Science.gov

Sample records for agassiz peatlands northern

  1. Hydrogeologic setting of the Glacial Lake Agassiz Peatlands, northern Minnesota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Siegel, Donald I.

    1981-01-01

    Seven test holes drilled in the Glacial Lake Agassiz Peatlands indicate that the thickness of surficial materials along a north-south traverse parallel to Minnesota Highway 72 ranges from 163 feet near Blackduck, Minnesota to 57 feet about 3 miles south of Upper Red Lake. Lenses of sand and gravel occur immediately above bedrock on the Itasca moraine and are interbedded with lake clay and till under the peatlands. Vertical head gradients measured in a piezometer nest near Blackduck on the moraine are downward, indicative of recharge to the regional ground-water-flow system. Vertical head gradients are upward in a piezometer nest on a sand beach ridge in the peatlands 12 miles north of Upper Red Lake. Numerical sectional models indicate that this discharge probably comes from local flow systems recharged from ground-water mounds located under large raised bogs.

  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. Carbon Cycling in Northern Peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schultz, Colin

    2010-11-01

    Northern peatlands span only 3 million square kilometers, about 3% of the terrestrial area of the globe, yet they represent a significant terrestrial sink for carbon dioxide. They are also important emitters of methane, an even more potent greenhouse gas. Despite their substantial role in the global carbon cycle, peatlands are not typically incorporated into global climate models. The AGU Monograph Carbon Cycling in Northern Peatlands, edited by Andrew J. Baird, Lisa R. Belyea, Xavier Comas, A. S. Reeve, and Lee D. Slater, looks at the disproportionate role peatlands play in the global carbon budget. In this interview, Eos talks with Andy Baird, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom.

  4. 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.

  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. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  10. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Granath, Gustaf; Lukenbach, Max; Moore, Paul; Waddington, James

    2015-04-01

    Wildfire frequency and severity are expected to increase in forested temperate and boreal ecosystems. Recent research indicates that northern peatlands are no exceptions to these risks and may be particularly vulnerable. These ecosystems represent a major component of the global carbon cycle and serve as contemporary and long-term net carbon sink. However, severe, deep burning, fires on these organic soils may not only compromise long-term carbon storage by releasing large amounts of carbon but also impose a real threat to human health and economies through smoke pollution and large costs in fire suppression, respectively. As research in tropical peatlands has revealed, these risks are likely enhanced when northern peatlands are drained and/or mined. Here we examine whether peatland restoration (re-wetting) practices can mitigate the risk of deep burns (>20 cm) and provide management recommendations. We synthesize the effects of drainage on peat moisture content and show how drainage and mining can weaken ecohydrological feedbacks in peatlands, making drained peatlands vulnerable to deep burns and carbon loss. We use bulk density and moisture data from burned, unburned and restored peatlands to evaluate the risk of deep burns under various conditions (differences in peat properties, extent of water table drop) using a new peat smouldering model. Climate change scenarios are shown to explore future risks of deep peat burning in extensively drained areas such as northern Europe. Combining modeling and experimental data we conclude that restoration can successfully lower the risk of deep burns if, for example, a new peat moss layer is established which will ensure a higher moisture content. Considering the large areas of drained and mined peatlands in the northern hemisphere, we will argue that restoration efforts are important to mitigate deep burns and carbon loss in peatlands.

  12. Sensitivity of northern peatland carbon dynamics to Holocene climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Zicheng; Beilman, David W.; Jones, Miriam C.

    In this paper, we evaluate the long-term climate sensitivity and global carbon (C) cycle implications of northern peatland C dynamics by synthesizing available data and providing a conceptual framework for understanding the dominant controls, processes, and interactions of peatland initiation and C accumulation. Northern peatlands are distributed throughout the climate domain of the boreal forest/taiga biome, but important differences between peatland regions are evident in annual temperature vs. precipitation (T-P) space, suggesting complex hydroclimatic controls through various seasonal thermal-moisture associations. Of 2380 available basal peat dates from northern peatlands, nearly half show initiation before 8000 calendar years (cal years) B.P. Peat-core data from sites spanning peatland T-P space show large variations in apparent C accumulation rates during the Holocene, ranging from 8.4 in the Arctic to 38.0 g C m-2 a-1 in west Siberia, with an overall time-weighted average rate of 18.6 g C m-2 a-1. Sites with multiple age determinations show millennial-scale variations, with the highest C accumulation generally at 11,000-8000 cal years B.P. The early Holocene was likely a period of rapid peatland expansion and C accumulation. For example, maximum peat expansion and accumulation in Alaska occurred at this time when climate was warmest and possibly driest, suggesting the dominant role of productivity over decomposition processes or a difference in precipitation seasonality. Northern peatland C dynamics contributed to the peak in atmospheric CH4 and the decrease in CO2 concentrations in the early Holocene. This synthesis of data, processes, and ideas provides baselines for understanding the sensitivity of these C-rich ecosystems in a changing climate.

  13. 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

  14. 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 ...

  15. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1993-06-01

    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.

  17. Correlating Fluorescence and Absorption Properties of Dissolved Organic Matter in Northern Peatland Soil Porewaters with Molecular Composition Information

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tfaily, M. M.; D'Andrilli, J.; Corbett, J.; Chanton, J.; Cooper, W. T.

    2009-12-01

    Northern peatlands store roughly half as much carbon as is stored as CO2 in the atmosphere in the form of complex biogeopolymers. As climate change proceeds, increasing carbon release from these historically carbon-sequestering environments may represent an unidentified forcing stress on global temperatures. In this work, we have applied absorption spectroscopy, Excitation/Emission Matrix (EEM) spectroscopy and ultrahigh resolution Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometry (FT-ICR-MS) to study the differences in composition of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in soil porewaters at varying depths from different sites (fens and bogs) within the Glacial Lake Agassiz Peatlands (GLAP) of northern Minnesota. UV/Vis absorbance and Excitation Emission Matrix Fluorescence Spectroscopy (EEMS) were used to identify changes in the optical properties associated with the chromophoric fractions of DOM (CDOM). Higher specific UV absorbance (SUVA) at 254 nm indicated relatively more aromatic content in the DOM in surface bog and deep fen horizons. EEMS results were also found to be in agreement with the absorption spectra and molecular characterization as determined by FT-ICR-MS. The strong correlations we have observed suggest that optical spectroscopy techniques represent an effective surrogate approach to characterizing the composition of DOM provided some detailed molecular information is available for calibrating the observed correlations.

  18. Microbial Community Structure and Activity Linked to Contrasting Biogeochemical Gradients in Bog and Fen Environments of the Glacial Lake Agassiz Peatland

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22843538

  19. Investigating dissolved organic matter decomposition in northern peatlands using complimentary analytical techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tfaily, Malak M.; Hamdan, Rasha; Corbett, Jane E.; Chanton, Jeffrey P.; Glaser, Paul H.; Cooper, William T.

    2013-07-01

    The chemical transformations that govern storage, degradation, and loss of organic matter in northern peatlands are poorly characterized, despite the significance of these peat deposits as pivotal reservoirs in the global carbon cycle. One of the most challenging problems concerns the character of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in peat porewaters, particularly higher-molecular weight compounds that may function either as non-reactive sinks or reactive intermediates for organic byproducts of microbial decay. The complexity of these large molecules has defied attempts to characterize their molecular structure in bulk samples with a high degree of precision. We therefore determined the composition and reactivity of DOM from representative bog and fen sites in the Glacial Lake Agassiz Peatlands (GLAP) in northern Minnesota, USA. We applied four complementary techniques: electrospray ionization Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (ESI-FT-ICR MS), proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H NMR), specific UV absorbance (SUVA) and excitation-emission matrix (EEM) fluorescence spectroscopy. We observed that the vast majority (>80%) of molecular formulas that appear in the surface bog DOM are also present at 2.9 m depth, indicating that much of DOM in the bog is resistant to microbial degradation. In contrast to bog samples, a considerable number of new compounds with low O/C and high H/C elemental ratios were observed in the 3 m fen horizon relative to surface samples. These results indicate a more pronounced difference in the composition of surface and deep DOM in the fen. SUVA, determined at 254 nm, indicated significantly lower aromaticity in deep fen samples relative to deep bog samples. This trend was verified by 1H NMR. Aromatic and carbohydrate components represented up to 70% of deep bog DOM but comprised a much smaller proportion of deep fen DOM, which was dominated by functionalized and non-functionalized aliphatics. Molecular

  20. 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.

  1. Consolidating and updating estimates of northern peatland extents and carbon stocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hugelius, G.; Loisel, J.; MacDonald, G. M.; Jackson, R. B.; Treat, C. C.; Turetsky, M. R.; Yu, Z.

    2015-12-01

    Conditions favoring peat accumulation have been particularly prevalent in boreal and subarctic regions. The large pool of organic carbon accumulated in Northern peatlands has been an important component in the global carbon cycle throughout the Holocene. All northern peatlands store an estimated 440 Pg organic carbon while a separate study estimates that permafrost region peatlands store ca. 300 Pg organic carbon. However, the degree of overlap between these studies remains unclear and there are differences in methodologies and definitions which prevent direct harmonization of estimates. Here we address this problems by (1) compiling several different databases of field observation data and by (2) comparing previously estimated northern peatland areal extents to the extents of organic soils estimated from compiled harmonized regional and national soil maps from the northern mid and high latitudes. Organic soils are by definition peatlands with >40 cm of near surface peat. The combined estimated extent of organic soils in these maps is 3.44 million km2. This is very similar to the spatial extents of Northern peatlands derived from various national peat resource inventories as reported by previous studies. Our results show that roughly one third of this organic soil area is in permafrost. Based on newly compiled databases we provide spatially distributed estimates of peatland depth and stocks of peat carbon across different biomes. These analyses reveal significant differences in peat depth and carbon stocks between peatland regions and between non-permafrost and permafrost peatlands.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Simulating long-term carbon and water dynamics in northern peatlands (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frolking, S. E.; Roulet, N. T.; Quillet, A.; Tuittila, E.; Bubier, J. L.

    2009-12-01

    We present a new model that simulates coupled carbon and water dynamics of northern peatlands at an annual time step over time scales of decades to millennia. The Holocene Peatland Model (HPM) simulates peatland carbon and water dynamics as the net consequence of several interacting processes: (1) above- and below-ground vegetation NPP and litter production for bryophytes and vascular plants; (2) aerobic and anaerobic litter/peat decomposition down the peat profile; (3) the dependence of peat physical and hydraulic properties on peat humification; and (4) peatland annual water balance, water table depth, and unsaturated zone water content. The model generates time series of vegetation, carbon and water dynamics over a 5000-10000 year simulation, and a ‘final state’ peat core that can be compared to contemporary peat core data. The sensitivities of peatland carbon and water dynamics to climate and climate variability and to succession rate are evaluated.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

    2015-02-01

    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 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

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

    DOE PAGES

    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 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

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

    DOE PAGES

    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 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

  13. A 100 year record of ion chemistry from Agassiz Ice Cap Northern Ellesmere Island NWT, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koerner, Roy M.; Fisher, David A.; Goto-Azuma, Kumiko

    Two ice cores from the top of Agassiz Ice Cap, one from a snow scoured and the other from an unscoured zone, cover 80 and 100 yr of snow deposition respectively. The time scale for the cores is based on seasonal ion signals, a known stratigraphic horizon (1962), and a marked volcanic signature of high SO 2-4, representing Katmai (1912). A marked increase in the SO 2-4 and NO -3 ion which began in the middle of the 19th century is compared with the earlier increase in Greenland and attributed to a different combination of aerosol sources. A case is made for dry deposition of ions in winter, based on the continued presence of winter ion peaks at a site that δ18O indicates has almost no winter snow accumulation. This case is supported by the snowfall record at a nearby Automatic Weather Station, which shows there is very little winter snowfall at these sites, and by the fact that different accumulation rates and ion concentrations at each site effect almost the same ion fluxes. There is no evidence in either of the cores for a change in the levels of pollutant NO -3 and SO 2-4 ion concentrations, due to improvement in emission technologies in the western nations, over the last two decades. The lack of change may indicate that Russia is the dominant source for aerosols at this site.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Water and Solute Connectivity in Northern Peatlands of Minnesota; Assessing How Hydrological Connectivity Affects Solute Yields from Peatland Catchments and Responds to Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sebestyen, S. D.; Griffiths, N.

    2014-12-01

    The routing of water, whether along lateral, near-surface flowpaths or vertically through peatlands, has profound implications for solute transport and budgets. Climate change, by altering hydrological connectivity of peatlands to surface and subsurface flow systems, may feedback on how various flowpaths and biogeochemical transformations affect solute concentrations in receiving waters. Such fundamental ecosystem changes may ultimately lead to shifts in solute yields from peatland catchments, ecosystem productivity, and carbon stabilization in northern peatlands. We are using piezometric, hydraulic conductivity, chemical, and isotopic data to assess how hydrological connectivity, solute sources, and biogeochemical transformations affect solute yields in northern Minnesota where connectivity to groundwater and surface water varies among a suite of fens and bogs. We are using geochemical mixing analysis to elucidate pathways along which water and solutes flow, and to determine how, when, and where solutes, such as dissolved organic matter, are transported from northern peatlands to downgradient aquatic ecosystems. From our assessment of contemporary connectivity of peatlands to larger flow systems, we are working to conceptualize how DOM yields from different peatland types may respond to climate change.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Using 14C to investigate Methane Production and DOC Reactivity in Northern Peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corbett, J.; Chanton, J.; Glaser, P.; Burdige, D.; Siegel, D.; Cooper, W.

    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 meters. In sedge-dominated peatlands, the 14C content of the products of respiration, CH4 and DIC are essentially the same, and are similar to that of DOC. In Sphagnum-woody plant dominated peatlands with few sedges, however, the respiration products are similar but intermediate between the 14C content 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 which suggests dramatic changes with depth in the composition of DOC in the sedge-dominated peatland porewaters but not in porewaters 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. To further investigate the reactivity of peat DOC in anaerobic methane producing environments, we are conducting size fractionation experiments for both the bog and fen samples. We will analyze resulting size fractions of DOC for radiocarbon. Previous research has shown that microorganisms tend to prefer HMW DOC to LMW DOC. Due to this, we believe that LMW DOC from both the bogs and the fens will result in radiocarbon values that are more depleted in 14C relative to HMW DOC. We hypothesize that the HMW DOC from the bogs will show depletion in 14C relative to HMW DOC in the fens. We further

  1. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korhola, A.; Ruppel, M.; Virtanen, T.; Väliranta, M.

    2015-12-01

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Peatland wetness and the inter-annual variability of net ecosystem exchange: comparison of multi-year records from two different types of northern peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roulet, N. T.; Nilsson, M. B.; Humphreys, E. R.

    2012-04-01

    Two continental northern peatlands have had the net ecosystem exchange (NEE) measured continuously for over a decade: Mer Bleue (MB) is a raised bog in the cool-temperate ecoclimatic region of central Canada and Degerö Stormyr (DS) is a minerogenic oligotrophic 'poor' fen in northern Sweden. The published multi-year net ecosystem carbon balance for each of these peatlands is approximately - 20 to 30 g C m-2 yr-1 based on measurements of all the major carbon exchanges, and is remarkably similar to other published balances and to the original analysis E. Gorham published for peatlands in 1991. However, while the NECB are similar the net ecosystem exchange (NEE) is very different between MB and DS. Most of the annual variance comes from the growing season - May to October. The growing season accumulated NEE for MB and DS for the period of measurements (10 years for MB and 9 years for DS) was -129.4 and -78.8 g C m-2 t-1, respectively, and the standard deviation and range around the mean at MB was 50.8 and 135.7 versus at 30.0 and 108.5 g C m-2 t-1 at DS. Both peatlands are nutrient poor. MB has a continuous cover of Sphagnum with a near complete cover of ericaceous shrubs. DS is covered by Eriophorum, shrubs, and sedges, and Sphagnum where the water table is below the surface. The main difference between these two peatlands is in the variation of moisture storage. MB has a much lower mean growing season water table depth (WTD) than DS, -42.3 versus -14.4 cm and the growing season range and standard deviation are greater at MB than DS (16.2 and 5.7 versus 13.4 and 4.8 cm). Further, the WTD is fairly normally distributed at DS but at MB on about half the years there is a longer tail towards WTDs > -50 cm. These growing seasons correspond to lower cumulative NEEs. At MB there is a significant inverse relationship between cumulative growing season NEE and mean WTD (r2 = 0.42) but not at DS. However, at DS a weak significant relationship arises if one anomalously large

  6. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nijp, Jelmer; Limpens, Juul; Metselaar, Klaas; van der Zee, Sjoerd; Berendse, Frank; Robroek, Bjorn

    2014-05-01

    Northern peatlands represent one of the largest global carbon stores that can potentially be released by water table drawdown during extreme summer droughts. Small precipitation events may moderate negative impacts of deep water levels on carbon uptake by sustaining photosynthesis of peatmoss (Sphagnum spp.), the key species in these ecosystems. We experimentally assessed the importance of the temporal distribution of precipitation for Sphagnum water supply and carbon uptake during a stepwise decrease in water levels in a growth chamber. CO2 exchange and the water balance were measured for intact cores of three peatmoss species representative of three contrasting habitats in northern peatlands (Sphagnum fuscum, S. balticum and S. majus). For shallow water levels, capillary rise was the most important source of water for peatmoss photosynthesis and precipitation did not promote carbon uptake irrespective of peatmoss species. For deep water levels, however, precipitation dominated over capillary rise and moderated adverse effects of drought on carbon uptake by peat mosses. The ability to use the transient water supply by precipitation was species-specific: carbon uptake of S. fuscum increased linearly with precipitation frequency for deep water levels, whereas S. balticum and S. majus showed depressed carbon uptake at intermediate precipitation frequencies. Our results highlight the importance of precipitation for carbon uptake by peatmosses. The potential of precipitation to moderate drought impact, however, is species specific and depends on the temporal distribution of precipitation and water level. These results also suggest that modelling approaches in which water level depth is used as the only state variable determining water availability in the living moss layer and (in)directly linked to Sphagnum carbon uptake may have serious drawbacks. The predictive power of peatland ecosystem models may be reduced when deep water levels prevail, as precipitation

  8. 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.

  9. PEATBOG: a biogeochemical model for analyzing coupled carbon and nitrogen dynamics in northern peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Y.; Blodau, C.

    2013-03-01

    Elevated nitrogen deposition and climate change alter the vegetation communities and carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycling in peatlands. To address this issue we developed a new process-oriented biogeochemical model (PEATBOG) for analyzing coupled carbon and nitrogen dynamics in northern peatlands. The model consists of four submodels, which simulate: (1) daily water table depth and depth profiles of soil moisture, temperature and oxygen levels; (2) competition among three plants functional types (PFTs), production and litter production of plants; (3) decomposition of peat; and (4) production, consumption, diffusion and export of dissolved C and N species in soil water. The model is novel in the integration of the C and N cycles, the explicit spatial resolution belowground, the consistent conceptualization of movement of water and solutes, the incorporation of stoichiometric controls on elemental fluxes and a consistent conceptualization of C and N reactivity in vegetation and soil organic matter. The model was evaluated for the Mer Bleue Bog, near Ottawa, Ontario, with regards to simulation of soil moisture and temperature and the most important processes in the C and N cycles. Model sensitivity was tested for nitrogen input, precipitation, and temperature, and the choices of the most uncertain parameters were justified. A simulation of nitrogen deposition over 40 yr demonstrates the advantages of the PEATBOG model in tracking biogeochemical effects and vegetation change in the ecosystem.

  10. PEATBOG: a biogeochemical model for analyzing coupled carbon and nitrogen dynamics in northern peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Y.; Blodau, C.

    2013-08-01

    Elevated nitrogen deposition and climate change alter the vegetation communities and carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycling in peatlands. To address this issue we developed a new process-oriented biogeochemical model (PEATBOG) for analyzing coupled carbon and nitrogen dynamics in northern peatlands. The model consists of four submodels, which simulate: (1) daily water table depth and depth profiles of soil moisture, temperature and oxygen levels; (2) competition among three plants functional types (PFTs), production and litter production of plants; (3) decomposition of peat; and (4) production, consumption, diffusion and export of dissolved C and N species in soil water. The model is novel in the integration of the C and N cycles, the explicit spatial resolution belowground, the consistent conceptualization of movement of water and solutes, the incorporation of stoichiometric controls on elemental fluxes and a consistent conceptualization of C and N reactivity in vegetation and soil organic matter. The model was evaluated for the Mer Bleue Bog, near Ottawa, Ontario, with regards to simulation of soil moisture and temperature and the most important processes in the C and N cycles. Model sensitivity was tested for nitrogen input, precipitation, and temperature, and the choices of the most uncertain parameters were justified. A simulation of nitrogen deposition over 40 yr demonstrates the advantages of the PEATBOG model in tracking biogeochemical effects and vegetation change in the ecosystem.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Estimating Effects of Atmospheric Deposition and Peat Decomposition Processes on Mercury and Sulfur Accumulation and Retention in Northern Peatlands, Minnesota

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Furman, O.; Nater, E.; Toner, B. M.; Sebestyen, S. D.; Tfaily, M. M.; Chanton, J.; Kolka, R. K.

    2013-12-01

    Northern peatland ecosystems play an important role in mercury (Hg) and sulfur (S) co-cycling. Peatlands are sinks for total Hg and sources for methyl Hg through the activity of sulfate-reducing bacteria. These ecosystems are vulnerable to environmental change, and projected changes in climate for the north-central U.S. have the potential to affect Hg and S stores and cycling in the subsurface, which may stimulate the release of bioaccumulative methyl Hg to receiving water bodies. SPRUCE (Spruce and Peatland Responses under Climate and Environmental change experiment) is an interdisciplinary study of the effects of temperature and enriched carbon dioxide on the responses of northern peatland ecosystems at the Marcell Experimental Forest, Minnesota. In the first year of SPRUCE, we are investigating Hg and S accumulation rates in 12-m diameter experimental plots on a black spruce bog before peatland heating experiments start in 2014. Understanding Hg and S accumulation rates and their retention mechanisms in the subsurface are needed in order to reconstruct historical trends in Hg and S deposition, and predict peatland responses to climate change. In this study, we will attempt to separate the effects of atmospheric deposition vs peat humification on Hg and S retention. As such, peat cores were sampled from sixteen experimental SPRUCE plots in August 2012. These 'Time 0' peat subsamples have been analyzed for total Hg, methyl Hg and total S, and bulk density as a function of depth (<2 m). In addition, peat subsamples have been analyzed for 14C and 13C to determine the age of peat and derive peat, Hg and S accumulation rates. Our preliminary results indicate that both total and methyl Hg, and total S concentrations reached the peak value in the 20-40 cm peat section, which is the transition zone between transiently oxidized acrotelm and permanently saturated anaerobic catotelm. Total and methyl Hg concentrations were several times lower in deeper profiles (>50 cm

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. Age-dependent impacts of peatland restoration on the net ecosystem CO2 exchange of blanket bogs in Northern Scotland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

    The Flow Country of Northern Scotland is the largest area of contiguous blanket bog in the UK covering an area in excess of 400 km2. This region is the single largest peat and soil C repository in the UK, and plays a key role in mediating regional atmospheric exchanges of greenhouse gases (GHGs) such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and water vapour (H2O). However, these peatlands were subject to significant afforestation in the 1980s, where large areas of blanket bog were drained and planted with Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) and Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta), resulting in modifications to micro-topographic features, vegetation composition and soil properties such as bulk density and water holding capacity, all of which are known to influence the production and emission of key GHGs. Since the late 1990s restoration work has been undertaken to remove forest plantations and to restore the peatland areas by raising the water table, predominantly by drain and furrow blocking, in order to encourage the recolonisation of Sphagnum species. Here we report findings from an eddy covariance study of CO2 and H2O exchange from an unmanaged peatland and a chronosequence of restored peatland sites, which were felled in 1998 and 2004. Located within the Forsinard Flows National Nature Reserve in Northern Scotland, these sites are being studied to better understand the key drivers of carbon dynamics in these ecosystems and also assess the age-dependent impacts of peatland restoration on the net CO2 sink strength. Preliminary data show rates of CO2 uptake increased with time since restoration, with peak assimilation rates of -9.9 and -14.4 micro mol CO2 m-2 s-1 measured at the 10 and 16 year old restoration sites, respectively. Carbon losses through ecosystem respiration followed a similar pattern. The data collected to date indicates that while peatland restoration is actively increasing CO2 uptake at each of the sites, more long-term observational data is required to

  2. Transport and thermodynamics constrain belowground carbon turnover in a northern peatland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beer, Julia; Blodau, Christian

    2007-06-01

    Rates of anaerobic respiration are of central importance for the long-term burial of carbon (C) in peatlands, which are a relevant sink in the global C cycle. To identify constraints on anaerobic peat decomposition, we determined detailed concentration depth profiles of decomposition end-products, i.e. methane (CH 4) and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), along with concentrations of relevant decomposition intermediates at an ombrotrophic Canadian peat bog. The magnitude of in situ net production rates of DIC and CH 4 was estimated by inverse pore-water modeling. Vertical transport in the peat was slow and dominated by diffusion leading to the buildup of DIC and CH 4 with depth (5500 μmol L -1 DIC, 500 μmol L -1 CH 4). Highest DIC and CH 4 production rates occurred close to the water table (decomposition constant kd ˜ 10 -3-10 -4 a -1) or in some distinct zones at depth ( kd ˜ 10 -4 a -1). Deeper into the peat, decomposition proceeded very slowly at about kd = 10 -7 a -1. This pattern could be related to thermodynamic and transport constraints. The accumulation of metabolic end-products diminished in situ energy yields of acetoclastic methanogenesis to the threshold for microbially mediated processes (-20 to -25 kJ mol -1 CH 4). The methanogenic precursor acetate also accumulated (150 μmol L -1). In line with these findings, CH 4 was formed by hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis at Gibbs free energies of -35 to -40 kJ mol -1 CH 4. This was indicated by an isotopic fractionation α-CH of 1.069-1.079. Fermentative degradation of acetate, propionate and butyrate attained Gibbs free energies close to 0 kJ mol -1 substrate. Although methanogenesis was apparently limited by some other factor in some peat layers, transport and thermodynamic constraints likely impeded respiratory processes in the deeper peat. Constraints on the removal of DIC and CH 4 may thus slow decomposition and contribute to the sustained burial of C in northern peatlands.

