watson, E. J.; Swindles, G. T.; Lawson, I. T.; Savov, I. P.

    2016-05-01

    Despite the widespread application of tephra studies for dating and correlation of stratigraphic sequences ('tephrochronology'), questions remain over the reliability and replicability of tephra records from lake sediments and peats, particularly in sites >1000 km from source volcanoes. To address this, we examine the tephrostratigraphy of four pairs of lake and peatland sites in close proximity to one another (<10 km), and evaluate the extent to which the microscopic (crypto-) tephra records in lakes and peatlands differ. The peatlands typically record more cryptotephra layers than nearby lakes, but cryptotephra records from high-latitude peatlands can be incomplete, possibly due to tephra fallout onto snow and subsequent redistribution across the peatland surface by wind and during snowmelt. We find no evidence for chemical alteration of glass shards in peatland or lake environments over the time scale of this study (mid-to late- Holocene). Instead, the low number of basaltic cryptotephra layers identified in distal peatlands reflects the capture of only primary tephra-fall, whereas lakes concentrate tephra falling across their catchments which subsequently washes into the lake, adding to the primary tephra fallout received in the lake. A combination of records from both lakes and peatlands must be used to establish the most comprehensive and complete regional tephrostratigraphies. We also describe two previously unreported late Holocene cryptotephras and demonstrate, for the first time, that Holocene Icelandic ash clouds frequently reached Arctic Sweden.

  12. Postglacial sedimentary infill of the Bricial peatland (Cantabrian Mountains, Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Correia, Antonio; Ruiz-Fernández, Jesús; Oliva, Marc; Fernández, Antonio; García-Hernández, Cristina; Gallinar, David

    2016-04-01

    Bricial is a peatland located in a glaciokarst depression of the Western Massif of the Picos de Europa (NW Spain). The depression is 425 m long and 245 m wide, and it is surrounded by moraines built during the stage of glacial expansion after the maximum advance within the Last Glaciation. In contrast to what happens in other karstic depressions existing in this massif (e.g. Comeya), the thickness and sedimentary infill of this depression is still unknown. With the purpose of better knowing the depression's structure, two electrical resistivity tomographies (ERT)s with different lengths across the Bricial depression were conducted along perpendicular directions; the shortest ERT was done in a NNE-SSW direction with an electrode spacing of 2 m and a total length of 78 m; the longest ERT was done in a WNW-ESE direction with a 5 m electrode spacing and a total length of 195 m. Both ERTs used 40 electrodes in a Wenner configuration. The two ERTs were done in such way that they intersected near an 8 m deep borehole drilled in the area in 2006. A two-dimensional electrical inversion software was used for inverting the apparent electrical resistivity data obtained during the field work into two-dimensional models of electrical resistivity of the ground. The models are a representation of the distribution of the electrical resistivity of the ground to depths of about 14 m along the shortest ERT and 35 m along the longest. In both geoelectrical models the electrical structure is approximately horizontal at the surface (i.e., between 3 to 5 m depth) and is more complex as depth increases. Low resistivity values prevail in most part of the profiles, which is consistent with the sedimentary sequence collected in the area. The 8 m long sedimentary sequence collected from Bricial consists of homogeneous organic-rich sediments. The base of the sequence was dated at 11,150 ± 900 cal yr BP. Taking into account the sedimentation rates and the data inferred from the electrical

  13. Ecological restoration of peatlands in steppe and forest-steppe areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Minayeva, Tatiana; Sirin, Andrey; Dugarjav, Chultem

    2016-04-01

    Peatlands in the arid and semi-arid regions of steppe and forest steppe belt of Eurasia have some specific features. That demands the special approach to their management and restoration. The distribution of peatlands under conditions of dry climate is very limited and they are extremely vulnerable. Peatlands in those regions are found in the highlands where temperate conditions still present, in floodplains where they can get water from floods and springs, or in karst areas. Peatlands on watersheds present mainly remains from the more humid climate periods. Water and carbon storage as well as maintenance of the specific biodiversity are the key ecosystem natural functions of peatlands in the steppe and forest steppe. The performance of those functions has strong implications for people wellness and livelihood. Anyhow, peatlands are usually overlooked and poorly represented in the systems of natural protected areas. Land management plans, mitigation and restoration measures for ecosystems under use do not usually include special measures for peatlands. Peatlands'use depends on the traditional practices. Peat extraction is rather limited in subhumid regions but still act as one of the threats to peatlands. The most of peatlands are used as pastures and grasslands. In densely populated areas large part of peatlands are transformed to the arable lands. In many cases peatlands of piedmonts and highlands are affected by industrial developments: road construction, mining of subsoil resources (gold, etc.). Until now, the most of peatlands of steppe and forest steppe region are irreversibly lost, what also effects water regime, lands productivity, biodiversity status. To prevent further dramatic changes the ecological restoration approach should be introduced in the subhumid regions. The feasibility study to assess the potential for introducing ecological restoration techniques for peatlands in the arid and semi-arid conditions had been undertaken in steppe and forest

  14. Understanding the Mechanisms Underlying Heterotrophic CO2 and CH4 Fluxes in a Peatland with Deep Soil Warming and Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment

    SciTech Connect

    Bridgham, Scott D.; Keller, Jason K.; Zhuang, Qianlai

    2016-09-12

    This project was funded from June 15, 2012 through June 15, 2015, with a no-cost extension until Sept. 15, 2016. Our project focused on a whole-ecosystem warming and enhanced atmospheric CO2 experiment in the S1 Bog in Marcell Experimental Forest in northern Minnesota, USA called “Spruce and Peatland Responses Under Climatic and Environmental Change” (SPRUCE; http://mnspruce.ornl.gov). Construction of substantial infrastructure required for these treatments was beyond our control and led to a staggered initiation of experimental treatments at this site. Deep peat heating (DPH) was instituted in June 2014, whole-ecosystem warming began in August 2015, and the CO2 enhancement began in June 2016. Prior to the initiation of the experimental treatments, we completed a large amount of research to better understand factors controlling anaerobic carbon (C) cycling, and particularly methane (CH4) dynamics, in northern peatlands in an effort to put the SPRUCE project in a broader context. We additionally focused extensively on the DPH treatment, which provided a unique opportunity to isolate warming effects on the vast reservoir of permanently anaerobic C stored in peatlands below the water table.

  15. Warming-induced reduced peat accrual rates and potential C losses in Northern U.S

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fissore, C.; Nater, E. A.; Moskun, A.; Klein, A.; Le, T.

    2013-12-01

    Peatlands located at northern latitudes represent a sink of carbon (C) that is at risk of being lost to the atmosphere if current and expected changes in climate accelerate existing C stock decomposition rates. The extent of such potential loss is still unknown, but recent studies suggest that accrual rate of this critical C stock may be in decline due to more rapid decomposition of plant material reaching the soil. The consequences for our climate system can be significant. If large amounts of C currently ';locked' belowground in peatland ecosystems were to be decomposed and hence lost to the atmosphere, atmospheric concentration of CO2 would increase, causing further warming and hence even more rapid decomposition of peatland C. Our objective in this study is to investigate and compare past and more recent rates of C accrual in peatlands to determine if the rates of C accrual are declining. We collected intact frozen blocks of peat from three sites in Northern Minnesota and sectioned them into horizontal slices, which are being dated by 137Cs and 14C. Atmospheric concentrations of both 137Cs and 14C spiked in the 1960's due to nuclear bomb testing, leaving a ';signature' in organic matter (14C) and sediments (137Cs). The signal has steadily declined since that time. Detection of the signal in current soil samples will allow us to date the sample and consequently to measure the quantity of C accrued in the peat over various measured time intervals.

  16. Modelling the influence of Lake Agassiz on Glacial Isostatic Adjustment and deglaciation of the Laurentide ice sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berends, Tijn; van de Wal, Roderik; de Boer, Bas; Bradley, Sarah

    2016-04-01

    ANICE is a 3-D ice-sheet-shelf model, which simulates ice dynamics on the continental scale. It uses a combination of the SIA and SSA approximations and here it is forced with benthic δ18O records using an inverse routine. It is coupled to SELEN, a model, which solves the gravitationally self-consistent sea-level equation and the solid earth deformation of a spherically symmetrical rotating Maxwell visco-elastic earth, accounting for all major GIA effects. The coupled ANICE-SELEN model thus captures ice-sea-level feedbacks and can be used to accurately simulate variations in local relative sea-level over geological time scales. In this study it is used to investigate the mass loss of the Laurentide ice-sheet during the last deglaciation, accounting in particular for the presence of the proglacial Lake Agassiz by way of its GIA effects and its effect on the ice sheet itself. We show that the mass of the water can have a significant effect on local relative sea-level through the same mechanisms as the ice-sheet - by perturbing the geoid and by deforming the solid earth. In addition we show that calving of the ice-shelf onto the lake could have had a strong influence on the behaviour of the deglaciation. In particular, when allowing lake calving, the ice-sheet retreats rapidly over the deepening bed of Hudson Bay during the deglaciation, resulting in a narrow ice dam over Hudson Strait. This dam collapses around 8.2 Kyr causing a global sea level rise of approximately 1 meter - an observation that agrees well with field data (for example, LaJeunesse and St. Onge, 2008). Without lake calving the model predicts a drainage towards the Arctic ocean in the North.

  17. Investigating the impact of Lake Agassiz drainage routes on the 8.2 ka cold event with climate modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Y.-X.; Renssen, H.; Wiersma, A. P.; Törnqvist, T. E.

    2009-03-01

    The 8.2 ka event is the most prominent abrupt climate change in the Holocene and is widely believed to result from catastrophic drainage of proglacial lakes Agassiz and Ojibway (LAO) that routed through the Hudson Bay and the Labrador Sea into the North Atlantic Ocean, and perturbed Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (MOC). One key assumption of this triggering mechanism is that the LAO freshwater drainage was spread over the Labrador Sea. Recent data, however, show no evidence of lowered δ18O values from the open Labrador Sea around 8.2 ka. Instead, negative δ18O anomalies are found close to the east coast of North America, extending as far south as Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, suggesting that the freshwater drainage was probably confined to a long stretch of continental shelf before fully mixing with North Atlantic Ocean water. Here we conduct a sensitivity study that examines the effects of this southerly drainage route on the 8.2 ka event with the ECBilt-CLIO-VECODE model. Hosing experiments of four different routing scenarios, where freshwater was introduced to the Labrador Sea in the northerly route (R1) and to three different locations (Grand Banks - R2, George Bank - R3, and Cape Hatteras - R4) on the southerly route, were performed with 0.45 m sea-level equivalent (SLE), 0.90 m SLE, and 1.35 m SLE of freshwater introduced over 5 years to investigate the routing effects on model responses. The modelling results show that a southerly drainage route is plausible but generally yields reduced climatic consequences in comparison to those of a northerly route. This finding implies that more freshwater would be required for a southerly route than for a northerly route to produce the same climate anomaly.

  18. Investigating the impact of Lake Agassiz drainage routes on the 8.2 ka cold event with a climate model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Y.-X.; Renssen, H.; Wiersma, A. P.; Törnqvist, T. E.

    2009-08-01

    The 8.2 ka event is the most prominent abrupt climate change in the Holocene and is often believed to result from catastrophic drainage of proglacial lakes Agassiz and Ojibway (LAO) that routed through the Hudson Bay and the Labrador Sea into the North Atlantic Ocean, and perturbed Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (MOC). One key assumption of this triggering mechanism is that the LAO freshwater drainage was dispersed over the Labrador Sea. Recent data, however, show no evidence of lowered δ18O values, indicative of low salinity, from the open Labrador Sea around 8.2 ka. Instead, negative δ18O anomalies are found close to the east coast of North America, extending as far south as Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, suggesting that the freshwater drainage may have been confined to a long stretch of continental shelf before fully mixing with North Atlantic Ocean water. Here we conduct a sensitivity study that examines the effects of a southerly drainage route on the 8.2 ka event with the ECBilt-CLIO-VECODE model. Hosing experiments of four routing scenarios, where freshwater was introduced to the Labrador Sea in the northerly route and to three different locations along the southerly route, were performed to investigate the routing effects on model responses. The modeling results show that a southerly drainage route is possible but generally yields reduced climatic consequences in comparison to those of a northerly route. This finding implies that more freshwater would be required for a southerly route than for a northerly route to produce the same climate anomaly. The implicated large amount of LAO drainage for a southerly routing scenario is in line with a recent geophysical modelling study of gravitational effects on sea-level change associated with the 8.2 ka event, which suggests that the volume of drainage might be larger than previously estimated.

  19. The effects of acid deposition on sulfate reduction and methane production in peatlands

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murray, Georgia L.; Hines, Mark E.; Bayley, Suzanne E.

    1992-01-01

    Peatlands, as fens and bods, make up a large percentage of northern latitude terrestrial environments. They are organic rich and support an active community of anaerobic bacteria, such as methanogenic and sulfate-reducing bacteria. The end products of these microbial activities, methane and hydrogen sulfide, are important components in the global biogeochemical cycles of carbon and sulfur. Since these two bacterial groups compete for nutritional substrates, increases in sulfate deposition due to acid rain potentially can disrupt the balance between these processes leading to a decrease in methane production and emission. This is significant because methane is a potent greenhouse gas that effects the global heat balance. A section of Mire 239 in the Experimental Lakes Area, in Northwestern Ontario, was artificially acidified and rates of sulfate reduction and methane production were measured with depth. Preliminary results suggested that methane production was not affected immediately after acidification. However, concentrations of dissolved methane decreased and dissolved sulfide increased greatly after acidification and both took several days to recover. The exact mechanism for the decrease in methane was not determined. Analyses are under way which will be used to determine rates of sulfate reduction. These results will be available by Spring and will be discussed.

  20. Holocene carbon dynamics and radiative forcing of three different types of peatlands in Finland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mathijssen, Paul; Väliranta, Minna; Lohila, Annalea; Minkkinen, Kari; Tuittila, Eeva-Stiina; Tuovinen, Juha-Pekka; Korrensalo, Aino

    2016-04-01

    Peatlands contain approximately a third of all soil carbon globally and as they exchange carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) copiously with the atmosphere, changes in peatland carbon budgets have a large impact on the global carbon balance and the concentration of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. There has been a growing interest in reconstructing and linking peatland carbon dynamics to past climate variations, because quantitative reconstructions can be used as a basis for future carbon balance predictions. In order to increase our understanding on peatland development and response patterns we quantitatively reconstructed Holocene carbon dynamics of three different peatlands in Finland: a subarctic fen, a boreal peatland complex and a boreal managed pine bog. Several cores from each peatland were investigated. The peatlands showed distinct successional pathways, which were sometimes triggered by fires. Successional stages were partly reflected in carbon accumulation patterns. Sometimes variations in carbon accumulation rates coincided with autogenic changes in peat type and vegetation, but accumulation rates were also related to the large-scale Holocene climate phases. However, Holocene climate changes as such did not seem to result in changes in the peat plant species composition. The mid-Holocene warm and dry climate conditions reduced the carbon accumulation in the subarctic fen and in the fen part of the boreal peatland complex, but when the peatland was in bog phase this effect was not visible. Some bog cores showed a clear increase in carbon accumulation after fen-bog transition, but the pattern was not unanimous. In addition to carbon accumulation, we estimated past CH4 emissions for each peatland respectively by applying different methods and by utilising the established current vegetation-CH4 emission relationship. The reconstructions showed that CH4 emissions always decreased during bog stages, but that the CH4 emissions played a major role in the

  1. Can Decommissioned Oil Pads in Boreal Alberta BE Reclaimed to Carbon Accumulating Peatlands?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wieder, R.; Vitt, D. H.; Mowbray, S.

    2010-12-01

    In northern Alberta where peatland ecosystems are a dominant landscape feature, construction of oil drilling pads and access roads is a major disturbance. Reclamation of decommissioned oil pads has been hampered by the lack of research. At two decommissioned oil pads at Shell Oil’s Peace River Complex (northeastern Alberta), initially constructed in a bog/fen complex, we established a field experiment to assess reclamation approaches that could lead to a system reflecting undisturbed peatland structure (vegetation composition) and function (net carbon accumulation). In the fall of 2007, mineral soil was removed from two decommissioned pads in areas approximately 100-m x 30-m creating a mineral surface at or near the surrounding bog water table level. We established the following treatments: pad (fertilized vs. unfertilized); water table position (at and 5-cm above the surrounding bog water level); texture (tilling soil amendments into the mineral soil or not); amendment (controls; commercial peat, peat that had been stockpiled in a farmer’s field; landscape fabric; slough hay (native species hay from harvested from local farms), aspen wood chips); planting (in 1-m x 1-m subplots within 2-m x 2-m amendment plots: no planting, 9 Carex aquatilis plants, 5 C. aquatilis and 4 Salix lutea plants; 3 C. aquatilis, 3 S. lutea and 3 Larix laricina seedlings). Treatments were nested (planting within amendment, within texture, within water table level, within pad), with 6 replicate 2-m x 2-m plots of each amendment within each pad x texture x water level combination. Net CO2 exchange was quantified under a range of PAR conditions from full sunlight to complete darkness in each 1-m x 1-m planting subplot repeatedly during the summers of 2008, 2009 and 2010 using closed chambers and infrared gas analyzers. Both dark respiration and maximum net ecosystem production (NEPSAT; net CO2 sequestration when PAR>1000 μmol m-2 s-1) exhibited year x planting interactions (p<0.0001 and

  2. Report of a workshop on climate feedbacks and the role of peatlands, tundra, and boreal ecosystems in the global carbon cycle

    SciTech Connect

    Post, W.M.

    1990-02-01

    A workshop held in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, assembled leading North American researchers to discuss recent research results and accomplish three goals: (1) estimate, given current knowledge, the net flux of carbon cycle gases between northern ecosystems and the atmosphere under projected climates for atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentrations approaching 580 ppmv; (2) determine the key uncertainties in such a calculation and the short-term research necessary to significantly reduce these uncertainties; and (3) identify long-term research objectives that will increase our confidence in the accuracy of carbon cycle gas flux estimates in northern ecosystems. The research summaries included studies to (1) understand the relationships between climate, direct effects of increased CO{sub 2}, nutrient cycling and organic matter production and accumulation in peatland, tundra, and boreal ecosystems; and (2) extend current experimental methods of using remote sensing for the difficult task of extrapolating stand or subsystem processes over regional or global scales. 169 refs., 4 figs., 2 tabs.

  3. Tree-mediated methane emissions from tropical and temperate peatlands.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pangala, S. R.; Gauci, V.; Hornibrook, E. R. C.; Gowing, D. J.

    2012-04-01

    Methane production and transport processes in peatlands are fairly well understood, but growing evidence for emission of methane through trees has highlighted the need to revisit methane transport processes. In wetland trees, morphological adaptations such as development of hypertrophied lenticels, aerenchyma and adventitious roots in response to soil anoxia mediates gas transport, transporting both oxygen from the atmosphere to oxygen-deprived roots and soil-produced methane from the root-zone to the atmosphere. Although, tree-mediated methane emissions from temperate tree species have been confirmed, methane emissions from tropical tree species and processes that control tree-mediated methane emissions remain unclear. This study explains the role of trees in transporting soil-produced methane to the atmosphere and uncovers the principal mechanisms of tree-mediated methane emissions. Methane emissions from eight tropical tree species and two temperate tree species were studied in situ. The mechanisms and controls on tree-mediated methane emissions were investigated using three year old common alder (Alnus glutinosa; 50 trees) grown under two artificially controlled water-table positions. Methane fluxes from whole mesocosms, the soil surface and tree stems were measured using static closed chambers. Both temperate and tropical tree species released significant quantities of methane, with tropical trees dominating ecosystem level methane fluxes. In temperate peatlands, both the methane gas transport mechanism and quantity of methane emitted from stems is tree-species dependent. In Alnus glutinosa, no correlations were observed between stomatal behaviour and tree-mediated methane emissions, however, stem methane emissions were positively correlated with both stem lenticel density and dissolved soil methane concentration. In Alnus glutinosa, no emissions were observed from leaf surfaces. The results demonstrate that exclusion of tree-mediated methane emissions from

  4. How does drainage alter the hydrology of shallow degraded peatlands across multiple spatial scales?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luscombe, David J.; Anderson, Karen; Grand-Clement, Emilie; Gatis, Naomi; Ashe, Josie; Benaud, Pia; Smith, David; Brazier, Richard E.

    2016-10-01

    Shallow, degraded peatlands differ in both their structure and function from deeper, peatland ecosystems. Previous work has shown that shallow, drained peatlands demonstrate rapid storm runoff that is only minimally controlled by antecedent hydrological conditions. However, such peatlands are also known to exhibit significant variation in ecohydrological organisation and structure across different spatial scales. In addition, predictions of hydrological response using spatially distributed numerical models of rainfall-runoff may be flawed unless they are evaluated with datasets describing the spatial variability of hydrological responses. This paper evaluates to what extent, flow generation and water storage within shallow, degraded peatland catchments may be controlled by the spatial attributes of the contributing area of the peatland, the drainage ditch size, morphology and geometry. Results from an experiment conducted over multiple spatial scales and multi-annual timescales highlights that subtle variations in the local slope and topography account for the long-term spatial patterns of water table depth. Neither the local scale of the drainage feature or the topographic contributing area is shown to be a definitive predictor of runoff in the studied catchments. Results also highlight the importance of using spatially distributed observations to ensure that estimates of water storage and runoff are representative of the fine scale spatial variability that occurs in such damaged and shallow peatlands.

  5. Greenhouse gas balances in low-productive drained boreal peatlands - is climate-friendly management possible?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ojanen, Paavo; Minkkinen, Kari; Heikkinen, Tiina; Penttilä, Timo

    2016-04-01

    Five million hectares of peatland has been drained for forestry in Finland. About 20% of that, i.e. one million hectares, has been estimated to be so low-productive that the profitability of keeping them in forestry is questionable. At the same time, drainage has introduced changes in the ecosystem functions of these peatlands, including fluxes of greenhouse gases. Options to manage such peatlands include for example 1) no measures, i.e. leaving the drained peatlands as they are 2) increasing intensity by e.g. repetitive fertilisations and 3) restoration back to functional peatlands. Here we estimate the greenhouse gas impacts of these three management options. We collected GHG and organic carbon flux data from 50 low-productive peatlands under these management options over two years 2014-2015. Gas fluxes (CO2, CH4, N2O) were measured with closed chambers. Litter production rates of different plants above and below ground were estimated using litter traps (trees), biomass sampling (roots), through-grow nets (mosses), allometric biomass models (other vasculars) and published turnover rates (roots, other vasculars). Characteristics for estimating tree stand biomass increment were measured at each site from circular sample plots. In this presentation we will estimate the GHG impacts for the different management options, and aim to find the most climate-friendly options for the management of low-productive peatlands in the short and long term. This work was funded by Life+ LIFE12/ENV/FI/150.

  6. Temporal and spatial aspects of peatland initiation following deglaciation in North America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gorham, E.; Lehman, C.; Dyke, A.; Janssens, J.; Dyke, L.

    2007-01-01

    A set of simple ecological models accounts well for the cumulative initiation of peatlands throughout North America in relation to glacial retreat. The most parsimonious form incorporates, first, a delay term to account for the lag during which newly deglaciated land became suitable for peatland initiation and, second, an intrinsic rate of initiation related to the probability of migration and establishment of plant propagules from elsewhere. The goodness of fit of the models, based on 1680 basal-peat dates throughout the continent, allows projection of past trends into the future. Factors contributing to the lag of about 4000 years between deglaciation and peatland initiation are suggested and data on colonization of deglaciated land by beavers (known to initiate peatlands) are presented. The rate of peatland initiation peaked between 7000 and 8000 years ago, but remains appreciable today. A marked depression of peatland initiation (8360-8040 BP) interrupted the peak rate. The time of the interruption matches the 8200 BP cold-dry event recorded in Greenland ice cores, and suggests that this event caused a substantial, continent-wide depression of an important ecosystem function, i.e., carbon sequestration from the atmosphere by peat deposition. Spontaneous initiation of new peatlands is projected to continue for millennia to come. ?? 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Temporal and spatial aspects of peatland initiation following deglaciation in North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gorham, Eville; Lehman, Clarence; Dyke, Arthur; Janssens, Joannes; Dyke, Lawrence

    2007-02-01

    A set of simple ecological models accounts well for the cumulative initiation of peatlands throughout North America in relation to glacial retreat. The most parsimonious form incorporates, first, a delay term to account for the lag during which newly deglaciated land became suitable for peatland initiation and, second, an intrinsic rate of initiation related to the probability of migration and establishment of plant propagules from elsewhere. The goodness of fit of the models, based on 1680 basal-peat dates throughout the continent, allows projection of past trends into the future. Factors contributing to the lag of about 4000 years between deglaciation and peatland initiation are suggested and data on colonization of deglaciated land by beavers (known to initiate peatlands) are presented. The rate of peatland initiation peaked between 7000 and 8000 years ago, but remains appreciable today. A marked depression of peatland initiation (8360-8040 BP) interrupted the peak rate. The time of the interruption matches the 8200 BP cold-dry event recorded in Greenland ice cores, and suggests that this event caused a substantial, continent-wide depression of an important ecosystem function, i.e., carbon sequestration from the atmosphere by peat deposition. Spontaneous initiation of new peatlands is projected to continue for millennia to come.

  8. Peatland simulator connecting drainage, nutrient cycling, forest growth, economy and GHG efflux in boreal and tropical peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lauren, Ari; Hökkä, Hannu; Launiainen, Samuli; Palviainen, Marjo; Lehtonen, Aleksi

    2016-04-01

    Forest growth in peatlands is nutrient limited; principal source of nutrients is the decomposition of organic matter. Excess water decreases O2 diffusion and slows down the nutrient release. Drainage increases organic matter decomposition, CO2 efflux, and nutrient supply, and enhances the growth of forest. Profitability depends on costs, gained extra yield and its allocation into timber assortments, and the rate of interest. We built peatland simulator Susi to define and parameterize these interrelations. We applied Susi-simulator to compute water and nutrient processes, forest growth, and CO2 efflux of forested drained peatland. The simulator computes daily water fluxes and storages in two dimensions for a peatland forest strip located between drainage ditches. The CO2 efflux is made proportional to peat bulk density, soil temperature and O2 availability. Nutrient (N, P, K) release depends on decomposition and peat nutrient content. Growth limiting nutrient is detected by comparing the need and supply of nutrients. Increased supply of growth limiting nutrient is used to quantify the forest growth response to improved drainage. The extra yield is allocated into pulpwood and sawlogs based on volume of growing stock. The net present values of ditch cleaning operation and the gained extra yield are computed under different rates of interest to assess the profitability of the ditch cleaning. The hydrological sub-models of Susi-simulator were first parameterized using daily water flux data from Hyytiälä SMEAR II-site, after which the predictions were tested against independent hydrologic data from two drained peatland forests in Southern Finland. After verification of the hydrologic model, the CO2 efflux, nutrient release and forest growth proportionality hypothesis was tested and model performance validated against long-term forest growth and groundwater level data from 69 forested peatland sample plots in Central Finland. The results showed a clear relation between

  9. Northern Australia

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-16

    article title:  Tropical Northern Australia     View Larger Image ... Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) images of tropical northern Australia were acquired on June 1, 2000 (Terra orbit 2413) during the long dry ...

  10. Spatio-temporal dynamics of global peatland extent and carbon stocks as simulated for the past twenty thousand years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stocker, B. D.; Spahni, R.; Joos, F.

    2014-12-01

    Predicting the spatio-temporal dynamics of global peatlands is key to understanding their role under past and future climate change. However, our understanding of peatlands in the Earth System is limited and global modelling studies mostly rely on temporally fixed, prescribed maps of peatland extent, thereby neglecting changes in peatland coverage with climate as evidenced by paleoclimatic proxy information. For global-scale predictions of peatland extent and lateral dynamics, we combine criteria for (i) the ecosystem water balance, (ii) simulated peatland carbon (C) balance conditions, and (iii) the simulated inundation persistency. The latter is based on subgrid-scale topography information and the simulated soil water balance. This model is successful at capturing the spatial distribution and extent of major boreal and tropical peatland complexes and reveals the governing limitations to peatland occurrence across the globe. Peatlands covering large boreal lowlands are reproduced only when accounting for a positive feedback induced by the enhanced mean soil water holding capacity in peatland-dominated regions. Much of our understanding of the role of peatlands in the carbon cycle rests on measured basal dates and C accumulation rates of peat cores from of today's existing peatlands. This data suggest a C sink that has persisted since peat initiation. However, these sink estimates do not include carbon release from peatlands that have disappeared over the past thousands of years. We present results from an application of our model to varying climate boundary conditions as simulated for the transition from the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) to the present-day. This reveals the spatial dynamics of peatlands in response to climatic shifts, ice sheet retreat, and sea level rise. In line with maps of pollen records of sphagnum cores, a northward shift of peatlands is simulated over the past 20,000 years. A large expansion of the total peatland area is simulated for the

  11. Climate impacts on Canadian subarctic peatland C accumulation and storage potentially mediated by moisture, peatland development, and fire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Camill, P.; Umbanhowar, C. E., Jr.; Adams, C.; Westervelt, A.; Lesser, D.; Hall, A.; Hamley, C.; Bourakovsky, A.

    2014-12-01

    Warming climate may cause permafrost regions to become stronger sources of C due to increased decomposition or fire. However, the dynamics of soil C storage in subarctic peatlands—one of the largest sinks of high-latitude soil C—potentially complicate this hypothesis for two reasons: (1) Warming may increase C storage, presumably as productivity in temperature-limited regions is enhanced by longer growing seasons relative to losses from decomposition. (2) Regional climatic effects on C accumulation may be mediated by local processes, such as peatland development (e.g., bog vs. fen, permafrost vs. no permafrost) and associated differences in moisture and attendant response of fires to moisture. We examined 13 peat cores spanning the Holocene across a continental gradient in moisture/seasonality, from the Canadian continental interior (permafrost plateau bogs in Manitoba) to eastern coastline (unfrozen bogs along the southern boundary of permafrost in Labrador). We used 90 AMS 14C dates, percent carbon, and bulk density measurements to estimate sedimentation and C accumulation rates. Macroscopic charcoal was used to determine local fire severity. Macrofossil analysis was conducted to determine historical changes in the plant community and peatland type. The effects of past climatic changes depend on peatland development and moisture. Sites in Labrador were classified as wet, poor fens for much of their history, and fires were practically nonexistent. C accumulation rates were greatest during the Holocene Thermal Maximum and lower during more recent Neoglacial cooling. In contrast, C accumulation in Manitoba sites appeared to be greatest during initial wetter fen phases and slower during subsequent, drier bog phases. Fire was more common and severe in Manitoba during the bog phases, and the combination of drier bogs and fire slowed C accumulation rates during the HTM, thereby making C storage less sensitive to past climate. These results suggest that in regions

  12. Peatlands and the Carbon Cycle: From Local Processes to Global Implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wieder, R. Kelman; Canadell, Josep; Limpens, Juul; Moore, Tim; Roulet, Nigel; Schaepman-Strub, Gabriela

    2007-07-01

    Boreal and subarctic peatlands cover about 3% of the Earth's land surface and store 15-30% of the world's soil carbon (200-400 petagrams) as peat. This large C pool, in addition to C in Arctic soils, lies at higher latitudes that are experiencing ongoing climate change. Tropical peatlands also contain large C reservoirs, the stability of which is threatened by ongoing land use change. In response to a call from PeatNet (a National Science Foundation-supported research coordination network), Juul Limpens and Gabriela Schaepman-Strub proposed a small workshop on peatland C cycling, an idea that morphed into a meeting with 180 participants from 18 countries,

  13. The relationship among structure and function variables across permafrost thaw gradients in a sub-arctic peatland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malhotra, A.; Roulet, N. T.

    2012-12-01

    Water table depth and vegetation community are inter-related and significant controls on the carbon fluxes of peatlands. Climate change scenarios predict changes in the carbon cycling of peatlands and it is unclear how the relationships among water table, vegetation and carbon fluxes will be modified under these circumstances. We investigated the change in peatland structure (vegetation and water table) and function (carbon flux) relationships across steep ecological gradients, using a space for time substitution approach. The study site is the Stordalen mire in northern Sweden where, due to permafrost thaw, a large variance in the vegetation community and hydrology is present. Three 24-m transects were established on the site across a palsa to internal lawn to fen gradient. We recorded water table position, soil temperature, active layer depth and vegetation community on plots along these transects. Within these transects, 10 vegetation community types were identified and triplicate collars were set up in each to measure carbon dioxide and methane fluxes using the closed chamber approach. Between June and August, mean water table position across the three transects ranged from -22.8 cm to 5.5 cm relative to peat surface. Preliminary results suggest a large variance in methane fluxes from the 10 vegetation community types, ranging from 4.3 to 298.8 mg CH4 m-2 day-1. Water table position and methane fluxes show a weak positive relationship (higher water table corresponds to higher methane flux; R2= 0.18, p= 0.02). However, this relationship varies across the permafrost thaw gradient, ranging from strong negative (R2= 0.74, p= 0.03) for dry sites with intact permafrost to weak positive (R2= 0.38, p=0.03) for intermediate sites, and no significant relationships for the very wet transition sites where permafrost is absent and highest methane emissions are observed. The change in strength and direction of structure-function relationships will be further investigated

  14. Growing season methane emissions from a permafrost peatland of northeast China: Observations using open-path eddy covariance method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Xueyang; Song, Changchun; Sun, Li; Wang, Xianwei; Shi, Fuxi; Cui, Qian; Tan, Wenwen

    2017-03-01

    The mid-high latitude permafrost peatlands in the Northern Hemisphere is a major natural source of methane (CH4) to the atmosphere. Ecosystem scale CH4 emissions from a typical permafrost peatland in the Great Hing'an Mountains were observed during the growing season of 2014 and 2015 using the open-path eddy covariance method. Relevant environmental factors such as temperature and precipitation were also collected. There was a clear diurnal variation in methane emissions in the second half of each growing season, with significantly higher emission rates in the wet sector of study area. The daily CH4 exchange ranged from 1.8 mg CH4 m-2 d-1 to 40.2 mg CH4 m-2 d-1 in 2014 and ranged from -3.9 to 15.0 mg CH4 m-2 d-1 in 2015. There were no peaks of CH4 fluxes during the spring thawing period. However, large peaks of CH4 emission were found in the second half of both growing seasons. The CH4 emission after Jul 25th accounted for 77.9% of total growing season emission in 2014 and 85.9% in 2015. The total CH4 emission during the growing season of 2014 and 2015 was approximately 1.52 g CH4 m-2 and 0.71 g CH4 m-2, respectively. CH4 fluxes during the growing seasons were significantly correlated with thawing depth (R2 = 0.71, P < 0.01) and soil temperatures (R2 = 0.75, P < 0.01) at 40 cm depth. An empirical equation using these two major variables was modified to estimate growing season CH4 emissions in permafrost peatlands. Our multiyear observations indicate that the time-lagged volume of precipitation during the growing season is a key factor in interpreting locally inter-annual variations in CH4 emissions. Our results suggested that the low temperature in the deep soil layers effectively restricts methane production and emission rates; these conditions may create significant positive feedback under global climate change.

  15. Fractionation of (137)Cs and Pu in natural peatland.

    PubMed

    Mihalík, Ján; Bartusková, Miluše; Hölgye, Zoltán; Ježková, Tereza; Henych, Ondřej

    2014-08-01

    High Cs-137 concentrations in plants growing on peatland inspired us to investigate the quantity of its bioavailable fraction in natural peat. Our investigation aims to: a) estimate the quantity of bioavailable Cs-137 and Pu present in peat, b) verify the similarity of Cs-137 and K-40 behaviours, and c) perform a quantification of Cs-137 and Pu transfer from peat to plants. We analysed the vertical distribution of Cs-137 and Pu isotopes in the peat and their concentrations in plants growing on these places. Bioavailability of radionuclides was investigated by sequential extraction. Sequential analyses revealed that it was the upper layer which contained the majority of Cs-137 in an available form while deeper layers retained Cs-137 in immobile fractions. We can conclude that 18% of all Cs-137 in the peat is still bioavailable. Despite of the low quantity of bioavailable fraction of Cs-137 its transfer factor reached extremely high values. In the case of Pu, 64% of its total amount was associated with fulvic/humic acids which resulted in the high transfer factor from peat to plants. 27 years after the Chernobyl nuclear accident, the significant part of radionuclides deposited in peatland is still bioavailable.

  16. Bryophyte spore germinability is inhibited by peatland substrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bu, Zhao-Jun; Li, Zhi; Liu, Li-Jie; Sundberg, Sebastian; Feng, Ya-Min; Yang, Yun-He; Liu, Shuang; Song, Xue; Zhang, Xing-Lin

    2017-01-01

    Bryophyte substrates and species may affect spore germination through allelopathy. Polytrichum strictum is currently expanding in peatlands in north-eastern China - is this an effect of its superior spore germinability or do its gametophytes have a stronger allelopathic effect than do Sphagnum? We conducted a spore burial experiment to test the effect of species identity, substrate and water table depth (WTD) on spore germinability and bryophyte allelopathic effect with P. strictum and two Sphagnum species (S. palustre and S. magellanicum). After 5 months of burial during a growing season, the spores were tested for germinability. Allelopathic effect of bryophyte substrates was assessed by the difference between spore germinability after being stored inside or outside the substrates. After burial, more than 90% of the spores lost their germinability across all three species due to ageing and allelopathy. Spore germinability differed among species, where the spores in S. palustre had a higher germination frequency than those in P. strictum. The three bryophytes maintained a higher germinability in Sphagnum than in Polytrichum hummocks, probably due to a stronger allelopathic effect of P. strictum. Water table drawdown by 10 cm increased germinability by more than 60% across the three species. The study indicates that P. strictum does not possess an advantage regarding spore germination but rather its gametophytes have a stronger allelopathic effect. Due to the weaker inhibitive effect of Sphagnum gametophytes, P. strictum may have a potential establishment superiority over Sphagnum in peatlands, in addition to a better drought tolerance, which may explain its current expansion.

  17. Opportunities for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in tropical peatlands.

    PubMed

    Murdiyarso, D; Hergoualc'h, K; Verchot, L V

    2010-11-16

    The upcoming global mechanism for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries should include and prioritize tropical peatlands. Forested tropical peatlands in Southeast Asia are rapidly being converted into production systems by introducing perennial crops for lucrative agribusiness, such as oil-palm and pulpwood plantations, causing large greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Guidelines for GHG Inventory on Agriculture, Forestry, and Other Land Uses provide an adequate framework for emissions inventories in these ecosystems; however, specific emission factors are needed for more accurate and cost-effective monitoring. The emissions are governed by complex biophysical processes, such as peat decomposition and compaction, nutrient availability, soil water content, and water table level, all of which are affected by management practices. We estimate that total carbon loss from converting peat swamp forests into oil palm is 59.4 ± 10.2 Mg of CO(2) per hectare per year during the first 25 y after land-use cover change, of which 61.6% arise from the peat. Of the total amount (1,486 ± 183 Mg of CO(2) per hectare over 25 y), 25% are released immediately from land-clearing fire. In order to maintain high palm-oil production, nitrogen inputs through fertilizer are needed and the magnitude of the resulting increased N(2)O emissions compared to CO(2) losses remains unclear.

  18. Opportunities for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in tropical peatlands

    PubMed Central

    Murdiyarso, D.; Hergoualc’h, K.; Verchot, L. V.