  3. Biogeochemical indicators of peatland degradation - a case study of a temperate bog in northern Germany

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kruger, J. P.; Leifeld, J.; Glatzel, S.; Szidat, S.; Alewell, C.

    2015-05-01

    Organic soils in peatlands store a great proportion of the global soil carbon pool and can lose carbon via the atmosphere due to degradation. In Germany, most of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from organic soils are attributed to sites managed as grassland. Here, we investigated a land use gradient from near-natural wetland (NW) to an extensively managed (GE) to an intensively managed grassland site (GI), all formed in the same bog complex in northern Germany. Vertical depth profiles of δ13C, δ15N, ash content, C / N ratio and bulk density as well as radiocarbon ages were studied to identify peat degradation and to calculate carbon loss. At all sites, including the near-natural site, δ13C depth profiles indicate aerobic decomposition in the upper horizons. Depth profiles of δ15N differed significantly between sites with increasing δ15N values in the top soil layers paralleling an increase in land use intensity owing to differences in peat decomposition and fertilizer application. At both grassland sites, the ash content peaked within the first centimetres. In the near-natural site, ash contents were highest in 10-60 cm depth. The ash profiles, not only at the managed grassland sites, but also at the near-natural site indicate that all sites were influenced by anthropogenic activities either currently or in the past, most likely due to drainage. Based on the enrichment of ash content and changes in bulk density, we calculated the total carbon loss from the sites since the peatland was influenced by anthropogenic activities. Carbon loss at the sites increased in the following order: NW < GE < GI. Radiocarbon ages of peat in the topsoil of GE and GI were hundreds of years, indicating the loss of younger peat material. In contrast, peat in the first centimetres of the NW was only a few decades old, indicating recent peat growth. It is likely that the NW site accumulates carbon today but was perturbed by anthropogenic activities in the past. Together, all

  4. 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

  5. A multi-scale remote sensing approach for monitoring northern peatland hydrology: present possibilities and future challenges.

    PubMed

    Harris, Angela; Bryant, Robert G

    2009-05-01

    Remote sensing has the potential to provide quantitative spatially explicit hydrological information across northern peatland complexes. This paper details a multi-scale remote sensing approach for assessing the use of Sphagnum mosses as proxy indicators of near-surface hydrology. Several spectral indices developed from the near infra-red (NIR) and shortwave infra-red (SWIR) liquid water absorption bands, as well as a biophysical index can be correlated with measures of near-surface moisture in the laboratory, in the field and from airborne imagery. Data from all platforms revealed similar patterns in the spectral indices in relation to changes in moisture although the strength of correlations was reduced as the spatial scale increased. The rapid collection of temporally and spatially explicit hydrological data means that the technique has potential practical application for environmental managers and peatland scientists at the local scale. The task of up-scaling the technique for use in operational peatland hydrological monitoring to the global scale is challenging but achievable, and requires further investigation into the heterogeneity of near-surface moisture across Sphagnum patches and the application of novel image processing techniques to improve the spatial resolution of currently available satellite imagery.

  6. Comparison of Current and Historical Rates of Ecosystem Carbon Accumulation in a Northern Alberta Peatland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Syed, K. H.; Flanagan, L. B.; Carlson, P. J.; Glenn, A. J.; Ponton, S.

    2005-12-01

    As part of Fluxnet-Canada, we have been investigating the environmental controls on net ecosystem carbon dioxide exchange using the eddy covariance technique in a moderately rich (treed) fen in northern Alberta, Canada. In addition, integrated CO2 fluxes were compared to carbon stock measurements and rates of peat accumulation. The total ecosystem carbon stock was 52,669 g C m-2 with the vast majority (52,129) accumulated in peat over a 2 meter depth. The basal age for the peat was 2210 ± 50 years before present. The above-ground carbon stock in the two tree species was 226 g C m-2. The oldest Picea mariana trees were aged at 135 years, and they showed a rapid increase in basal area increment starting about 65 years ago that peaked at rates of 2 cm2 yr-1 about 40 years ago. The Larix laricina trees became established approximately 45 years ago and currently have a basal area increment of 3 to 4 cm2 yr-1, much higher than the current rates (0.5 cm2 yr-1) observed for Picea mariana. The rates of peat accumulation were determined on 210Pb-dated cores. Over the last 70 years the peat gained an average of 113 ± 12 g C m-2 yr-1. This was similar to net ecosystem production measured by eddy covariance (95 and 210 g C m-2 yr-1) over the last two years. Variation in annual net ecosystem production was associated with shifts in weather and growing season length. Current and recent historical rates of carbon accumulation were quite consistent despite significant variation in tree species growth and successional changes in this peatland over the last 70 years.

  7. 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%).

  8. 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%).

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Predicting permafrost stability in northern peatlands with climate change and disturbance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Treat, C. C.; Wisser, D.; Marchenko, S.; Humphreys, E. R.; Frolking, S. E.; Huemmrich, K. F.

    2010-12-01

    Permafrost thaw may cause significant carbon loss from northern organic soils, a large terrestrial carbon pool. To predict permafrost stability in organic soils, we adapted an existing soil temperature model (GIPL 2.0) to peatlands by including a three-layer peat soil column and dynamic soil moisture. GIPL 2.0 numerically solves the 1-dimensional heat transfer equation. We evaluated the model at Daring Lake Fen, a sedge-dominated Arctic Fen in the Northwest Territories, Canada and College Peat, a permafrost muskeg in Fairbanks, AK. We examined the sensitivity of the model to seasonality and total soil moisture, thermal properties and organic layer thickness. We also evaluated active layer depth for future climate scenarios. Finally, we compared the relative magnitude of climate change impacts on soil temperatures to the effects of current and predicted wildfire. We simulated wildfire by removing the surface soil (5 - 15 cm) and increasing air temperatures post-fire due to changes in surface energy balance. We found that air temperature, rather than changes in soil moisture, was the most important predictor of changes in active layer depth and permafrost stability. Also, the seasonality of soil moisture was relatively unimportant, while changes in temperature seasonality were important to active layer depths. In the climate change scenarios (using IPCC scenario A1b), active layer depths and the length of the growing season (determined as soil thawed at 10 cm) increased significantly by 2100. Warmer soil temperatures at depth due to higher air temperatures resulted in an increase of liquid water in the soil and the possibility of increased biological activity. Soil temperatures and active layer depths increased following disturbance, but the increases were relatively short-lived (decades) and were strongly correlated with post-fire temperature changes. The simulated removal of a shallow layer of surface organic soil following disturbance has limited long-term effects

  12. Stable isotopes, radiocarbon signature and C loss as an indicator for soil degradation in a drained peatland, northern Germany

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krüger, Jan Paul; Leifeld, Jens; Glatzel, Stephan; Alewell, Christine

    2014-05-01

    Peatlands are an important component of the global carbon cycle. Even though they cover only about 3% of the global land area, they store approximately 600 Pg carbon (C) in their soils. Drainage for agriculture use, for example as grassland, induces oxic conditions in the upper part of a peat profile and increases the carbon dioxide emissions. Peatlands thus change from a carbon sink in pristine status to a carbon source under drainage and land use intensification. Detailed peat profile analyses in a drained peatland under grassland use in northern Germany were used to study the influence of drainage and land use management on stable isotope depth profiles and to calculate retrograde C losses by the ash method. Peat profiles (n=3) were taken from one semi-natural bog as reference and two adjacent drained peatlands located at the former peat bog which has been used as grassland (extensive, intensive use) for the last decades. The peatland drainage started at the beginning of the 20th century and land use was intensified in the middle of the 20th century. The semi-natural peatland is unmanaged, the extensive grassland is neither fertilized nor manured and only cut once per year and the intensive grassland is cut 4-5 times per year and fertilized with mineral fertilizer and manure. All grassland peat cores show a clear ash peak in the upper most centimetre of the profile indicating an accumulation of ash caused by the oxidation of the organic material. Calculated carbon losses since the drainage of the peatland are 540 (±156) and 290 (±36) t C ha-1for the intensive and extensive used grassland, respectively. The constant background ash values from the lower profile were taken as reference values, because even the semi-natural site accumulated ash in the topsoil and has lost 144 (±98) t C ha-1 based on this method. A likely drainage influence by the surrounding area is also reflected in the δ13C values of the semi-natural site with an increase of the δ13C values

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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…

  16. A satellite data driven biophysical modeling approach for estimating northern peatland and tundra CO2 and CH4 fluxes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watts, J. D.; Kimball, J. S.; Parmentier, F.-J. W.; Sachs, T.; Rinne, J.; Zona, D.; Oechel, W.; Tagesson, T.; Jackowicz-Korczyński, M.; Aurela, M.

    2013-10-01

    The northern terrestrial net ecosystem carbon balance (NECB) is contingent on inputs from vegetation gross primary productivity (GPP) to offset ecosystem respiration (Reco) of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) emissions, but an effective framework to monitor the regional Arctic NECB is lacking. We modified a terrestrial carbon flux (TCF) model developed for satellite remote sensing applications to estimate peatland and tundra CO2 and CH4 fluxes over a pan-Arctic network of eddy covariance (EC) flux tower sites. The TCF model estimates GPP, CO2 and CH4 emissions using either in-situ or remote sensing based climate data as input. TCF simulations driven using in-situ data explained >70% of the r2 variability in 8 day cumulative EC measured fluxes. Model simulations using coarser satellite (MODIS) and reanalysis (MERRA) data as inputs also reproduced the variability in the EC measured fluxes relatively well for GPP (r2 = 0.75), Reco (r2 = 0.71), net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE, r2 = 0.62) and CH4 emissions (r2 = 0.75). Although the estimated annual CH4 emissions were small (<18 g C m-2 yr-1) relative to Reco (>180 g C m-2 yr-1), they reduced the across-site NECB by 23% and contributed to a global warming potential of approximately 165 ± 128 g CO2eq m-2 yr-1 when considered over a 100 yr time span. This model evaluation indicates a strong potential for using the TCF model approach to document landscape scale variability in CO2 and CH4 fluxes, and to estimate the NECB for northern peatland and tundra ecosystems.

  17. The burning of northern peatlands: evaluating evidence of potential regime shifts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turetsky, M. R.; Benscoter, B.; Kane, E. S.; Olefeldt, D.

    2012-12-01

    Climate change has increased both annual area burned and the severity of biomass combustion in some boreal regions. For example, there has been a four-fold increase in late season fires in Alaska over the 10 years relative to the previous 5 decades. Such changes in the fire regime are expected to stimulate ecosystem carbon losses through fuel combustion, reduced primary production, and increased decomposition. Peatlands and permafrost forests have a number of stabilizing mechanisms that increase their resilience to disturbances like fire. For example, thick moss and peat layers buffer surface soils and permafrost from fluctuating hydrology and air temperatures and also inhibit flaming combustion during fires. Because of their resistance to burning, there are strong positive correlations between pre- and post- fire peat thickness that persist through multiple fire cycles. However, recent research has highlighted the potential for regime shifts associated with interactions between climate and disturbances. We found that drainage of forested peatlands increased woody biomass, lowered the resistance of deep peat layers to burning, and may lead to new trajectories of vegetation succession less conducive to peat accumulation. Overall, there are cross-scale, multi-directional feedbacks between soil conditions, vegetation structure, and the distribution of peatland and upland forest landforms that influence patterns of wildfire occurrence and severity from local to landscape scales. Our understanding of these feedbacks and their consequences for the carbon source/sink capacity of ecosystems is still limited, but point to the potential for new relationships between climate, fire, and vegetation in the boreal biome.

  18. Multi-scale, multi-method characterization of methane cycling in northern peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slater, L. D.; Comas, X.; Schafer, K. V.; Reeve, A. S.; Terry, N.; Parsekian, A.; Wright, W. C.; Alcivar, W.; Monahan, P.; Doelger, S.

    2011-12-01

    It is estimated that peatlands account for 5 to 10% of the methane (CH4) flux to the atmosphere. However, such calculations are likely underestimates because episodic ebullition of free phase methane is both poorly quantified experimentally, and inadequately represented in existing mechanistic models. A challenge in measuring ebullition exists because it exhibits high spatiotemporal variability such that sudden episodic events are likely only rarely, if ever, captured. We have initiated a multi-scale, multi-method program of research at a long-term field site (Caribou Bog, ME) to better quantify the spatiotemporal variability in methane production and release in peatlands, and to define the controlling environmental variables regulating these releases. Geophysical imaging technologies have been employed to non-invasively visualize the spatiotemporal distribution of biogenic gasses with minimal disturbance to the peat fabric and hence in situ gas regime. Ground penetrating radar (GPR) has been used in multiple acquisition modes to estimate gas content from changes in measured dielectric permittivity. Surface resistivity imaging has been used to infer variations in free phase gas concentration at a spatial scale larger than that easily captured with GPR. Tripod mounted LIDAR scanning of elevation rods installed at multiple depths within the peat profile has been used to capture spatiotemporal variability in the deformation of the peat caused by gas build up, redistribution and release. Geophysical imaging and scanning measurements have been supported by, (1) continuous flow chamber measurements of methane flux based on a fast methane analyzer (LI7700), (2) hydrological measurements using piezometer nests screened at multiple intervals, and (3) free phase gas traps monitored with autonomous cameras. Results acquired to date highlight the spatiotemporal complexity of methane releases from peatlands. We find evidence for different mechanisms driving the release of free

  19. 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.

  20. Automated Resistivity Monitoring of Free Phase Gas Dynamics in a Northern Peatland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Terry, N.; Slater, L. D.; Sharma, S.; Lewis, E.; Comas, X.; Schafer, K. V.; Reeve, A. S.

    2012-12-01

    Peatlands are sinks of atmospheric carbon dioxide, yet release large amounts of methane to the atmosphere. The net effect of this interchange is not well understood. Some conceptual models indicate steady diffusion and ebullition of methane from shallow peat dominates atmospheric fluxes, while others suggest episodic ebullition events from deep peat dominate methane emissions. Studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of various geophysical techniques to monitor changes in free phase gas content in peat. To better understand the mechanisms of free phase gas production in peat, we have established an autonomous DC resistivity monitoring system as part of the second year of a multi-scale, multi-method study within Caribou Bog, an ombotrophic patterned peatland located in Maine. DC resistivity is a readily automated imaging method, well suited for long-term studies of free phase gas dynamics below ground. Assuming negligible variation in fluid conductivity, changes in resistivity can be attributed to increases or decreases in gas content. Our system gathers data at approximately 4-hour intervals on a grid of 72 electrodes at 1.5 m separations and covering an area of 336 m^2. Full reciprocal datasets are also recorded for error analysis. Four vertical electrode arrays were installed from zero to 6 m depth within the grid and sampled multiple times daily over a period of 2 weeks using a Wenner configuration for validation of inversion results. To help identify forcing mechanisms on gas release, temperature, pressure, and pore fluid specific conductance are continuously recorded from sensors at various depths within the study area. Using a differencing inversion scheme, we identified small but significant changes in resistivity over time in response to gas build up, redistribution and release. These changes were particularly notable in the upper peat, where our models show localized shifts in resistivity of over 25% within one day. In addition, vertical radar profiles

  1. A satellite data driven biophysical modeling approach for estimating northern peatland and tundra CO2 and CH4 fluxes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watts, J. D.; Kimball, J. S.; Parmentier, F. J. W.; Sachs, T.; Rinne, J.; Zona, D.; Oechel, W.; Tagesson, T.; Jackowicz-Korczyński, M.; Aurela, M.

    2014-04-01

    The northern terrestrial net ecosystem carbon balance (NECB) is contingent on inputs from vegetation gross primary productivity (GPP) to offset the ecosystem respiration (Reco) of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) emissions, but an effective framework to monitor the regional Arctic NECB is lacking. We modified a terrestrial carbon flux (TCF) model developed for satellite remote sensing applications to evaluate wetland CO2 and CH4 fluxes over pan-Arctic eddy covariance (EC) flux tower sites. The TCF model estimates GPP, CO2 and CH4 emissions using in situ or remote sensing and reanalysis-based climate data as inputs. The TCF model simulations using in situ data explained > 70% of the r2 variability in the 8 day cumulative EC measured fluxes. Model simulations using coarser satellite (MODIS) and reanalysis (MERRA) records accounted for approximately 69% and 75% of the respective r2 variability in the tower CO2 and CH4 records, with corresponding RMSE uncertainties of ≤ 1.3 g C m-2 d-1 (CO2) and 18.2 mg C m-2 d-1 (CH4). Although the estimated annual CH4 emissions were small (< 18 g C m-2 yr-1) relative to Reco (> 180 g C m-2 yr-1), they reduced the across-site NECB by 23% and contributed to a global warming potential of approximately 165 ± 128 g CO2eq m-2 yr-1 when considered over a 100 year time span. This model evaluation indicates a strong potential for using the TCF model approach to document landscape-scale variability in CO2 and CH4 fluxes, and to estimate the NECB for northern peatland and tundra ecosystems.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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)

  8. Disentangling the effects of climate and local ecosystem dynamics on carbon accumulation in boreal and low-Arctic peatlands in northern Manitoba, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Camill, P.; Hall, A.; Westervelt, A.; Adams, C.; Umbanhowar, C. E.; Geiss, C. E.; Edlund, M.

    2012-12-01

    High-latitude peatlands store a vast quantity of soil carbon that may be susceptible to current and future changes in warming, aridity, thermokarst, and fire. Understanding the processes affecting rates of carbon storage in these systems is therefore important for assessing potential biosphere feedbacks on climate. Regional climatic changes have the potential to affect C storage by changing the balance of NPP and decomposition. Superimposed on these broader climatic signals are local processes, such as succession and fire, which can change peat accumulation rates by altering community composition, NPP, decomposition, and peat consumption. Peatland sedimentary records provide useful historical archives for assessing the impacts of regional climatic factors, local factors, and possible interactions between climate and local factors on long-term carbon accumulation rates. We present stratigraphic data from 42 permafrost peat cores in two regions (boreal and low-Arctic) of northern Manitoba that allow us to examine the effects of climate changes in space (across a latitudinal gradient) and time (Holocene), including past events such as the Holocene Thermal Maximum (HTM) and Neoglacial Cooling (NGC). Macroscopic charcoal was used as a proxy of fire severity. Age control was achieved with calibrated AMS 14C dates (multiple dates for most cores). The timing and relative magnitude of past climatic change were constrained by published lake sediment proxies. Results indicate that mean regional rates of carbon accumulation during the Holocene in the low-Arctic region were approximately half (5-30 g-C m-2y-1) the rates in the boreal region (15-60 g-C m-2y-1). Despite these regional differences, the temporal trends between regions were similar, with higher rates of C accumulation during the HTM in the boreal site (~8,000-6,000 B.P.) and the low-Arctic site (~6,500-3,000 B.P.) and lower C accumulation rates in both regions during NGC. The mode of regional fire severity occurred

  9. 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.

  10. A chronology for glacial Lake Agassiz shorelines along Upham's namesake transect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lepper, Kenneth; Buell, Alex W.; Fisher, Timothy G.; Lowell, Thomas V.

    2013-07-01

    Four traditionally recognized strandline complexes in the southern basin of glacial Lake Agassiz are the Herman, Norcross, Tintah and Campbell, whose names correspond to towns in west-central Minnesota that lie on a linear transect defined by the Great Northern railroad grade; the active corridor for commerce at the time when Warren Upham was mapping and naming the shorelines of Lake Agassiz (ca.1880-1895). Because shorelines represent static water planes, their extension around the lake margin establishes time-synchronous lake levels. Transitions between shoreline positions represent significant water-level fluctuations. However, geologic ages have never been obtained from sites near the namesake towns in the vicinity of the southern outlet. Here we report the first geologic ages for Lake Agassiz shorelines obtained at field sites along the namesake transect, and evaluate the emerging chronology in light of other paleoclimate records. Our current work from 11 sampling sites has yielded 16 independent ages. These results combined with a growing OSL age data set for Lake Agassiz's southern basin provide robust age constraints for the Herman, Norcross and Campbell strandlines with averages and standard deviations of 14.1 ± 0.3 ka, 13.6 ± 0.2 ka, and 10.5 ± 0.3 ka, respectively.

  11. 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. PMID:20368451

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Gas bubble transport and emissions for shallow peat from a northern peatland: The role of pressure changes and peat structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Xi; Slater, Lee

    2015-01-01

    Gas bubbles are an important pathway for methane release from peatlands. The mechanisms controlling gas bubble transport and emissions in peat remain uncertain. The effects of hydrostatic pressure and peat structure on the dynamics of gas bubbles in shallow peat were therefore tested in laboratory experiments. A peat monolith was retrieved from a raised bog and maintained in a saturated state. Three distinct layers were identified from noninvasive permittivity measurements supported by soil physical properties (porosity, bulk density). Phase I of the experiment involved monitoring for the accumulation of gas bubbles under steady pressure and temperature conditions. The data showed evidence for gas bubbles being impeded by a shallow semiconfining layer at depths between 10 and 15 cm. Visible gas bubbles observed on the side of the sample box were recorded over time to estimate changes in the vertical distribution of volumetric gas content. Porosity estimates derived using the Complex Refraction Index Model (CRIM) suggest that gas bubbles enlarge the pore space when the exerted pressure is high enough. Phase II involved triggering release of trapped bubbles by repeatedly increasing and decreasing hydrostatic pressure in an oversaturated condition. Comparison of changes in pressure head and methane density in the head space confirmed that the increasing buoyancy force during drops in pressure is more important for triggering ebullition than increasing mobility during increases in pressure. Our findings demonstrate the importance of changes in hydrostatic pressure on bubble size and variations in resistance of the peat fabric in regulating methane releases from peatlands.

  15. Spatial variability in free phase gas dynamics in a Northern peatland using surface resistivity and GPR tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Terry, N.; Slater, L. D.; Comas, X.; Parsekian, A.; Schafer, K. V.; Reeve, A. S.

    2011-12-01

    Recent research suggests peatlands play a vital role in greenhouse gas exchange between the atmosphere and the terrestrial environment. However, scientific understanding of the mechanisms governing this exchange remains limited, and quantitative data regarding free phase fluxes between peatlands and the atmosphere, particularly those associated with large-scale ebullition events, is largely unavailable. To study these fluxes, recent geophysical techniques, such as ground penetrating radar (GPR), DC resistivity, and electromagnetic induction, have demonstrated potential to monitor 2D or 3D gas dynamics in peatlands non-invasively and in situ. In this research, we acquired bi-daily resistivity and tomographic GPR data over the course of ten days at a field site in Caribou Bog, Maine. Two boreholes spaced approximately 4 m apart and 6.5 m deep to the underlying mineral soil were utilized for the collection of tomographic and zero offset GPR data. Surrounding this area, eight direct current resistivity lines, with line spacing of approximately 4 m and electrode spacing of 1.25 m, were used to create a comprehensive electrical imaging dataset. In addition, continuous pressure and temperature data were collected at varying depths near the resistivity array, and surface gas flux chamber measurements were obtained using a fast methane analyzer (Li7700) located on site. Inversion of the GPR and resistivity data provides evidence for a correlation between free phase gas production and release, and atmospheric pressure and temperature. In this study, we demonstrate the utility of capturing subsurface gas evolution and ebullition in 2D at multiple spatial scales using different geophysical techniques. On the one hand, GPR tomography provides a tool for monitoring the spatial distribution of free phase gas at high resolution in 2D. In contrast, resistivity is a rapid, more autonomous method that samples at coarser resolution. These results spur construction of a stochastic

  16. 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

  17. Holocene peatland carbon dynamics in Patagonia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loisel, Julie; Yu, Zicheng

    2013-06-01

    Patagonian peatland ecosystems have received very little attention in the scientific literature despite their widespread distribution in the regional landscape and the anthropogenic pressure they experience from the peat extraction industry. The functioning of these southern peatlands is strikingly similar to that of northern peatlands, but they have developed under very different climate boundary conditions. Therefore, studying these ecosystems provides a unique opportunity to test ideas and hypotheses about the sensitivity of carbon-rich peat accumulating ecosystems to climate change, in addition to filling significant data and knowledge gaps. Here we provide a synthesis of detailed peat accumulation records for southern Patagonia using a combination of new peat-core analysis (from 4 sites) and a data review from previously published studies (from 19 sites). We also present the modern climate space (temperature, precipitation, and seasonality ranges) of Patagonian peatlands on the basis of modern peatland distribution and gridded climate data to discuss climate controls of Patagonian peatlands at the present and in the past by inference. Results indicated that Patagonian peatlands occupy a distinct climatological niche that corresponds to an end-member of the northern peatland climate domain, with a mild mean annual temperature (from 3 to 9 °C) and very weak temperature seasonality. We also found that Patagonian peatlands have been efficient land carbon sinks since their initiation, with a mean soil carbon density of 168 kg C m-2 ± 10%. The total carbon pool for these ecosystems was estimated at 7.6 GtC. Modeled peat addition rates to the catotelm in Patagonian peatlands were significantly higher than what has been reported for northern peatlands, but decay coefficients were similar between these two high-latitude regions. These results support the idea that long, mild growing seasons promote peat formation in southern Patagonia. At the regional scale however

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reeve, Andrew S.; Evensen, Robin; Glaser, Paul H.; Siegel, Donald I.; Rosenberry, Donald

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. A comparative study of within-basin and regional peatland development: implications for peatland carbon dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ireland, Alex W.; Booth, Robert K.; Hotchkiss, Sara C.; Schmitz, Jennifer E.

    2013-02-01

    Northern peatlands are among the most carbon-rich ecosystems on Earth, but many unanswered questions remain regarding linkages between their long-term developmental processes and climatic variability. In this paper, we present a detailed paleoecological reconstruction of the developmental history of a kettle peatland in northern Wisconsin, USA (Fallison Bog) based on 21 coring locations and temporally constrained by 69 radiocarbon dates. This record of within-basin developmental history is compared to a regional dataset containing estimated ages of peatland establishment for 75 core samples collected from 37 depressional peatlands throughout the Great Lakes Region. Finally, our data are used to develop a spatially explicit model of whole-system carbon accumulation in Fallison Bog, which distinguishes between carbon pools stored in limnic sediments and peat deposits. Results indicate that peatland development in Fallison Bog was episodic and spatially complex. Peatland development was related to the morphology of the underlying basin and characterized by pulses of both terrestrialization and paludification. Major episodes of terrestrialization centered on 4980 and 3180 years before A.D. 1850 (cal yr BP), with less extensive episodes occurring around 3840, 1060, 670, and 410 cal yr BP. Extensive peatland area developed by paludification of shallow portions of the basin around 2040 cal yr BP. The timing of peatland development within Fallison Bog was correlated with the timing of peatland development in other depressional peatlands across the Great Lakes Region (r = 0.70), suggesting a common climatic driver. Comparison of peatland development in Fallison Bog and independent paleoclimate records suggested that both millennial-scale and sub-centennial-scale variability in moisture balance influenced spatiotemporal patterns of peatland development. Model results indicated that Fallison Bog accumulated ˜6655 t of carbon during the Holocene, with 66% of this total stored

  3. 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.

  4. Seasonal variations in surface water chemistry at disturbed and pristine peatland sites in the Flow Country of northern Scotland.

    PubMed

    Muller, François L L; Tankéré-Muller, Sophie P C

    2012-10-01

    Weekly monitoring of surface water chemistry took place over a one-year period in a small boggy sub-catchment of the River Thurso, northern Scotland. Monitoring started 6 months after the felling to waste of plantation conifers. The chemistry of ground surface waters was monitored at four bog sites situated in former forestry plots as well as one control site situated in an intact bog. The chemistry of the receiving stream (Sleach Water) was monitored at seven points along a 2 km stretch. Dissolved organic carbon and metals were very significantly affected by seasonal factors. On land, seasonal variations accounted for between 35% (Al) and 80% (Fe) of the total variance in the data at the intact bog site, with similar seasonal effects observed at the impacted sites. The amplitude of the seasonal signal was generally much higher at the impacted sites than at the control site. Except for dissolved Al and Mn, the chemical composition of the stream was only marginally influenced by surface runoff from the felled plantation despite evidence of intense seasonal mobilisation of e.g. DOC, K or Fe at or near the ground surface within the felled plots. This was attributed to the presence of a buffer zone between the plantation and the stream. On the other hand, surface inputs from former forestry plots caused measurable increases in stream water [Al] and [Mn]. The likely sources of Al and Mn were the disturbance of the mineral soil that had taken place some 20 years previously as a result of forestry ground preparation and the leaching from the recently felled conifer material, respectively. Such inputs occurred in late autumn or winter for Al and in summer for Mn, thus intensifying their natural seasonal patterns in this peat draining stream.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25623290

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

    2015-01-01

    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.

  10. 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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25623290

  11. Bedrock topography beneath the Red Lake peatlands

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, P.; Shaw, G.H. . Geology Dept.); Glaser, P. . Limnological Research Center); Siegel, D. . Dept. of Geology)

    1992-01-01

    Detailed hydrologic investigations of peat landforms in the Red Lake Peatlands have revealed that groundwater flow is significantly related to the type of landform and vegetation community present at a given site. Hydrogeologic modeling of shallow groundwater systems suggests that bedrock topography is an important, perhaps the vital, boundary condition controlling groundwater flow. Determination of depth to bedrock beneath different peat landforms is necessary to test the hydrogeologic models and obtain a better understanding of the processes which produce them. Direct determination of bedrock depth in peatlands is hampered by the difficult conditions and high costs of boring. In addition, environmental impacts from boring activities would probably be substantial in these sensitive ecosystems. Shallow seismic methods appear to be the most promising approach to obtain the necessary data. Unfortunately the 2+ meters of peat covering Lake Agassiz sediments overlying the bedrock is not only a poor substrate for geophone emplacement, but is a strong attenuator of seismic waves. These difficulties have been overcome by constructing a tool which allows the geophones to be emplaced beneath the peat and into the top of the sediments. The shotgun cartridge source is also located beneath the peat. This combination results in very good seismic records, far better than those possible with surface sources and geophones. The results from a preliminary survey along a 600m line show that there are significant variations in bedrock topography below the peat. In a distance of less than 500m, depth to bedrock changes by about 30%, from about 55m to about 40m. This is similar to variations indicated by the models.

  12. Quantifying landscape morphology influence on peatland lateral expansion using ground-penetrating radar (GPR) and peat core analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loisel, Julie; Yu, Zicheng; Parsekian, Andrew; Nolan, James; Slater, Lee

    2013-06-01

    peatlands contain vast amounts of organic carbon. Large-scale datasets have documented spatial patterns of peatland initiation as well as vertical peat accumulation rates. However, the rate, pattern, and timing of lateral expansion across the northern landscape remain largely unknown. As peatland lateral extent is a key boundary condition constraining the dynamics of peatland systems, understanding this process is essential. Here we use ground penetrating radar (GPR) and peat core analysis to study the effect of local slope and topography on peatland development at a site in south-central Alaska. The study site is unique in that a thick tephra (volcanic ash) layer, visible in the GPR data, interrupted the peatland development for about one thousand years during the mid Holocene. In our analysis, this tephra layer serves as a re-initiation point for peatland development. By comparing the initial mineral basin vs. the post-tephra surfaces, the influence of topography and slope on peatland expansion rate and peat-carbon sequestration was analyzed. Our results show that (1) peatland surface slope becomes progressively shallower over the Holocene, (2) slope affects peatland lateral expansion nonlinearly, (3) the relationship between lateral expansion rate and slope follows a power-law behavior, and (4) peatland expansion becomes slope-limited above a threshold (0.5°). Furthermore, we propose a conceptual model linking slope to peatland lateral expansion where slope gradient and basin topography exert deterministic controls on peatland lateral expansion directly or through hydrology and vertical accumulation rates.

  13. Model-Based Analysis of the Effect of Long-term Atmospheric Nitrogen Deposition on Nitrogen and Carbon Dynamics in Northern Peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Y.; Blodau, C.

    2011-12-01

    Peatlands as a unique biological community that provide important ecological, economic and protective functions are highly threatened by climate change and nitrogen deposition. A process based model has been developed to simulate short term and long term changes in peatlands biogeochemistry and ecology. The model contains three modules: Hydrothermal generates daily water table and soil temperature as environmental inputs for other modules; Plant dynamics simulates the competition of plants in natural nutrient poor condition and the potential shifting of ecosystem under high nutrient input and climate change; Soil organic matter (SOM) dynamics simulates the decomposition of SOM into mineralized carbon and nitrogen and their transformation and translocation within the peat and efflux. This model especially focuses on nitrogen dynamics both in plant and soil and the coupling of nitrogen cycle to carbon cycle for peatland. Water table is modeled as a bucket model that calculates real time water storage from precipitation, evapotranspiration and runoff, which in turn generates water table level and soil moisture profile in soil. Soil temperature along depth is calculated from soil thermal conductivity features and air temperature. Plant carbon and nitrogen dynamics are modeled for 3 plant functional types (moss, graminoids and shrubs) with different tolerant levels to temperate, moisture, light and nutrients. SOM decomposition is simulated in a layer structure with 5cm resolution. Within each layer one labile and one recalcitrant organic carbon and nitrogen pool are decomposed simultaneously on rates controlled by SOM quality, nitrogen availability and environment. Simulation for water table, Temperature, plant dynamics, carbon nitrogen budget and fluxes and peat initiation for Mer Bleue bog (Ottawa Canada, Fluxnet data) shows good correlation with field data. SOM decomposition simulation reveals that the extremely low decomposition rate of SOM in saturated zone plays

  14. 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.

  15. 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. PMID:26730448

  16. CO2 and CH4 Net Carbon Flux from a high-carbon peatland in Northern Minnesota: Plot scale observations of the Shrub, forb, Sphagnum and microbial community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phillips, J. R.; Hanson, P. J.; Riggs, J.

    2013-12-01

    Significant uncertainty exists regarding the fate of stored peatland carbon under future climate warming scenarios. Methods have been developed to track net flux of CO2 and CH4 from experimental warming plots at a scale appropriate to the in situ biological community. Surface flux measurements of CO2 and CH4 were made using and open-path analyzers over and area of 1.13 m2 within each of our 16 plots. A custom-designed chamber encloses the hummock-hollow topography and allows point in time measurements of the shrub, forb, Sphagnum and the complex microbial community complex. These observations are made with ambient light and imposed dark conditions to allow estimates of net community daytime and night respiratory processes. Sphagnum hollow temperatures, water table levels, hummock moisture levels, and recent PAR as a potential surrogate for labile C are all being evaluated as drivers of net CO2-C and CH4-C flux. Periodic observations from August 2011 through July 2013 show obvious seasonal trends with temperature being the obvious driving variable. During this ';wet' time period surface drying and lower water table depths have not been seen to be key drivers of net C flux. Midwinter conditions with a frozen peat surface produce zero CO2 and CH4 flux. Maximum net CO2 flux in mid summer shows daytime surface uptake values near -6 to -7 μmol m-2 s-1 and night loss rates of 6 to 7 μmol m-2 s-1. Maximum midsummer observed CH4 flux for this bog range from 0.4 to 0.5 μmol m-2 s-1. Integrating temperature dependent models of net flux across annual periods showed next CO2-C and net CH4-C flux to be 850 and 20 g C m-2 y-1, respectively. Sequential clipping of vegetation layers showed that the shrub (LAI = ~0.5 m2 m-2) and the forb/sedge layer (LAI = ~1 m2 m-2) dominated net carbon uptake during daytime periods while shading the Sphagnum layer (LAI >1 m2 m-2), but had limited impact on dark community respiration likely dominated by the subsurface microbial community. A

  17. 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…

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Processes responding to restoration in forestry-drained peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tarvainen, Oili; Laine, Anna; Tolvanen, Anne

    2014-05-01

    Almost one third, nearly 100 000 km2, of the total land area is covered by peatlands in Finland, which is a higher relative cover than in any other country in the world. Over a half of the peatland area has been drained for forestry, and many invaluable wetland habitat types are severely degraded. Restoration of forestry-drained peatlands is a relatively new measure, and long term results are still relatively scarce. Reinstating the ecological function with its feedback cycles can be a slow and gradual process. Nevertheless, since forestry-drained peatlands are not destroyed habitats in terms of their ecosystem functions, they can be expected to be reinstated through the returning of the crucial element, the high water-table level and its natural variability. To evaluate the development of peatland function and structure after restoration, indicators which respond at different speed to restoration are therefore useful. Vegetation indicators are commonly assessed to indicate restoration progress, but they can be slow to respond. Changes in the mineralization and decomposition rates may indicate sooner, if processes typical for undrained peatlands are initiating after restoration. However, despite the increasing amount of information on the vegetation structure after restoring forestry-drained peatlands, there is no sufficient information on the ecological processes, which may be reasons behind the existing difference between restored and pristine peatlands. Information on the ecological processes and the speed of their recovery helps to evaluate whether the restored peatlands have turned their development towards natural situation, despite that the structure does not yet show sufficient recovery. We studied how restoration affects the hydrology, peat forming processes, and vegetation in boreal fen type of peatlands. Fens drained for forestry 30 - 40 year earlier were restored in northern Finland in 2007 by harvesting trees and by damming and filling ditches. After

  1. 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.

  2. Carbon accumulation of tropical peatlands over millennia: a modeling approach.

    PubMed

    Kurnianto, Sofyan; Warren, Matthew; Talbot, Julie; Kauffman, Boone; Murdiyarso, Daniel; Frolking, Steve

    2015-01-01

    Tropical peatlands cover an estimated 440,000 km2 (~10% of global peatland area) and are significant in the global carbon cycle by storing about 40-90 Gt C in peat. Over the past several decades, tropical peatlands have experienced high rates of deforestation and conversion, which is often associated with lowering the water table and peat burning, releasing large amounts of carbon stored in peat to the atmosphere. We present the first model of long-term carbon accumulation in tropical peatlands by modifying the Holocene Peat Model (HPM), which has been successfully applied to northern temperate peatlands. Tropical HPM (HPMTrop) is a one-dimensional, nonlinear, dynamic model with a monthly time step that simulates peat mass remaining in annual peat cohorts over millennia as a balance between monthly vegetation inputs (litter) and monthly decomposition. Key model parameters were based on published data on vegetation characteristics, including net primary production partitioned into leaves, wood, and roots; and initial litter decomposition rates. HPMTrop outputs are generally consistent with field observations from Indonesia. Simulated long-term carbon accumulation rates for 11,000-year-old inland, and 5000-year-old coastal peatlands were about 0.3 and 0.59 Mg C ha(-1) yr(-1), and the resulting peat carbon stocks at the end of the 11,000-year and 5000-year simulations were 3300 and 2900 Mg C ha(-1), respectively. The simulated carbon loss caused by coastal peat swamp forest conversion into oil palm plantation with periodic burning was 1400 Mg C ha(-1) over 100 years, which is equivalent to ~2900 years of C accumulation in a hectare of coastal peatlands.

  3. Carbon accumulation of tropical peatlands over millennia: a modeling approach.

    PubMed

    Kurnianto, Sofyan; Warren, Matthew; Talbot, Julie; Kauffman, Boone; Murdiyarso, Daniel; Frolking, Steve

    2015-01-01

    Tropical peatlands cover an estimated 440,000 km2 (~10% of global peatland area) and are significant in the global carbon cycle by storing about 40-90 Gt C in peat. Over the past several decades, tropical peatlands have experienced high rates of deforestation and conversion, which is often associated with lowering the water table and peat burning, releasing large amounts of carbon stored in peat to the atmosphere. We present the first model of long-term carbon accumulation in tropical peatlands by modifying the Holocene Peat Model (HPM), which has been successfully applied to northern temperate peatlands. Tropical HPM (HPMTrop) is a one-dimensional, nonlinear, dynamic model with a monthly time step that simulates peat mass remaining in annual peat cohorts over millennia as a balance between monthly vegetation inputs (litter) and monthly decomposition. Key model parameters were based on published data on vegetation characteristics, including net primary production partitioned into leaves, wood, and roots; and initial litter decomposition rates. HPMTrop outputs are generally consistent with field observations from Indonesia. Simulated long-term carbon accumulation rates for 11,000-year-old inland, and 5000-year-old coastal peatlands were about 0.3 and 0.59 Mg C ha(-1) yr(-1), and the resulting peat carbon stocks at the end of the 11,000-year and 5000-year simulations were 3300 and 2900 Mg C ha(-1), respectively. The simulated carbon loss caused by coastal peat swamp forest conversion into oil palm plantation with periodic burning was 1400 Mg C ha(-1) over 100 years, which is equivalent to ~2900 years of C accumulation in a hectare of coastal peatlands. PMID:25044171

  4. 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.

  5. In the line of fire: the peatlands of Southeast Asia.

    PubMed

    Page, S E; Hooijer, A

    2016-06-01

    Peatlands are a significant component of the global carbon (C) cycle, yet despite their role as a long-term C sink throughout the Holocene, they are increasingly vulnerable to destabilization. Nowhere is this shift from sink to source happening more rapidly than in Southeast Asia, and nowhere else are the combined pressures of land-use change and fire on peatland ecosystem C dynamics more evident nor the consequences more apparent. This review focuses on the peatlands of this region, tracing the link between deforestation and drainage and accelerating C emissions arising from peat mineralization and fire. It focuses on the implications of the recent increase in fire occurrence for air quality, human health, ecosystem resilience and the global C cycle. The scale and controls on peat-driven C emissions are addressed, noting that although fires cause large, temporary peaks in C flux to the atmosphere, year-round emissions from peat mineralization are of a similar magnitude. The review concludes by advocating land management options to reduce future fire risk as part of wider peatland management strategies, while also proposing that this region's peat fire dynamic could become increasingly relevant to northern peatlands in a warming world.This article is part of the themed issue 'The interaction of fire and mankind'. PMID:27216508

  6. Sources and Age of Aquatic DOC, CO2 And CH4 Exported From a Swedish Peatland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campeau, A.; Wallin, M.; Billett, M. F.; Nilsson, M. B.; Laudon, H.; Oquist, M. G.; Bishop, K. H.

    2015-12-01

    Northern peatlands store as much organic matter as the equivalent of all the CO2 currently present in the earth's atmosphere. The peat carbon storage results from the progressive accumulation of organic matter since the end of the last glaciation (~10 000 years). The stability of these large carbon storages, under the influence of climate change, is unknown. Runoff represents one of the major C fluxes out of northern peatlands, and is particularly sensitive to changes in climate and hydrological regimes. Identifying the sources and age of aquatic C export will help assess the stability and future role of northern peatlands as active components of the global C cycle. We have characterized both radiogenic (14C) and stable carbon isotopes (δ13C) of DOC, CO2 and CH4 across a four-meter deep ombrotrophic peatland and its stream outlet. Previous studies have shown that about 34% of the estimated net ecosystem exchange from this peatland system, is lost through aquatic C export. We determined that fermentation processes in the peat acts as the main production pathway for stream CO2 (mean δ13C =-4.9‰) and CH4 (mean δ13C = -67.8‰). The seasonal variability in both sources and age of C was high. Despite this dynamism, the application of carbon isotopes allowed us to trace back the origin of aquatic C exports from the peatland.

  7. Mercury-Sulfur Interactions in an Experimental Peatland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

    The mercury and sulfur cycles are intimately linked. For example, the production of methylmercury, the mercury species that accumulates in biota, is strongly controlled by the activity of sulfate-reducing bacteria. Of the many types of wetlands, peatlands and especially bogs are important areas of methylmercury production, partly because the hydrological and biogeochemical conditions in peatlands support anaerobes like sulfate-reducing bacteria. Given the vast coverage of peatlands in the northern U.S. and in Canada (> 1million km2), the impact of peatlands on large-scale mercury cycling could be enormous. Our current understanding of sulfur-mercury interactions in peatlands is mostly from short-duration or fine-scale experimentation, which makes extrapolation tenuous. Currently, the positive relationship between sulfate loading and methylmercury production is relatively well understood. However, the converse, how methylmercury pools are affected by reductions in sulfate loading, is entirely unknown. An important, policy-relevant question is whether reductions in sulfate deposition could lead to reductions in methylmercury loads in peatland biota, and how quickly these reductions might occur. These issues were addressed in a long-term, ecosystem-scale experiment in which sulfate loads were elevated through simulated rainfall to half of a 2-hectare peatland in northern Minnesota. Wet sulfate deposition was increased to the experimental half of a wetland from 2001 through 2006. In 2006, this increased deposition was halted in half of the experimental area (referred to as the "recovery" area thereafter), while increased deposition continued in the other half of the experimental area until the end of 2008 ("experimental"). Once increased sulfate deposition ceased, sulfate concentrations returned to background (control) levels within one year. Methylmercury concentrations in pore waters, peat, and invertebrates took three to five years to decrease to control levels once

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

    Wagstaff, Steven J; Clarkson, Beverley R

    2012-01-01

    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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Will climate change exceed the resilience limits of western Canadian peatlands?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turetsky, M. R.; Benscoter, B.; Olefeldt, D.