    2010-01-01

    The upcoming global mechanism for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries should include and prioritize tropical peatlands. Forested tropical peatlands in Southeast Asia are rapidly being converted into production systems by introducing perennial crops for lucrative agribusiness, such as oil-palm and pulpwood plantations, causing large greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Guidelines for GHG Inventory on Agriculture, Forestry, and Other Land Uses provide an adequate framework for emissions inventories in these ecosystems; however, specific emission factors are needed for more accurate and cost-effective monitoring. The emissions are governed by complex biophysical processes, such as peat decomposition and compaction, nutrient availability, soil water content, and water table level, all of which are affected by management practices. We estimate that total carbon loss from converting peat swamp forests into oil palm is 59.4 ± 10.2 Mg of CO2 per hectare per year during the first 25 y after land-use cover change, of which 61.6% arise from the peat. Of the total amount (1,486 ± 183 Mg of CO2 per hectare over 25 y), 25% are released immediately from land-clearing fire. In order to maintain high palm-oil production, nitrogen inputs through fertilizer are needed and the magnitude of the resulting increased N2O emissions compared to CO2 losses remains unclear. PMID:21081702

  19. Physical controls on ebullition losses of methane from peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tokida, Takeshi; Miyazaki, Tsuyoshi; Mizoguchi, Masaru

    Recent studies indicate that direct escaping of CH4-containing gas bubbles, i.e., ebullition, plays a considerable role in determining the total CH4 emission from peatlands into the atmosphere. Although methane is a biological product, a large bubble-storage capacity of peat leads to a partial decoupling between the production and release of methane, allowing for physical factors to act as a trigger for the ebullition. Buoyancy-induced ebullition can be controlled by (1) atmospheric pressure, (2) peat temperature, and (3) water table level. Falling atmospheric pressure exerts a dominant role in determining the timing of ebullition in some peatlands. Rapid rise in water table position by rain would result in the suppression of the bubble volume, and hence, halting ebullition. Diurnal temperature modulation might affect ebullition; however, its significance is expected to depend heavily on the position of water table, thermal characteristics of the peat, and the depth distribution of the CH4-containing bubbles. Wind-induced surface turbulence also gives rise to ebullition as demonstrated by eddy covariance studies. Another type of ebullition includes a release of entrapped CH4 accumulated during winter at spring-thaw period, but its significance is largely unknown. Further technical development is necessary to examine recently suggested massive CH4 ebullition (>g CH4 m-2 h-1) in terms of surface flux monitoring. Future research also needs to address subsurface behavior of the bubbles in relation to physical characteristics of peat and other transport modes.

  20. Modeling impacts of changes in temperature and water table on C gas fluxes in an Alaskan peatland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deng, Jia; Li, Changsheng; Frolking, Steve

    2015-07-01

    Northern peatlands have accumulated a large amount of organic carbon (C) in their thick peat profile. Climate change and associated variations in soil environments are expected to have significant impacts on the C balance of these ecosystems, but the magnitude is still highly uncertain. Verifying and understanding the influences of changes in environmental factors on C gas fluxes in biogeochemical models are essential for forecasting feedbacks between C gas fluxes and climate change. In this study, we applied a biogeochemical model, DeNitrification-DeComposition (DNDC), to assess impacts of air temperature (TA) and water table (WT) on C gas fluxes in an Alaskan peatland. DNDC was validated against field measurements of net ecosystem exchange of CO2 (NEE) and CH4 fluxes under manipulated surface soil temperature and WT conditions in a moderate rich fen. The validation demonstrates that DNDC was able to capture the observed impacts of the manipulations in soil environments on C gas fluxes. To investigate responses of C gas fluxes to changes in TA and soil water condition, we conducted a series of simulations with varying TA and WT. The results demonstrate that (1) uptake rates of CO2 at the site were reduced by either too colder or warmer temperatures and generally increased with increasing soil moisture; (2) CH4 emissions showed an increasing trend as TA increased or WT rose toward the peat surface; and (3) the site could shift from a net greenhouse gas (GHG) sink into a net GHG source under some warm and/or dry conditions. A sensitivity analysis evaluated the relative importance of TA and WT to C gas fluxes. The results indicate that both TA and WT played important roles in regulating NEE and CH4 emissions and that within the investigated ranges of the variations in TA and WT, changes in WT showed a greater impact than changes in TA on NEE, CH4 fluxes, and net C gas fluxes at the study fen.

  1. High permeability explains the vulnerability of the carbon store in drained tropical peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baird, Andy J.; Low, Robert; Young, Dylan; Swindles, Graeme T.; Lopez, Omar R.; Page, Susan

    2017-02-01

    Tropical peatlands are an important global carbon (C) store but are threatened by drainage for palm oil and wood pulp production. The store's stability depends on the dynamics of the peatland water table, which in turn depend on peat permeability. We found that an example of the most abundant type of tropical peatland—ombrotrophic domes—has an unexpectedly high permeability similar to that of gravel. Using computer simulations of a natural peat dome (NPD) and a ditch-drained peat dome (DPD) we explored how such high permeability affects water tables and peat decay. High permeability has little effect on NPD water tables because of low hydraulic gradients from the center to the margin of the peatland. In contrast, DPD water tables are consistently deep, leaving the upper meter of peat exposed to rapid decay. Our results reveal why ditch drainage precipitates a rapid destabilization of the tropical peatland C store.

  2. The diversity of microfungi in peatlands originated from the White Sea.

    PubMed

    Grum-Grzhimaylo, Olga A; Debets, Alfons J M; Bilanenko, Elena N

    2016-01-01

    The diversity of culturable filamentous microfungi in peat and sediments of four peatlands at the coastal zone of Kandalaksha Bay of the White Sea (Murmansk region, Russia) was studied by culture methods on standard and selective media. Annually 100 samples were collected from the bogs 2007-2010. Based on morphological, molecular markers and cultural features, 211 taxa were identified. Fungal communities observed at the peatlands were influenced mostly by their sea origin. We discovered a large difference between fungal communities from the peat and the sediments of the peatlands. In contrast to the sediments, the fungal community of the peat was found to be consistent throughout sampling sites. Fungi with specific ecophysiology, such as Sphagnum-decomposing species (Oidiodendron griseum, O. tenuissimum. Penicillium spinulosum, P. thomii, Talaromyces funiculosus), psychrotolerant and associated with insects species (Pseudogymnoascus pannorum, Tolypocladium spp.), typical marine species (Acremonium spp.) were found. In addition, different types of sterile mycelia were characteristic for the researched peatlands.

  3. Microbial enzyme activities of peatland soils in south central Alaska lowlands

    EPA Science Inventory

    Microbial enzyme activities related to carbon and nutrient acquisition were measured on Alaskan peatland soils as indicators of nutrient limitation and biochemical sustainability. Peat decomposition is mediated by microorganisms and enzymes that in turn are limited by various ph...

  4. Untangling climate signals from autogenic changes in long-term peatland development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morris, Paul J.; Baird, Andy J.; Young, Dylan M.; Swindles, Graeme T.

    2015-12-01

    Peatlands represent important archives of Holocene paleoclimatic information. However, autogenic processes may disconnect peatland hydrological behavior from climate and overwrite climatic signals in peat records. We use a simulation model of peatland development driven by a range of Holocene climate reconstructions to investigate climate signal preservation in peat records. Simulated water-table depths and peat decomposition profiles exhibit homeostatic recovery from prescribed changes in rainfall, whereas changes in temperature cause lasting alterations to peatland structure and function. Autogenic ecohydrological feedbacks provide both high- and low-pass filters for climatic information, particularly rainfall. Large-magnitude climatic changes of an intermediate temporal scale (i.e., multidecadal to centennial) are most readily preserved in our simulated peat records. Simulated decomposition signals are offset from the climatic changes that generate them due to a phenomenon known as secondary decomposition. Our study provides the mechanistic foundations for a framework to separate climatic and autogenic signals in peat records.

  5. Carbon sequestration in Southeast Asian tropical peatlands over the Holocene period: large-scale hydrological controls

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dommain, R.; Couwenberg, J.; Cobb, A.; Gandois, L.; Kai, F.; Su'ut, N.; Abu Salim, K.; Harvey, C. F.; Glaser, P. H.; Joosten, H.

    2012-12-01

    Tropical peatlands are recognized as a significant sink of carbon dioxide and an important source of methane. Low latitude peatlands contain an estimated pool of 90 Pg C, of which ca. 70 Pg C is stored in Southeast Asian peatlands. However, the Holocene development of this carbon reservoir is poorly established. Here we provide a synthesis of carbon uptake rates by tropical peatlands in Southeast Asia across millennial timescales for the past 11,000 years. Our reconstruction of the carbon accumulation history for Borneo, Sumatra and Peninsular Malaysia is based on a synthesis of radiocarbon dated peat profiles, modeling of peatland extent, and a new carbon accumulation record from Brunei (NW-Borneo). During the early Holocene the first peatlands formed in southern Borneo under the influence of a strong monsoon and rapid rise in sea-level. The carbon accumulation rate (CAR) in these peatlands was on average 60 g C m-2 yr-1 at this time. Peatlands started to spread across the coastal lowlands of Borneo, Sumatra and Peninsular Malaysia after 8000 cal BP only when the rate of rising sea-level decreased. The major phase of coastal peatland initiation lasted from 7000 to 4000 cal BP. This period was marked by a Holocene precipitation maximum, suppressed El Niño activity, and the Holocene maximum in sea-level on the Sunda Shelf. The mean CAR of coastal peatlands at this time was 80 g C m-2 yr-1, with a Holocene peak of ~100 g C m-2 yr-1 from 4900 to 4500 cal BP. Significantly, atmospheric CO2 concentrations measured in the Taylor Dome Antarctic ice core indicate a plateau during this period of otherwise rising CO2 concentrations. During the Late Holocene CAR declined both in coastal peatlands (ca. 70 g C m-2 yr-1) and in southern Borneo (ca. 20 g C m-2 yr-1) in response to falling sea-levels and increased El Niño frequency and intensity. In fact, several peatlands in southern Borneo have stopped accumulating peat-carbon under higher El Niño activity. These results

  6. Influence of Water Table Depth on Pore Water Chemistry and Trihalomethane Formation Potential in Peatlands.

    PubMed

    Gough, Rachel; Holliman, Peter J; Fenner, Nathalie; Peacock, Mike; Freeman, Christopher

    2016-02-01

    Drained peatland catchments are reported to produce more colored, dissolved organic carbon (DOC)-rich water, presenting problems for potable water treatment. The blocking of peatland drainage ditches to restore the water table is increasingly being considered as a strategy to address this deterioration in water quality. However, the effect of ditch blocking on the potential of DOC to form trihalomethanes (THMs) has not been assessed. In this study, the effect of peat rewetting on pore water DOC concentration and characteristics (including THM formation potential [THMFP]) was assessed over 12 months using peat cores collected from two drained peatland sites. The data show little evidence of differences in DOC concentration or characteristics between the different treatments. The absence of any difference in the THMFP of pore water between treatments suggests that, in the short term at least, ditch blocking may not have an effect on the THMFP of waters draining peatland catchments.

  7. Low impact of dry conditions on the CO2 exchange of a Northern-Norwegian blanket bog

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lund, Magnus; Bjerke, J. W.; Drake, B. G.; Engelsen, O.; Hansen, G. H.; Parmentier, F. J. W.; Powell, T. L.; Silvennoinen, H.; Sottocornola, M.; Tømmervik, H.; Weldon, S.; Rasse, D. P.

    2015-02-01

    Northern peatlands hold large amounts of organic carbon (C) in their soils and are as such important in a climate change context. Blanket bogs, i.e. nutrient-poor peatlands restricted to maritime climates, may be extra vulnerable to global warming since they require a positive water balance to sustain their moss dominated vegetation and C sink functioning. This study presents a 4.5 year record of land-atmosphere carbon dioxide (CO2) exchange from the Andøya blanket bog in northern Norway. Compared with other peatlands, the Andøya peatland exhibited low flux rates, related to the low productivity of the dominating moss and lichen communities and the maritime settings that attenuated seasonal temperature variations. It was observed that under periods of high vapour pressure deficit, net ecosystem exchange was reduced, which was mainly caused by a decrease in gross primary production. However, no persistent effects of dry conditions on the CO2 exchange dynamics were observed, indicating that under present conditions and within the range of observed meteorological conditions the Andøya blanket bog retained its C uptake function. Continued monitoring of these ecosystem types is essential in order to detect possible effects of a changing climate.

  8. Tropical peatland carbon dynamics simulated for scenarios of disturbance and restoration and climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frolking, S. E.; Warren, M.; Dai, Z.; Kurnianto, S.; Hagen, S. C.

    2015-12-01

    Tropical peatlands contain a globally significant carbon pool. Southeast Asian peatlands are being deforested, drained and burned at very high rates, mostly for conversion to industrial oil palm or pulp and paper plantations. The climate mitigation potential of tropical peatlands has gained increasing attention in recent years as persistent greenhouse gas emissions can be avoided or decreased if peatlands remain intact or are rehabilitated. In addition, peatland conservation or rehabilitation for climate mitigation also includes multiple co-benefits such as maintenance of ecosystem services, biodiversity, and air quality from reduced fire occurrence. Inventory guidelines and methodologies have only recently become available, and are based on few data from a limited number of sites. Few heuristic tools are available to evaluate the impact of management practices on carbon dynamics in tropical peatlands, and the potential climate mitigation benefits of peatland restoration. We used a process based dynamic tropical peatland model to explore the C dynamics of several peatland management trajectories represented by hypothetical scenarios, within the context of simulated 21st century climate change. All scenarios with land use, including those with optimal restoration, simulate C loss over the 21st century, with C losses ranging from 10% to essentially 100% of pre-disturbance values. Fire, either prescribed as part of a crop rotation cycle, or stochastic occurrences in sub-optimally managed degraded land can be the dominant C-loss pathway, particularly in the drier climate scenario we tested. A single 25-year oil palm rotation, with a prescribed initial burn, lost 40-50 kg C/m2, equivalent to accumulation during the previous 500 years, 10-30% of which was restored in 75 years of optimal restoration. Our results indicate that even under the most optimistic scenario of hydrological and forest restoration and the wettest climate regime, only about one-third of the carbon

  9. Insights from 14C into C loss pathways in degraded peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, Martin; Evans, Chris; Allott, Tim; Stimson, Andrew; Goulsbra, Claire

    2016-04-01

    Peatlands are important global stores of terrestrial carbon. Lowered water tables due to changing climate and direct or indirect human intervention produce a deeper aerobic zone and have the potential to enhance loss of stored carbon from the peat profile. The quasi continuous accumulation of organic matter in active peatlands means that the age of fluvial dissolved organic carbon exported from peatland systems is related to the source depth in the peat profile. Consequently 14C analysis of DOC in waters draining peatlands has the potential not only to tell us about the source of fluvial carbon and the stability of the peatland but also about the dominant hydrological pathways in the peatland system. This paper will present new radiocarbon determinations from peatland streams draining the heavily eroded peatlands of the southern Pennine uplands in the UK. These blanket peatland systems are highly degraded, with extensive bare peat and gully erosion resulting from air pollution during the industrial revolution, overgrazing, wildfire and climatic changes. Deep and extensive gullying has significantly modified the hydrology of these systems leading to local and more widespread drawdown of water table. 14C data from DOC in drainage waters are presented from two catchments; one with extensive gully erosion and the other with a combination of gully erosion and sheet erosion of the peat. At the gully eroded site DOC in drainage waters is as old as 160 BP but at the site with extensive sheet erosion dates of up to 1069 BP are amongst the oldest recorded from blanket peatland globally These data indicate significant degradation of stored carbon from the eroding peatlands. Initial comparisons of the 14C data with modelled water table for the catchments and depth-age curves for catchment peats suggests that erosion of the peat surface, allowing decomposition of exposed older organic material is a potential mechanism producing aged carbon from the eroded catchment. This

  10. CO2 and CH4 fluxes of an Alpine peatland during extraordinary summer drought

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drollinger, Simon; Glatzel, Stephan

    2016-04-01

    In peatland ecosystems, plant production exceeds decomposition due to their typical characteristic of waterlogged soils leading to peatland growth and an accumulation of thick organic soil layers. As a result, peatlands constitute a major global storage of carbon (C) by storing about 612 PgC in their peat, thus representing the most space-effective C stocks of all terrestrial ecosystems, similar in magnitude as the increasing atmospheric C pool (~ 850 PgC). However, little is known about the effects of climate change on peatlands and the contribution of Alpine peatlands as a source of greenhouse gases in the course of a changing climate. It is debatable how land-use changes and ongoing degradation of Alpine peatlands affect the peatland-atmosphere C exchange. On the one hand, more C may sequester due to increased plant growth in a warmer climate, on the other hand large amounts of respired C may release as a consequence of higher temperatures and lowered peatland water table depths due to increasing evaporation rates and extending drought periods. To examine the potential effects of climate change on the peatland carbon exchange with the atmosphere, we calculated CO2 and CH4 fluxes using the eddy covariance method. The investigated ombrotrophic peatland is located on the bottom of the Styrian Enns valley at an altitude of 632 m above sea level. It is a slightly degraded pine peat bog (62 ha) with a closed peat moss cover featuring the three plant associations Pino mugo-Sphagnetum magellanici, Sphagnetum magellanici, and Caricetum limosae, according to the prevailing hydrological site conditions. During summer drought in 2015, the water level decreased from an annual average water level of -10.44 cm to -28.50 cm below surface at the centre of the peat bog. Here, we present diurnal pattern of CO2 and CH4 fluxes during an extraordinary dry summer and compare them to calculated fluxes during periods characterised by precipitation and higher peat water levels of the

  11. Effect of long-term drainage of peatland on whole-profile microbial community structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mpamah, Promise; Taipale, Sami; Rissanen, Antti; Biasi, Christina; Nykänen, Hannu

    2015-04-01

    Peatlands are crucial global carbon stores largely due to prevailing hydrological regime leading to higher rate of carbon input than loss. Like other changes in environmental conditions, alteration in peatland water table, which causes increased aeration in the upper layer, does not only cause a shift in this exchange rates, but leads to changes in plant species cover, litter quality as well as the niches of microbes, by affecting their functions and activities. Effects of changes in peatland hydrology are therefore complex, and play a key role in peat carbon cycles. Changed peat hydrology may especially affect the inter-play between methanogens and methanotrophs which are important members of the microbial community taking part in anaerobic/aerobic peatland carbon cycles. We provide more information on the effect of long-term (more than 33 years) changes in hydrology on the whole-peat-profile microbes, from top to bottom. We studied drained and adjacent non-drained peatlands in Lakkasuo mire complex and Lammi area of Finland, which differed in vegetation cover and management history. We focused majorly on the phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA) analysis as an indicator of the overall microbial community structure, but also used DNA analysis to mainly compare the methane oxidizing bacteria (MOB) of the different peatland types with different vegetation. Our PLFA results showed that peat mire complexes are more similar in their microbial community, within location and profiles than between locations irrespective of hydrological changes and types or vegetation covers. PLFA and DNA analysis also showed that MOB species belonging to type II were more dominant than those of type I in both locations studied. Our study also showed that long-term draining of peatlands does not change the biomass of soil microbial communities, but alters their structural or relative composition. The effect of long-term peatland drainage is mostly located at the surface. Depth gradient effects

  12. Changes in vegetation, peat properties and peat accumulation in Swedish peatlands as revealed by archive data.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schoning, Kristian; Sohlenius, Gustav

    2016-04-01

    In this investigation we have studied patterns in peat accumulation and changes in mire status since the early 1900s for two areas in Sweden. In the early 1900s the Geological Survey of Sweden collected a vast amount of peat and peatland data, including information on vegetation and land-use. We have used this archive data to evaluate changes in mire vegetation, mire wetness and surface peat properties, rates of peat accumulation, succession in young wetlands and the effects of cultivation on peatlands. In total 156 mires in an uplift area of eastern middle Sweden were included in the data-set, including both pristine mires and peatlands used for agricultural purposes. In this area new peatlands have continuously been formed during the past 7 000 years making it possible to evaluate changes in peat accumulation over time. The other study area is situated in the south Swedish Uplands where we have revisited some larger bogs. The results from our investigation show that many of the peatlands have underwent major changes since the early 1900s. In most of the small peatlands we have found important changes in vegetation where mire vegetation has been replaced by nutrient demanding and/or dry species flora while the tree stand on large mires in south Sweden have increased. In some mires humification has increased in the uppermost peat-layers and the mire surface have become drier compared to the early 1900s. In eastern middle Sweden there are indications that the peat accumulation is lower 0,5 mm/year in older peatlands compared with younger ones 1,2 mm/year, although the mire vegetation in the older peatlands is dominated by sphagnum. The peat depth of the cultivated mires in this area shows a mean decrease of 40 cm since the early 1900s.