    2014-12-01

    Northern peatlands have served as persistent, small sinks of atmospheric CO2 throughout the Holocene. In western Canada, peatlands exist on the drier spectrum of global peatland distributions. As a result, peatlands in this region are drier (e.g., no/few open pools in bogs and poor fens) and all bogs are treed. Because they occupy this climate space, continental peatlands might be regarded as being vulnerable to future warming and drying. On the other hand, these peatlands and their plant communities might already be adapted to drier conditions, conferring some resistance to climate change. The position of the water table within a peatland serves as a dominant control on peat accumulation rates, as it influences plant structure and productivity, decomposition, and dissolved carbon export. Many studies predict that lower water table position, in response to enhanced evapotranspiration or drought, will cause peatlands to release stored C back to the atmosphere, indicative of a state change to an ecosystem type that no longer supports long-term peat accumulation. A 10-yr drainage experiment at the Alaska Peatland Experiment (APEX) sites showed that lowering the water table made a rich fen more of an atmospheric C source, primarily by altering plant species composition and lowering plant primary production rather than by increasing soil CO2 flux. Multi-decadal drainage of Canadian peatlands also resulted in changes in plant species composition, with increasing tree and shrub canopy coverage and declines in moss abundance. Increased forestation in western Canadian peatlands will have large impacts on fire danger, which also has the potential to cause long-term shifts in plant and ecosystem structure, either through severe burning of surface peat layers or by inducing permafrost thaw. This talk will present findings from empirical and modeling studies examining peatland responses to warming, drought, permafrost thaw, and wildfires. Within the context of these dominant

  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. 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)

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. How hydrology and vegetation modify microclimate of a Sphagnum peatland?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Słowińska, Sandra; Słowiński, Michał; Marcisz, Katarzyna; Lamentowicz, Łukasz; Lamentowicz, Mariusz

    2014-05-01

    Climate and hydrology are key factors influencing peat accumulation and decomposition. This, in turn have strong influence on carbon sequestration what is nowadays the central aim of peatlands ecology. However, peatlands are not homogenous ecosystems. There are often a mosaic of vegetation patterns. Differences in depth of groundwater tables are also common at one object. We designed a long-term ecological study site in a Sphagnum peatland in the Northern Poland. We used five meteorological micro-stations and eleven piezometers located along two transects at 5,95 ha area. We have focused on microclimatic and hydrological changes during two growing seasons - 2012 and 2013. Significant differences in radiation, air temperature and humidity were recorded between plots, which were mainly a result of reduction of light availability by trees in two of five plots. That also influenced on surface wetness of Sphagnum mosses. Range of groundwater table changes varied between plots but trends were similar. Further research will focus on the synthesis of relationships between climate, hydrology and vegetation. A separate work will be concentrated on testate amoebae response to wetness, temperature and light availability. Our study is very important to better understand peatland functioning in transition climate in small spatial scale. Project supported by Polish National Science Centre grant No. NN306060940 and the grant PSPB-013/2010 from Switzerland through the Swiss Contribution to the enlarged European Union.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Altered peat hydrophysical properties following drainage and wildfire increases peatland vulnerability to ecosystem regime shift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waddington, James; Kettridge, Nick; Sherwood, James; Granath, Gustaf

    2015-04-01

    Northern peatlands represent a globally significant carbon reservoir, composed largely of legacy carbon which is no longer part of the active carbon cycle. However, it is unclear whether this legacy carbon is vulnerable as a result of enhanced peat smouldering and combustion under the moderate drying conditions predicted for northern peatlands as a result of climate change and/or disturbance from forestry, mining, and associated transport development. A significant loss in legacy carbon as a result of wildfire has already been observed in smaller tropical peatlands where deep peat soils have been destabilized due to severe drainage and a shift in vegetation. Capitalizing on a unique long-term experiment, we quantify the post-wildfire recovery of a northern peatland several decades post 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, when accompanied by wildfire. The combined impact of moderate drainage followed by wildfire resulted in a shift of the peat surface down the peat profile, exposing denser peat at the surface. In undisturbed northern peatlands where depth of burn is typically low, low-density near-surface peats help regulate water-table position and near-surface moisture availability post-fire, both of which are favourable to Sphagnum recolonization. As a result of drainage and fire at the study site, the self-regulating properties of the low-density Sphagnum surface were lost. We demonstrate that changes in peat hydrophysical properties increased hydrological limitations to Sphagnum recovery leading to the conversion 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 carbon stored in the peat.

  4. 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

  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. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Impacts of simulated drought on pore water chemistry of peatlands.

    PubMed

    Juckers, Myra; Watmough, Shaun A

    2014-01-01

    Northern peatlands are increasingly threatened by climate change and industrial activities. This study examined the impact of simulated droughts on pore water chemistry at six peatlands in Sudbury, Ontario, that differ in copper (Cu), nickel (Ni) and cobalt (Co) contamination, including a site that had been previously limed. All sites responded similarly to simulated drought: pore water pH declined significantly following the 30 day drought and the decline was greater following the 60 day drought treatment. The decline in pore water pH was due to increasing sulphate concentrations, whereas nitrate increased more in the 60 day drought treatment. Decreases in pH were accompanied by large increases in Ni and Co that greatly exceeded provincial water quality guidelines. In contrast, dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations decreased significantly following drought, along with concentrations of Cu and Al, which are strongly complexed by organic acids.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Regional variation of natural peatland pool biogeochemistry and carbon concentrations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

    Natural open-water pools are a common feature of northern peatlands. They are characterised by low primary production, low pH, and often high concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC). Peatland pools are also sources of atmospheric CH4, and thus have the potential to play an important role in global radiative forcing. Pool environmental variables, particularly water chemistry, vegetation community and physical characteristics, have the potential to exert strong controls on C cycling in pools; however, to our knowledge, no existing studies have addressed the potential variation in pool biogeochemistry and physical characteristics on a regional basis. A total of 66 peatland pools were studied across three regions of the UK (northern Scotland, south-west Scotland, and Northern Ireland) over the period September - October 2013. Vegetation communities, mean depth and basic water chemistry (pH, electrical conductivity and dissolved oxygen) were measured in situ. Water samples were taken for analysis of DOC, POC, DIC, CH4diss, CO2diss(dissolved CO2 and CH4),total N and P, and Cl-, SO42- and NO3-. To evaluate the composition of DOC, UV absorption was measured at 665, 470, 465, 436, 400, 360, 265, 254 nm. We show that many pool variables are significantly different between regions, including DOC, POC and CH4diss. The higher ratio of absorbance at 465 to absorbance at 665nm (E4/E6) for pools in Northern Ireland indicates DOC was sourced from less humified peat, which has implications for the bioavailability and mineralisation of organic carbon. Anion concentrations were significantly higher in the pools in northern Scotland than elsewhere, most likely due to a marine influence. SO42- is a CH4 electron acceptor and thus concentrations may influence methanogenesis. Hierarchical cluster analysis shows clear grouping of the individual pools within each region. PCA analysis showed that pools in SW Scotland were strongly associated with greater vegetative cover (Sphagnum

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. Water budget of a Quebec North-boreal minerotrophic peatland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jutras, S.; Rousseau, A. N.; St-Hilaire, A.; Carrer, G.; Proulx-McInnis, S.; Clerc, C.; Levrel, G.

    2009-05-01

    A significant percentage of the northern Quebec boreal region consists of minerotrophic peatland. Their impact on large-scale watersheds, used for hydroelectric production, is important, especially in relation to climate change. During the last decades, a subtle increase in the surface of ponds at the expense of terrestrial compartments has been observed. To better understand the impacts of this development, a multidisciplinary study to perform a complete integrated analysis of the water balance was launched in summer 2008 on the Abeille peatland (54° 06'52" N, 72° 30'01"W), a minerotrophic peatland with an open-water surface. While all features of the water balance will be considered (precipitation, evapotranspiration, runoff, storage and error), some will be studied in greater depth. Notably, evapotranspiration and storage changes will be considered, since, they are particularly difficult to measure in peatland ecosystems. Indirect methods for estimating actual evapotranspiration are often used. One method is to use a semi-empirical formula to estimate potential evapotranspiration. The main problem with this method is that a relationship between potential and actual evapotranspiration must be established and this is a highly variable process for peat ecosystems. To establish a relationship appropriate to our study site, different methods of direct measurement of the actual evapotranspiration will be used (lysimeters, turbulence flow, daily fluctuations of storage, etc.) and compared. A dense network of wells has been installed to enable monitoring of changes in storage and subsurface runoff. A high accuracy topographic survey will be executed to assess the total water content of the site. A device for measuring the variation of peat surface elevation will also be established. Preliminary results are showing complex dynamic behaviors of water migration through the site, therefore opening the way to new questions and hypotheses to clarify in the coming years.

  20. Do volcanic emissions affect carbon gas fluxes in peatlands?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harrison, Nicola; Delmelle, Pierre; Toet, Sylvia; Gauci, Vincent; Ineson, Phil

    2010-05-01

    Recently, a link has been suggested between volcanic deposition of SO4 and the suppression of CH4 emissions in northern peatlands (Gauci et al., 2008). This link stems from the widely accepted idea that acid rain SO4 additions to peatlands can cause a shift in microbial communities as SO4 reducing bacteria out-compete methanogens for substrates, which results in a suppression of CH4 emission. However, volcanic emissions contain besides S other chemically reactive species that are potentially harmful to the environment. In particular, gaseous and particulate F emissions from volcanoes constitute a steady or intermittent source of F emission and deposition into the environment both close to the source and within fallout range of large eruptions. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of volcanic depositions of SO4, both alone and in combination with F, on CH4 emission in peatlands. Peat mesocosms collected from Pennine uplands in the UK were treated with weekly pulses of Na2SO4 and NaF over 20 weeks in doses of 74 kg SO4/ ha and 13.5 and 135 kg F /ha. CH4 emissions were measured at regular intervals by taking headspace samples, which were analysed by GC-FID. CO2 fluxes were also measured using a portable Infra Red Gas Analyser (IRGA). No significant differences in CH4 and CO2 emissions were observed for any of the treatments when compared to the controls, which had only received deionised water. These findings are in contrast with previous studies where SO4 reduces CH4 emission in peatlands. The reason for this is unclear but may be due to the heterogeneous nature of peat soils. An alternative explanation relates to the previous history of the soils used in the mesocosms which are known to have been previously exposed to large volumes of anthropogenic S pollution. This may have caused microbial communities to evolve and become acclimatised to high levels of S addition. In either case, the assumption that CH4 suppression in peatlands occurs upon

  1. 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

  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. 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.

  4. Moss and peat hydraulic properties are optimized to maximise peatland water use efficiency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kettridge, Nicholas; Tilak, Amey; Devito, Kevin; Petrone, Rich; Mendoza, Carl; Waddington, Mike

    2016-04-01

    Peatland ecosystems are globally important carbon and terrestrial surface water stores that have formed over millennia. These ecosystems have likely optimised their ecohydrological function over the long-term development of their soil hydraulic properties. Through a theoretical ecosystem approach, applying hydrological modelling integrated with known ecological thresholds and concepts, the optimisation of peat hydraulic properties is examined to determine which of the following conditions peatland ecosystems target during this development: i) maximise carbon accumulation, ii) maximise water storage, or iii) balance carbon profit across hydrological disturbances. Saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) and empirical van Genuchten water retention parameter α are shown to provide a first order control on simulated water tensions. Across parameter space, peat profiles with hypothetical combinations of Ks and α show a strong binary tendency towards targeting either water or carbon storage. Actual hydraulic properties from five northern peatlands fall at the interface between these goals, balancing the competing demands of carbon accumulation and water storage. We argue that peat hydraulic properties are thus optimized to maximise water use efficiency and that this optimisation occurs over a centennial to millennial timescale as the peatland develops. This provides a new conceptual framework to characterise peat hydraulic properties across climate zones and between a range of different disturbances, and which can be used to provide benchmarks for peatland design and reclamation.

  5. 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

  6. A novel isolate and widespread abundance of the candidate alphaproteobacterial order (Ellin 329), in southern Appalachian peatlands.

    PubMed

    Harbison, Austin B; Carson, Michael A; Lamit, Louis J; Basiliko, Nathan; Bräuer, Suzanna L

    2016-08-01

    Peatlands of all latitudes play an integral role in global climate change by serving as a carbon sink and a primary source of atmospheric methane; however, the microbial ecology of mid-latitude peatlands is vastly understudied. Herein, next generation Illumina amplicon sequencing of small subunit rRNA genes was utilized to elucidate the microbial communities in three southern Appalachian peatlands. In contrast to northern peatlands, Proteobacteria dominated over Acidobacteria in all three sites. An average of 11 bacterial phyla was detected at relative abundance values >1%, with three candidate divisions (OP3, WS3 and NC10) represented, indicating high phylogenetic diversity. Physiological traits of isolates within the candidate alphaproteobacterial order, Ellin 329, obtained here and in previous studies indicate that bacteria of this order may be involved in hydrolysis of poly-, di- and monosaccharides. Community analyses indicate that Ellin 329 is the third most abundant order and is most abundant near the surface layers where plant litter decomposition should be primarily occurring. In sum, members of Ellin 329 likely play important roles in organic matter decomposition, in southern Appalachian peatlands and should be investigated further in other peatlands and ecosystem types. PMID:27302469

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  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

    2016-01-01

    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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Recent Carbon Accumulation Rates in Ombrotrophic Peatlands on the North Shore of the Gulf of the St. Lawrence, Quebec, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanderson, N. K.; Charman, D.; Garneau, M.; Hartley, I. P.

    2013-12-01

    In Eastern Canada, permafrost reached its southernmost extent for the Holocene during the Little Ice Age. Recent warming and degradation along the southern limit of the discontinuous permafrost zone is altering the microtopography, hydrology and carbon cycling in ombrotrophic peatlands; this trend is projected to continue. However, the understanding of multi-decadal and centennial scale change in peatlands is limited. This study aims to quantify changes in carbon accumulation rates for the last millennium in ombrotrophic peatlands from three regions along the North Shore of the Gulf of the St Lawrence, Canada. In each region, three peatlands were cored and 3-4 microforms were sampled per peatland. This replication allows changes in accumulation rates to be examined on two scales: 1) between regions along a N-S climatic gradient, and 2) within peatlands in the same region along a microtopography gradient. Recent carbon accumulation rates for last 150-200 years were calculated with lead-210 dates. Some initial estimates are also available for the last millennium using radiocarbon dates. Carbon accumulation rates were higher for all sites in the southernmost region, with sphagnum hummocks having the recent highest accumulation rates overall. In more northern peatlands, rates were found to differ between microforms, and between sites. This variability may be due to local differences in wind exposure and winter snow cover between sites. A high-resolution (0.5 cm) multi-proxy analysis using testate amoebae and plant macrofossils will be performed around key periods of accumulation change to evaluate peatland sensitivity and carbon accumulation to hydrological change.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Recent acceleration of carbon accumulation in a boreal peatland, south central Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loisel, Julie; Yu, Zicheng

    2013-03-01

    The ongoing warming in high-latitude regions may be causing rapid changes in the structure and functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. Of particular concern is the fate of belowground soil organic carbon stored in peat-accumulating wetlands, as these large carbon pools are sensitive to temperature and moisture conditions. Despite their important role in the global carbon cycle, considerable uncertainty remains over the carbon balance of northern peatlands in a changing climate. Here we examine the response of vegetation and carbon dynamics in a wet boreal peatland to recent climate warming using empirical peat core data and a new modeling approach. We observed a widespread shift from herbaceous Carex fen peat to Sphagnum moss peat around 100 years ago that was accompanied by a sharp increase in carbon accumulation rate. The observed apparent carbon accumulation rates over the past 100 years (96.8 g C m-2 yr-1) were almost 10 times greater than those over the past 4000 years (11.5 g C m-2 yr-1). Once differential decomposition history was considered using three modeling approaches, the expected long-term accumulation rate of recent peat was still 2-6 times greater than that of the past 4000 years. We propose that recent warming has led to Sphagnum establishment, which rapidly altered the peatland surface chemistry and hydrology, further promoting Sphagnum growth and enhancing the carbon sink capacity of this peatland. Longer and warmer growing seasons could also have stimulated plant growth. Our results imply that accelerated carbon accumulation under global warming in some wet peatlands might offset some of the carbon losses experienced from other peatland types.

  19. Methane emissions from a peatland following restoration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waddington, J. M.; Day, S. M.

    2007-09-01

    Peatland drainage and peat extraction changes natural peatlands from a net carbon sink to that of a large net source due to increased respiration and the removal of carbon dioxide (CO2) fixing vegetation. Restoration of these altered peatland ecosystems is being applied to reduce these carbon emissions. As peatland restoration is a new and emerging land-use management practice, the purpose of this research was to examine the impact of restoration on the methane (CH4) component of the carbon cycle at the Bois-des-Bel peatland located near Rivière-du-Loup, Québec from early May to mid October for several years. The seasonal CH4 fluxes prior to restoration at an extracted (cutover) and a restored peatland were not significantly different from each other or zero. However, three years postrestoration the seasonal CH4 emissions at the restored site were 4.2 g m-2 CH4 season-1, 4.6 times greater than the cutover site. Ponds and ditches at the restored site were seasonal CH4 emission hot spots (0.3 and 2.9 g m-2 CH4 season-1, respectively); however, emissions from herbaceous vegetation (1.0 g m-2 CH4 season-1) were the dominant source of CH4 from the restored peatland due to its large areal extent. CH4 fluxes from the Bois-des-Bel peatland represented 14% of the total CO2-equivalent losses from the site. This study demonstrates the importance of vegetation succession on peatland-atmosphere flux of CH4.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Peatlands and the C cycle during the last millennium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallego-Sala, Angela; Charman, Dan; Brewer, Simon

    2016-04-01

    The last millennium (850-1850 AD) has seen significant changes in climate and in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases. This relatively recent time period can be used to assess the peatland contribution to the global carbon cycle, as; 1) the peat accumulation record can be readily assembled from a representative range of peatlands worldwide; 2) climate and greenhouse variability over this time period is reasonably well-known for many regions and; 3) the spatial variability in modern climate space can be used to assess the relationship between peat accumulation and climate variables. Here we present the results of a global compilation of peat accumulation rates over the last 1000 years based on existing published and unpublished data and acquisition of new data in critical regions, especially in the tropics. The new global dataset comprises: a) a set of high temporal resolution sites for which variations of the rate of carbon accumulation during the last millennium in relation to past climate fluctuations can be analysed (e.g. the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA) to Little Ice Age (LIA) transition in northern high latitudes). b) a set of low temporal resolution sites for which an overall carbon accumulation rate for the whole of the millennium period is calculated. This low-resolution but more sizeable dataset allows for the analysis of potential regional differences and overall contribution of peatlands to the C cycle in the last thousand years. Furthermore, we use the natural range of climate variation across sites to explore the relationship between total carbon accumulation over the last millennium and bioclimatic variables characteristic of each site. We conclude by discussing the implications of the relationships between past climate and peat accumulation for the global carbon cycle.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Linkage among Vegetation, Microbes and Methanogenic Pathways in Alaskan Peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, L.; Sidelinger, W.; Shu, H.; Varner, R. K.; Hines, M. E.

    2014-12-01

    Northern wetlands are thought to account for one third of the naturally emitted CH4. However, methane production pathways in northern peatlands are poorly understood, yet are predicted to change in response to vegetation shifts due to warming. Previous studies noted that acetate conversion to methane (acetoclastic methanogenesis, AM) in northern wetlands is largely impeded and acetate accumulates, however AM tends to increase with minerotrophy. To understand methanogenic pathways and to provide linkage among pathways, we studied Alaskan wetlands in 2013 and 2014. In 2013, laboratory incubations were conducted in three peatlands representing trophic gradients from bogs to fens. During 2014, 37 different sites in Fairbanks and Anchorage were studied that represented wetlands with pH values from 3.5 to 5.5 and vegetation from primarily Sphagnum to sedges. Measurements in 2014 included vegetation composition, gases (CH4, CO2, H2, and CO), 13CH4 and 13CO2, volatile fatty acids, DOC, other electron acceptors. Further incubation studies are being conducted to decipher controls on decomposition pathways. Gene sequencing was used to characterize microbial community composition, and metagenomic and transcriptomics were conducted to describe community activity. Results showed that methanogenesis was higher in fens than bogs, but hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis (HM) was dominant at all sites. End product ratios showed that AM was occurring in fens, albeit slowly. Fermentation was an important end-point in decomposition and microbial syntrophy was weak. These data, regardless of trophic status, differed greatly from data obtained from temperate wetlands in which terminal respiratory processes were strong and C flow through syntrophy was important. Trophic status influenced C flow in the Alaskan sites, but terminal processes were weak and end product formation tended to end at primary fermentation, which dominated as the terminal step in decomposition.

  8. Assessment of nutrients and suspended sediment conditions in and near the Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge, Northwest Minnesota, 2008–2010

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nustad, Rochelle A.; Galloway, Joel M.

    2012-01-01

    In response to concerns about water-quality impairments that may affect habitat degradation in Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge in northwest Minnesota, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service collected streamflow data, discrete nutrient and suspended- sediment samples, and continuous water-quality data from 2008 to 2010. Constituent loads were estimated for nutrients and suspended sediment using sample data and streamflow data. In addition, a potential water-quality and streamflow monitoring program design was developed for Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge. Results from this study can be used by resource managers to address identified impairments and protect wildlife habitat and public water supply, and may contribute toward developing more effective water-management plans for Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge.

  9. Water movement monitoring in a boreal patterned fen peatland using an isotopic approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carrer, G.; Rousseau, A. N.; St-Hilaire, A.; Fossey, M.; Jutras, S.

    2011-12-01

    Patterned peatlands occupy a large portion of the Northen boreal region of Quebec, Canada. An obvious characteristic of peatlands is their great capacity to retain water. Indeed, a peatland may contain more than 70% of its volume in water. However, the rapid decrease of permeability with depth in peat soils suggests that a major part of the aquifer does not substantially contribute to the overall water movement and ensuing outflow. Given the current state of knowledge about these ecosystems, three questions can be formulated: (i) How does the water flow in patterned peatlands (piston flow, surface runoff)? (ii) Is there any mixing of water in the pools that may change the isotopic signal? (iii) Can the isotopic signal help identifying the origin of the water? To answer these questions, natural tracers (2H, 18O, DOC) and physical parameters (conductivity, temperature) are monitored in a patterned fen located in the Northern boreal region of Quebec. Preliminary results show that the summer flow is superficial and corresponds to a "piston flow"; and there is very little mixing of the water in the pools. However, because the isotopic signal is not uniform, it is difficult to separate the hydrograph and, thus, determine the various origins of the water.

  10. 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.

  11. Ecohydrology of a Sphagnum peatland in transitional climate - an interdysciplinary study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Słowińska, S.; Słowiński, M.; Lamentowicz, M.; Skrzypek, G.

    2012-04-01

    Sphagnum peatlands of the Central Europe are regarded as the valuable and endangered habitats. Their existence depends on the complex climatic, hydrological, topographical and botanical conditions. Good understanding of peatlands' ecohydrology is crucial for the appropriate environmental management. Our long-term ecological study is focused on a poor fen located in Northern Poland - a unique floristic nature reserve and Nature 2000 area. Main aims of the research were to: a) understand an influence of the temperature and precipitation on the ground water, b) explain an impact of the local climate and the groundwater table level on testate amoebae communities, Sphagnum mosses growth and stable carbon, nitrogen and oxygen isotope compositions, c) use the neo- ecological data for the quantitative palaeoecological reconstructions. We have been conducting the monitoring of the growth of Sphagnum mosses in five plots. Vegetation was sampled three times during the growing season for the stable isotope and testate amoebae analyses (July, September and December 2009). Temperature of the air and acrotelm, air humidity, precipitation and groundwater table were recorded using automatic data loggers. Our research confirmed that even small fluctuation of temperature, precipitation and annual distribution of precipitation have a very strong impact on the hydrology of the peatland. Testate amoeba communities and stable isotopes from Sphagnum clearly indicated the hydrological response of the mire in the different parts of the peatland. The next step is a detailed seasonal study supported by the manipulative warming experiment.

  12. 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. PMID:26490883

  13. 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.

  14. 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. PMID:24278367

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Rapid Carbon Accumulation Associated With Warm Medieval Climate in Peatlands of a Glaciated Valley in Southcentral Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klein, E. S.; Booth, R. K.; Yu, Z.

    2010-12-01

    Peatlands are among the largest reservoirs of terrestrial carbon (C) in the northern hemisphere. Understanding how this carbon pool will respond to climate changes is critical to assessing potential earth-system feedbacks. Peatland C accumulation is controlled by the relative rates of production and decomposition, and the rate of these processes is affected by many factors, including temperature, hydrology, and vegetation. In order to better understand the potential influences of past climate change on C accumulation, we developed a coupled study of peatland paleohydrology and C accumulation from a Sphagnum-dominated peatland located in a glaciated valley south of the Alaska Range in southcentral Alaska. Past responses of this peatland to well-documented climate and temperature changes, like the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA) at 1000-600 cal yr BP and Little Ice Age (LIA) at 600-100 cal yr BP, were investigated using water-table depths inferred from testate amoebae and C accumulation rates calculated from loss-on-ignition and 14C-dating analyses. Although warmer temperatures, like those experienced in Alaska during the MCA, might be expected to result in lower water tables and reduced C accumulation, our results indicate that the peatland C accumulation rate during the MCA (~150 gC/m2/yr) was about three times greater than during the LIA (~50 gC/m2/yr). Also, reconstructed water-table depths indicate relatively wet conditions on the peatland during the MCA, suggesting that this region may have experienced increased precipitation during this time, or increased melting of glaciers. Although glacier meltwater was not hydrologically connected to the peatland, it may have led to greater relative humidity that mediated potential drying associated with warmer temperatures. We found that the average ash-free bulk density values during the MCA (0.128 g/cm3) were lower than the average values during the LIA (0.172 g/cm3), consistent with our reconstructed water-table depths

  1. Predicting soil respiration from peatlands.

    PubMed

    Rowson, J G; Worrall, F; Evans, M G; Dixon, S D

    2013-01-01

    This study considers the relative performance of six different models to predict soil respiration from upland peat. Predicting soil respiration is important for global carbon budgets and gap filling measured data from eddy covariance and closed chamber measurements. Further to models previously published new models are presented using two sub-soil zones and season. Models are tested using data from the Bleaklow plateau, southern Pennines, UK. Presented literature models include ANOVA using logged environmental data, the Arrhenius equation, modified versions of the Arrhenius equation to include soil respiration activation energy and water table depth. New models are proposed including the introduction of two soil zones in the peat profile, and season. The first new model proposes a zone of high CO(2) productivity related to increased soil microbial CO(2) production due to the supply of labile carbon from plant root exudates and root respiration. The second zone is a deeper zone where CO(2) production is lower with less labile carbon. A final model allows the zone of high CO(2) production to become dormant during winter months when plants will senesce and will vary depending upon vegetation type within a fixed location. The final model accounted for, on average, 31.9% of variance in net ecosystem respiration within 11 different restoration sites whilst, using the same data set, the best fitting literature equation only accounted for 18.7% of the total variance. Our results demonstrate that soil respiration models can be improved by explicitly accounting for seasonality and the vertically stratified nature of soil processes. These improved models provide an enhanced basis for calculating the peatland carbon budgets which are essential in understanding the role of peatlands in the global C cycle.