  13. Peatland restoration and effects on groundwater, water quality and runoff

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menberu, Meseret; Tahvanainen, Teemu; Irannezhad, Masoud; Ronkanen, Anna-Kaisa; Marttila, Hannu; Penttinen, Jouni; Klöve, Björn

    2015-04-01

    There is increasing interest to restore degraded peatland, but long term effects of restoration are poorly known. Totally 46 boreal peatland were included in a study set, including 20 fens, 13 pine mires and 13 spruce mires, with peatland types ranging from nearly ombrotrophic Sphagnum bogs to rich fens. Study sites covered spatially almost whole Finland. Furthermore, 27 of the sites were previously drained and restored during the monitoring period, while the remaining 19 sites were in pristine condition. The pristine sites were held as paired counterparts of the drained sites and are located in the vicinity of drained/restored sites to ensure similar vegetation, nutrient and hydrological status. Since 2008, water table fluctuation (continuous measurement), pore water chemistry at all sites, and runoff and water chemistry (nutrients, DOC, ions with adjusted intervals through frost-free season) from 9 sites were studied. Drained/restored sites were monitored for 1 to 3 years before restoration. This presentation shows preliminary results and analysis of present dataset. Restoration operation increased water table (WT) in all study areas, but high variation was observed. Highest change in WT elevation was observed in spruce mires and smaller increases in fens. Disturbance of peat material and higher WT caused leaching of nutrients and ions from restoration areas, e.g. phosphorus, nitrogen and iron. Increase was highest during the first year after restoration, but showed decreasing trend almost in all study areas in pore-water samples. Generally it can be concluded that restoration have reached its main target for elevated WT, launching re-development of acrotelm peat layers. However, restoration operation caused disturbance and elevated nutrient loading to water courses. Preliminary results of statistical analysis revealed no significant differences of mean daily runoff between drained and pristine counterparts. After restoration, one study site showed decrease in

  14. Vulnerability of the peatland carbon sink to sea-level rise.

    PubMed

    Whittle, Alex; Gallego-Sala, Angela V

    2016-06-29

    Freshwater peatlands are carbon accumulating ecosystems where primary production exceeds organic matter decomposition rates in the soil, and therefore perform an important sink function in global carbon cycling. Typical peatland plant and microbial communities are adapted to the waterlogged, often acidic and low nutrient conditions that characterise them. Peatlands in coastal locations receive inputs of oceanic base cations that shift conditions from the environmental optimum of these communities altering the carbon balance. Blanket bogs are one such type of peatlands occurring in hyperoceanic regions. Using a blanket bog to coastal marsh transect in Northwest Scotland we assess the impacts of salt intrusion on carbon accumulation rates. A threshold concentration of salt input, caused by inundation, exists corresponding to rapid acidophilic to halophilic plant community change and a carbon accumulation decline. For the first time, we map areas of blanket bog vulnerable to sea-level rise, estimating that this equates to ~7.4% of the total extent and a 0.22 Tg yr(-1) carbon sink. Globally, tropical peatlands face the proportionally greatest risk with ~61,000 km(2) (~16.6% of total) lying ≤5 m elevation. In total an estimated 20.2 ± 2.5 GtC is stored in peatlands ≤5 m above sea level, which are potentially vulnerable to inundation.

  15. Water-table-dependent hydrological changes following peatland forestry drainage and restoration: Analysis of restoration success

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menberu, Meseret Walle; Tahvanainen, Teemu; Marttila, Hannu; Irannezhad, Masoud; Ronkanen, Anna-Kaisa; Penttinen, Jouni; Kløve, Bjørn

    2016-05-01

    A before-after-control approach was used to analyze the impact of peatland restoration on hydrology, based on high temporal resolution water-table (WT) data from 43 boreal peatlands representative of a south-boreal to north-boreal climate gradient. During the study, 24 forestry drained sites were restored and 19 pristine peatlands used as control sites. Different approaches were developed and used to analyze WT changes (mean WT position, WT fluctuation, WT hydrograph, recession, and storage characteristics). Restoration increased WT in most cases but particularly in spruce mires, followed by pine mires and fens. Before restoration, the WT fluctuation (WTF) was large, indicating peat temporary storage gain (SG). After restoration, the WT hydrograph recession limb slopes and SG coefficients (Rc) declined significantly. Drainage or restoration did not significantly affect mean diurnal WT fluctuations, used here as a proxy for evapotranspiration. Overall, the changes in WT characteristics following restoration indicated creation of favorable hydrological conditions for recovery of functional peatland ecosystems in previously degraded peatland sites. This was supported by calculation of bryophyte species abundance thresholds for WT. These results can be used to optimize restoration efforts in different peatland systems and as a qualitative conceptual basis for future restoration operations.

  16. Rapid carbon loss and slow recovery following permafrost thaw in boreal peatlands.

    PubMed

    Jones, Miriam C; Harden, Jennifer; O'Donnell, Jonathan; Manies, Kristen; Jorgenson, Torre; Treat, Claire; Ewing, Stephanie

    2017-03-01

    Permafrost peatlands store one-third of the total carbon (C) in the atmosphere and are increasingly vulnerable to thaw as high-latitude temperatures warm. Large uncertainties remain about C dynamics following permafrost thaw in boreal peatlands. We used a chronosequence approach to measure C stocks in forested permafrost plateaus (forest) and thawed permafrost bogs, ranging in thaw age from young (<10 years) to old (>100 years) from two interior Alaska chronosequences. Permafrost originally aggraded simultaneously with peat accumulation (syngenetic permafrost) at both sites. We found that upon thaw, C loss of the forest peat C is equivalent to ~30% of the initial forest C stock and is directly proportional to the prethaw C stocks. Our model results indicate that permafrost thaw turned these peatlands into net C sources to the atmosphere for a decade following thaw, after which post-thaw bog peat accumulation returned sites to net C sinks. It can take multiple centuries to millennia for a site to recover its prethaw C stocks; the amount of time needed for them to regain their prethaw C stocks is governed by the amount of C that accumulated prior to thaw. Consequently, these findings show that older peatlands will take longer to recover prethaw C stocks, whereas younger peatlands will exceed prethaw stocks in a matter of centuries. We conclude that the loss of sporadic and discontinuous permafrost by 2100 could result in a loss of up to 24 Pg of deep C from permafrost peatlands.

  17. Vulnerability of the peatland carbon sink to sea-level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whittle, Alex; Gallego-Sala, Angela V.

    2016-06-01

    Freshwater peatlands are carbon accumulating ecosystems where primary production exceeds organic matter decomposition rates in the soil, and therefore perform an important sink function in global carbon cycling. Typical peatland plant and microbial communities are adapted to the waterlogged, often acidic and low nutrient conditions that characterise them. Peatlands in coastal locations receive inputs of oceanic base cations that shift conditions from the environmental optimum of these communities altering the carbon balance. Blanket bogs are one such type of peatlands occurring in hyperoceanic regions. Using a blanket bog to coastal marsh transect in Northwest Scotland we assess the impacts of salt intrusion on carbon accumulation rates. A threshold concentration of salt input, caused by inundation, exists corresponding to rapid acidophilic to halophilic plant community change and a carbon accumulation decline. For the first time, we map areas of blanket bog vulnerable to sea-level rise, estimating that this equates to ~7.4% of the total extent and a 0.22 Tg yr‑1 carbon sink. Globally, tropical peatlands face the proportionally greatest risk with ~61,000 km2 (~16.6% of total) lying ≤5 m elevation. In total an estimated 20.2 ± 2.5 GtC is stored in peatlands ≤5 m above sea level, which are potentially vulnerable to inundation.

  18. Subsidence Rates of Drained Agricultural Peatlands in New Zealand and the Relationship with Time since Drainage.

    PubMed

    Pronger, Jack; Schipper, Louis A; Hill, Reece B; Campbell, David I; McLeod, Malcolm

    2014-07-01

    The drainage and conversion of peatlands to productive agro-ecosystems leads to ongoing surface subsidence because of densification (shrinkage and consolidation) and oxidation of the peat substrate. Knowing the ra0te of this surface subsidence is important for future land-use planning, carbon accounting, and economic analysis of drainage and pumping costs. We measured subsidence rates over the past decade at 119 sites across three large, agriculturally managed peatlands in the Waikato region, New Zealand. The average contemporary (2000s-2012) subsidence rate for Waikato peatlands was 19 ± 2 mm yr (± SE) and was significantly less ( = 0.01) than the historic rate of 26 ± 1 mm yr between the 1920s and 2000s. A reduction in the rate of subsidence through time was attributed to the transition from rapid initial consolidation and shrinkage to slower, long-term, ongoing oxidation. These subsidence rates agree well with a literature synthesis of temperate zone subsidence rates reported for similar lengths of time since drainage. A strong nonlinear relationship was found between temperate zone subsidence rates and time since initial peatland drainage: Subsidence (mm yr) = 226 × (years since drained) ( = 0.88). This relationship suggests that time since drainage exerts strong control over the rate of peatland subsidence and that ongoing peatland subsidence rates can be predicted to gradually decline with time in the absence of major land disturbance.

  19. Vulnerability of the peatland carbon sink to sea-level rise

    PubMed Central

    Whittle, Alex; Gallego-Sala, Angela V.

    2016-01-01

    Freshwater peatlands are carbon accumulating ecosystems where primary production exceeds organic matter decomposition rates in the soil, and therefore perform an important sink function in global carbon cycling. Typical peatland plant and microbial communities are adapted to the waterlogged, often acidic and low nutrient conditions that characterise them. Peatlands in coastal locations receive inputs of oceanic base cations that shift conditions from the environmental optimum of these communities altering the carbon balance. Blanket bogs are one such type of peatlands occurring in hyperoceanic regions. Using a blanket bog to coastal marsh transect in Northwest Scotland we assess the impacts of salt intrusion on carbon accumulation rates. A threshold concentration of salt input, caused by inundation, exists corresponding to rapid acidophilic to halophilic plant community change and a carbon accumulation decline. For the first time, we map areas of blanket bog vulnerable to sea-level rise, estimating that this equates to ~7.4% of the total extent and a 0.22 Tg yr−1 carbon sink. Globally, tropical peatlands face the proportionally greatest risk with ~61,000 km2 (~16.6% of total) lying ≤5 m elevation. In total an estimated 20.2 ± 2.5 GtC is stored in peatlands ≤5 m above sea level, which are potentially vulnerable to inundation. PMID:27354088

  20. Late Holocene climate-induced forest transformation and peatland establishment in the central Appalachians

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Booth, Robert K.; Ireland, Alex W.; LeBoeuf, Katharine; Hessl, Amy

    2016-03-01

    Understanding the potential for ecosystem transformation and community change in response to climate variability is central to anticipating future ecological changes, and long-term records provide a primary source of information on these dynamics. We investigated the late Holocene history of upland forest and peatland development at Cranesville Swamp, a peatland located along the West Virginia-Maryland border in the USA. Our primary goal was to determine whether establishment of peatland was triggered by moisture variability, similar to recent developmental models derived from depressional peatlands in glaciated regions. Results indicate that the peatland established at about 1200 cal yr BP, and was associated with a dramatic and persistent change in upland forest composition. Furthermore, timing of these upland and wetland ecological changes corresponded with evidence for multidecadal drought and enhanced moisture variability from nearby tree-ring and speleothem climatic reconstructions. Our results add to a growing body of research highlighting the sensitivity of both peatland development and upland forest communities to transient drought and enhanced moisture variability, and suggest that enhanced moisture variability in the future could increase the probability of similarly abrupt and persistent ecological change, even in humid regions like eastern North America.

  1. Effects of long-term drainage on microbial community composition vary between peatland types

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urbanová, Zuzana; Barta, Jiri

    2016-04-01

    Peatlands represent an important reservoir of carbon, but their functioning can be threatened by water level drawdown caused by climate or land use change. Knowledge of how microbial communities respond to long-term drainage in different peatland types could help improve predictions of the effect of climate change on these ecosystems. We investigated the effect of long-term drainage on microbial community composition in bog, fen and spruce swamp forests (SSF) in the Sumava Mountains (Czech Republic), using high-throughput barcoded sequencing, in relation to peat biochemical properties. Longterm drainage had substantial effects, which depended strongly on peatland type, on peat biochemical properties and microbial community composition. The effect of drainage was most apparent on fen, followed by SSF, and lowest on bog. Long-term drainage led to lower pH, reduced peat decomposability and increased bulk density, which was reflected by reduced microbial activity. Bacterial diversity decreased and Acidobacteria became the dominant phylum on drained sites, reflecting a convergence in bacterial community composition across peatlands after long-term drainage. The archaeal communities changed very strongly and became similar across drained peatlands. Overall, the characteristic differences between distinct peatland types under natural conditions were diminished by long-term drainage. Bog represented a relatively resilient system while fen seemed to be very sensitive to environmental changes.

  2. Using (13)C isotopes to explore denitrification-dependent anaerobic methane oxidation in a paddy-peatland.

    PubMed

    Shi, Yao; Wang, Zhongqiang; He, Chunguang; Zhang, Xinyu; Sheng, Lianxi; Ren, Xiaodong

    2017-01-18

    Peatlands are organic-matter-rich but nitrogen-limited natural systems, the carbon/nitrogen (C/N) status of which are subject to increasing exposure from long-term nitrate (NO3(-)) fertilizer inputs and atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposits. To manage and protect these unique environments, an improved understanding of denitrification-dependent anaerobic oxidation of methane (DAMO) in peatlands is needed. In this study, we used stable isotope measurements and incubation with NO3(-) additions to facilitate an investigation and comparison of the potential DAMO rates in a paddy-peatland that has been influenced by N fertilizer over 40 years and an undisturbed peatland in northeast China. Monitoring of (13)CO2 production confimed DAMO did occur in both the paddy-peatland and the undisturbed peatland, the rates of which increased with NO3(-) additions, but decreased logarithmically with time. When NO3(-) was added, there were no significant differences between the CH4 oxidation in the paddy-peatland and peatland samples after 36 hours of incubation (97.08 vs. 143.69 nmol g(-1) dry peat) and the potential DAMO rate after incubation for 1 hour (92.53 vs. 69.99 nmol g(-1 )h(-1)). These results indicate that the occurrence of DAMO in peatlands might be controlled by the amount of NO3(-) applied and the depth to which it penetrates into the anoxic layer.

  3. Using 13C isotopes to explore denitrification-dependent anaerobic methane oxidation in a paddy-peatland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shi, Yao; Wang, Zhongqiang; He, Chunguang; Zhang, Xinyu; Sheng, Lianxi; Ren, Xiaodong

    2017-01-01

    Peatlands are organic-matter-rich but nitrogen-limited natural systems, the carbon/nitrogen (C/N) status of which are subject to increasing exposure from long-term nitrate (NO3‑) fertilizer inputs and atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposits. To manage and protect these unique environments, an improved understanding of denitrification-dependent anaerobic oxidation of methane (DAMO) in peatlands is needed. In this study, we used stable isotope measurements and incubation with NO3‑ additions to facilitate an investigation and comparison of the potential DAMO rates in a paddy-peatland that has been influenced by N fertilizer over 40 years and an undisturbed peatland in northeast China. Monitoring of 13CO2 production confimed DAMO did occur in both the paddy-peatland and the undisturbed peatland, the rates of which increased with NO3‑ additions, but decreased logarithmically with time. When NO3‑ was added, there were no significant differences between the CH4 oxidation in the paddy-peatland and peatland samples after 36 hours of incubation (97.08 vs. 143.69 nmol g‑1 dry peat) and the potential DAMO rate after incubation for 1 hour (92.53 vs. 69.99 nmol g‑1 h‑1). These results indicate that the occurrence of DAMO in peatlands might be controlled by the amount of NO3‑ applied and the depth to which it penetrates into the anoxic layer.

  4. Using 13C isotopes to explore denitrification-dependent anaerobic methane oxidation in a paddy-peatland

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Yao; Wang, Zhongqiang; He, Chunguang; Zhang, Xinyu; Sheng, Lianxi; Ren, Xiaodong

    2017-01-01

    Peatlands are organic-matter-rich but nitrogen-limited natural systems, the carbon/nitrogen (C/N) status of which are subject to increasing exposure from long-term nitrate (NO3−) fertilizer inputs and atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposits. To manage and protect these unique environments, an improved understanding of denitrification-dependent anaerobic oxidation of methane (DAMO) in peatlands is needed. In this study, we used stable isotope measurements and incubation with NO3− additions to facilitate an investigation and comparison of the potential DAMO rates in a paddy-peatland that has been influenced by N fertilizer over 40 years and an undisturbed peatland in northeast China. Monitoring of 13CO2 production confimed DAMO did occur in both the paddy-peatland and the undisturbed peatland, the rates of which increased with NO3− additions, but decreased logarithmically with time. When NO3− was added, there were no significant differences between the CH4 oxidation in the paddy-peatland and peatland samples after 36 hours of incubation (97.08 vs. 143.69 nmol g−1 dry peat) and the potential DAMO rate after incubation for 1 hour (92.53 vs. 69.99 nmol g−1 h−1). These results indicate that the occurrence of DAMO in peatlands might be controlled by the amount of NO3− applied and the depth to which it penetrates into the anoxic layer. PMID:28098207

  5. Hoverfly (syrphidae) communities respond to varying structural retention after harvesting in canadian peatland black spruce forests.

    PubMed

    Deans, A M; Smith, S M; Malcolm, J R; Crins, W J; Bellocq, M I

    2007-04-01

    Variable retention harvesting (VRH), in which trees are removed at variable intensity and spatial configuration across the landscape, retains greater forest structural heterogeneity than traditional clear-cut harvesting and is being recommended as an alternative for sustainable management of the boreal forest. Little is known about its effects on forest fauna; thus, we studied the influence of one type of VRH (harvesting with advanced regeneration [HARP]) on the Syrphidae (Diptera) community in northern Ontario forests of peatland black spruce (Picea mariana). We examined the effects of varying structural retention (from unharvested through partial retention to clear-cut) on syrphid species richness and abundance, and abundance of functional assemblages. Greater species richness and population abundances were found generally in harvested than in unharvested forests. Overall species richness and the abundance of four species (Platycheirus rosarum, Toxomerus marginatus, Xylota annulifera, and X. tuberculata) and larval predators were all higher in both clear-cut sites and those with structural retention than in unharvested sites. Similarly, overall species richness and the abundance of nine species were higher in clear-cut than in unharvested sites. Species responses are discussed in an ecological context. Differences among the levels of forest retention harvesting were relatively minor compared with those of the clear-cut and unharvested area, suggesting that local habitat characteristics may play a more important role in determining the syrphid community than the landscape configuration. However, a landscape level effect was evident, suggesting that syrphids may be useful in reflecting changes in stand structure at the landscape scale.

  6. Direct and interaction-mediated effects of environmental changes on peatland bryophytes.

    PubMed

    Bu, Zhao-Jun; Rydin, Håkan; Chen, Xu

    2011-06-01

    Ecosystem processes of northern peatlands are largely governed by the vitality and species composition in the bryophyte layer, and may be affected by global warming and eutrophication. In a factorial experiment in northeast China, we tested the effects of raised levels of nitrogen (0, 1 and 2 g m(-2) year(-1)), phosphorus (0, 0.1 and 0.2 g m(-2) year(-1)) and temperature (ambient and +3°C) on Polytrichum strictum, Sphagnum magellanicum and S. palustre, to see if the effects could be altered by inter-specific interactions. In all species, growth declined with nitrogen addition and increased with phosphorus addition, but only P. strictum responded to raised temperature with increased production of side-shoots (branching). In Sphagnum, growth and branching changed in the same direction, but in Polytrichum, the two responses were uncoupled: with nitrogen addition there was a decrease in growth (smaller than in Sphagnum) but an increase in branching; with phosphorus addition growth increased but branching was unaffected. There were no two-way interactions among the P, N and T treatments. With increasing temperature, our results indicate that S. palustre should decrease relative to P. strictum (Polytrichum increased its branching and had a negative neighbor effect on S. palustre). With a slight increase in phosphorus availability, the increase in length growth and production of side-shoots in P. strictum and S. magellanicum may give them a competitive superiority over S. palustre. The negative response in Sphagnum to nitrogen could favor the expansion of vascular plants, but P. strictum may endure thanks to its increased branching.

  7. The impact of sheep grazing on the carbon balance of a peatland.

    PubMed

    Worrall, Fred; Clay, Gareth D

    2012-11-01

    Estimates of the greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes resulting from sheep grazing upon upland peat soils have never been fully quantified. Previous studies have been limited to individual flux pathways or to comparing the presence to the absence of sheep grazing. Therefore, this study combines a model of the physical impact of grazing with models of: biomass production; energy usage in sheep; and peat accumulation. These combined modelling approaches enabled this study to consider the indirect and direct impacts of sheep upon the carbon and greenhouse gas balance of a peatland at different grazing intensities as well as the changes between grazing intensities. The study considered four vegetation scenarios (Calluna sp., Molinia sp.; reseeded grasses, and Agrostis-Festuca grassland) and a mixed vegetation scenario based upon the vegetation typical of upland peat ecosystems in northern England. Each scenario was considered for altitudes between 350 and 900 m above sea level and for grazing intensities between 0.1 and 2 ewes/ha. The study can show that the total GHG flux at the vegetative carrying capacity tended to decline with increasing altitude for all vegetation scenarios considered except for Molinia sp. The average total GHG flux for all scenarios was 1505 kg CO(2)eq/ha/yr/(ewe/ha), and on average 89% of the fluxes were directly from the sheep and not from the soil, and are therefore not unique to a peat soil environment. The study suggests that emission factors for upland sheep have been greatly underestimated. By comparing the total flux due to grazers to the flux to or from the soil that allows the study to define a GHG carry capacity, i.e. the grazing intensity at which the flux due to grazing is equal to the sink represented by the peat soils, this GHG carrying capacity varies between 0.2 and 1.7 ewes/ha with this capacity declining with increasing altitude for all model scenarios.

  8. The impact of sheep grazing on the carbon balance of a peatland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fred, F.; Clay, G. D.

    2012-04-01

    This study estimates the greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes resulting from sheep grazing upon upland peat soils. Previous studies have been limited to individual flux pathways or to comparing the presence to the absence of sheep grazing. Therefore, this study combines a model of the physical impact of grazing with models of: biomass production; energy usage in sheep; and peat accumulation. These combined modelling approaches enables this study to consider the indirect and direct impacts of sheep upon the carbon and greenhouse gas balance of a peatland at different grazing intensities as well as the changes between states of grazing. The study considered four vegetation scenarios (Calluna sp., Molinia sp.; reseeded grasses, and Agrostis-Festuca grassland) and a mixed vegetation scenario based upon the vegetation typical of upland peat ecosystems in northern England. Each scenario was considered for altitudes between 350 and 900 m above sea level and for grazing intensities between 0.1 and 2 ewes/ha. The study can show that the total GHG flux at the vegetative carrying capacity tended to decline with increasing altitude for all vegetation scenarios considered except for Molinia sp. The average total GHG flux for all scenarios was 1350 kg CO2eq/ha/yr/ewe/ha, and on average 91% of the fluxes were directly from the sheep and not from the soil ,and are therefore not unique to a peat soil environment. The study suggests that emissions factors for upland sheep have been greatly underestimated. By comparing the total flux due to grazers to the flux to or from the soil allows the study to define a GHG carry capacity. i.e. the grazing intensity at which the flux due to grazing is equal to the sink represented by the peat soils, this GHG carrying capacity varies between 0.2 and 1.7 ewes/ha with this capacity declining with increasing altitude for all model scenarios.

  9. Measuring the impact of gully erosion on peatland carbon balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, Martin; James, Rothwell; John, Lindsay

    2010-05-01

    Gully erosion impacts on the carbon balance of peatlands in three ways 1) direct erosional loss of carbon, 2) Enhanced near gully decomposition due to reduced water tables, and 3) Loss of primary productivity in gullies. Representative impacts of the first two mechanisms can be derived from detailed mapping of gully extent, the third requires direct measurement of carbon sequestration. In this paper rates of sequestration at both gully edge and intact sites are compared based on multiple approaches to peat core dating (timescales of circa 30 years) , and compared with equivalent data at millennial scales estimated from published peat growth rate data. The results indicate that whilst there is a clearly demonstrable reduction in carbon sequestration due to gully erosion that at the landscape scale the direct impact of gullying through POC loss and reduced productivity is of greater importance

  10. Resilience of Arctic Permafrost Carbon in Mackenzie River Basin: An Incubation Experiment to Observe Priming Potentials and Biodegradability of Arctic Permafrost Peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hedgpeth, A.; Beilman, D.; Crow, S. E.

    2015-12-01

    Arctic permafrost zones cover 25% of the Northern Hemisphere and hold 1672Pg of soil carbon (C) with 277Pg in Arctic permafrost peatlands, which is 1/3 of the CO2 in the atmosphere. This currently protected C is a potential source for increased emissions in a warmer climate. Longer growing seasons resulting in increased plant productivity above and below ground may create new labile C inputs with the potential to affect mineralization of previously stable SOM, known as the priming effect. This study examined the response of soil respiration to labile substrate addition in carbon-rich (42-48 %C) permafrost peatland soils along a N-S transect in the central Mackenzie River Basin (69.2-62.6°N). Active layer and near surface soils (surface Δ14C values > -140.0) were collected from four sites between -10.5 and -5.2 MAT. Soils were spiked with 0.5 mg D-glucose g-1soil, and incubated at 10°C for 23 days to determine potential, short term (i.e., apparent) priming effects. On average glucose addition increased respiration in all samples. One site showed priming evidence in active layer soils despite one-way ANOVA not illustrating statistically significant differences between control and treated final cumulative CO2. Apparent priming effects were seen in two near surface permafrost samples, however cumulative increases in CO2 were not identified as significant. When all results from all sites and depths were considered, the addition of glucose showed no significant effect on total CO2 production relative to controls (p=0.957), suggesting that these sites may be resilient to increased inputs in that little priming evidence was observed. To test the idea that the soils that showed priming effects are of poorer quality, we conducted an additional incubation experiment to explore the biodegradability of these permafrost peatland soils. Soils from these four sites were inoculated and incubated for 17 days. The two sites with observed priming showed the highest biodegradability

  11. Effects of experimental warming and elevated CO2 on surface methane and CO­2 fluxes from a boreal black spruce peatland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gill, A. L.; Finzi, A.; Giasson, M. A.

    2015-12-01

    High latitude peatlands represent a major terrestrial carbon store sensitive to climate change, as well as a globally significant methane source. While elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and warming temperatures may increase peat respiration and C losses to the atmosphere, reductions in peatland water tables associated with increased growing season evapotranspiration may alter the nature of trace gas emission and increase peat C losses as CO2 relative to methane (CH4). As CH4 is a greenhouse gas with twenty times the warming potential of CO2, it is critical to understand how surface fluxes of CO2 and CH4 will be influenced by factors associated with global climate change. We used automated soil respiration chambers to assess the influence of elevated atmospheric CO2 and whole ecosystem warming on peatland CH4 and CO2 fluxes at the SPRUCE (Spruce and Peatland Responses Under Climatic and Environmental Change) Experiment in northern Minnesota. Belowground warming treatments were initiated in July 2014 and whole ecosystem warming and elevated CO2 treatments began in August 2015. Here we report soil iCO2 and iCH4 flux responses to the first year of belowground warming and the first two months of whole ecosystem manipulation. We also leverage the spatial and temporal density of measurements across the twenty autochambers to assess how physical (i.e., plant species composition, microtopography) and environmental (i.e., peat temperature, water table position, oxygen availability) factors influence observed rates of CH4 and CO2 loss. We find that methane fluxes increased significantly across warming treatments following the first year of belowground warming, while belowground warming alone had little influence on soil CO2 fluxes. Peat microtopography strongly influenced trace gas emission rates, with higher CH4 fluxes in hollow locations and higher CO2 fluxes in hummock locations. While there was no difference in the isotopic composition of the methane

  12. Variable carbon losses from recurrent fires in drained tropical peatlands.

    PubMed

    Konecny, Kristina; Ballhorn, Uwe; Navratil, Peter; Jubanski, Juilson; Page, Susan E; Tansey, Kevin; Hooijer, Aljosja; Vernimmen, Ronald; Siegert, Florian

    2016-04-01

    Tropical peatland fires play a significant role in the context of global warming through emissions of substantial amounts of greenhouse gases. However, the state of knowledge on carbon loss from these fires is still poorly developed with few studies reporting the associated mass of peat consumed. Furthermore, spatial and temporal variations in burn depth have not been previously quantified. This study presents the first spatially explicit investigation of fire-driven tropical peat loss and its variability. An extensive airborne Light Detection and Ranging data set was used to develop a prefire peat surface modelling methodology, enabling the spatially differentiated quantification of burned area depth over the entire burned area. We observe a strong interdependence between burned area depth, fire frequency and distance to drainage canals. For the first time, we show that relative burned area depth decreases over the first four fire events and is constant thereafter. Based on our results, we revise existing peat and carbon loss estimates for recurrent fires in drained tropical peatlands. We suggest values for the dry mass of peat fuel consumed that are 206 t ha(-1) for initial fires, reducing to 115 t ha(-1) for second, 69 t ha(-1) for third and 23 t ha(-1) for successive fires, which are 58-7% of the current IPCC Tier 1 default value for all fires. In our study area, this results in carbon losses of 114, 64, 38 and 13 t C ha(-1) for first to fourth fires, respectively. Furthermore, we show that with increasing proximity to drainage canals both burned area depth and the probability of recurrent fires increase and present equations explaining burned area depth as a function of distance to drainage canal. This improved knowledge enables a more accurate approach to emissions accounting and will support IPCC Tier 2 reporting of fire emissions.

  13. Enhanced N Deposition and Peatland Carbon Stocks in Boreal Alberta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turetsky, M. R.; Halsey, L. A.; Vitt, D. H.; Wieder, R. K.

    2003-12-01

    Increased deposition of reactive nitrogen due to anthropogenic activities may stimulate plant growth and soil C turnover in N-limited ecosystems. Many peatland ecosystems are particularly sensitive to nitrogen deposition due their ombrotrophic nature. Here, we capitalize on a regional gradient of N deposition associated with several decades of oil sands mining. At six peatlands varying in atmospheric N loading (modeled from 1.45-3.26 kg N ha-1 yr-1), we measured Sphagnum fuscum net primary productivity (NPP). NPP rates were higher at Steepbank Bog (mean of 600 g m-2 yr-1) than at the five sites with lower N deposition (pooled mean of 182 g m-2 yr-1). At the site with the highest (Steepbank Bog) and lowest (Bleak Lake Bog) N loading, we quantified rates of C storage by 210Pb dating. Over the past 30 years of mining activity, rates of vertical peat accumulation were higher at Steepbank Bog (19.4 +/-0.4 cm) than at Bleak Lake Bog (13.9 +/-2.0 cm). However, there were no differences between sites in cumulative C storage over this 30-yr period (Steepbank: 5.0 +/-0.2 kg C m-2, Bleak Lake: 5.0 +/-0.4 kg C m-2). Together, these data suggest that increased N availability stimulates plant growth rates, leading to greater vertical accumulation of peat. However, enhanced N deposition does not appear to influence C storage in these sites, possibly due to lower peat bulk density and/or greater microbial activity.

  14. Methane emission modeling with MCMC calibration for a boreal peatland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raivonen, Maarit; Smolander, Sampo; Susiluoto, Jouni; Backman, Leif; Li, Xuefei; Markkanen, Tiina; Kleinen, Thomas; Makela, Jarmo; Aalto, Tuula; Rinne, Janne; Brovkin, Victor; Vesala, Timo

    2016-04-01

    Natural wetlands, particularly peatlands of the boreal latitudes, are a significant source of methane (CH4). At the moment, the emission estimates are highly uncertain. These natural emissions respond to climatic variability, so it is necessary to understand their dynamics, in order to be able to predict how they affect the greenhouse gas balance in the future. We have developed a model of CH4 production, oxidation and transport in boreal peatlands. It simulates production of CH4 as a proportion of anaerobic peat respiration, transport of CH4 and oxygen between the soil and the atmosphere via diffusion in aerenchymatous plants and in peat pores (water and air filled), ebullition and oxidation of CH4 by methanotrophic microbes. Ultimately, we aim to add the model functionality to global climate models such as the JSBACH (Reick et al., 2013), the land surface scheme of the MPI Earth System Model. We tested the model with measured methane fluxes (using eddy covariance technique) from the Siikaneva site, an oligotrophic boreal fen in southern Finland (61°49' N, 24°11' E), over years 2005-2011. To give the model estimates regional reliability, we calibrated the model using Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) technique. Although the simulations and the research are still ongoing, preliminary results from the MCMC calibration can be described as very promising considering that the model is still at relatively early stage. We will present the model and its dynamics as well as results from the MCMC calibration and the comparison with Siikaneva flux data.

  15. Comparisons of soil nitrogen mass balances for an ombrotrophic bog and a minerotrophic fen in northern Minnesota.

    PubMed

    Hill, Brian H; Jicha, Terri M; Lehto, LaRae L P; Elonen, Colleen M; Sebestyen, Stephen D; Kolka, Randall K

    2016-04-15

    We compared nitrogen (N) storage and flux in soils from an ombrotrophic bog with that of a minerotrophic fen to quantify the differences in N cycling between these two peatlands types in northern Minnesota (USA). Precipitation, atmospheric deposition, and bog and fen outflows were analyzed for nitrogen species. Upland and peatland soil samples were analyzed for N content, and for ambient (DN) and potential (DEA) denitrification rates. Annual atmospheric deposition was: 0.88-3.07kg NH4(+)ha(-1)y(-1); 1.37-1.42kg NO3(-)ha(-1)y(-1); 2.79-4.69kg TNha(-1)y(-1). Annual N outflows were: bog-0.01-0.04kg NH4(+)ha(-1)y(-1), NO3(-) 0.01-0.06kgha(-1)y(-1), and TN 0.11-0.69kgha(-1)y(-1); fen-NH4(+) 0.01-0.16kgha(-1)y(-1), NO3(-) 0.29-0.48kgha(-1)y(-1), and TN 1.14-1.61kgha(-1)y(-1). Soil N content depended on location within the bog or fen, and on soil depth. DN and DEA rates were low throughout the uplands and peatlands, and were correlated with atmospheric N deposition, soil N storage, and N outflow. DEA was significantly greater than DN indicating C or N limitation of the denitrification process. We highlight differences between the bog and fen, between the upland mineral soils and peat, and the importance of biogeochemical hotspots within the peatlands. We point out the importance of organic N storage, as a source of N for denitrification, and propose a plausible link between organic N storage, denitrification and N export from peatlands. Finally, we considered the interactions of microbial metabolism with nutrient availability and stoichiometry, and how N dynamics might be affected by climate change in peatland ecosystems.

  16. Stable isotopes of water in estimation of groundwater dependence in peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Isokangas, Elina; Rossi, Pekka; Ronkanen, Anna-Kaisa; Marttila, Hannu; Rozanski, Kazimierz; Kløve, Bjørn

    2016-04-01

    Peatland hydrology and ecology can be irreversibly affected by anthropogenic actions or climate change. Especially sensitive are groundwater dependent areas which are difficult to determine. Environmental tracers such as stable isotopes of water are efficient tools to identify these dependent areas and study water flow patterns in peatlands. In this study the groundwater dependence of a Finnish peatland complex situated next to an esker aquifer was studied. Groundwater seepage areas in the peatland were localized by thermal imaging and the subsoil structure was determined using ground penetrating radar. Water samples were collected for stable isotopes of water (δ18O and δ2H), temperature, pH and electrical conductivity at 133 locations of the studied peatland (depth of 10 cm) at approximately 100 m intervals during 4 August - 11 August 2014. In addition, 10 vertical profiles were sampled (10, 30, 60 and 90 cm depth) for the same parameters and for hydraulic conductivity. The cavity ring-down spectroscopy (CRDS) was applied to measure δ18O and δ2H values. The local meteoric water line was determined using precipitation samples from Nuoritta station located 17 km west of the study area and the local evaporation line was defined using water samples from lake Sarvilampi situated on the studied peatland complex. Both near-surface spatial survey and depth profiles of peatland water revealed very wide range in stable isotope composition, from approximately -13.0 to -6.0 ‰ for δ18O and from -94 to -49 ‰ for δ2H, pointing to spatially varying influence of groundwater input from near-by esker aquifer. In addition, position of the data points with respect to the local meteoric water line showed spatially varying degree of evaporation of peatland water. Stable isotope signatures of peatland water in combination with thermal images delineated the specific groundwater dependent areas. By combining the information gained from different types of observations, the

  17. Impact of long-term drainage on hydrogeological and biogeochemical processes near a drainage ditch in a Canadian peatland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kopp, B.; Fleckenstein, J.; Blodau, C.

    2009-04-01

    Little is known about long-term effects of climate change on hydrogeological and biogeochemical processes in northern peatlands. A drainage ditch in the Mer Bleue Bog, Canada which has been established around 100 years ago, was investigated as natural analogue for long-term drying due to climate change. To examine the effects of the hydrological manipulation, several piezometer nests were installed across a transect from an open bog, across the drainage ditch into a now forested bog. Forest growth likely started after lowering of the groundwater table. Piezometer nests were installed in 200, 60, 30, 15 m distance from the drainage ditch on each side; three nests were installed across the drainage ditch. Piezometers were inserted into 0.25, 0.75, 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 m depth. Pore water samples were taken on three occasions during the study period in summer 2008 and contents of carbondioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), dissolved organic carbon (DOC), main anions and DOC quality were analysed. Water levels in each piezometer were measured every two to nine days and logger were inserted in two piezometer (depth 0.75m and 2.0m) at the 200 m sites which allowed continuous monitoring of hydraulic potentials. By ground water modelling (using the MODFLOW pre- and post-processor Groundwater Vistas) differences in ground water patterns will be elucidated. First results show higher concentrations of CO2, alongside with high concentrations of DOC and low concentrations of CH4 in the forested area, especially in the upper most 0.75 m, compared to the open bog. Together with low hydraulic conductivities (Kf) and a lower water table in the forested area, this indicates higher mineralization rates and higher decomposed peat. High chloride (Cl-) concentrations, stemming from under-lying marine clay, in the forested area suggest that lower water tables together with greater evapotranspiration (ET) result in an increased upwelling of ground water. Highest concentrations of CO2 and CH4 were

  18. Tracing peatland geomorphology: sediment and contaminant movements in eroding and restored systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shuttleworth, Emma; Evans, Martin; Hutchinson, Simon; Rothwell, James

    2015-04-01

    Peatlands are an important store of soil carbon, play a vital role in global carbon cycling, and can also act as sinks of atmospherically deposited heavy metals. However, large areas of blanket peat are significantly degraded and actively eroding as a direct result of anthropogenic pressures, which negatively impacts carbon and pollutant storage. The restoration of eroding UK peatlands is a major conservation concern, and over the last decade measures have been taken to control erosion and restore large areas of degraded peat. In severely eroded peatlands, topography is highly variable, and an appreciation of geomorphological form and process is key in understanding the controls on peatland function, and in mitigating the negative impacts of peatland erosion. The blanket peats of the Peak District, Southern Pennines, UK embody many problems and pressures faced by peatlands globally, and are amongst the most heavily eroded and contaminated in the world. The near-surface layer of the peat is contaminated by high concentrations of anthropogenically derived, atmospherically deposited heavy metals which are released into the fluvial system as a consequence of widespread erosion. Whilst not desirable, this legacy of lead pollution and its release offer a unique opportunity to trace peatland sediment movements and thus investigate the controls on sediment and contaminant mobility. A suite of established field, analytical and modelling techniques have been modified and adapted for use in peatland environments and these have been successfully employed in combination to address issues of sediment and contaminant release at a range of scales, including: (i) the development of field portable XRF to assess in situ lead concentrations in wet organic sediments; (ii) adaptation of time integrated mass flux samplers to explore spatial and temporal sediment dynamics in peatland streams; and (iii) the application of sediment source fingerprinting and numerical mixing models to

  19. The impact of long-term changes in water table height on carbon cycling in sub-boreal peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pypker, T. G.; Moore, P. A.; Waddington, J. M.; Hribljan, J. A.; Ballantyne, D.; Chimner, R. A.