  2. Predicting soil respiration from peatlands.

    PubMed

    Rowson, J G; Worrall, F; Evans, M G; Dixon, S D

    2013-01-01

    This study considers the relative performance of six different models to predict soil respiration from upland peat. Predicting soil respiration is important for global carbon budgets and gap filling measured data from eddy covariance and closed chamber measurements. Further to models previously published new models are presented using two sub-soil zones and season. Models are tested using data from the Bleaklow plateau, southern Pennines, UK. Presented literature models include ANOVA using logged environmental data, the Arrhenius equation, modified versions of the Arrhenius equation to include soil respiration activation energy and water table depth. New models are proposed including the introduction of two soil zones in the peat profile, and season. The first new model proposes a zone of high CO(2) productivity related to increased soil microbial CO(2) production due to the supply of labile carbon from plant root exudates and root respiration. The second zone is a deeper zone where CO(2) production is lower with less labile carbon. A final model allows the zone of high CO(2) production to become dormant during winter months when plants will senesce and will vary depending upon vegetation type within a fixed location. The final model accounted for, on average, 31.9% of variance in net ecosystem respiration within 11 different restoration sites whilst, using the same data set, the best fitting literature equation only accounted for 18.7% of the total variance. Our results demonstrate that soil respiration models can be improved by explicitly accounting for seasonality and the vertically stratified nature of soil processes. These improved models provide an enhanced basis for calculating the peatland carbon budgets which are essential in understanding the role of peatlands in the global C cycle. PMID:23178842

  3. Heavy metal and selenium levels in birds at Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge, Minnesota: Food chain differences.

    PubMed

    Burger, J; Gochfeld, M

    1996-12-01

    The levels of heavy metals and selenium in the eggs and in breast feathers of adult doublecrested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus), black-crowned night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), and franklin's gull (Larus pipixcan) nesting at Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge in Marshall County, northwestern Minnesota were examined. Also examined were metal levels in the feathers of fledgling night herons and gulls, in the feathers of adult and fledgling American bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus), in eggs of American coot (Fulica americana) and eared grebe (Podiceps caspicus), and in feathers of adult Canada geese (Branta canadensis). These species represent different levels on the food chain from primarily vegetation-eating species (geese, coot) to species that eat primarily fish (cormorant). A clear, positive relationship between level on the food chain and levels of heavy metals occurred only for mercury in feathers and eggs. Otherwise, eared grebes had the highest levels of all other metals in their eggs compared to the other species. No clear food chain pattern existed for feathers for the other metals. For eggs at Agassiz: 1) lead, selenium, and manganese levels were similar to those reported in the literature, 2) mercury levels were slightly higher for cormorants and night herons, 3) all species had higher chromium and cadmium levels than generally reported, and 4) eared grebes had significantly higher levels of cadmium than reported for any species from elsewhere. For adult feathers: 1) gulls had higher levels of lead than the other species, 2) cadmium levels were elevated in gulls and adult herons and cormorants, 3) mercury levels showed an increase with position on the food chain, 4) selenium and chromium levels of all birds at Agassiz were generally low and 5) manganese levels in adults were generally higher than in the literature for other species. Adults had significantly higher mercury levels than fledgling gulls, night herons, and bitterns.

  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. Trapped Air in Glacial Ice from the base of Penny, Agassiz, and Devon Ice Caps, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yau, A. M.; Fisher, D.

    2013-12-01

    Basal ice from the Canadian Arctic ice caps, Penny, Agassiz, and Devon, has long been suggested to date back into the last interglacial, or Stage 5e. Cores from all three ice caps contain long Holocene sections with heavy δ18Oice values, overlaying condensed glacial sections with light δ18Oice values, which are underlain by ~1-7 m of ice with δ18Oice values similar to that of the Holocene, suggesting accumulation during the last interglacial. However, the origin of the ice, whether the ice is regelation/segregated or pristine glacial ice has been debated, with important implications as to whether or not ice caps in the Canadian arctic persisted through the last interglacial. Here we present analyses of the trapped air from the bottom portions of Penny, Agassiz, and Devon ice caps to provide context about the nature of the basal ice. Geochemical analyses of N2/Ar, O2/Ar, O2/N2, δ15N2, δ18OATM, and total air content (TAC) indicate a spectrum of ice conditions in basal ice. Low N2/Ar ratios and low TAC indicate partial melting in some of the samples from all three ice caps. High δ15N2, high TAC, and N2/Ar ratios close to air indicate that clean glacial ice is also present in the basal section of each ice cap. Low O2/Ar and high δ18OATM indicates microbial respiration in most samples. The lowest δ18OATM values, near 0‰, indicate trapped air ages >80 ka for the Devon and Agassiz ice caps.

  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. 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

  8. 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.

  9. (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.

  10. 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

  11. Multi-decadal water-table manipulation alters peatland hydraulic structure and moisture retention.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, Paul; Morris, Paul; Waddington, James

    2015-04-01

    Peatlands are a globally important store of freshwater and soil carbon. However, there is a concern that these water and carbon stores may be at risk due to climate change as vapour pressure deficits, evapotranspiration and summer moisture deficits are expected to increase, leading to greater water table (WT) drawdown in northern continental regions where peatlands are prevalent. We argue that in order to evaluate the hydrological response (i.e. changes in WT level, storage, surface moisture availability, and moss evaporation) of peatlands under future climate change scenarios, the hydrophysical properties of peat and disparities between microforms must be well understood. A peatland complex disturbed by berm construction in the 1950's was used to examine the long-term impact of WT manipulation on peatland hydraulic properties and moisture retention at three adjacent sites with increasing average depth to WT (WET, INTermediate reference, and DRY). All three sites exhibited a strong depth dependence for hydraulic conductivity, specific yield, and bulk density. Moreover, the effect of microform on near-surface peat properties tended to be greater than the site effect. Bulk density was found to explain a high amount of variance (r2 > 0.69) in moisture retention across a range of pore water pressures (-15 to -500 cm H2O), where bulk density tended to be higher in hollows. The estimated residual water content for surface Sphagnum samples, while on average lower in hummocks (0.082 m3 m-3) versus hollows (0.087 m3 m-3), increased from WET (0.058 m3 m-3) to INT (0.088 m3 m-3) to DRY (0.108 m3 m-3) which has important implications for moisture stress under conditions of persistent WT drawdown. While we did not observe significant differences between sites, we did observe a greater proportional coverage and greater relative height of hummocks at the drier sites. Given the potential importance of microtopographic succession for altering peatland hydraulic structure, our

  12. 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.

  13. Can pollution bias peatland paleoclimate reconstruction?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Payne, Richard J.; Mitchell, Edward A. D.; Nguyen-Viet, Hung; Gilbert, Daniel

    2012-09-01

    Peatland testate amoebae are widely used to reconstruct paleohydrological/climatic changes, but many species are also known to respond to pollutants. Peatlands around the world have been exposed to anthropogenic and intermittent natural pollution through the late Holocene. This raises the question: can pollution lead to changes in the testate amoeba paleoecological record that could be erroneously interpreted as a climatic change? To address this issue we applied testate amoeba transfer functions to the results of experiments adding pollutants (N, P, S, Pb, O3) to peatlands and similar ecosystems. We found a significant effect in only one case, an experiment in which N and P were added, suggesting that pollution-induced biases are limited. However, we caution researchers to be aware of this possibility when interpreting paleoecological records. Studies characterising the paleoecological response to pollution allow pollution impacts to be tracked and distinguished from climate change.

  14. Controls of vegetation, hydrology, and climate on DOC production in Alaskan peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neufeld, K. R.; Turetsky, M. R.; Kane, E. S.

    2010-12-01

    Northern peatlands are thought to serve as a net sink for atmospheric CO2, and store ~30% of the world’s soil C pool. Due to their high organic matter content, they also represent an important source of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) to aquatic ecosystems. In general, high latitude ecosystems are experiencing rapid climate change, which in peatlands can lead to soil moisture deficits with increased evapotranspiration, or to surface flooding where permafrost thaw causes ground subsidence (thermokarst). Because both the production and transport of DOC is controlled by hydrology, it is unclear how these hydrologic disturbances will affect DOC production, its quality, and its fate in northern peatlands. The Alaskan Peatland Experiment (http://www.uoguelph.ca/Apex), located near the Bonanza Creek Experimental Forest outside Fairbanks, examines the effects of altered hydrology on peatland C cycling through water table manipulations in a rich fen (including drought and flooding treatments initiated in 2005), and by studying a gradient of permafrost thaw in a forested bog (established in 2008). The objectives of this study were to quantify the effects of peatland type, vegetation, seasonal ice, and hydrologic disturbance on seasonal DOC production across the APEX sites. Results show that the thermokarst bog on average contained more DOC than the rich fen (average growing season concentrations in the bog: 65.94 ± 1.11 mg/L; fen: 53.22 ± 2.47 mg/L), and that DOC from the bog was more labile with lower specific ultraviolet absorbance (SUVA) values. In both sites, DOC concentrations and SUVA increased through the growing season, likely as a combined result of increased decomposition with warmer soils, loss of seasonal ice, and increased plant productivity. In the fen, experimental drought increased DOC concentrations in most study years. Seasonal water table fluctuations were more minimal in the bog, and DOC concentration did not vary with water table position or soil

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Abrupt vegetation transitions characterise long-term Amazonian peatland development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roucoux, K. H.; Baker, T. R.; Gosling, W. D.; Honorio Coronado, E.; Jones, T. D.; Lahteenoja, O.; Lawson, I. T.

    2012-04-01

    Recent investigations of wetlands in western Amazonia have revealed the presence of extensive peatlands with peat deposits of up to 8 m-thick developing under a variety of vegetation types (Lähteenoja et al. 2012). Estimated to cover 150,000 km2 (Schulman et al. 1999), these peatlands make a valuable contribution to landscape and biological diversity and represent globally important carbon stores. In order to understand the processes leading to peat formation, and the sensitivity of these environments to future climatic change, it is necessary to understand their long-term history. The extent to which peatland vegetation changes over time, the stability of particular communities, the controls on transitions between vegetation types and how these factors relate to the accumulation of organic matter are not yet known. We report the first attempt to establish the long-term (millennial scale) vegetation history of a recently-described peatland site: Quistococha, a palm swamp, or aguajal, close to Iquitos in northern Peru. The vegetation is dominated by Mauritia flexuosa and Mauritiella armata and occupies a basin which is thought to be an abandoned channel of the River Amazon. We obtained a 4 m-long peat sequence from the deepest part of the basin. AMS-radiocarbon dating yielded a maximum age of 2,212 cal yr BP for the base of the peat, giving an average accumulation rate of 18 cm per century. Below the peat are 2 m of uniform, largely inorganic pale grey clays of lacustrine origin, which are underlain by an unknown thickness of inorganic sandy-silty clay of fluvial origin. Pollen analysis, carried out at c. 88-year intervals, shows the last 2,212 years to be characterised by the development of at least four distinct vegetation communities, with peat accumulating throughout. The main phases were: (1) Formation of Cyperaceae (sedge) fen coincident with peat initiation; (2) A short-lived phase of local Mauritia/Mauritiella development; (3) Development of mixed wet

  19. 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

  20. Impact of land drainage on peatland hydrology.

    PubMed

    Holden, J; Evans, M G; Burt, T P; Horton, M

    2006-01-01

    There is a long history of drainage of blanket peat but few studies of the long-term hydrological impact of drainage. This paper aims to test differences in runoff production processes between intact and drained blanket peat catchments and determine whether there have been any long-term changes in stream flow since drainage occurred. Hillslope runoff processes and stream discharge were measured in four blanket peat catchments. Two catchments were drained with open-cut ditches in the 1950s. Ditching originally resulted in shorter lag times and flashier storm hydrographs but no change in the annual catchment runoff efficiency. In the period between 2002 and 2004, the hydrographs in the drained catchments, while still flashy, were less sensitive to rainfall than in the 1950s and the runoff efficiency had significantly increased. Drains resulted in a distinctive spatial pattern of runoff production across the slopes. Overland flow was significantly lower in the drained catchments where throughflow was more dominant. In the intact peatlands, matrix throughflow produced by peat layers below 10 cm was rare and produced <1% of the runoff. However, in drained peatlands, matrix throughflow in deeper peat layers was common and provided around 23% of the runoff from gauged plots. Macropore flow, the density of soil piping, and pipeflow were significantly greater in drained peatlands than in intact basins. Gradual changes to peat structure could explain the long-term changes in river flow, which are in addition to those occurring in the immediate aftermath of peatland drainage.

  1. Relationship between peatland hydrology and biogeochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roulet, N. T.

    2012-04-01

    The 'boreal forest' landscape is composed of upland forests, peatlands, some of which are treed, lakes, streams, and in North America, beaver ponds. Each of these landscapes present quite different biogeochemical environments due to differences in both abiotic and biotic processes and conditions. A significant amount of the carbon (C) in the boreal landscape is stored in peatlands, in part, due to the effect of the water storage on C cycling. The near saturated conditions affect the plants that can grow in peatlands and over the shorter term moisture variability controls the rate of C input to the peat. In the peat water limits the supply of electron donors and this has a profound effect on the C biogeochemistry. Near peat surface the moisture storage can be quite dynamic and mostly oxic conditions prevail, but redox conditions change significantly within a few tenth of a meter below the surface where water residence times increase orders of magnitude. This limits the supply of electron donors and other substrates that control the rate of C mineralization. Understanding the links among the moisture dynamics, the chemical thermodynamics of temporally variable saturated environments, and the quality of C is critical to determining the sensitivity of the C stored in peatlands to environmental change.

  2. Methane emission from Minnesota peatlands: Spatial and seasonal variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dise, Nancy. B.

    1993-03-01

    The variability of methane flux with season, year, and habitat type was investigated in northern Minnesota peatlands from September 1988 through September 1990. Average daily fluxes calculated by integration of annual data for an open poor fen, an open bog, a forested bog hollow, a fen lagg in the forested bog and a forested bog hummock were 180,118, 38, 35, and 10 mg CH4 m-2 d-1, respectively. Fluxes among the five ecosystems were significantly different from one another, although emission from all sites was highest in July and lowest in March. Winter fluxes occurred in all sites but the fen lagg. There was no difference in fluxes measured from the same sites in the spring of 1986, 1989, or 1990, but summer fluxes were significantly higher in the wetter year of 1989 than in 1990, and a summer pulse in methane emission occurred in 1989 that was not seen the next year. Concentrations of methane in pore water, reflecting the seasonal balance of production, oxidation, and release, declined during the month of peak flux, then increased to levels of about 500 μM in December. Consistent spatial and temporal differences in flux could be ascribed to differences in water table, temperature, and peat nutrient status, although additional variability remained. Integration gave an annual average flux of 20 g CH4, m-2 ot; for the three bog ecosystems and 39 g CH4, m-2 for the two fen ecosystems. This gives an estimate of 1-2 Tg CH4, yr-1 from peatlands in the Great Lake states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

  3. 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.

  4. The name of the father: conflict between Louis and Alexander Agassiz and the Embiotoca surfperch radiation.

    PubMed

    Bernardi, G

    2009-04-01

    The surfperch genus Embiotoca currently comprises two species, Embiotoca jacksoni, the black surfperch, and Embiotoca lateralis, the striped surfperch. Originally, however, Louis Agassiz described a third species in the genus Embiotoca, the rainbow surfperch, Embiotoca caryi. This latter name was changed by Louis' son, Alexander, to Hypsurus caryi, a name that remains valid. In this study, new molecular data (3545 bp of DNA from four mitochondrial and two nuclear DNA regions) indicated that the rainbow surfperch should be retained within the genus Embiotoca, a result consistent with recent morphological data. Adaptive radiation combined with sexual selection resulting in rapid morphological changes in the rainbow surfperch may have contributed to the conflicting position of this species.

  5. Synthesizing greenhouse gas fluxes across nine European peatlands and shrublands - responses to climatic and environmental changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carter, M. S.; Larsen, K. S.; Emmett, B.; Estiarte, M.; Field, C.; Leith, I. D.; Lund, M.; Meijide, A.; Mills, R. T. E.; Niinemets, Ü.; Peñuelas, J.; Portillo-Estrada, M.; Schmidt, I. K.; Selsted, M. B.; Sheppard, L. J.; Sowerby, A.; Tietema, A.; Beier, C.

    2012-10-01

    In this study, we compare annual fluxes of methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and soil respiratory carbon dioxide (CO2) measured at nine European peatlands (n = 4) and shrublands (n = 5). The sites range from northern Sweden to Spain, covering a span in mean annual air temperature from 0 to 16 °C, and in annual precipitation from 300 to 1300 mm yr-1. The effects of climate change, including temperature increase and prolonged drought, were tested at five shrubland sites. At one peatland site, the long-term (> 30 yr) effect of drainage was assessed, while increased nitrogen deposition was investigated at three peatland sites. The shrublands were generally sinks for atmospheric CH4, whereas the peatlands were CH4 sources, with fluxes ranging from -519 to +6890 mg CH4-C m-2 yr-1 across the studied ecosystems. At the peatland sites, annual CH4 emission increased with mean annual air temperature, while a negative relationship was found between net CH4 uptake and the soil carbon stock at the shrubland sites. Annual N2O fluxes were generally small ranging from -14 to 42 mg N2O-N m-2 yr-1. Highest N2O emission occurred at the sites that had highest nitrate (NO3-) concentration in the soil water. Furthermore, experimentally increased NO3- deposition led to increased N2O efflux, whereas prolonged drought and long-term drainage reduced the N2O efflux. Soil CO2 emissions in control plots ranged from 310 to 732 g CO2-C m-2 yr-1. Drought and long-term drainage generally reduced the soil CO2 efflux, except at a hydric shrubland where drought tended to increase soil respiration. In terms of fractional importance of each greenhouse gas to the total numerical global warming response, the change in CO2 efflux dominated the response in all treatments (ranging 71-96%), except for NO3- addition where 89% was due to change in CH4 emissions. Thus, in European peatlands and shrublands the effect on global warming induced by the investigated anthropogenic disturbances will be dominated by

  6. Synthesizing greenhouse gas fluxes across nine European peatlands and shrublands - responses to climatic and environmental changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carter, M. S.; Larsen, K. S.; Emmett, B.; Estiarte, M.; Field, C.; Leith, I. D.; Lund, M.; Meijide, A.; Mills, R. T. E.; Niinemets, Ü.; Peñuelas, J.; Portillo-Estrada, M.; Schmidt, I. K.; Selsted, M. B.; Sheppard, L. J.; Sowerby, A.; Tietema, A.; Beier, C.

    2012-03-01

    In this study, we compare annual fluxes of methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and soil respiratory carbon dioxide (CO2) measured at nine European peatlands (n = 4) and shrublands (n = 5). The sites range from northern Sweden to Spain, covering a span in mean annual air temperature from 0 to 16 °C, and in annual precipitation from 300 to 1300 mm yr-1. The effects of climate change, including temperature increase and prolonged drought, were tested at five shrubland sites. At one peatland site, the long-term (>30 yr) effect of drainage was assessed, while increased nitrogen deposition was investigated at three peatland sites. The shrublands were generally sinks for atmospheric CH4 whereas the peatlands were CH4 sources, with fluxes ranging from -519 to +6890 mg CH4-C m-2 yr-1 across the studied ecosystems. At the peatland sites, annual CH4 emission increased with mean annual air temperature, while a negative relationship was found between net CH4 uptake and the soil carbon stock at the shrubland sites. Annual N2O fluxes were generally small ranging from -14 to 42 mg N2O-N m-2 yr-1. Highest N2O emission occurred at the sites that had highest concentration of nitrate (NO3-) in soil water. Furthermore, experimentally increased NO3- deposition led to increased N2O efflux, whereas prolonged drought and long-term drainage reduced the N2O efflux. Soil CO2 emissions in control plots ranged from 310 to 732 g CO2-C m-2 yr-1. Drought and long-term drainage generally reduced the soil CO2 efflux, except at a~hydric shrubland where drought tended to increase soil respiration. When comparing the fractional importance of each greenhouse gas to the total numerical global warming response, the change in CO2 efflux dominated the response in all treatments (ranging 71-96%), except for NO3- addition where 89% was due to change in CH4 emissions. Thus, in European peatlands and shrublands the feedback to global warming induced by the investigated anthropogenic disturbances will be

  7. Nitrogen and phosphorus dynamics of a re-wetted shallow-flooded peatland.

    PubMed

    Kieckbusch, Jan Jacob; Schrautzer, Joachim

    2007-07-15

    Minerotrophic peatlands play an important role in the regulation of water quality and quantity but due to drainage and agricultural land use most of these systems have lost this function. In Central Europe, many re-wetting projects have been implemented to restore wetlands for multifunctional purposes during the last years. The Pohnsdorfer Stauung (Northern Germany) is a eutrophic fen which was used for intensive agriculture for 40 years. The peatland is divided in two subareas by a small stream. In the scope of re-wetting measures, one subarea (westpolder) was flooded by blockading the main drainage ditch in 1996/97, a second subarea (eastpolder) was re-connected to the stream by an inlet and outlet in 2001. Nitrogen and phosphorus dynamics were investigated in the surface water of these systems over a 5-year (westpolder) and 3-year (eastpolder) period, and balances were calculated. In both polders high dynamics of nitrogen and phosphate concentrations were observed in the surface water. Nitrate peaked in the winter months, whereas ammonium, phosphate and organically bound nitrogen (N(org)) revealed highest values during summer. Daily balances for the eastpolder and annual balances for both polders were calculated. In both polders nitrate was retained but phosphate and N(org) were exported. Differences of the nutrient dynamics and the absolute and relative balances between the polders were due to the different hydrology: the eastpolder received a high nitrate load by the stream, in the westpolder nutrient loads are low and internal nutrient cycles are dominating. During the summer months, high ammonium concentrations, oxygen depletion, and phosphate release occur in the warm, stagnant water of both polders. Normally, high phosphate and ammonium concentrations did not coincided with discharge phases from the polders. However, in August 2002 after heavy rainfall high phosphorus and ammonium discharge was observed. One important factor influencing the detected

  8. 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

  9. 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. PMID:25176338

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Effects of tropospheric ozone on methane and carbon dioxide fluxes from peatland mesocosms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toet, Sylvia; Oliver, Vikki; Helgason, Thorunn; Peacock, Simon; Barnes, Jeremy; Ineson, Phil; Ashmore, Mike

    2010-05-01

    Tropospheric ozone is currently the third most important greenhouse gas, and also the most important gaseous air pollutant globally in terms of effects on vegetation world-wide. At present levels it poses a significant threat to crop yield and forest productivity of sensitive species, while background ozone concentrations are expected to increase further during the next decades. The potential importance of ozone in reducing carbon assimilation, and consequently in increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, has been recognised. However, regional modelling studies are based on the impact of ozone on photosynthetic rates and above-ground growth, and do not consider effects of ozone on belowground carbon fluxes. The limited experimental data on the long-term effects of ozone on belowground carbon processes, mainly from arable crop and forest systems, are a major constraint to understanding the impacts of ozone on global carbon fluxes. Very little attention has been paid to ozone effects on peatland carbon dynamics, though northern peatlands store a third of the global soil organic carbon pool and are an important source of atmospheric methane. The aims of this study were to assess the long-term effects of elevated ozone on carbon dioxide and methane fluxes in temperate peatland mesocosms and to identify underlying plant, soil and microbial processes. Mesocosms from a wet heath (Isle of Skye, UK) with vegetation dominated by the peat moss Sphagnum papillosum and the sedge Schoenus nigricans have been exposed to ambient (control) and three elevated levels of ozone in open-top chambers from May 2008. Methane emission, carbon dioxide fluxes and relevant plant and soil variables were measured every 6 weeks (growing season) or 8 weeks (winter). Methane emissions were significantly reduced by elevated ozone over the first 18 months of the experiment. Ecosystem respiration only showed a significant increase in response to ozone in the second growing season, while

  19. Modelling global peatlands from LGM to Anthropocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kleinen, T.; Brovkin, V.

    2013-12-01

    Peatlands play an important role in the global carbon cycle. While natural wetlands are the largest natural source of methane, peatlands have accumulated substantial amounts of carbon, with estimates of peat accumulated during the Holocene reaching 600 PgC. On longer timescales the carbon uptake by peatlands therefore becomes a cumulative flux of substantial magnitude. In order to mechanistically model interglacial carbon cycle dynamics, we have developed a dynamical model of wetland extent and peat accumulation, which we have integrated in the coupled climate carbon cycle model of intermediate complexity CLIMBER2-LPJ. This model consists of the climate model of intermediate complexity CLIMBER2, containing dynamic models of atmosphere and ocean, as well as sea ice and land surface modules. Its coarse spatial resolution leads to a high computational speed, which allows long-term transient integrations of the coupled model. Land carbon dynamics are computed using the dynamic global vegetation model LPJ. LPJ is run at a high spatial resolution of 0.5° and coupled to CLIMBER2 using the climate anomalies approach. Changes in land carbon storage as a response to changes in climate or atmospheric CO2 are therefore taken into account interactively at high spatial resolution. Within this model, we have implemented a module that dynamically determines the extent of a grid cell that is inunated, based on the TOPMODEL approach, incorporating sub-gridcell information on hydrological properties of the land surface. Within the permanent wetlands determined, peat is accumulated since the slow anaerobic decomposition in wetlands leads to a large excess of biomass production over organic matter decomposition. In addition, methane emissions from the decomposition of soil organic matter are determined, both for permanent, and for seasonal natural wetlands. While we have previously published results for boreal peatlands, we have now extended our approach to include tropical peatlands

  20. Modelling global peatlands from LGM to Anthropocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kleinen, Thomas; Brovkin, Victor

    2014-05-01

    Peatlands play an important role in the global carbon cycle. While natural wetlands are the largest natural source of methane, peatlands have accumulated substantial amounts of carbon, with estimates of peat accumulated during the Holocene reaching 600 PgC. On longer timescales the carbon uptake by peatlands therefore becomes a cumulative flux of substantial magnitude. In order to mechanistically model interglacial carbon cycle dynamics, we have developed a dynamical model of wetland extent and peat accumulation, which we have integrated in the coupled climate carbon cycle model of intermediate complexity CLIMBER2-LPJ. This model consists of the climate model of intermediate complexity CLIMBER2, containing dynamic models of atmosphere and ocean, as well as sea ice and land surface modules. Its coarse spatial resolution leads to a high computational speed, which allows long-term transient integrations of the coupled model. Land carbon dynamics are computed using the dynamic global vegetation model LPJ. LPJ is run at a high spatial resolution of 0.5° and coupled to CLIMBER2 using the climate anomalies approach. Changes in land carbon storage as a response to changes in climate or atmospheric CO2 are therefore taken into account interactively at high spatial resolution. Within this model, we have implemented a module that dynamically determines the extent of a grid cell that is inunated, based on the TOPMODEL approach, incorporating sub-gridcell information on hydrological properties of the land surface. Within the permanent wetlands determined, peat is accumulated since the slow anaerobic decomposition in wetlands leads to a large excess of biomass production over organic matter decomposition. In addition, methane emissions from the decomposition of soil organic matter are determined, both for permanent, and for seasonal natural wetlands. While we have previously published results for boreal peatlands, we have now extended our approach to include tropical peatlands

  1. 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.

  2. Greenhouse gas flux from tropical peatlands: context and controls

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Page, Susan; Jauhiainen, Jyrki; Hooijer, Aljosja

    2010-05-01

    Peatlands play a key role within the global carbon cycle by storing a disproportionately large amount of soil carbon relative to other terrestrial ecosystems. Peatland systems have accumulated carbon through an imbalance between the uptake and release of CO2 from and to the atmosphere. In a pristine condition, tropical peat swamp forest is one of the world's most efficient carbon sequestering ecosystems as a result of substantial biomass production and the waterlogged condition of the peat, which reduces significantly the rate of organic matter decomposition. Tropical peat deposits have acted as sinks of atmospheric carbon since at least the beginning of the Holocene and, in some cases, the Late Pleistocene. They currently store ~ 65 Gt C, most of which is located in thick deposits in Southeast Asia. Tropical peatlands are, however, vulnerable to destabilisation through both human and climate induced changes. The former include poor forest and land management practices, drainage, large-scale conversion to plantation agriculture, and fire; these lead to degradation and reduction of the peatland carbon store and contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, whilst compromising other valuable ecosystem services. Climate induced changes include susceptibility to drought-impacts, particularly during ENSO-events; there are also initial indications that regional climates in areas with extensive peatlands are experiencing reduced rainfall, which threatens longer term peatland sustainability. This paper reviews the current understanding of carbon-climate-human interactions on tropical peatlands. It focuses on the main causes of peatland degradation, in particular natural and anthropogenic changes in peatland hydrology; considers the risks that hydrological change, especially water-table drawdown, poses to the peatland carbon pool; and assesses the scale of peatland drainage-associated CO2 emissions, which are currently of the order of ~250 Mt C yr-1 for Southeast Asian peatlands

  3. Modelling methane fluxes from managed and restored peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cresto Aleina, F.; Rasche, L.; Hermans, R.; Subke, J. A.; Schneider, U. A.; Brovkin, V.

    2015-12-01

    European peatlands have been extensively managed over past centuries. Typical management activities consisted of drainage and afforestation, which lead to considerable damage to the peat and potentially significant carbon loss. Recent efforts to restore previously managed peatlands have been carried out throughout Europe. These restoration efforts have direct implications for water table depth and greenhouse gas emissions, thus impacting on the ecosystem services provided by peatland areas. In order to quantify the impact of peatland restoration on water table depth and greenhouse gas budget, We coupled the Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) model to a process-based model for methane emissions (Walter and Heimann, 2000). The new model (EPIC-M) can potentially be applied at the European and even at the global scale, but it is yet to be tested and evaluated. We present results of this new tool from different peatlands in the Flow Country, Scotland. Large parts of the peatlands of the region have been drained and afforested during the 1980s, but since the late 1990s, programs to restore peatlands in the Flow Country have been enforced. This region offers therefore a range of peatlands, from near pristine, to afforested and drained, with different resoration ages in between, where we can apply the EPIC-M model and validate it against experimental data from all land stages of restoration. Goals of this study are to evaluate the EPIC-M model and its performances against in situ measurements of methane emissions and water table changes in drained peatlands and in restored ones. Secondly, our purpose is to study the environmental impact of peatland restoration, including methane emissions, due to the rewetting of drained surfaces. To do so, we forced the EPIC-M model with local meteorological and soil data, and simulated soil temperatures, water table dynamics, and greenhouse gas emissions. This is the first step towards a European-wide application of the EPIC

  4. Modeling water table dynamics in managed and restored peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cresto Aleina, Fabio; Rasche, Livia; Hermans, Renée; Subke, Jens-Arne; Schneider, Uwe; Brovkin, Victor

    2016-04-01

    European peatlands have been extensively managed over past centuries. Typical management activities consisted of drainage and afforestation, which lead to considerable damage to the peat and potentially significant carbon loss. Recent efforts to restore previously managed peatlands have been carried out throughout Europe. These restoration efforts have direct implications for water table depth and greenhouse gas emissions, thus impacting on the ecosystem services provided by peatland areas. In order to quantify the impact of peatland restoration on water table depth and greenhouse gas budget, We coupled the Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) model to a process-based model for methane emissions (Walter and Heimann, 2000). The new model (EPIC-M) can potentially be applied at the European and even at the global scale, but it is yet to be tested and evaluated. We present results of this new tool from different peatlands in the Flow Country, Scotland. Large parts of the peatlands of the region have been drained and afforested during the 1980s, but since the late 1990s, programs to restore peatlands in the Flow Country have been enforced. This region offers therefore a range of peatlands, from near pristine, to afforested and drained, with different resoration ages in between, where we can apply the EPIC-M model and validate it against experimental data from all land stages of restoration Goals of this study are to evaluate the EPIC-M model and its performances against in situ measurements of methane emissions and water table changes in drained peatlands and in restored ones. Secondly, our purpose is to study the environmental impact of peatland restoration, including methane emissions, due to the rewetting of drained surfaces. To do so, we forced the EPIC-M model with local meteorological and soil data, and simulated soil temperatures, water table dynamics, and greenhouse gas emissions. This is the first step towards a European-wide application of the EPIC

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Inventory and monitoring options of peatlands at regional scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gardi, Ciro; Sommer, Stefan; Seep, Kalev; Horion, Stéphanie

    2010-05-01

    Determination of the spatial extent of peatlands and monitoring their status is important for the evaluation of soil carbon stocks and greenhouse gas fluxes. At European Level there is a need to provide accurate and updated estimate of the distribution of peatlands. Comparison of national data with EU wide land cover mapping shows that there is limited compatibility between the different data sets. In this study a methodology of standardized mapping and monitoring of peatlands at regional level (national to supra-national bio-climatic regions), is presented. This methodology, based on the enhanced integration of existing thematic maps through GIS analysis in combination with remote sensing, has been applied to Estonia, as study case. Existing national maps and field inventory of Estonian peatlands have been used for a GIS based evaluation of peatlands relevant information contained in Corine Land Cover. Remote sensing has been employed in 2 ways: a multispectral approach using Landsat TM and a phenology oriented time series analysis of SPOT VEGETATION NDVI both implemented for the entire territory of Estonia. The remote sensing results are evaluated against the existing high resolution Estonian map of peatlands. In the case study it has been shown that peatlands are both spectrally and phenologically clearly distinct from other land cover types and therefore have a good potential to allow semi-automated mapping over large areas with relatively high accuracy, which lays the basis for efficient monitoring and mapping of peatlands change.

  9. 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

  10. The Paradox of Excess Nitrogen in Boreal Peatlands: Biogeochemical Gaps in Nitrogen Cycling Revealed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vile, M. A.; Prsa, T.; Wieder, R.; Lamers, L. P.

    2011-12-01

    Globally, peatlands cover 3-4 % of the Earth's land surface (over 4 million km 2, yet they store 25-30 % of the world's soil carbon (C) and 9-16% of the world's soil nitrogen (N, 8-15 Pg) in peat. As in other terrestrial ecosystems, the cycling of C and N is closely linked, especially for ombrotrophic bogs. Bogs receive nutrient and water exclusively from the atmosphere, which ensures an N-limited, nutrient-poor habitat. In Alberta, NW Canada, peatlands have received exceptionally low atmospheric inputs of N (< 1 7 kg/ha/yr) from their first introduction on the landscape ~ 7000 yrs bp, up to the present time. Paradoxically, despite these low inputs of atmospheric N deposition, bases on 210-fixation Pb dating of peat cores, we have shown that over the past 50 years these bogs have accumulated approximately 11-21 times more N in peat than can be explained by inputs of atmospheric N. A likely missing input is N2-fixation from cyanobacteria associated with Sphagnum mosses, however this process has been largely overlooked in boreal peatlands. Here we demonstrate the importance of N2-fixation in explaining the high accumulation rates of N found in unpolluted, boreal bogs of western Canada. Calibrated (using theoretical ratio of 1.5-3:1) rates of N2-fixation for 4 bogs in northern Alberta ranged from 1.6 to 8.0 ± 0.7 kg/ha/yr, indicating that 42-58 % of the N accumulated over in peat, can be attributed to biological N2-fixation. Although most of northern Alberta's peatlands continue to receive exceptionally low atmospheric N deposition rates, over the last 3 decades, rapid development and industrial expansion of Alberta's Oil Sands Mining (OSM) potentially threaten the pristine nature of peatlands through regionally elevated deposition of N-compounds (NOx). Prior to OSM, N inputs to bogs were limited exclusively to (1) biological N fixation, and (2) bulk background deposition. We examined the response of peatlands located in the OSM area to enhanced N deposition. Despite

  11. Response of peatland ecosystem to climatic changes in Central-Eastern Europe: a long-term ecological approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slowinska, S.; Marcisz, K.; Slowinski, M. M.; Lamentowicz, M.; Lamentowicz, L.; Mitchell, E. A.

    2013-12-01

    Northern peatlands play a major role in the global carbon cycle, and they are valuable archives of the past environmental change. The functioning of these ecosystems depends on the feedback between biotic and abiotic factors that are still not fully understood. In our study we investigated relationships between hydrological (groundwater level fluctuations, hydrochemistry), meteorological conditions near the ground (air temperature and humidity, photosynthetically active radiation, leaf wetness, temperature and moisture of Sphagnum) and biological factors: vegetation patterns, Sphagnum mosses growth and testate amoebae (Protists) composition. We designed a long-term ecological study site in a Sphagnum mire in Northern Poland that consisted of five meteorological micro stations and eleven piezometers located in two transects at 5,95 ha area. During the growing season 2012 we observed significant differences between plots in terms of micrometeorological and hydrological conditions that resulted in different Sphagnum increments and seasonal dynamics of testate amoebae communities. Our study is very important to better understand how temperate peatlands react to the climatic change and recent warming. Obtained results revealed a high sensitivity of bog ecosystem to e.g. short-term heat waves. Further research will be conducted to model a potential response of Sphagnum peatland to the future climate change. Project supported by Polish National Science Centre grant No. NN306060940 and the grant PSPB-013/2010 from Switzerland through the Swiss Contribution to the enlarged European Union.

  12. Modeling the impact of peatland drainage on a superficial aquifer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larocque, Marie; Gagné, Sylvain; Gagné, Alexandre; Ferland, Olivier

    2016-04-01

    Peat harvesting for horticultural purposes requires the lowering of the water table within the peatland. This is usually done with a peripheral drain all around the peatland and secondary drains to maintain low water levels within the peat. Recent studies have focused on the effect of peat drainage on the organic deposit within the peatland. However, only limited research has studied whether or not and in which conditions peatland drainage has an impact on an adjacent superficial aquifer. This issue is addressed in this presentation. Available data have been used to build conceptual models of peatlands located in two regions of southern Québec (Canada). These models represent two hydrogeological environments where peatlands are used for peat harvesting in the Côte Nord and Centre-du-Québec regions. The models are built to simulate the effect of actual peat harvesting conditions on water table drawdowns in the two regions. Other models are tested to understand how different hydraulic properties, changing the position of the peripheral drain, or modeling for agricultural drains in the vicinity of the peat production area impacts the results. Other models are also tested to understand how the presence of a low hydraulic conductivity layer below the peatland or the presence of agricultural drains in the vicinity of the exploitation influence water table levels. Results show that peatland drainage generates drawdowns in the superficial aquifer that are smaller than 0.5 m. The distance between the peripheral drain and the peatland border has limited impact on the drawdowns. In the Côte Nord region, the presence of a low-K horizon below the peatland reduces the effect of peat drainage on aquifer drawdown. In the Centre-du-Québec region, the presence of agricultural drainage limits significantly the spatial extension of water table drawdowns. This study provides new insights into the effects of peat harvesting on groundwater resources that will help the peat industry

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Peatland classification of West Siberia based on Landsat imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Terentieva, I.; Glagolev, M.; Lapshina, E.; Maksyutov, S. S.

    2014-12-01

    Increasing interest in peatlands for prediction of environmental changes requires an understanding of its geographical distribution. West Siberia Plain is the biggest peatland area in Eurasia and is situated in the high latitudes experiencing enhanced rate of climate change. West Siberian taiga mires are important globally, accounting for about 12.5% of the global wetland area. A number of peatland maps of the West Siberia was developed in 1970s, but their accuracy is limited. Here we report the effort in mapping West Siberian peatlands using 30 m resolution Landsat imagery. As a first step, peatland classification scheme oriented on environmental parameter upscaling was developed. The overall workflow involves data pre-processing, training data collection, image classification on a scene-by-scene basis, regrouping of the derived classes into final peatland types and accuracy assessment. To avoid misclassification peatlands were distinguished from other landscapes using threshold method: for each scene, Green-Red Vegetation Indices was used for peatland masking and 5th channel was used for masking water bodies. Peatland image masks were made in Quantum GIS, filtered in MATLAB and then classified in Multispec (Purdue Research Foundation) using maximum likelihood algorithm of supervised classification method. Training sample selection was mostly based on spectral signatures due to limited ancillary and high-resolution image data. As an additional source of information, we applied our field knowledge resulting from more than 10 years of fieldwork in West Siberia summarized in an extensive dataset of botanical relevés, field photos, pH and electrical conductivity data from 40 test sites. After the classification procedure, discriminated spectral classes were generalized into 12 peatland types. Overall accuracy assessment was based on 439 randomly assigned test sites showing final map accuracy was 80%. Total peatland area was estimated at 73.0 Mha. Various ridge

  10. Increases in methylmercury export from a sulfate-amended peatland: A consequence of an altered microbial consortia?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Branfireun, B.; Krabbenhoft, D.; Fowle, D.; Jeremiason, J.

    2004-05-01

    An experiment at the Marcell Experimental Forest, Minnesota is ongoing to test the hypothesis that increased atmospheric sulfate deposition to northern peatlands is responsible for increased methylmercury yields from these ecosystems. A peatland, divided into an upslope control portion and a downslope experimental portion, has had elevated levels of sulfate applied to the experimental portion using an extensive irrigation network for several seasons. Increases in methylmercury yield from the system were apparent early in the experimental manipulation. In 2002, peat cores were extracted from the control and experimental areas of the peatland to evaluate whether or not changes in the peat sulfur geochemistry, microbial community structure, and/or mercury methylation potential could be attributed to the sulfate additions. Mercury methylation potential was assessed using a stable isotope addition to incubated intact peat cores, which were subsequently sliced and frozen until analyses. The microbial community structure was assessed using a modified solid-phase extraction followed by phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analyses. Although only minor differences in sulfur geochemistry and methylation potential were detected, the treatment cores had increased abundances of Desulfovibrio-group and Desulfobacter-group biomarkers compared to the control cores, and the effect was greatest in the near surface peat. In the control cores, the abundances of sulfate-reducers in both groups increased with depth. These results suggest that increased sulfate loading may cause a shift in microbial community structure and abundance in favour of known mercury methylators.

  11. Two episodes of meltwater influx from glacial Lake Agassiz into the Lake Michigan basin and their climatic contrasts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Colman, Steven M.; Keigwin, L.D.; Forester, R.M.

    1994-01-01

    Two episodes of meltwater influx from glacial Lake Agassiz are recorded as prominent sedimentologic, isotopic, magnetic, and faunal signatures in southern Lake Michigan profundal sediments. As a tributary to the main path of eastward Lake Agassiz flow, southern Lake Michigan recorded only the largest, catastrophic discharges. The distinctive Wilmette Bed, a massive gray mud that interrrupts laminated red glaciolacustrine clays, marks the first episode, which occurred near the beginning of the Younger Dryas cooling events. The associated discharge may have played a role in the inception or severity of the Younger Dryas event. An oxygen isotope excursion in biogenic carbonate and changes in ostracode assemblages mark the second episode, which appears to have had at least two pulses, dated by accelerator mass spectrometer 14C ages on biogenic carbonate at about 8.9 and 8.6 ka. The second episode occurred during the early Holocene peak in global meltwater discharge and apparently had little widespread climatic or oceanographic effect. The contrast between the effects associated with these two episodes of meltwater discharge emphasizes the complexity of the ice sheet-ocean-climate system. -Authors

  12. 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.

  13. Bank Erosion in a Peatland Forest Ditch

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stenberg, Leena; Finér, Leena; Nieminen, Mika; Sarkkola, Sakari; Koivusalo, Harri

    2013-04-01

    Peatlands have been drained for forestry extensively in Finland since 1950's, but nowadays the drainage is shifted from the initial ditching to the ditch network maintenance, which refers to the cleaning of existing ditches and to the digging of complementary ditches in the drained areas. Ditch maintenance operations lead to sediment load that is considered to be among the most harmful environmental effects of forestry. Excess sediment loads cause adverse effects to the receiving waters and their ecosystems in terms of increased turbidity, which reduces primary production, and siltation, which ruins the spawning grounds of fish. To understand the underlying mechanisms behind the sediment load at the source areas, a field experiment was conducted for studying the bank erosion of a newly cleaned ditch. That was done on a shallow peated area with fine textured mineral subsoil (sandy loam) since such areas are assessed to have the greatest risk for sediment load generation. Bank erosion was quantified by using a pin meter, and its suitability for detecting microtopographic changes of ditch side wall in drained peatland conditions was evaluated. Artificial irrigation was applied in the vicinity of a ditch to generate a seepage face that speeds up the erosion process. The ditch bank microtopography was measured five times for a four meter long section of the ditch by using a large set of pin meter measurements. The measurements from the different times were spatially interpolated over 2 x 2 cm grid using ordinary kriging and erosion and deposition were estimated as the difference in the grid surface between the measurement times. The results revealed that bank erosion occurred soon after the ditch was cleaned, but the eroded material was deposited on the lower bank areas and at the bottom of the ditch where it is potentially transported further during peak discharge events. Pin meter proved to be suitable for measuring bank erosion of peatland forest ditch, although the

  14. 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. PMID:21053723

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. The role of topography and vegetation cover upon riverine dissolved organic carbon and water colour in peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parry, Lauren; Chapman, Pippa; Palmer, Shiela; Wallage, Zoe; Whynn, Hannah; Holden, Joseph

    2015-04-01

    Riverine dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is predominantly controlled by soil type and previous research has shown that peatlands are an important source. However, little is known about the controls upon riverine DOC that have not undergone major disturbance from drainage or burning in blanket peatlands. Vegetation cover and topographic characteristics of 119 peatland catchments in northern England were determined across three basins using 0.5 m resolution colour infrared aerial images and digital elevation models respectively. These characteristics were then linked to DOC and water colour levels from their respective catchments gathered during six repeated sampling campaigns. The topographic characteristics of slope standard deviation and mean slope were shown to be the strongest (and negative) controls on DOC and water colour using stepwise regression. Bare peat and Ericaceous shrubs showed a weak but positive role in determining riverine DOC in a number of the models. There were a number of differences in model output depending on the basin. For example, Ericaceous shrubs were notably a more dominant control in one basin, but despite their presence, they did not feature in the regression models for the other two basins. The strength of topographic predictors in our study, together with the weaker role of vegetation type, is of use to water companies who source water from blanket peatland covered catchments and who wish to develop tools to justify land management decisions at spatial scales relevant to the practitioner. For example, it is possible to predict simply from DEMs and aerial imagery which tributaries will produce lower DOC concentrations and water colour and therefore which areas may be most suitable for raw water intakes.

  18. Interannual, seasonal, and retrospective analysis of the methane and carbon dioxide budgets of a temperate peatland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olson, D. M.; Griffis, T. J.; Noormets, A.; Kolka, R.; Chen, J.