    2011-12-01

    Peatlands are a critical component in the global carbon (C) cycle because they have been slowly sequestering atmospheric greenhouse gases as peat since the last glaciation. Today, soil C stocks in peatlands are estimated to represent 224 to 455 Pg, equal to 12-30% of the global soil C pool. At present, peatlands are estimated to sequester 76 Tg C yr-1. The flux of C to and from peatlands is likely to respond to climate change, thereby influencing atmospheric C concentrations. Peatland C budgets are tightly linked to their hydrology, hence, it is critical we understand how changes in hydrology will affect the C budgets of peatlands. The main objective of the project was to determine how long-term changes in water table height affect CO2 and CH4 fluxes from three adjacent peatlands. This study took place in the Seney National Wildlife Refuge (SNWR) in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. SNWR is home to the largest wetland drainage project in Michigan. In 1912, ditches and dikes were created in an effort to convert approximately 20,000 ha of peatland to agriculture. The ditches and dikes were unsuccessful in creating agricultural land, but they are still in place. The manipulation of water table heights provides an opportunity to research how long-term peat drying or wetting alters C cycling in peatlands. From May to November in 2009, 2010 and 2011, we monitored CO2 fluxes using eddy covariance and chamber techniques in three adjacent peatlands with lowered, relatively unaltered ("control") and raised water table heights. In 2011, we installed CH4 analyzers to continuously monitor CH4 fluxes at the sites with high and relatively unaltered water table heights. The results are compared across sites to determine how changes in water table height might affect C fluxes sub-boreal peatlands.

  20. Carbon stored in peatlands formed by terrestrialization: the importance of buried lake sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Talbot, J.

    2015-12-01

    A lot of efforts have been made over the last few decades to quantify the amount of carbon stored in soils, including in peat-producing systems. Estimates of soil carbon storage at the landscape scale has to take into account all buried carbon pools, including deep-buried lake sediments found under many peatlands that formed by terrestrialization. To illustrate the importance of buried lake sediments in the overall carbon storage of a peatland site, we studied a small peat swamp located in Gatineau Park (Quebec, Canada), the Folly peatland (45°27'18.12"N 75°46'57.38''W). This 7 ha peatland developed from a small lake that appeared after the postglacial Champlain Sea receded from the region, about 12 200 years ago. Its development followed a classical terrestrialization sequence and its hydrology has been stable since peat inception. A profile of over 8.5 m of organic matter was collected at the site, of which 2.5 m is peat and the rest is composed of lake sediments (gyttja). With the exception of a few tephra layers, the organic matter content exceeds 75 % of dry weight for the entire profile. Although it constitutes only 30 % of the profile depth, peat contains 48 % of the buried carbon because of its higher bulk density, and peat carbon accumulated at a rate of 88 g C m-2 yr-1. Overall, the site carbon density (including buried lake sediments) is 172 kg C m-2, a value comparable to the carbon density of many peatlands with much deeper peat profiles. The implications of these findings are discussed in the context of global peatland carbon inventories and peatland biogeochemistry.

  1. Hydrological instability of a Baltic raised bog during the last 1000 years in northern Poland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lamentowicz, Mariusz; Galka, Mariusz; Pawlyta, Jacek; Lamentowicz, Lukasz; Goslar, Tomasz; Miotk-Szpiganowicz, Grażyna; Mitchell, Edward A. D.

    2010-05-01

    Our aim was to reconstruct the palaeohydrological of a Baltic raised bog located in northern Poland over the last 1000 years. We used several proxies: testate amoebae, plant macrofossils, pollen and carbon stable isotopes to reconstruct the bog surface wetness. We analysed two replicated monoliths collected from the same bog at high temporal resolution. We obtained a reliable chronology for both monoliths based on radiocarbon and lead 210 dating. We compared the inferred water table depth changes obtained from the quantitative reconstruction based on the testate amoebae transfer function with inference from plant remains and carbon isotopic composition of Sphagnum stems for both monoliths. Our data provide new insight on human impact on the hydrology of Baltic raised bogs and the sensitivity of these peatlands to various disturbances. We show an increasing hydrological instability of the studied peatland concomitant with the gradually increasing human impact over the landscape since the Medieval Period. However, climatic change also played an important role during the Little Ice Age period that overlapped with the anthropogenic disturbance. This palaeoenvironmental data provides useful baseline data for peatland management and restoration in Northern Poland and more generally illustrate the value of high-resolution multiproxy studies as tool for both palaeoenvironmental studies and current management.

  2. Land-Cover Change Within the Peatlands Along the Rocky Mountain Front, Montana: 1937-2009

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klene, A. E.; Milbrath, J. T.; Shelly, J. S.

    2013-12-01

    While peatlands are globally abundant, the fens of the Rocky Mountain Front (RMF), are the eastern-most, rich, peatlands in Montana, and are unique wetland habitats in this region of semi-arid continental climate. The peatlands provide critical riparian connectivity between the mountains and the plains and are habitat for grizzly bears, wolves, and within just the 450 ha Pine Butte Fen at least 93 species of vascular plants, including seven of Montana's Plant Species of Concern. Aerial photographs of the nine peatlands along the RMF in Montana were analyzed in a GIS. The boundary of each wetland was hand-digitized and the area within was classified into land-cover types: total area, open fen, open water, woody vegetation, and non-wetland/agriculture. Changes in wetland extent and land-cover categories were evaluated from the earliest available imagery in 1937 to the last available imagery in 2009. Images prior to 1995 were orthorectified, and all georectified. Climate change, wildlife, and agriculture were examined as potential drivers of land-cover change at these sites. Results indicate little change in overall peatland area between 1937 and 2009 despite increasing air temperatures in the region. Approximately 16% of these peatlands is 'open fen' and that proportion remained stable over the last seventy years. Area of open water quadrupled and the number of ponds which could be delineated tripled over the study period, reflecting a recovering beaver population. The non-wetland/agricultural area halved over the course of the study, primarily due to declines in agriculture within the three largest remaining peatlands: Pine Butte Fen, McDonald Swamp, and the Blackleaf Creek wetland complex. Most of the first two fens were purchased outright by the Nature Conservancy (TNC) and they hold a conservation easement on the third (as well as two other fens), all of which have been been put in place since the late 1970s. One fen is owned by the State of Montana and another

  3. Source and age of carbon in peatland surface waters: new insights from 14C analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Billett, Michael; Garnett, Mark; Dinsmore, Kerry; Leith, Fraser

    2013-04-01

    Peatlands are a significant source of carbon to the aquatic environment which is increasingly being recognised as an important flux pathway (both lateral and vertical) in total landscape carbon budgets. Determining the source and age of the carbon (in its various forms) is a key step to understanding the stability of peatland systems as well as the connectivity between the soil carbon pool and the freshwater environment. Novel analytical and sampling methods using molecular sieves have been developed for (1) within-stream, in situ sampling of CO2 in the field and (2) for the removal/separation of CO2 in the laboratory prior to 14C analysis of CH4. Here we present dual isotope (δ13C and 14C) data from freshwater systems in UK and Finnish peatlands to show that significant differences exist in the source and age of CO2, DOC (dissolved organic carbon) and POC (particulate organic carbon). Individual peatlands clearly differ in terms of their isotopic freshwater signature, suggesting that carbon cycling may be "tighter" in some systems compared to others. We have also measured the isotopic signature of different C species in peatland pipes, which appear to be able to tap carbon from different peat depths. This suggests that carbon cycling and transport within "piped-peatlands" may be more complex than previously thought. Some of our most recent work has focussed on the development of a method to measure the 14C component of CH4 in freshwaters. Initial results suggest that CH4 in peatland streams is significantly older than CO2 and derived from a much deeper source. We have also shown that the age (but not the source) of dissolved CO2 changes over the hydrological year in response to seasonal changes in discharge and temperature. Radiocarbon measurements in the peat-riparian-stream system suggest that a significant degree of connectivity exists in terms of C transport and cycling, although the degree of connectivity differs for individual C species. In summary, 14C

  4. Characteristics of carbonaceous aerosols emitted from peatland fire in Riau, Sumatra, Indonesia (2): Identification of organic compounds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujii, Yusuke; Kawamoto, Haruo; Tohno, Susumu; Oda, Masafumi; Iriana, Windy; Lestari, Puji

    2015-06-01

    Smoke emitted from Indonesian peatland fires has caused dense haze and serious air pollution in Southeast Asia such as visibility impairment and adverse health impacts. To mitigate the Indonesian peatland fire aerosol impacts, an effective strategy and international framework based on the latest scientific knowledge needs to be established. Although several attempts have been made, limited data exist regarding the chemical characteristics of peatland fire smoke for the source apportionment. In order to identify the key organic compounds of peatland fire aerosols, we conducted intensive field studies based on ground-based and source-dominated sampling of PM2.5 in Riau Province, Sumatra, Indonesia, during the peatland fire seasons in 2012. Levoglucosan was the most abundant compound among the quantified organic compounds at 8.98 ± 2.28% of the PM2.5 mass, followed by palmitic acid at 0.782 ± 0.163% and mannosan at 0.607 ± 0.0861%. Potassium ion was not appropriate for an indicator of Indonesian peatland fires due to extremely low concentrations associated with smoldering fire at low temperatures. The vanillic/syringic acids ratio was 1.06 ± 0.155 in this study and this may be a useful signature profile for peatland fire emissions. Particulate n-alkanes also have potential for markers to identify impact of Indonesian peatland fire source at a receptor site.

  5. Manure derived biochar can successfully replace phosphate rock amendment in peatland restoration.

    PubMed

    Pouliot, Rémy; Hugron, Sandrine; Rochefort, Line; Godbout, Stéphane; Palacios, Joahnn H; Groeneveld, Elisabeth; Jarry, Isabelle

    2015-07-01

    Phosphate rock fertilization is commonly used in peatland restoration to promote the growth of Polytrichum strictum, a nurse plant which aids the establishment of Sphagnum mosses. The present study tested whether 1) phosphorus fertilization facilitates the germination of P. strictum spores and 2) biochar derived from local pig manure can replace imported phosphate rock currently used in peatland restoration. Various doses of biochar were compared to phosphate rock to test its effect directly on P. strictum stem regeneration (in Petri dishes in a growth chamber) and in a simulation of peatland restoration with the moss layer transfer technique (in mesocoms in a greenhouse). Phosphorus fertilization promoted the germination of P. strictum spores as well as vegetative stem development. Biochar can effectively replace phosphate rock in peatland restoration giving a new waste management option for rural regions with phosphorus surpluses. As more available phosphorus was present in biochar, an addition of only 3-9 g m(-2) of pig manure biochar is recommended during the peatland restoration process, which is less than the standard dose of phosphate rock (15 g m(-2)).

  6. Natural zinc enrichment in peatlands: Biogeochemistry of ZnS formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoon, Soh-joung; Yáñez, Carolina; Bruns, Mary Ann; Martínez-Villegas, Nadia; Martínez, Carmen Enid

    2012-05-01

    Peatlands effectively retain heavy metals and prevent stream and watershed contamination. Sulfate reduction is considered the most significant process of metal immobilization in natural wetlands and microbial sulfate reduction is the presumed mechanism that results in the precipitation of metal sulfides. In this study, we examined the biogeochemical mechanisms involved in zinc retention and accumulation in a metalliferous peatland of western New York. In the reducing conditions of these peatlands zinc sulfides occurred as framboidal aggregates of sphalerite and polytypic wurtzite (2nH, n ⩾ 2) nanocrystallites associated with bacterial cells and organic matter. Bacterial cells were co-located with ZnS inside peat particles where the microenvironment remained anoxic. The peat zinc sulfide was depleted in 34S isotopes relative to the sulfate supplied to the peatland by 18-34 per mill, implicating its biological formation. Extraction of microbial community DNA from peat samples yielded diverse PCR amplicons from dissimilatory sulfite reductase (dsrAB) genes, indicating varied bacterial taxa capable of reducing forms of oxidized sulfur. Nanocrystals with distinct structural features were observed in samples containing contrasting dsrAB sequences. The results of this investigation provide clear evidence that microorganisms can influence the chemical forms of heavy metals in peatland environments. Our findings also provide insight into the conditions necessary to promote the immobilization of chalcophile elements in engineered systems for the treatment of acid mine drainage and wastewater effluents.

  7. The flux of organic matter through a peatland ecosystem - evidence from thermogravimetric analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Worrall, Fred; Moody, Catherine; Clay, Gareth

    2016-04-01

    Carbon budgets of peatlands are now common and studies have considered nitrogen, oxygen and energy budgets, but no study has considered the whole composition of the organic matter as it transfers through and into a peatland. Organic matter samples were taken from each organic matter reservoir found in and each fluvial flux from a peatland and analysed the samples by thermogravimetric analysis. The samples analysed were: aboveground, belowground, heather, mosses and sedges, litter layer, a peat core, and monthly samples of particulate and dissolved organic matter. All organic matter samples were taken from a 100% peat catchment within Moor House National Nature Reserve in the North Pennines, UK, and collected samples were compared to standards of lignin, cellulose, humic acid and plant protein. Results showed that the thermogravimetric trace of the sampled organic matter were distinctive with the DOM traces being marked out by very low thermal stability relative other organic matter types. The peat profile shows a significant trend with depth from vegetation- to lignin-like composition. When all traces are weighted according to the observed dry matter and carbon budgets for the catchment then it is possible to judge what has been lost in the transition through and into the ecosystem. By plotting this "lost" trace it possible to assess its composition which is either 97% cellulose and 3% humic acid or 92% and 8% lignin. This has important implications for what controls the organic matter balance of peatlands and it suggests that the oxidation state (OR) of peatland is less than 1.

  8. The long-term fate of permafrost peatlands under rapid climate warming.

    PubMed

    Swindles, Graeme T; Morris, Paul J; Mullan, Donal; Watson, Elizabeth J; Turner, T Edward; Roland, Thomas P; Amesbury, Matthew J; Kokfelt, Ulla; Schoning, Kristian; Pratte, Steve; Gallego-Sala, Angela; Charman, Dan J; Sanderson, Nicole; Garneau, Michelle; Carrivick, Jonathan L; Woulds, Clare; Holden, Joseph; Parry, Lauren; Galloway, Jennifer M

    2015-12-09

    Permafrost peatlands contain globally important amounts of soil organic carbon, owing to cold conditions which suppress anaerobic decomposition. However, climate warming and permafrost thaw threaten the stability of this carbon store. The ultimate fate of permafrost peatlands and their carbon stores is unclear because of complex feedbacks between peat accumulation, hydrology and vegetation. Field monitoring campaigns only span the last few decades and therefore provide an incomplete picture of permafrost peatland response to recent rapid warming. Here we use a high-resolution palaeoecological approach to understand the longer-term response of peatlands in contrasting states of permafrost degradation to recent rapid warming. At all sites we identify a drying trend until the late-twentieth century; however, two sites subsequently experienced a rapid shift to wetter conditions as permafrost thawed in response to climatic warming, culminating in collapse of the peat domes. Commonalities between study sites lead us to propose a five-phase model for permafrost peatland response to climatic warming. This model suggests a shared ecohydrological trajectory towards a common end point: inundated Arctic fen. Although carbon accumulation is rapid in such sites, saturated soil conditions are likely to cause elevated methane emissions that have implications for climate-feedback mechanisms.

  9. The long-term fate of permafrost peatlands under rapid climate warming

    PubMed Central

    Swindles, Graeme T.; Morris, Paul J.; Mullan, Donal; Watson, Elizabeth J.; Turner, T. Edward; Roland, Thomas P.; Amesbury, Matthew J.; Kokfelt, Ulla; Schoning, Kristian; Pratte, Steve; Gallego-Sala, Angela; Charman, Dan J.; Sanderson, Nicole; Garneau, Michelle; Carrivick, Jonathan L.; Woulds, Clare; Holden, Joseph; Parry, Lauren; Galloway, Jennifer M.

    2015-01-01

    Permafrost peatlands contain globally important amounts of soil organic carbon, owing to cold conditions which suppress anaerobic decomposition. However, climate warming and permafrost thaw threaten the stability of this carbon store. The ultimate fate of permafrost peatlands and their carbon stores is unclear because of complex feedbacks between peat accumulation, hydrology and vegetation. Field monitoring campaigns only span the last few decades and therefore provide an incomplete picture of permafrost peatland response to recent rapid warming. Here we use a high-resolution palaeoecological approach to understand the longer-term response of peatlands in contrasting states of permafrost degradation to recent rapid warming. At all sites we identify a drying trend until the late-twentieth century; however, two sites subsequently experienced a rapid shift to wetter conditions as permafrost thawed in response to climatic warming, culminating in collapse of the peat domes. Commonalities between study sites lead us to propose a five-phase model for permafrost peatland response to climatic warming. This model suggests a shared ecohydrological trajectory towards a common end point: inundated Arctic fen. Although carbon accumulation is rapid in such sites, saturated soil conditions are likely to cause elevated methane emissions that have implications for climate-feedback mechanisms. PMID:26647837

  10. The long-term fate of permafrost peatlands under rapid climate warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swindles, Graeme T.; Morris, Paul J.; Mullan, Donal; Watson, Elizabeth J.; Turner, T. Edward; Roland, Thomas P.; Amesbury, Matthew J.; Kokfelt, Ulla; Schoning, Kristian; Pratte, Steve; Gallego-Sala, Angela; Charman, Dan J.; Sanderson, Nicole; Garneau, Michelle; Carrivick, Jonathan L.; Woulds, Clare; Holden, Joseph; Parry, Lauren; Galloway, Jennifer M.

    2015-12-01

    Permafrost peatlands contain globally important amounts of soil organic carbon, owing to cold conditions which suppress anaerobic decomposition. However, climate warming and permafrost thaw threaten the stability of this carbon store. The ultimate fate of permafrost peatlands and their carbon stores is unclear because of complex feedbacks between peat accumulation, hydrology and vegetation. Field monitoring campaigns only span the last few decades and therefore provide an incomplete picture of permafrost peatland response to recent rapid warming. Here we use a high-resolution palaeoecological approach to understand the longer-term response of peatlands in contrasting states of permafrost degradation to recent rapid warming. At all sites we identify a drying trend until the late-twentieth century; however, two sites subsequently experienced a rapid shift to wetter conditions as permafrost thawed in response to climatic warming, culminating in collapse of the peat domes. Commonalities between study sites lead us to propose a five-phase model for permafrost peatland response to climatic warming. This model suggests a shared ecohydrological trajectory towards a common end point: inundated Arctic fen. Although carbon accumulation is rapid in such sites, saturated soil conditions are likely to cause elevated methane emissions that have implications for climate-feedback mechanisms.