    2013-03-01

    Three years (2009-2011) of near-continuous methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes were measured with the eddy covariance (EC) technique at a temperate peatland located within the Marcell Experimental Forest, in northern Minnesota, USA. The peatland was a net source of CH4 and a net sink of CO2 in each year with annual carbon budgets of -26.8 (±18.7), -15.5 (±14.8), and -14.6 (±21.5) g C m-2 yr-1 for 2009-2011, respectively. Differences in the seasonal hydrometeorological conditions among the three study years were most pronounced during 2011, which was considerably warmer (+1.3°C) and wetter (+40 mm) than the 30 year average. The annual CH4 budget was +11.8 (±3.1), +12.2 (±3.0), and +24.9 (±5.6) g C m-2 yr-1 for the respective years and accounted for 23%-39% of the annual carbon budget. The larger CH4 emission in 2011 is attributed to significant warming of the peat column coupled with a high water table position throughout the entire growing season. Historical (1991-2011) CH4 emissions were estimated based on long-term hydrometeorological records and functional relationships derived from our 3 year field study. The predicted historical annual CH4 budget ranged from +7.8 to +15.2 (±2.7) g CH4-C m-2 yr-1. Recent (2007-2011) increases in temperature, precipitation, and rising water table at this site suggest that CH4 emissions have been increasing, but were generally greater from 1991 to 1999 when average soil temperature and precipitation were higher than in recent years. The global warming potential (considering CO2 and CH4) for this peatland was calculated based on a 100 year time horizon. In all three study years, the peatland had a net positive radiative forcing on climate and was greatest (+187 g C m-2) in 2011. The interannual variability in CH4 exchange at this site suggests high sensitivity to variations in hydrometeorological conditions.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. The historical residue trend of chlorinated hydrocarbons in the Agassiz Ice Cap, Ellesmere I., Canada

    SciTech Connect

    Gregor, D.J.; Peters, A.J.; Backus, S.; Fisher, D.; Zheng, J.

    1995-12-31

    Current detailed measurements of contaminant deposition can not provide a historical perspective except through long term monitoring programs. In the Arctic, ice caps provide an alternative to lake sediments in that the annual snow layers reflect the atmospheric deposition. As a result of the remoteness of the Agassiz Ice Cap (80{degree}49`50``N, 72{degree}56`30``W) and the limited summer melt, annual layers undergo little chemical change, especially after the first summer season, and therefore provide a well defined historical record. PCBs were first measured above detection limit in the core in the late 1950`s. Mean concentration of {Sigma}PCB over the thirty year period is 3.5 ({+-}1.3) ng. L{sup {minus}1}. {Sigma}PCB is dominated by the lower chlorinated congeners with only infrequent detections of congeners with eight or more chlorines. Deposition peaked at 930 ng.m{sup {minus}2}.a{sup {minus}1} in 1967/68 and decreased to 90 ng.m{sup {minus}2}.a{sup {minus}1} in 1980/81. Since 1980/81, deposition has again increased to a local maximum of 850 ng.m{sup {minus}2}.a{sup {minus}1} in 1989/90. PAHs are detectable throughout the sampling period. Only 7 individual PAHs were above the quantification limits including naphthalene (accounting for an overall mean of 88% of the {Sigma}PAH) acenaphthene, fluorene, phenanthrene, fluoranthene, pyrene and chrysene. No PAHs with five or more aromatic rings were observed to be present above the detection limits. The flux of PAHs to the Ice Cap remained relatively constant from 1790 to 1940 at approximately 3 {micro}g.m{sup {minus}2}.a{sup {minus}1}. The period 1940 to 1980 is dominated by a large increase in deposition peaking at 70 {micro}g.m{sup {minus}2}.a{sup {minus}1} in the early 1970`s. The final period, 1980 to 1993 shows a steady increase by a factor of about 2 from a minimum of 10--20 {micro}g.m{sup {minus}2}.a{sup {minus}1}.

  2. Northwest outlet channels of Lake Agassiz, isostatic tilting and a migrating continental drainage divide, Saskatchewan, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fisher, Timothy G.; Souch, Catherine

    1998-10-01

    Lake cores obtained from the northwest outlet of glacial Lake Agassiz in northwest Saskatchewan, Canada, provide a minimum date for the cessation of the flood from the northwest outlet, and a chronology for abandonment of mid-Holocene channels that presently straddle the Mackenzie and Churchill drainage divide. The stratigraphy of a vibracore taken from Long Lake consists of a lower pebble gravel fining to massive sand, silty-clay and then fibrous peat. Wood fragments from the base of the clay yielded an accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) date of 9120 BP. Because the lake is scour in origin and is in the head of the spillway, the date is considered to be a minimum estimate for cessation of the flood from the northwest outlet at the beginning of the Emerson Phase. A vibracore taken at Haas Lake in an abandoned channel surrounded by muskeg with no influent streams, consists of 0.8 m of stratified, pebble gravel containing abundant shell and wood fragments, overlain by 1.62 m of gyttja with a sharp, conformable lower contact. AMS dates range from 5590 BP from the topmost gravel to 3080 BP within the gyttja. The gravel is interpreted as fluvial, recording a river draining Wasekamio Lake north into the Clearwater River across the present-day drainage divide. Today, a drop of 2 m occurs from Wasekamio Lake southeast to Lac Ile-a-la-Crosse, along 150 km of lake basins parallel to the Cree Lake Moraine. The dates from Haas Lake suggest that before 5200 BP, the drainage divide was about 100 km further southeast, implying that during the Emerson Phase, lake level was controlled by a sill near Flatstone Lake at about 430 m instead of between Wasekamio Lake and the Clearwater River, as was previously proposed. Holocene differential isostatic uplift caused the flow reversal in the upper Churchill basin. Anastomosed channels at the mouth of rivers flowing north into lakes indicate that uplift is still active in the area today.

  3. 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.

  4. Temporal variations in the stable carbon isotopic composition of methane emitted from Minnesota peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelly, Cheryl A.; Dise, Nancy B.; Martens, Christopher S.

    1992-09-01

    The stable carbon isotopic composition of methane (δ13C) emitted from two peatland sites in the Marcell Experimental Forest in northern Minnesota was investigated during the snow-free season of 1989-1990. A seasonal range in δ13C values of 13‰ was seen for a forested bog with heavier (13C enriched) methane emitted during the wanner summer months. This shift was correlated with water table level suggesting control by microbial oxidation. Methane from a nearby poor fen transitional to bog dominated by Carex oligosperma showed a similar temporal trend but with a much smaller range of 5‰ during the same time period and with no water table level correlation. The methane emitted from the fen was consistently heavier than that emitted by the bog.

  5. 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

  6. Sphagnum peatlands as a unique habitat for the long-term survival of glacial relicts: a case study of Betula nana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slowinski, M. M.; Slowinska, S.; Noryśkiewicz, A. M.; Lamentowicz, M.; Kołaczek, P.

    2014-12-01

    Sphagnum peatlands are characterized by distinctive vegetation, hydrology and local climate. They are very important areas for flora and fauna. In the last decade, much effort was made at better understanding of microrefugia and their important role in post-glacial migration of various plant species. The aim of this study is to explain a long-term persistence of the glacial relict Betula nana in a Sphagnum peatland in northern Poland far from the southern range of its natural distribution. We suppose that the persistence of Betula nana is driven by a) the morphology and geology of the catchment, b) the maintenance of open vegetation on the peatland surface and c) exceptional microclimatic and hydrological conditions. A detailed research was carried out on the peat profile using pollen analysis, to reconstruct the presence of open habitat on the mire during the Holocene. Furthermore, detailed monitoring of local climate, hydrology of the peatland and the surrounding area was conducted. The pollen analysis revealed a continuous presence of Betula nana in the postglacial history of the peatland. The results of local climate monitoring indicated that the mire possesses a typical microclimate, with air temperature amplitude much higher in relation to the open area, in particular during the growing season. This, in combination with the hydrology, which depends on the geology of the surrounding area, affects Betula nana population. Linje mire is a unique microrefugium sustained by local factors such as microclimate, geology, local relief and hydrology. However, it is still challenging to explain the intriguing case why this species still occurs within the study site. This work was funded by the National Science Centre grant NN306060940 and Polish-Swiss Research Programme PSPB-013/2010. This study is a contribution to the Virtual Institute of Integrated Climate and Landscape Evolution (ICLEA) of the Helmholtz Association.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Linear disturbances in boreal peatlands: Hotspots of methane emission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strack, Maria

    2016-04-01

    Across Canada's boreal forest, at least 600,000 km of linear disturbances including cutlines and roads crisscross the landscape to facilitate resource exploration and extraction. As the boreal forest consists of up to 50% peatland, many of these linear disturbances also cross peatland ecosystems. Although more permanent access roads may involve the placement of mineral soil fill, most linear disturbances only involve clearing the area of trees to allow the passage of equipment and vehicles. This change in canopy cover and the compression of the peat by heavy equipment alters local thermal, hydrological and ecological conditions, likely changing greenhouse gas flux on the disturbance and possibly in the adjacent peatland. I studied CO2 and CH4 along triplicate transects crossing a winter road through a poor fen near Peace River, Alberta, Canada. Sample plots were located 1, 5 and 10 m from the road on both upstream and downstream sides with an additional three plots in the centre of the road. Productivity of the overstory trees, when present, was also determined. The winter road thawed earlier, had a shallower water table and a significantly higher graminoid cover than the adjacent peatland. Tree productivity and CO2 varied between the plots in the adjacent peatland, but there was no clear pattern in relation to distance from the road. The plots on the winter road acted as a greater or similar sink of CO2 as the adjacent peatland, depending on the specific conditions at the study plot. The most significant change was a substantial increase in CH4 emissions, with plots on the winter road emitting on average (standard deviation) 1100 (550) mg CH4 m-2 d-1 compared to 49 (73) mg CH4 m-2 d-1 in the adjacent peatland. Since the hydrologic impact of cutlines is likely less than winter roads, the increase in CH4 efflux may not be as extreme in all cases. Nonetheless, assuming that peatland accounts for ˜30% of the boreal region and a 150 day emission period for CH4, and a

  11. 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.

  12. 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).

  13. Changing leaf litter feedbacks on plant production across contrasting sub-arctic peatland species and growth forms.

    PubMed

    Dorrepaal, Ellen; Cornelissen, Johannes H C; Aerts, Rien

    2007-03-01

    Plant species and growth forms differ widely in litter chemistry, which affects decay and may have important consequences for plant growth via e.g. the release of nutrients and growth-inhibitory compounds. We investigated the overall short-term (9.5 months) and medium-term (21.5 months) feedback effects of leaf litter quality and quantity on plant production, and tested whether growth forms can be used to generalise differences among litter species. Leaf litter effects of 21 sub-arctic vascular peatland species on Poa alpina test plants changed clearly with time. Across all growth forms, litter initially reduced plant biomass compared with untreated plants, particularly litters with a high decomposition rate or low initial lignin/P ratio. In the second year, however, litter effects were neutral or positive, and related to initial litter N concentration (positive), C/N, polyphenol/N and polyphenol/P ratios (all negative), but not to decomposability. Differences in effect size among several litter species were large, while differences in response to increasing litter quantities were not significant or of similar magnitude to differences in response to three contrasting litter species. Growth forms did not differ in initial litter effects, but second-year plant production showed a trend (P<0.10) for differences in response to litters of different growth forms: evergreen shrubsnorthern peatlands, vascular plant species, and possibly growth forms, differ in litter feedbacks to plant growth. Differences in the composition of undisturbed plant communities or species shifts induced by external disturbance, such as climate change, may therefore feedback strongly to plant biomass production and probably nutrient cycling rates in northern peatlands. PMID:17089140

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Resource contrast in patterned peatlands increases along a climatic gradient.

    PubMed

    Eppinga, Maarten B; Rietkerk, Max; Belyea, Lisa R; Nilsson, Mats B; De Ruiter, Peter C; Wassen, Martin J

    2010-08-01

    Spatial patterning of ecosystems can be explained by several mechanisms. One approach to disentangling the influence of these mechanisms is to study a patterned ecosystem along a gradient of environmental conditions. This study focused on hummock-hollow patterning of peatlands. Previous models predicted that patterning in drainage-dominated peatlands is driven by a peat-accumulation mechanism, reflected by higher nutrient availability in hollows relative to hummocks. Alternatively, patterning in evapotranspiration (ET)-dominated peatlands may be driven by a nutrient-accumulation mechanism, reflected by reversed nutrient distribution, namely, higher nutrient availability in hummocks relative to hollows. Here, we tested these predictions by comparing nutrient distributions among patterned peatlands in maritime (Scotland), humid temperate (Sweden), and humid continental (Siberia) climates. The areas comprise a climatic gradient from very wet and drainage-dominated (Scotland) to less wet and ET-dominated (Siberia) peatlands. Nutrient distribution was quantified as resource contrast, a measure for hummock-hollow difference in nutrient availability. We tested the hypothesis that the climatic gradient shows a trend in the resource contrast; from negative (highest nutrient availability in hollows) in Scotland to positive (highest nutrient availability in hummocks) in Siberia. The resource contrasts as measured in vegetation indeed showed a trend along the climatic gradient: contrasts were negative to slightly positive in Scotland, positive in Sweden, and strongly positive in Siberia. This finding corroborates the main prediction of previous models. Our results, however, also provided indications for further model development. The low concentrations of nutrients in the water suggest that existing models could be improved by considering both the dissolved and adsorbed phase and explicit inclusion of both nutrient-uptake and nutrient-storage processes. Our study suggests that

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Mercury export pathways in thawing Peatlands: Insights from Stordalen, Sweden

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prado, M. F.; Varner, R. K.; Bryce, J. G.; McCalley, C. K.; Erickson, L. M.; Crill, P. M.

    2013-12-01

    Recent studies have shown that climate change in northern high latitudes plays a significant role in enhancing the mobilization of previously sequestered mercury (Hg) in peatlands to the atmosphere and hydrosphere. The magnitude and mechanics of Hg mobilization, however, remain poorly constrained. To investigate the coupling of different export pathways and the major fate and transport of Hg in a subarctic ecosystem, we measured atmospheric Hg fluxes across a permafrost thaw gradient and compared these fluxes with exchangeable Hg from peat cores collected in July 2012 and July 2013 at the Stordalen Mire, Abisko, Sweden (68°21'N). Mercury flux measurements were estimated using a Tekran 2537 ambient air mercury analyzer integrated into a dynamic chamber system. The nine chamber array is divided into three sites, three chambers per site: (1) palsa site: dwarf-shrub dominated hummocks overlying permafrost, (2) Sphagnum : semi-wet hollows with 100% sphagnum cover with minor Eriophorum vaginatum, and (3) Eriophorum: wet hollows dominated by Carex rostrata and Eriophorum angustifolium. Continuous ambient air Hg measurements were made for multiple days at each site prior to flux chamber measurements. All three sites show a diel pattern characterized by Hg deposition during lows of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) and ground temperature and a release of Hg during the peak PAR and ground temperature periods (13:00-15:00h). The palsa site yielded the highest Hg flux accompanied with the least amount of Hg deposition in the evening. The Eriophorum releases the least amount of Hg and is associated with the highest Hg deposition. The Sphagnum shows the most variability of the three sites, at times releasing as much as the palsa site but absorbing more than the Eriophorum in one instance. Consideration of the Hg flux measurements together with exchangeable Hg concentrations of the peat suggests that the palsa has the highest amount of stored Hg and given the aerobic

  1. Climate drivers for peatland palaeoclimate records

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Charman, Dan J.; Barber, Keith E.; Blaauw, Maarten; Langdon, Pete G.; Mauquoy, Dmitri; Daley, Tim J.; Hughes, Paul D. M.; Karofeld, Edgar

    2009-09-01

    Reconstruction of hydroclimate variability is an important part of understanding natural climate change on decadal to millennial timescales. Peatland records reconstruct 'bog surface wetness' (BSW) changes, but it is unclear whether it is a relative dominance of precipitation or temperature that has driven these variations over Holocene timescales. Previously, correlations with instrumental climate data implied that precipitation is the dominant control. However, a recent chironomid inferred July temperature record suggested temperature changes were synchronous with BSW over the mid-late Holocene. This paper provides new analyses of these data to test competing hypotheses of climate controls on bog surface wetness and discusses some of the distal drivers of large-scale spatial patterns of BSW change. Using statistically based estimates of uncertainty in chronologies and proxy records, we show a correlation between Holocene summer temperature and BSW is plausible, but that chronologies are insufficiently precise to demonstrate this conclusively. Simulated summer moisture deficit changes for the last 6000 years forced by temperature alone are relatively small compared with observations over the 20th century. Instrumental records show that summer moisture deficit provides the best explanatory variable for measured water table changes and is more strongly correlated with precipitation than with temperature in both Estonia and the UK. We conclude that BSW is driven primarily by precipitation, reinforced by temperature, which is negatively correlated with precipitation and therefore usually forces summer moisture deficit in the same direction. In western Europe, BSW records are likely to be forced by changes in the strength and location of westerlies, linked to large-scale North Atlantic ocean and atmospheric circulation.

  2. 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.

  3. Rates and controls on N accumulation in peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zivkovic, T.; Wang, M.; Moore, T. R.; Loisel, J.

    2013-12-01

    Paleoecological studies on peat cores have focused mainly on carbon (C) accumulation rates, whereas nitrogen (N) accumulation rates and cycling have been largely overlooked. We use primary data from peat cores extracted from Mer Bleue bog, the Northwest Territories and eastern and western Canada to estimate long- and short-term N accumulation rates. Furthermore, we apply the mean C/N ratios from a wide range of peatland types in Ontario to estimate N accumulation rates where C accumulation rates are available. Rates of N accumulation range from 0.1 to 2.0 g m-2 yr-1. We examine the sources of N to peatlands and different peatland types (bogs, fens and swamps) depend on N from different sources. For example, ombrotrophic bogs depend on bulk atmospheric N deposition and biological N2 fixation as their only source of N. Oligo- and minerotrophic fens however receive additional N along with other nutrients from the surface and ground water. Prior to Industrial Revolution atmospheric N deposition in peatlands was minimal and likely constant (< 0.1 g m-2 yr-1). Although it is impossible to measure N2 fixation rates in the past, N accumulation rates represent an overall balance between N inputs and outputs in these ecosystems. In bogs, N outputs are small, thus N accumulation rates could be explained by N2 fixation rates that have been the main source of N for these ecosystems, and we compare N accumulation rates with current measurements of N2 fixation.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. C loss of managed peatlands along a land use gradient - a comparison of three different methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krüger, Jan Paul; Leifeld, Jens; Glatzel, Stephan; Alewell, Christine

    2015-04-01

    Carbon (C) loss from managed organic soils is an important flux in the global carbon cycle. Different approaches exist to estimate C emissions and thus the greenhouse gas balance of soils. Here we compare two soil profile-based methods with greenhouse gas flux measurements by closed chambers to assess the net C loss from managed peatlands. We applied the different methods to the well-studied peatland complex Ahlen-Falkenberger Moor in northern Germany, which represents a land use gradient from near-natural wetland (NW) to extensively used grassland (GE) (rewetted in 2003/2004) to intensively used grassland (GI). Drainage commenced at the beginning of the 20th century, and land use was intensified in the middle of the 20th century. In November 2012, three peat cores down to approximately 100 cm were taken at each site and various biogeochemical soil parameters were analysed. The so-called combined method estimates the physical primary subsidence due to the loss of pore water and peat shrinkage, and the secondary subsidence due to the oxidative loss of organic matter. As a second method C loss was calculated using peat accumulation rates derived from 14-C age-dated samples and their C-stock in this depth. These two profile-based methods give the C loss since the onset of drainage. Compared to this, the greenhouse gas (GHG) measurements (2007-2009) represent the current C loss from the soil under given climate and management conditions. All three sites have lost C since the onset of drainage in the order NW

  9. 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

  10. Do Russian boreal peatlands dominate the natural European methane budget?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

    Methane (CH4) emissions of boreal peatlands have previously been reported from Alaska, Canada, Scandinavia, and Western Siberia, but not from the European part of the Russian Federation, which is covered by vast areas of peatlands (8 % of the total surface area). To help to fill this research gap, CH4 emissions were measured during a period of one year from March 2008 to February 2009 in a boreal peatland (61°56'N, 50°13'E) in the Komi Republic, European Russia using the closed chamber technique. Additionally, soil water for analysis of dissolved CH4 and dissolved organic carbon was sampled once per month. Further closed chamber measurements were conducted during the summer 2011. While winter fluxes were well within the range of what has been reported for the peatlands of boreal regions before, the summer fluxes exceeded by far the average of 5-80 mg CH4 m-2d-1 for the boreal zone, as about the half of the measured fluxes ranged between 150 and 450 mg CH4 m-2d-1. There was no evidence that high or low CH4 surface fluxes coincided with high or low values of dissolved CH4 in the soil water. In statistical terms, the environmental conditions during the year 2008 were normal, the air temperature and the precipitation did not show strong deviations from the long term mean. Whereas the summer of 2011 was warmer and noticeable drier than the long term mean. These conditions led to even higher CH4 emissions, with peaks up to seven times higher than the values measured in 2008. These new data sets lead to the assumption that the Russian boreal peatlands play an even more important role in the European CH4 budget than previously thought and should be included into the newest inventories.

  11. 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.

  12. Controls on bacterial and archaeal community structure and greenhouse gas production in natural, mined, and restored Canadian peatlands

    PubMed Central

    Basiliko, Nathan; Henry, Kevin; Gupta, Varun; Moore, Tim R.; Driscoll, Brian T.; Dunfield, Peter F.

    2013-01-01

    Northern peatlands are important global C reservoirs, largely because of their slow rates of microbial C mineralization. Particularly in sites that are heavily influenced by anthropogenic disturbances, there is scant information about microbial ecology and whether or not microbial community structure influences greenhouse gas production. This work characterized communities of bacteria and archaea using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) and sequence analysis of 16S rRNA and functional genes across eight natural, mined, or restored peatlands in two locations in eastern Canada. Correlations were explored among chemical properties of peat, bacterial and archaeal community structure, and carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) production rates under oxic and anoxic conditions. Bacteria and archaea similar to those found in other peat soil environments were detected. In contrast to other reports, methanogen diversity was low in our study, with only 2 groups of known or suspected methanogens. Although mining and restoration affected substrate availability and microbial activity, these land-uses did not consistently affect bacterial or archaeal community composition. In fact, larger differences were observed between the two locations and between oxic and anoxic peat samples than between natural, mined, and restored sites, with anoxic samples characterized by less detectable bacterial diversity and stronger dominance by members of the phylum Acidobacteria. There were also no apparent strong linkages between prokaryote community structure and CH4 or CO2 production, suggesting that different organisms exhibit functional redundancy and/or that the same taxa function at very different rates when exposed to different peat substrates. In contrast to other earlier work focusing on fungal communities across similar mined and restored peatlands, bacterial and archaeal communities appeared to be more resistant or resilient to peat substrate changes brought

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Evaluation of the Holocene Peat Model with Data from Boreal and Subarctic Peatlands of the James Bay Lowlands, Quebec, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quillet, A.; Garneau, M.; Frolking, S.; Roulet, N. T.; van Bellen, S.; Ali, A. A.; Booth, R. K.; Peng, C.

    2008-12-01

    The Holocene Peat Model (HPM) is a dynamic model simulating the transient evolution of a peatland since its early stages. HPM takes into account the feedbacks between vegetation, peat properties, water table depth, and climate. The aim of this study is to evaluate the HPM by means of empirical data. Three distinct sampling sites were chosen within a large region including boreal and subarctic peatlands in the James Bay lowlands, northern Quebec, Canada. One fen and one bog were selected in the subarctic region and another bog in the boreal region. These sites have different geographical, climatological and ecological features (e.g. pH, nutrient availability, hydrology and species composition). Five cores from those three sites were dated using 210Pb and 14C. Loss on ignition and plant macrofossils analysis were performed for each core. First, we compare the simulation results of the HPM for the study sites with the information earned in the field and laboratory. In order to capture the causes for discrepancies between simulated and observed data, we then constrained the model in two ways: 1) The water balance of HPM was forced with water table fluctuations reconstructions, obtained from a transfer function of Testate amoebae. 2) The bulk density of HPM was forced with the bulk density data obtained from the cores. In both cases, the results highlight the effectiveness of the water balance and the bulk density routines of the HPM and also draw attention to other potential causes of inaccuracy in the model.

  19. 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.

  20. Exploring the impacts of climate change and permafrost thaw on microlandscapes, plant species, and carbon cycling of West Siberian peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bohn, T. J.

    2015-12-01

    Methane emissions from northern peatlands depend strongly on environmental conditions, wetland plant species assemblages (via root zone oxidation and plant-aided transport), and soil microbial behavior (via metabolic pathways). Potential future changes in high-latitude climate are expected to include permafrost thaw and thermokarst formation, which may change the distribution of microlandscapes such as hummocks and hollows (and plant species therein) within peatlands. While the responses of wetland methane emissions to potential future climate change have been extensively explored, the effects of future changes in plant species and soil microbial metabolism are not as well studied. We ran the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) land surface model over the West Siberian Lowland (WSL), with methane emissions parameters that vary spatially as a function of microlandscape and the dominant plant species therein, and forced with outputs from 32 CMIP5 models for the RCP4.5 scenario. Here we compare the effects of changes in climate, microlandscapes, and vegetation on predicted wetland CH4 emissions for the period 2071-2100, relative to the period 1981-2010, in terms of both total annual emissions and the spatial distribution of emissions. We also explore possible acclimatization of soil microbial communities to these changes. Our work indicates the importance of better constraining the responses of wetland plants and soil microbial communities to changes in climate as they are critical determinants of the region's future methane emissions.