  11. Permafrost peatland dynamics during the last millennia in NE European Russia and Finnish Lapland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Hui; Väliranta, Minna; Piilo, Sanna; Amesbury, Matthew; Gallego-Sala, Angela; Charman, Dan

    2016-04-01

    Permafrost peatlands cover vast areas in circum-Arctic regions. Since the 1980s, annual temperatures in these areas have risen by ca. 2 °C and warming is projected to continue. Accordingly, the large carbon store in these peatlands may therefore be threatened. Alternatively, warming may increase productivity more than decomposition and peat accumulation rates may increase. To better understand how high latitude permafrost peatlands have responded to recent warming and what might be their future fate, we carried out detailed studies on two permafrost peatlands in NE Russia and two in Finnish Lapland. Our study methods included high resolution testate amoeba, plant macrofossil, C/N analyses, together with 210Pb and radiocarbon dating. We reconstructed changes in hydrological conditions, plant composition, and peat and carbon accumulation rates. Our preliminary results showed large variations in peat accumulation rates even within a very small area. Furthermore, testate amoeba and plant macrofossil data suggest variations in hydrological conditions during the last millennia. In the future, we will compare our regional data derived from different peatlands to each other, to climate reconstructions and to measured meteorological data.

  12. Identification of the Criteria for Decision Making of Cut-Away Peatland Reuse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Padur, Kadi; Ilomets, Mati; Põder, Tõnis

    2017-03-01

    The total area of abandoned milled peatlands which need to be rehabilitated for sustainable land-use is nearly 10,000 ha in Estonia. According to the agreement between Estonia and the European Union, Estonia has to create suitable conditions for restoration of 2000 ha of abandoned cut-away peatlands by 2023. The decisions on rehabilitation of abandoned milled peatlands have so far relied on a limited knowledgebase with unestablished methodologies, thus the decision making process needs a significant improvement. This study aims to improve the methodology by identifying the criteria for optimal decision making to ensure sustainable land use planning after peat extraction. Therefore relevant environmental, social and economic restrictive and weighted comparison criteria, which assess reuse alternatives suitability for achieving the goal, is developed in cooperation with stakeholders. Restrictive criteria are arranged into a decision tree to help to determine the implementable reuse alternatives in various situations. Weighted comparison criteria are developed in cooperation with stakeholders to rank the reuse alternatives. The comparison criteria are organised hierarchically into a value tree. In the situation, where the selection of a suitable rehabilitation alternative for a specific milled peatland is going to be made, the weighted comparison criteria values need to be identified and the presented approach supports the optimal and transparent decision making. In addition to Estonian context the general results of the study could also be applied to a cut-away peatlands in other regions with need-based site-dependent modifications of criteria values and weights.

  13. Relationship between environmental variables and CH4 fluxes in sub-Boreal peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pypker, T. G.; Moore, P. A.; Waddington, J. M.; Chimner, R. A.; Hribljan, J. A.

    2012-12-01

    Peatlands are a critical component in the global carbon (C) cycle because they have been slowly sequestering atmospheric greenhouse gases as peat since the last glaciation. Today, soil C stocks in peatlands are estimated to represent 224 to 455 Pg, equal to 12-30% of the global soil C pool. At present, peatlands are estimated to sequester 76 Tg C yr-1. The flux of C from peatlands is likely to respond to climate change, thereby influencing atmospheric C concentrations. We explored the relationship between ecosystem CO2 exchange, CH4 emissions and weather from May to November 2011 using the eddy covariance method. The peatland was located in the Seney National Wildlife Refuge in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. During the study period, CO2 and CH4 fluxes ranged between -7.7 to 3.44 g CO2 m-2 d-1 and 0.01 to 0.21 nmol CH4 m-2 d-1, respectively. Both CO2 uptake and CH4 losses peaked in early July and were lowest in early May and late September. To better understand the environmental mechanisms controlling CH4 emissions, changes in CH4 fluxes were related to changes in temperature, precipitation, water table height and CO2 uptake.

  14. Multiyear greenhouse gas balances at a rewetted temperate peatland.

    PubMed

    Wilson, David; Farrell, Catherine A; Fallon, David; Moser, Gerald; Müller, Christoph; Renou-Wilson, Florence

    2016-12-01

    Drained peat soils are a significant source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to the atmosphere. Rewetting these soils is considered an important climate change mitigation tool to reduce emissions and create suitable conditions for carbon sequestration. Long-term monitoring is essential to capture interannual variations in GHG emissions and associated environmental variables and to reduce the uncertainty linked with GHG emission factor calculations. In this study, we present GHG balances: carbon dioxide (CO2 ), methane (CH4 ) and nitrous oxide (N2 O) calculated for a 5-year period at a rewetted industrial cutaway peatland in Ireland (rewetted 7 years prior to the start of the study); and compare the results with an adjacent drained area (2-year data set), and with ten long-term data sets from intact (i.e. undrained) peatlands in temperate and boreal regions. In the rewetted site, CO2 exchange (or net ecosystem exchange (NEE)) was strongly influenced by ecosystem respiration (Reco ) rather than gross primary production (GPP). CH4 emissions were related to soil temperature and either water table level or plant biomass. N2 O emissions were not detected in either drained or rewetted sites. Rewetting reduced CO2 emissions in unvegetated areas by approximately 50%. When upscaled to the ecosystem level, the emission factors (calculated as 5-year mean of annual balances) for the rewetted site were (±SD) -104 ± 80 g CO2 -C m(-2)  yr(-1) (i.e. CO2 sink) and 9 ± 2 g CH4 -C m(-2)  yr(-1) (i.e. CH4 source). Nearly a decade after rewetting, the GHG balance (100-year global warming potential) had reduced noticeably (i.e. less warming) in comparison with the drained site but was still higher than comparative intact sites. Our results indicate that rewetted sites may be more sensitive to interannual changes in weather conditions than their more resilient intact counterparts and may switch from an annual CO2 sink to a source if triggered by slightly drier conditions.

  15. Spatial patterns of denitrification and its functional genes in peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mander, Ülo; Ligi, Teele; Truu, Marika; Truu, Jaak; Pärn, Jaan; Egorov, Sergey; Järveoja, Järvi; Vohla, Christina; Maddison, Martin; Soosaar, Kaido; Oopkaup, Kristjan; Teemusk, Alar; Preem, Jens-Konrad; Uuemaa, Evelyn

    2014-05-01

    This study is aimed to analyse relationships between the environmental factors and the spatial distribution of the main functional genes nirS, nirK, and nosZ regulating the denitrification process. Variations in hydrological regime, soil temperature and peat quality have been taken into the consideration at both local and global scale. Measurements of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions using static chambers, groundwater analysis, gas and peat sampling for further laboratory analysis has been conducted in various peatlands in Iceland (two study areas, 2011), Transylvania/Romania (2012), Santa Catarina/Brazil (2012), Quebec/Canada (2012), Bashkortostan/Russian Federation (two study areas, 2012), Sichuan/China (2012), Estonia (two study areas, 2012), Florida/USA (2013, Sologne/France (2013), Jugra in West Siberia/Russia (2013), Uganda (2013), French Guyana (two study areas, 2013), Tasmania (two study areas, 2014) and New Zealand (two study areas, 2014). In each study area at least 2 transects along the groundwater depth gradient, one preferably in undisturbed, another one in drained area, and at least 3 rows of sampling sites (3-5 replicate chambers and 1 piezometer and soil sampling plot in each) in both has been established for studies. In each transect GHG emission was measured during 2-3 days in at least 5 sessions. In addition, organic sediments from the artificial riverine wetlands in Ohio/USA in 2009 and relevant gas emission studies have been used in the analyses. In the laboratories of Estonian University of Life Sciences and the University of Tartu, the peat chemical quality (pH, N, P, C, NH4, NO3) and N2O, CO2, and CH4 concentration in gas samples (50mL glass bottles and exetainers) were analysed. The peat samples for further pyrosequencing and qPCR analyses are stored in fridge by -22oC. This presentation will consider the variation of GHG emissions and hydrological conditions in the study sites. In addition, several selected biophysical factors will be taken

  16. Comparison between ROV video and Agassiz trawl methods for sampling deep water fauna of submarine canyons in the Northwestern Mediterranean Sea with observations on behavioural reactions of target species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ayma, A.; Aguzzi, J.; Canals, M.; Lastras, G.; Bahamon, N.; Mecho, A.; Company, J. B.

    2016-08-01

    In this paper we present a comparison between Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) and Agassiz trawling methods for sampling deep-water fauna in three submarine canyons of the Northwestern Mediterranean Sea and describe the behavioural reactions of fishes and crustacean decapods to ROV approach. 10 ROV dives, where 3583 individuals were observed and identified to species level, and 8 Agassiz trawls were carried out in a depth range of 750-1500 m. As noticed in previous studies, abundances of fishes and decapod crustaceans were much higher in the ROV videos than in Agassiz trawl samples, as the latter are designed for the retrieval of benthic, less motile species in permanent contact with the bottom. In our observations fish abundance was one order of magnitude higher with ROV (4110.22 ind/km2) than with Agassiz trawl (350.88 ind/km2), whereas decapod crustaceans were six times more abundant in ROV videos (6362.40 ind/km2) than in Agassiz samples (1364.52 ind/km2). The behaviour of highly motile fishes was analysed in terms of stationary positioning over the seafloor and avoidance or attraction to ROV approach. The most frequently occurring fish species Coelorinchus mediterraneus, Nezumia aequalis, Bathypterois dubius, Lepidion lepidion, Trachyrincuss scabrus and Polyacanthonotus rissoanus did not react to the presence of the ROV in most cases (>50%). Only B. dubius (11%), Lepidion lepidion (14.8%), P. rissoanus (41%) and T. scabrus (14.3%) reacted to ROV approach. More than 60% of less motile species, such as crustacean decapods, did not respond to ROV presence either. Only 33.3% of Geryon longipes, 36.2% of Munida spp. and 29.79% of Pagurus spp. were observed avoiding or defensively reacting to the ROV. The comparison of results obtained with ROV and trawl sampling is of ecological relevance since ROV can report observations in areas where trawling is technically unfeasible. The lack of reaction by most fish and crustacean decapod specimens further confirms that ROV

  17. High diversity of tropical peatland ecosystem types in the Pastaza-Marañón basin, Peruvian Amazonia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    LäHteenoja, Outi; Page, Susan

    2011-06-01

    Very little information exists on Amazonian peatlands with most studies on tropical peatlands concentrating on Southeast Asia. Here we describe diversity of Amazonian peatland ecosystems and consider its implications for the global diversity of tropical peatland ecosystems. Nine study sites were selected from within the most extensive wetland area of Peruvian Amazonia: the 120,000 km2 Pastaza-Marañón basin. Peat thickness was determined every 500 m from the edge toward the center of each site, and peat samples were collected from two cores per site. Samples from the entire central core and surface samples from the other core were analyzed for nutrient content. Topography of four peat deposits was measured. In order to study differences in vegetation, pixel values were extracted from a satellite image. The surface peat nutrient content of the peatlands varied from very nutrient-rich to nutrient-poor. Two of the peatlands measured for their topography were domed (5.4 and 5.8 m above the stream), one was gently sloping (1.4 m above the stream), and one was flat and occurred behind a 7 m high levee. Five different peatland vegetation types were detected on the basis of pixel values derived from the satellite image. The peat cores had considerable variation in nutrient content and showed different developmental pathways. In summary, the Pastaza-Marañón basin harbors a considerable diversity of previously undescribed peatland ecosystems, representing a gradient from atmosphere-influenced, nutrient-poor ombrotrophic bogs through to river-influenced, nutrient-rich swamps. Their existence affects the habitat diversity, carbon dynamics, and hydrology of the Amazonian lowlands, and they also provide an undisturbed analog for the heavily disturbed peatlands of Southeast Asia. Considering the factors threatening the Amazonian lowlands, there is an urgent need to investigate and conserve these peatland ecosystems, which may in the near future be among the very few

  18. Was there a '4.2 ka event' in Great Britain and Ireland? Evidence from the peatland record

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roland, T. P.; Caseldine, C. J.; Charman, D. J.; Turney, C. S. M.; Amesbury, M. J.

    2014-01-01

    Palaeoenvironmental and archaeological data from several regions around the world show evidence of a multi-centennial climatic event occurring approximately 4200 cal yr BP (4.2 ka). Whilst the climatic change and/or impact of the 4.2 ka event is clear in certain regions, such as western Asia, evidence for the event has yet to be fully evaluated in northwest Europe. This study presents high-resolution, multi-proxy palaeoclimate records from sites in Northern Ireland, ideally located for an objective examination of the nature of the event in Great Britain and Ireland within the broader context of mid-Holocene climate change c. 6.5-2.5 ka. The peatlands of northwest Europe possess considerable potential for the examination of climatic change in the North Atlantic region, demonstrated by the range of palaeohydrological proxy data generated during this study (peat humification, plant macrofossil and testate amoebae analyses) supported by a high-resolution chronology (including comprehensive AMS 14C and tephrochronology). The inter-site testate amoebae reconstructions appear coherent and were combined to produce a regional climatic record, in marked contrast to the plant macrofossil and peat humification records that appear climatically complacent. The testate amoebae reconstruction, however, provides no compelling evidence for a 4.2 ka event signal and is consistent with previously reported studies from across northwest Europe, suggesting the origin and impact of this event is spatially complex.

  19. [Nitrogen input altered testate amoebae community in peatland of Sanjiang Plain, Northeast China].

    PubMed

    Song, Li-hong; Yan, Xiu-min; Wang, Ke-hong; Zhu, Xiao-yan; Wu, Dong-hu

    2015-02-01

    In the present study, an in situ control experiment was carried out to explore the response of testate amoebae to exogenous nitrogen addition in peatland of Sanjiang Plain. The results showed that nitrogen addition increased the biomass of testate amoebae at lower levels (6 g N · m(-2)), while decreased it at higher levels (> 12 g N · m(-2)). At genus level, nitrogen addition significantly increased the biomass of Arcella and Phryganella, decreased the biomass of Euglypha. Only lower nitrogen addition significantly increased the biomass of Centropyxis. At species level, nitrogen addition significantly decreased the biomass of Euglypha rotunda, while the biomass of either Centropyxis cassis or Phryganella acropodia was increased by a lower nitrogen addition treatment. This study suggested that the response of peatland testate amoebae to nitrogen addition was species specific, which could potentially be used as an indicator for the environment of peatlands.

  20. The problem of fire control on drained peatlands and its solution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zaidel'Man, F. R.

    2011-08-01

    Fires on drained peatlands arise as a result of lowering of the groundwater table and the rupture of its capillary fringe from the peat soil horizons. Fires destroy the most fertile soils of the nonchernozemic region, adversely affect the diversity and species composition of the biota and the work of transport, and cause diseases and the death of people. A set of preventive measures against fires on the drained peatlands is proposed. It is important to use these soils only for meadow grass cultivation with rotations enriched in perennial grasses. No cases of "black" crop growing are possible on peatlands. The reclamation of peat soils should be implemented only with the bilateral regulation of the water regime. An optimal system of increasing the fertility of drained peat soils should be applied; their use should also be accompanied by sanding.

  1. Terrestrial Laser Scanning of Peatland Surface Morphology for Eco-Hydrological Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Karen; Bennie, Jonathan; Wetherelt, Andrew

    2010-05-01

    BACKGROUND: Ombrotrophic (rain-fed) lowland raised bogs are scarce habitats with high conservation importance in Europe. A reproducible measurement technique which is capable of capturing the spatial patterning of vegetation and surface topography is important in peatlands because structure is linked to ecological function, hydrology, biodiversity and carbon sequestration. Little attention has been given in the literature to the potential capabilities of active remote sensing systems such as LiDAR for monitoring peatland status, despite the clear opportunity posed by adopting a structurally-focused approach. APPROACH: The research described in this paper set out to establish the information content of laser scanning data for peatland condition monitoring. Our approach was to use fine scale laser scan data acquired from a terrestrial laser scanner (TLS) so as to understand the data requirements for these types of application. We adopted a transect approach to sampling at the Wedholme Flow peatland site in Cumbria, UK. This is a lowland ombrotrophic peatland exhibiting a range of eco-hydrological condition types and was thus a suitable test-bed for the methodology. Seven sites located along a hydrological gradient were measured using TLS. A Leica HDS 3000 instrument, mounted on a tracked vehicle was used to survey the peatland surface from three viewpoints at each site, meaning that shadows cast by the plant canopy were in-filled during post-processing of the point cloud. Each site was also instrumented with hydrological dipwell recorders and assessed using detailed ecological surveys. Positional data from a differential GPS survey (collected simultaneously) were used to elucidate interpretation of spatial patterns in the TLS data. RESULTS: The results demonstrate the capabilities of TLS for describing peatland microtopography and vegetation canopy characteristics at a fine spatial scale (cm resolution over 10 m spatial extent). Geostatistical analyses of the laser

  2. Reservoirs as hotspots of fluvial carbon cycling in peatland catchments.

    PubMed

    Stimson, A G; Allott, T E H; Boult, S; Evans, M G

    2017-02-15

    Inland water bodies are recognised as dynamic sites of carbon processing, and lakes and reservoirs draining peatland soils are particularly important, due to the potential for high carbon inputs combined with long water residence times. A carbon budget is presented here for a water supply reservoir (catchment area~9km(2)) draining an area of heavily eroded upland peat in the South Pennines, UK. It encompasses a two year dataset and quantifies reservoir dissolved organic carbon (DOC), particulate organic carbon (POC) and aqueous carbon dioxide (CO2(aq)) inputs and outputs. The budget shows the reservoir to be a hotspot of fluvial carbon cycling, as with high levels of POC influx it acts as a net sink of fluvial carbon and has the potential for significant gaseous carbon export. The reservoir alternates between acting as a producer and consumer of DOC (a pattern linked to rainfall and temperature) which provides evidence for transformations between different carbon species. In particular, the budget data accompanied by (14)C (radiocarbon) analyses provide evidence that POC-DOC transformations are a key process, occurring at rates which could represent at least ~10% of the fluvial carbon sink. To enable informed catchment management further research is needed to produce carbon cycle models more applicable to these environments, and on the implications of high POC levels for DOC composition.

  3. Peatlands and green frogs: A relationship regulated by acidity?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mazerolle, M.J.

    2005-01-01

    The effects of site acidification on amphibian populations have been thoroughly addressed in the last decades. However, amphibians in naturally acidic environments, such as peatlands facing pressure from the peat mining industry, have received little attention. Through two field studies and an experiment, I assessed the use of bog habitats by the green frog (Rana clamitans melanota), a species sensitive to various forestry and peat mining disturbances. First, I compared the occurrence and breeding patterns of frogs in bog and upland ponds. I then evaluated frog movements between forest and bog habitats to determine whether they corresponded to breeding or postbreeding movements. Finally, I investigated, through a field experiment, the value of bogs as rehydrating areas for amphibians by offering living Sphagnum moss and two media associated with uplands (i.e., water with pH ca 6.5 and water-saturated soil) to acutely dehydrated frogs. Green frog reproduction at bog ponds was a rare event, and no net movements occurred between forest and bog habitats. However, acutely dehydrated frogs did not avoid Sphagnum. Results show that although green frogs rarely breed in bogs and do not move en masse between forest and bog habitats, they do not avoid bog substrates for rehydrating, despite their acidity. Thus, bogs offer viable summering habitat to amphibians, which highlights the value of these threatened environments in terrestrial amphibian ecology.

  4. Climate change impact on peatland and forest ecosystems of Russia

    SciTech Connect

    Kondrasheva, N.Yu.; Kobak, K.I.; Turchinovich, I.Ye.

    1996-12-31

    Paleoclimatic and paleobotanic reconstructions allow a conclusion that ecosystems and natural zones significantly changed due to climate fluctuations. The average long-term carbon accumulation in peatlands of Russia was estimated as 45.6 mln tons of carbon per year. During the Holocene the rate of peat accumulation changed. During the Subboreal period the rate of peat accumulation gradually decreased to 17 gC/m2 yr, reaching its lowest value in the Subatlantic period. Apparently, the rate of peat accumulation decreased in Subboreal period due to sharp cooling and precipitation decrease. Future rates of peat accumulation might be higher than the present one. Forest ecosystems of north-western Russia also significantly changed during the Holocene. In Atlantic time the boundary between middle and south taiga was located 500 km northward compared to the present and broad-leaved forest occupied large areas. According to their forecast, a mean global air temperature increase by 1.4 C is expected to result in a considerable decrease in coniferous forest area and an increase in mixed and broad-leaved forest area.

  5. Combining LiDAR and IKONOS data for eco-hydrological classification of an ombrotrophic peatland.

    PubMed

    Anderson, K; Bennie, J J; Milton, E J; Hughes, P D M; Lindsay, R; Meade, R

    2010-01-01

    Remote sensing techniques have potential for peatland monitoring, but most previous work has focused on spectral approaches that often result in poor discrimination of cover types and neglect structural information. Peatlands contain structural "microtopes" (e.g., hummocks and hollows) which are linked to hydrology, biodiversity and carbon sequestration, and information on surface structure is thus a useful proxy for peatland condition. The objective of this work was to develop and test a new eco-hydrological mapping technique for ombrotrophic (rain-fed) peatlands using a combined spectral-structural remote sensing approach. The study site was Wedholme Flow, Cumbria, UK. Airborne light dectection and ranging (LiDAR) data were used with IKONOS data in a combined multispectral-structural approach for mapping peatland condition classes. LiDAR data were preprocessed so that spatial estimates of minimum and maximum land surface height, variance and semi-variance (from semi-variogram analysis) were extracted. These were assimilated alongside IKONOS data into a maximum likelihood classification procedure, and thematic outputs were compared. Ecological survey data were used to validate the results. Considerable improvements in thematic separation of peatland classes were achieved when spatially-distributed measurements of LiDAR variance or semi-variance were included. Specifically, the classification accuracy improved from 71.8% (IKONOS data only) to 88.0% when a LiDAR semi-variance product was used. Of note was the improved delineation of management classes (including Eriophorum bog, active raised bog and degraded raised bog). The application of a combined textural-optical approach can improve land cover mapping in areas where reliance on purely spectral discrimination approaches would otherwise result in considerable thematic uncertainty.

  6. Hydrological factors behind the water quality changes due to restoration in boreal peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ronkanen, Anna-Kaisa; Marttila, Hannu; Walle Menberu, Meseret; Irannezhad, Masoud; Tahvanainen, Teemu; Penttinen, Jouni; Hokkanen, Reijo; Klöve, Björn

    2016-04-01

    Recovery of hydrological conditions after restoration in previously drained peatlands is typically faster process compared to changes in runoff water quality. Often nutrient load from restored sites increase remarkably during restoration operation and reduce over time when conditions stabilize. However, in some sites nutrient load can remain high for long periods of time which increase negative effects of restoration on downstream water bodies. The factors and challenges behind these processes are poorly understood in practical catchment restoration planning. This study aims to understand factors affecting water quality changes after peatland restoration. Totally 43 peatlands areas of which 24 sites were previously drained and restored during the study and 19 sites at their pristine stage (control sites) were included to the study. The control pristine sites had as little anthropogenic disturbances as possible and the sites were chosen so that the paired study sites closely share similar peatland type, nutrient status and weather conditions. Pore water quality (total phosphorus, total nitrogen, dissolved organic carbon, pH, electric conductivity and colour) was measured from all sites and runoff quality and amount from 7 sites in the years 2008-2014. Measured parameters, different peatland types and nutrient loads were studied together with numerous hydrological parameters (variation in water table fluctuations, peat pore water recharge coefficient, physical parameters of peat e.g. specific yield, degree of humification) by statistical methods. Differences in water table dependent hydrological conditions indicate e.g. flow paths and residence time of water that is known to have effect on runoff water quality. As a result, water table related hydrological changes following restoration are as well assumed to explain alterations in water quality in different peatland types. In addition, using water table related hydrological processes as a proxy for water quality

  7. Disappearance of Relict Permafrost in Boreal North America: Effects on Peatland Carbon Storage and Fluxes

    SciTech Connect

    Turetsky, M. R.; Wieder, R. K.; Vitt, D. H.; Evans, R. J.; Scott, K. D.

    2007-01-01

    Boreal peatlands in Canada have harbored relict permafrost since the Little Ice Age due to the strong insulating properties of peat. Ongoing climate change has triggered widespread degradation of localized permafrost in peatlands across continental Canada. Here, we explore the influence of differing permafrost regimes (bogs with no surface permafrost, localized permafrost features with surface permafrost, and internal lawns representing areas of permafrost degradation) on rates of peat accumulation at the southernmost limit of permafrost in continental Canada. Net organic matter accumulation generally was greater in unfrozen bogs and internal lawns than in the permafrost landforms, suggesting that surface permafrost inhibits peat accumulation and that degradation of surface permafrost stimulates net carbon storage in peatlands. To determine whether differences in substrate quality across permafrost regimes control trace gas emissions to the atmosphere, we used a reciprocal transplant study to experimentally evaluate environmental versus substrate controls on carbon emissions from bog, internal lawn, and permafrost peat. Emissions of CO{sub 2} were highest from peat incubated in the localized permafrost feature, suggesting that slow organic matter accumulation rates are due, at least in part, to rapid decomposition in surface permafrost peat. Emissions of CH{sub 4} were greatest from peat incubated in the internal lawn, regardless of peat type. Localized permafrost features in peatlands represent relict surface permafrost in disequilibrium with the current climate of boreal North America, and therefore are extremely sensitive to ongoing and future climate change. Our results suggest that the loss of surface permafrost in peatlands increases net carbon storage as peat, though in terms of radiative forcing, increased CH{sub 4} emissions to the atmosphere will partially or even completely offset this enhanced peatland carbon sink for at least 70 years following

  8. Alaskan transect links Holocene carbon shifts to peatland paleoecology and paleoclimate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peteet, D. M.; Nichols, J. E.; Andreev, A.; McGeachy, A.; Perez, M.

    2011-12-01

    Arctic and subarctic peatlands are highly sensitive to climate shifts, and greenhouse warming is greatest at high latitudes. As high latitudes warm and peatlands provide positive and negative feedbacks in carbon sequestration, the paleo-perspective becomes critical in assessing future peatland stocks. We target a north-south (temperature) and east-west (moisture) transect of Alaskan peatlands using pollen and spores, plant macrofossils, charcoal, stable isotopes, and C/N coupled with carbon to explore the relationship of climate and vegetation shifts to carbon storage through time. Since deglaciation, peatlands have developed in a variety of maritime and continental subarctic and arctic environments with vegetation ranging from fens to bogs. Factors affecting the net carbon storage (productivity and decomposition) include the vegetation type, precipitation, temperature, bryophyte component, seasonality, snow history, fire history, and permafrost. New paleoecological records from three Holocene peatlands, each spanning at least 9000 years, include a continental boreal forest site, Goldmine Bog, Fairbanks, (65°N, 147°W), and maritime sites including Phalarope Bog, Kodiak (57°N, 154°W), and Bear Bog, Cordova (60°N, 145°W). Major shifts in moisture and temperature are evident throughout the Holocene from our multiproxy investigations of each site. Our data address several questions about subarctic/arctic carbon storage and climate, such as whether bogs or fens sequester more carbon, as this topic is intensely debated in the current literature. We also compare shifts in inferred moisture and temperature with carbon storage at each site, and with other coastal and interior sites for a fuller understanding of changes in the climate of this important region.

  9. Permafrost conditions in peatlands regulate magnitude, timing, and chemical composition of catchment dissolved organic carbon export.

    PubMed

    Olefeldt, David; Roulet, Nigel T

    2014-10-01

    Permafrost thaw in peatlands has the potential to alter catchment export of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and thus influence downstream aquatic C cycling. Subarctic peatlands are often mosaics of different peatland types, where permafrost conditions regulate the hydrological setting of each type. We show that hydrological setting is key to observed differences in magnitude, timing, and chemical composition of DOC export between permafrost and nonpermafrost peatland types, and that these differences influence the export of DOC of larger catchments even when peatlands are minor catchment components. In many aspects, DOC export from a studied peatland permafrost plateau was similar to that of a forested upland catchment. Similarities included low annual export (2-3 g C m(-2) ) dominated by the snow melt period (~70%), and how substantial DOC export following storms required wet antecedent conditions. Conversely, nonpermafrost fens had higher DOC export (7 g C m(-2) ), resulting from sustained hydrological connectivity during summer. Chemical composition of catchment DOC export arose from the mixing of highly aromatic DOC from organic soils from permafrost plateau soil water and upland forest surface horizons with nonaromatic DOC from mineral soil groundwater, but was further modulated by fens. Increasing aromaticity from fen inflow to outlet was substantial and depended on both water residence time and water temperature. The role of fens as catchment biogeochemical hotspots was further emphasized by their capacity for sulfate retention. As a result of fen characteristics, a 4% fen cover in a mixed catchment was responsible for 34% higher DOC export, 50% higher DOC concentrations and ~10% higher DOC aromaticity at the catchment outlet during summer compared to a nonpeatland upland catchment. Expansion of fens due to thaw thus has potential to influence landscape C cycling by increasing fen capacity to act as biogeochemical hotspots, amplifying aquatic C cycling, and

  10. Deep instability of deforested tropical peatlands revealed by fluvial organic carbon fluxes.

    PubMed

    Moore, Sam; Evans, Chris D; Page, Susan E; Garnett, Mark H; Jones, Tim G; Freeman, Chris; Hooijer, Aljosja; Wiltshire, Andrew J; Limin, Suwido H; Gauci, Vincent

    2013-01-31

    Tropical peatlands contain one of the largest pools of terrestrial organic carbon, amounting to about 89,000 teragrams (1 Tg is a billion kilograms). Approximately 65 per cent of this carbon store is in Indonesia, where extensive anthropogenic degradation in the form of deforestation, drainage and fire are converting it into a globally significant source of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Here we quantify the annual export of fluvial organic carbon from both intact peat swamp forest and peat swamp forest subject to past anthropogenic disturbance. We find that the total fluvial organic carbon flux from disturbed peat swamp forest is about 50 per cent larger than that from intact peat swamp forest. By carbon-14 dating of dissolved organic carbon (which makes up over 91 per cent of total organic carbon), we find that leaching of dissolved organic carbon from intact peat swamp forest is derived mainly from recent primary production (plant growth). In contrast, dissolved organic carbon from disturbed peat swamp forest consists mostly of much older (centuries to millennia) carbon from deep within the peat column. When we include the fluvial carbon loss term, which is often ignored, in the peatland carbon budget, we find that it increases the estimate of total carbon lost from the disturbed peatlands in our study by 22 per cent. We further estimate that since 1990 peatland disturbance has resulted in a 32 per cent increase in fluvial organic carbon flux from southeast Asia--an increase that is more than half of the entire annual fluvial organic carbon flux from all European peatlands. Our findings emphasize the need to quantify fluvial carbon losses in order to improve estimates of the impact of deforestation and drainage on tropical peatland carbon balances.

  11. Impacts of drain blocking on the aquatic carbon export from a UK peatland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leith, Fraser; Dinsmore, Kerry; Carfrae, Jennifer

    2016-04-01

    Drainage ditches, which have historically been used across UK peatlands, provide a rapid pathway for carbon export between terrestrial and aquatic systems, potentially reducing or reversing the net uptake of carbon by peatlands. Currently, considerable investment is being made in Scotland to restore drained peatlands with the aim of raising water tables, restoring active vegetation cover, enhancing carbon uptake and reducing carbon losses via the aquatic pathway. However, monitoring of restoration and its impact is often restricted by a lack of pre-restoration data and typically does not cover the full range of fluvial carbon species. Drain blocking was carried out in March 2015 at the Auchencorth Moss peatland, SE Scotland, which has an extensive record of fluvial carbon measurements (from 2007 to present day). This study combines an intensive 12 month field monitoring campaign, during and after drain blocking works, with the long-term record to investigate the impacts of drain blocking on the dissolved and gaseous carbon export via the aquatic pathway. Post-restoration, concentrations and fluxes of all stream water dissolved and gaseous carbon species were in the range of values measured over the period 2007 to present; with no significant change in the 12 months post-restoration. The results from this study indicate that the drain blocking works did not have a significant impact on the concentration or speciation of carbon exported via the aquatic pathway which can be attributed to the largely overgrown nature of the drains and the large inter- and intra-annual variability in the system. This study raises questions on the suitability of some peatlands for drain blocking and the pre- and post-restoration monitoring required to accurately assess the impacts of peatland restoration activities.

  12. Boreal peatland pools C release: implication for the contemporary C exchange

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pelletier, L.; Strachan, I. B.; Garneau, M.; Roulet, N. T.

    2013-12-01

    Peatland ecosystems are considered to be net-sinks for carbon, with long-term accumulation rates ranging between 3 and 71 g C m-2 yr-1. However, the net carbon exchange rates vary significantly across the surface of these ecosystems, both in terms of magnitude and direction of the fluxes. Boreal peatlands are characterized by microforms ranging from dry hummocks, to lawns, to wet hollows and pools, which have distinct physical and chemical properties. While the hummocks and lawns absorb C due to the positive balance between gross primary production (CO2 uptake) and respiration (CO2 and CH4 release), pools represent net sources of carbon to the atmosphere. Annual pool C fluxes have been poorly documented and their contribution to the ecosystem level C budget is often ignored, even if they cover a significant portion of the peatland surface. Furthermore, the net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) of these peatlands remains largely unknown. In this study, we examine the dynamics of the atmospheric exchange of CO2 and CH4 from peatland pools. Dissolved CO2 and CH4 were measured sporadically in five pools using the headspace technique and continuously with an NDIR sensor (CO2 for one pool only) over a 16-month period. Fluxes were calculated using the thin boundary layer model. We measured spring release and growing season (May to October) NEE-CO2 and CH4 fluxes in the same peatland using an eddy covariance tower to see how the presence of pools impacts the contemporary C exchange at the ecosystem level.

  13. Greenhouse gas budgets for grasslands on peatlands and other organic soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tiemeyer, Bärbel; Albiac Borraz, Elisa; Augustin, Jürgen; Bechtold, Michel; Beetz, Sascha; Beyer, Colja; Eickenscheidt, Tim; Drösler, Matthias; Förster, Christoph; Freibauer, Annette; Giebels, Michael; Glatzel, Stephan; Heinichen, Jan; Hoffmann, Mathias; Höper, Heinrich; Leiber-Sauheitl, Katharina; Rosskopf, Niko; Zeitz, Jutta

    2014-05-01

    Drained peatlands are hotspots of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Grassland is the major land use type for peatlands in Germany and other European countries, but strongly varies in its intensity regarding the groundwater level and the agricultural management. These parameters are known to influence the GHG emissions. Furthermore, little is known about the emissions from grasslands on soils which are rich in organic matter, but cannot be classified as peatlands (e.g. Histic Gleysols). We synthesized 116 annual GHG budgets for 46 different sites in 11 German peatlands. Carbon dioxide (net ecosystem exchange and ecosystem respiration), nitrous oxide and methane fluxes were measured with transparent and opaque manual chambers. Land management ranged from very intensive use with up to five cuts per year to re-wetted grasslands with only one cut late in the year. Besides the GHG fluxes, biomass yield, fertilisation, groundwater level, climatic data, vegetation composition and soil properties were measured. Overall, we found a large variability of the total GHG budget ranging from small uptakes (- 6 t CO2- equivalents/(ha yr)) to very high losses (74 t CO2-equivalents/(ha yr)). At all sites, the GHG budget was dominated by carbon dioxide, generally followed by biomass export. Surprisingly, there was no difference between the average GHG budget of the peatlands and of the other organic soils. Thus, the GHG budget did not depend on soil organic carbon concentration or stock. Generally, the groundwater table depth was the best predictor for GHG emissions at each individual peatland, but a poor overall predictor. For all sites, the GHG budget was explained best by the average nitrogen stock above the mean groundwater level.

  14. Carbon isotopic composition of deep carbon gases in an ombrogenous peatland, northwestern Ontario, Canada

    SciTech Connect

    Aravena, R. . Center for Groundwater Research and Wetlands Research Center); Warner, B.G. . Wetlands Research Center and Dept. of Geography); Charman, D.J. . Dept. of Geographical Sciences); Belyea, L.R. . School of Biological Sciences); Mathur, S.P. ); Dinel, H. )

    1993-01-01

    Radiocarbon dating and carbon isotope analyses of deep peat and gases in a small ombrogenous peatland in northwestern Ontario reveals the presence of old gases at depth that are 1000-2000 yr younger than the enclosing peat. The authors suggest that the most likely explanation to account for this age discrepancy is the downward movement by advection of younger dissolved organic carbon for use by fermentation and methanogens bacteria. This study identifies a potentially large supply of old carbon gases in peatlands that should be considered in global carbon models of the terrestrial biosphere.

  15. A multi-tracer approach to determine groundwater discharge patterns in pristine peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Isokangas, Elina; Rossi, Pekka; Kløve, Bjørn

    2014-05-01

    Changes in water flow patterns (e.g. due to ditching or pumping water) in the vicinity of a peatland can affect its hydrology and ecology irreversibly. In Finland esker aquifers, often used for water abstraction, discharge groundwater typically to peatlands. Locations of these discharge zones are important for understanding peatland hydrology and ecology in general and for predicting the impacts of groundwater abstraction. In this study, a Finnish pristine peatland connected to an esker aquifer was sampled for natural tracers (stable water isotopes, electrical conductivity and temperature, n = 55) from two depths (30 cm and under the peat layer) in the summer of 2013. The peat levels of the sampling points varied between 0.57 - 1.00 m. In addition, hydraulic conductivity measurements (n = 13) and airborne thermal imaging were carried out and local precipitation was sampled for stable water isotopes. The CRDS-method (Picarro L2120-i analyzer) was applied to analyze δ18O and δ2H values. Local Meteoric Water Line (LMWL) was determined using precipitation from Nuoritta (17 km west from the study site), δ2H = 7.24 δ18O + 7.94 (R2 = 0.996). Ranges for δ18O and δ2H of peatland water were, -13.3 o - -10.3 o and -96.1 o - -75.6 o respectively. Furthermore, electrical conductivity varied between 19.6 - 192.8 mS m-1, hydraulic conductivity between 1.7×10-8 - 5.0×10-4 m s-1 and temperature between 6.1 - 16.8 ° C. Natural tracers were used for identifying water flow patterns of the peatland. Interpretation of the results was complicated due to a stream flowing through the studied peatland. However, groundwater discharge zones were observed alongside the esker and also further away from the esker in the peatland area. This research shows that combination of high-resolution thermal images and discrete field measurements will result in more reliable and precise water flow patterns.

  16. Aquatic carbon export from peatland catchments recently undergone wind farm development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Ben; Waldron, Susan; Henderson, Andrew; Flowers, Hugh; Gilvear, David

    2013-04-01

    Scotland's peat landscapes are desirable locations for wind-based renewables due to high wind resources and low land use pressures in these areas. The environmental impact of sitting wind-based renewables on peats however, is unknown. Globally, peatlands are important terrestrial carbon stores. Given the topical nature of carbon-related issues, e.g. global warming and carbon footprints, it is imperative we help mitigate their degradation and maintain carbon sequestration. To do so, we need to better understand how peatland systems function with regards to their carbon balance (export versus sequestration) so we can assess their resilience and adaptation to hosting land-based renewable energy projects. Predicting carbon lost as a result of construction of wind farms built on peatland has not been fully characterised and this research will provide data that can supplement current 'carbon payback calculator' models for