  1. Isotopic partitioning of net ecosystem CO2 exchange reveals the importance of methane oxidation in a boreal peatland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hasselquist, Niles; Peichl, Matthias; Öquist, Mats; Crill, Patrick; Nilsson, Mats

    2016-04-01

    Partitioning net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) into its different flux components is crucial as it provides a mechanistic framework to better assess how the terrestrial carbon cycle may respond to projected environmental change. This is especially important for northern boreal peatlands, which store approximately one-quarter of the world's soil carbon and yet at the same time are projected to experience some of the greatest environmental changes in the future. Using an experimental setup with automated chambers for measuring NEE (transparent chambers), ecosystem respiration (Reco; opaque chambers) and heterotrophic respiration (Rh; opaque chambers on vegetation-free trenched plots) in combination with continuous measurements of δ13C using near-infrared, diode-laser-based cavity-ring down spectroscopy (Picarro G1101-i analyzer), we partitioned NEE of CO2 into gross primary productivity (GPP), ecosystem respiration (Reco), heterotrophic respiration (Rh) and autotrophic respiration (Ra) using two different approaches (i.e., chamber- and isotope-based methods) in a boreal peatland in northern Sweden (Degerö). Given that δ13C was continuously measured in each chamber, we were also able to further partition Rh into soil organic matter (SOM) mineralization by saprotrophic microbes and the oxidation of methane (CH4) by methanotrophic bacteria. During the ten day measurement period (in late July 2014), the average daily NEE flux at the mire was -0.6 g C m-2 d-1. Overall, the two partitioning approaches yielded similar estimates for the different NEE component fluxes. Average daily fluxes of Rh and Ra were similar in magnitude, yet these two flux components showed contrasting diurnal responses: Ra was greatest during the day whereas there was little diurnal variation in Rh. In general, average 13C signature of CO2 efflux from the Rh chambers (-41.1 ± 0.6 ‰) was between the 13C signature of SOM (-25.8 ± 0.6 ‰) and CH4 in pore water (-69.0 ± 0.8 ‰). Assuming that

  2. Peatland hydrology and carbon release: why small-scale process matters.

    PubMed

    Holden, Joseph

    2005-12-15

    Peatlands cover over 400 million hectares of the Earth's surface and store between one-third and one-half of the world's soil carbon pool. The long-term ability of peatlands to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere means that they play a major role in moderating global climate. Peatlands can also either attenuate or accentuate flooding. Changing climate or management can alter peatland hydrological processes and pathways for water movement across and below the peat surface. It is the movement of water in peats that drives carbon storage and flux. These small-scale processes can have global impacts through exacerbated terrestrial carbon release. This paper will describe advances in understanding environmental processes operating in peatlands. Recent (and future) advances in high-resolution topographic data collection and hydrological modelling provide an insight into the spatial impacts of land management and climate change in peatlands. Nevertheless, there are still some major challenges for future research. These include the problem that impacts of disturbance in peat can be irreversible, at least on human time-scales. This has implications for the perceived success and understanding of peatland restoration strategies. In some circumstances, peatland restoration may lead to exacerbated carbon loss. This will also be important if we decide to start to create peatlands in order to counter the threat from enhanced atmospheric carbon.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Spatial variability in plant species composition and peatland carbon exchange

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goud, E.; Moore, T. R.; Roulet, N. T.

    2015-12-01

    Plant species shifts in response to global change will have significant impacts on ecosystem carbon (C) exchange and storage arising from changes in hydrology. Spatial variation in peatland C fluxes have largely been attributed to the spatial distribution of microhabitats that arise from variation in surface topography and water table depth, but little is known about how plant species composition impacts peatland C cycling or how these impacts will be influenced by changing environmental conditions. We quantified the effect of species composition and environmental variables on carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) fluxes over 2 years in a temperate peatland for four plant communities situated along a water table gradient from ombrotrophic bog to beaver pond. We hypothesized that (i) spatial heterogeneity in species composition would drive predictable spatial heterogeneity in C fluxes due to variation in plant traits and ecological tolerances, and (ii) increases in peat temperature would increase C fluxes. Species had different effects on C fluxes primarily due to differences in leaf traits. Differences in ecological tolerances among communities resulted in different rates of CO2 exchange in response to changes in water table depth. There was an overall reduction in ecosystem respiration (ER), gross primary productivity (GPP) and CH4 flux in response to colder peat temperatures in the second year, and the additive effects of a deeper water table in the bog margin and pond sites further reduced flux rates in these areas. These results demonstrate that different plant species can increase or decrease the flux of C into and out of peatlands based on differences in leaf traits and ecological tolerances, and that CO2 and CH4 fluxes are sensitive to changes in soil temperature, especially when coupled with changes in moisture availability.

  9. Expanding Peatlands in Alaska Caused by Accelerated Glacier Melting Under a Warming Climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loisel, J.; Yu, Z.; Jones, M. C.

    2009-05-01

    Most mountain glaciers worldwide have been retreating over the last century due to global warming. This is particularly true around the Gulf of Alaska, where glacier recession has further accelerated since 1988. It is well known that glacier meltwater plays a critical role in the global sea level rise, but its effects on structure and functioning of peatland ecosystems remain poorly understood. We have observed in the field that many peatlands in the Susitna Basin, south-central Alaska, are expanding. As high moisture conditions are needed to promote peatland development and expansion, a regional change toward wetter conditions is likely responsible for the ongoing paludification of these peatlands. However, instrumental climatic data from this region show no increase in precipitation but an increase in temperature (and presumably evaporation) over the last decades. We hypothesize that climatically-induced glacier melting is modifying the local/regional climate, especially air humidity during the growing season, promoting the expansion of peatlands. To document recent peatland vertical growth and lateral expansion, we collected two long peat cores and twelve 30-cm-long monoliths in 2008 along a 110-m transect from an expanding peatland margin toward the peatland center. Ecohydrologic changes were reconstructed from testate amoebae and plant macrofossils assemblages. Preliminary results from both long cores revealed a change in the vegetation assemblages from a mesotrophic fen dominated by sedges and brown mosses to a Sphagnum-dominated peat bog at 11 cm, suggesting a very recent modification of the local hydrologic regime. A simultaneous increase in moisture was reconstructed from testate amoebae records. These unusual shifts in peatland development and hydrology (e.g., wet conditions triggering the fen-bog transition) imply a recent increase of atmospheric water to these peatlands. Our ongoing lead-210 dating and additional proxy analysis will help us resolve the

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:27267720

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. The Dispersal of the 8.2 ka Lake Agassiz Drainage Waters Into the NW Atlantic: Working Hypothesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hillaire-Marcel, C.; de Vernal, A.; Weaver, A.; Fisher, D. A.; Solignac, S.

    2004-12-01

    The so-called "8.2 ka event", often associated with the drainage of glacial Lake Agassiz through Hudson Strait into the Labrador Sea that occurred some 8.4 ka ago, has been "seen" in various types of records. Absent in the Antarctica ice records, it appears in some Arctic ice records but not others. It is clearly recorded in the GRIP and North GRIP records, although with distinct features (notably a reverse deuterium-excess trend, suggesting that a proximal source of moisture could be involved; V. Masson pers. com.). Several paleoclimate sequences from Western Europe depict highly variable climate oscillations that are often attributed to this event. Such oscillations generally differ in their duration (from less than 40 years up to several hundreds of years) and, in many cases, do not differ significantly from the subsequent climate oscillations of the Holocene. Elsewhere, continental evidence for a major climate event is often unclear or questionable. Most scientists evoke a collapse or a strong reduction in the rate of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning (AMO) as an explanation for their observations, thus linking the pulses of freshwater release, the thermohaline circulation (THC), and the atmospheric response that would have resulted in largely spread "climatic anomalies". Some model experiments seem to support this scenario, but they have not necessarily been run with realistic freshwater release rates or routes. Most however would not allow a short "THC-excursion" thus raising concern about a less than 40 yr-event as reported in some records. Therefore, some strong marine "evidence" for at least a reduction of the AMO is needed. Unfortunately, most marine records have a time resolution unsuitable to ascertain a short duration reduction of the AMO, and/or are smoothed due to benthic mixing, thus dampening high frequency signals into the stochastic noise. When reported in marine records from the North Atlantic, the presence of this 8.2 ka event seems generally

  16. Controls on Ecosystem and Root Respiration in an Alaskan Peatland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McConnell, N. A.; McGuire, A. D.; Harden, J. W.; Kane, E. S.; Turetsky, M. R.

    2010-12-01

    Boreal ecosystems cover 14% of the vegetated surface on earth and account for 25-30% of the world’s soil carbon (C), mainly due to large carbon stocks in deep peat and frozen soil layers. While peatlands have served as historical sinks of carbon, global climate change may trigger re-release of C to the atmosphere and may turn these ecosystems into net C sources. Rates of C release from a peatland are determined by regional climate and local biotic and abiotic factors such as vegetation cover, thaw depth, and peat thickness. Soil CO2 fluxes are driven by both autotrophic (plant) respiration and heterotrophic (microbial) respiration. Thus, changes in plant and microbial activity in the soil will impact CO2 emissions from peatlands. In this study, we explored environmental and vegetation controls on ecosystem respiration and root respiration in a variety of wetland sites. The study was conducted at the Alaskan Peatland Experiment (APEX; www.uoguelph.ca/APEX) sites in the Bonanza Creek Experimental Forest located 35 km southwest of Fairbanks Alaska. We measured ecosystem respiration, root respiration, and monitored a suite of environmental variables along a vegetation and soil moisture gradient including a black spruce stand with permafrost, a shrubby site with permafrost, a tussock grass site, and a herbaceous open rich fen. Within the rich fen, we have been conducting water table manipulations including a control, lowered, and raised water table treatment. In each of our sites, we measured total ecosystem respiration using static chambers and root respiration by harvesting roots from the uppermost 20 cm and placing them in a root cuvette to obtain a root flux. Ecosystem respiration (ER) on a μmol/m2/sec basis varied across sites. Water table was a significant predictor of ER at the lowered manipulation site and temperature was a strong predictor at the control site in the rich fen. Water table and temperature were both significant predictors of ER at the raised

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Peatland Carbon Dynamics on the North Slope of Alaska During the Holocene: The Role of Climate, Sea Ice, and Buried Peat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Zicheng; Massa, Charly; Cleary, Kathleen; Jones, Benjamin; Grosse, Guido

    2014-05-01

    Our recent and ongoing data syntheses indicate that peatlands accumulated more carbon (C) during past warm climate intervals in the circum-Arctic region, including Alaska. In particular, peak C accumulations have been observed during the Holocene Thermal Maximum (HTM) in the early Holocene when summer insolation was higher. However, we do not know the regional patterns and impacts of sea-ice change on Holocene peat C accumulation, especially around the Arctic Ocean where increased vegetation productivity has already been linked to sea ice declines in recent decades. Here we review Holocene peatland and tundra C accumulation records on the North Slope, along with our preliminary results, to investigate spatiotemporal pattern of C accumulation and the possible role of sea-ice change. As in many other northern high-latitude regions, most peatlands on the North Slope initiated in the early Holocene. Several discontinuous and low-resolution peat accumulation records from the region appear to show high accumulation rates or high C content in the early Holocene. In addition, we note that many peatlands that existed during the earlier Holocene on the North Slope have disappeared and are presently covered by mineral soils under tundra or eolian sandy deposits, indicating that current peatland extent is only a fraction of early Holocene extent. In contrast to highest C accumulation rates in the early Holocene, our preliminary results from a 70-cm-long peat core (lat. 70.71 N; long. 153.87 W) from northwest Teshekpuk Lake, near the Teshekpuk Lake Observatory on the Arctic Coastal Plain, about 10 km from the Arctic Ocean, shows a very different pattern. The highest C accumulation of 12.7 gC/m2/yr is observed after 2.9 ka, much higher than the rate of 3.8 gC/m2/yr at 8.1-2.9 ka. Furthermore, the period with high C rates after 2.9 ka at this site was dominated by well-preserved peat mosses (Sphagnum) and with abundant leaf fragments, likely from dwarf birch (Betula nana). This

  6. 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

  7. The effective oxidation state of a peatland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Worrall, Fred; Clay, Gareth D.; Moody, Catherine S.; Burt, Tim P.; Rose, Rob

    2016-01-01

    The oxidative ratio (OR) of the organic matter of the terrestrial biosphere is a key parameter in the understanding of the magnitude of the carbon sink represented both by the terrestrial biosphere and by the global oceans. However, no study has considered the oxidation state of all the organic pools and fluxes within one environment. In this study all organic matter pathways (dissolved organic matter, particulate organic matter, CO2, and CH4) were measured within an upland peat ecosystem in northern England. The study showed the following: (1) The peat soil of ecosystem was accumulating oxygen at a rate of between -16 and -73 t O km-2 yr-1; (2) Although there was no significant variation in oxidation state in the peat profile, there was a significant increase in degree of unsaturation with depth; (3) The dissolved organic matter leaving the ecosystem was significantly more oxidized than the other carbon pools analyzed while the particulate organic matter was not significantly different from the peat soil profile; and (4) Assuming that all carbon flux from the site was as CO2, the OR of the ecosystem was 1.07; when the nature and speciation of the release pathways were considered, the ecosystem OR was 1.04. At the global scale, correcting for the speciation of carbon fluxes means that the annual global fluxes of carbon to land = 1.49 ± 0.003 Gt C/yr and to the oceans = 2.01 ± 0.004 Gt C/yr.

  8. 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

  9. Using vegetation cover type to predict and scale peatland methane dynamics.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McArthur, K. J.; McCalley, C. K.; Palace, M. W.; Varner, R. K.; Herrick, C.; DelGreco, J. L.

    2015-12-01

    Permafrost ecosystems contain about 50% of the global soil carbon. As these northern ecosystems experience warmer temperature, permafrost thaws and may result in an increase in atmospheric methane. We examined a thawing and discontinuous permafrost boundary at Stordalen Mire, in Northern Sweden, in an effort to better understand methane emissions. Stable isotope analysis of methane in peatland porewater can give insights into the pathway of methane production. By measuring δ13CH4 we can predict whether a system is dominated by either hydrogenotrophic or acetaclastic methane production. Currently, it is a challenge to scale these isotopic patterns, thus, atmospheric inversion models simply assume that acetoclastic production dominates. We analyzed porewater samples collected across a range of vegetation cover types for δ13CH4 using a QCL (Quantum Cascade Laser Spectrometer) in conjunction with highly accurate GPS (3-10cm) measurements and high-resolution UAV imaging. We found δ13CH4 values ranging from -88‰ to -41‰, with averages based on cover type and other vegetation features showing differences of up to -15‰. We then used a computer neural network to predict cover types across Stordalen Mire from UAV imagery based on field-based plot measurements and training samples.. This prediction map was used to scale methane flux and isotope measurements. Our results suggest that the current values used in atmospheric inversion studies may oversimplify the relationship between plant and microbial communities in complex permafrost landscapes. As we gain a deeper understanding of how vegetation relates to methanogenic communities, understanding the spatial component of ecosystem methane metabolism and distribution will be increasingly valuable.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  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

    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. PMID:21081702

  19. A decade of continuous NEE measurements at a Scottish peatland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helfter, Carole; Campbell, Claire; Coyle, Mhairi; Anderson, Margaret; Drewer, Julia; Levy, Peter; Famulari, Daniela; Twigg, Marsailidh; Skiba, Ute; Billett, Michael; Dinsmore, Kerry; Nemitz, Eiko; Sutton, Mark

    2013-04-01

    Eddy-covariance measurements of carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes have been running continuously at the Auchencorth Moss peatland site in Scotland (55o47'32N, 3o14'35W, 267 m a.s.l.) since the spring of 2002 which makes this study one of the longest ones to date on a peatland system. Auchencorth Moss is a low-lying, ombrotrophic peatland situated ca. 20 km south-west of Edinburgh. Peat depth ranges from <0.5 m to >0.5 m and the site has a mean annual precipitation of 1155 mm. The open moorland site has an extensive uniform fetch of blanket bog to the south, west and north. 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 eddy-covariance system consists of a Licor 7000 closed-path infrared gas analyser operating at 10 Hz for the simultaneous measurement of carbon dioxide and water vapour and of a Gill Windmaster Pro ultrasonic anemometer, operating at 20 Hz, and mounted atop a 3 m mast. The effective measurement height is 3.5 m with a vertical separation of 20 cm between the anemometer and the inlet of the sampling line. Air is sampled at 20 litres per minute through a 40 m long Dekabon line (internal diameter 4 mm). In addition to eddy-covariance measurements, the site is equipped with a weather station, soil temperature measurements, total solar radiation and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) sensors, a tipping bucket for rainfall and, since April 2007, water table depth has been recorded at half-hourly interval. On an annual basis, the peatland at Auchencorth Moss has consistently been a net sink of CO2 in the study period 2002-2012 with a mean net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of - 69.1 ± 33.6 g C-CO2 m-2 yr-1. This value is at the high end of other recent studies as is the inter-annual range of NEE (-31.4 to -135.9 g C-CO2 m-2 yr-1). Inter-annual variations in NEE are significant and strongly correlated to the length of the growing

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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. PMID:26803099

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Assessing water table dynamics of peatland areas using Landsat TIR imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carrión Klier, Carolina; Schuetz, Tobias; Untenecker, Johanna; Bechtold, Michel

    2016-04-01

    Water saturation conditions in peatlands are a driving factor for the emission of greenhouse gases. Thus, the identification of long-term saturation dynamics in peatland areas is a first step towards the quantification of emissions from these ecosystems. Unfortunately, information on groundwater levels is not always available on the necessary spatial or temporal resolution. Publicly available databases of remotely sensed satellite data offer ways to close this lack of information. Previous studies have shown the potential of the thermal signature of the soil surface monitored by thermal infrared imagery to derive information about subsurface hydrology. It is also known that shallow-groundwater systems as wet peatlands are less susceptible to seasonal temperature fluctuations than drained peatlands and soils with deeper groundwater. Hence, wetter peatlands will be characterized by a smoother seasonal surface temperature curve, being cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Due to the strong influence of the vegetation cover on thermal infrared radiative transfer, we here analyze temperature dynamics as relative differences between comparable vegetation cover in the same region. As satellite data we used remotely sensed Landsat TIR imagery. The archive of Landsat TIR imagery compiles records on a 16 days cycle since 1984. The present study seeks to use this archive to reconstruct the water saturation conditions in the peatland areas of the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany, over the last three decades. We restricted our analysis on grassland vegetation because of its predominance in the study area and its relative low vegetation height. Preliminary results for selected peatlands are 1) peatland characteristic annual patterns of TIR temperature differences, and 2) intra-annual variability over the years of available Landsat imagery within these patterns. In our presentation, we will further compare the resulting time series with available groundwater level

  10. 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.

  11. A study of all UK peatland restoration and management projects - Lessons learned

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holden, J.; Walker, J.; Bonn, A.; Evans, M. G.; Worrall, F.; Buckler, M.; Davison, S.

    2009-04-01

    Many of the world's peatlands are degraded and are the subject of restoration. This paper surveys UK peatland restoration projects which occur on blanket peats, fenlands, raised mires and heathland. A publicly accessible peatland project database has been produced and can be used to identify common challenges or techniques adopted. There is an excellent archive of data growing among over 100 separate projects that evaluate peat degradation and restoration. Many of these projects examine peatland drainage and the system response to drain-blocking. A synthesis of data revealed three key findings. First, national and international biodiversity targets following the European Habitats Directive are a main driver of peatland restoration programmes and project target setting in the UK. Therefore biodiversity goals are set as the most important targets for peat restoration projects. Second, project staff reported good success rates for their projects with a median score of 75 % for overall success. Success scores increased rapidly with the age of restoration project over the first three years before levelling off at 80 to 100 % thereafter. Third, in contrast to the scores for overall project success, the scores for site condition showed relatively little pattern in time and much greater variation. While there were significant increases in scores for hydrology there was no significant change in scores for biodiversity when comparing initial to current site conditions. This is because peatland response to restoration practice can often be slow, with ecological improvement lagging behind hydrological process recovery. Slow recovery of peatlands is not always compatible with time-specific biodiversity targets set by restoration projects and their funders. Therefore, moves towards restoration targets that focus on restoring ecosystem functioning rather than fully restored peatland ecosystems are advocated.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Vulnerability of the peatland carbon sink to sea-level rise.

    PubMed

    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 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. PMID:27354088

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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. PMID:23026149

  2. 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.

  3. Evaluating Spruce Peatland Responses Under Climatic and Environmental Change Using a Replicated In Situ Field Manipulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hanson, P. J.; Kolka, R. K.; Norby, R. J.; Palik, B.; Wullschleger, S. D.; Garten, C. T.; Sebestyen, S. D.; Thornton, P. E.; Bradford, J.; Mulholland, P. J.; Todd, D. E.; Iversen, C.; Warren, J.

    2010-12-01

    Identification of critical environmental response functions for terrestrial organisms, communities, and ecosystems to rapidly changing climate conditions are needed to evaluate ecological consequences and feedbacks. Such research has ‘real-world’ relevance when conclusions are drawn from controlled manipulations operating in natural field settings. We are in the process of developing an experimental platform to address climate change response mechanisms in a Picea/Larix/Sphagnum bog ecosystem located in northern Minnesota. This ecosystem located at the southern extent of the spatially expansive boreal peatland forests is considered to be especially vulnerable to climate change and to have important feedbacks on the atmosphere and climate. The replicated experiment will allow us to test mechanisms controlling vulnerability of organisms and ecosystem processes changes for multiple levels of warming (+0, 3, 6, and 9°C) combined with elevated CO2 exposures (800 to 900 ppm) at selected warming levels. New methods for whole-ecosystem warming at plot scales of 12 to 14 m diameter have been developed for this study and will be described. Through the execution of this experiment we plant to quantify thresholds for organism decline or mortality, limitations to regeneration, biogeochemical limitations to productivity, and changing greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere. The experiment will allow for the evaluation of responses across multiple spatial scales including: microbial communities, bryophyte populations, various higher plant types, and some faunal groups. Direct and indirect effects of these experimental perturbations will be tracked and analyzed over a decade for the development and refinement of models needed for full Earth system analyses.

  4. Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Bare Peat Surfaces on Permafrost Peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Repo, M. E.; Pitkämäki, A.; Biasi, C.; Seppälä, M.; Martikainen, P. J.

    2009-12-01

    Pronounced warming predicted for the arctic areas may enhance the release of soil carbon and nitrogen as greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. While carbon dioxide and methane fluxes in high-latitude ecosystems have been widely investigated, fewer studies have been published on nitrous oxide (N2O) dynamics in the North. Although most pristine ecosystems in the Arctic do not emit N2O due to strict nitrogen limitation, recent findings show that there are specific surfaces capable of high N2O production and release (Repo et al., 2009). In this study we used a static chamber technique to study N2O emissions from bare peat surfaces on two subarctic permafrost peatland types, peat plateau and palsa mire. The peat plateau site is located in the discontinuous permafrost zone in Komi Republic, Russia (67°03' N, 62°57' E). Field data from this Russian site from snow-free season 2007 showed high emissions from peat circles (bare peat surfaces affected by cryoturbation; 1.9 to 31 mg N2O m-2 d-1) and negligible N2O release from all the vegetated surfaces (Repo et al. 2009). Peat circles were emitting N2O at rates comparable to those measured typically from agricultural and tropical soils. These observations were confirmed by field campaign in 2008. Partly vegetated palsas on the top of the peat plateau, included in the study in 2008, showed also significant N2O emissions, intermediate to those from peat circles and fully vegetated sites. No particularly high peak emissions were observed during cold season from either of the studied surfaces, in contrast to what has been reported from many boreal soils. To get evidence on the spatial coverage of high N2O emissions from subarctic peatlands, N2O emissions were measured from three palsa mires in Finnish Lapland (69°34'-69°50' N, 26°10'-27°10' E) during a short campaign in peak season 2009. The region has less permafrost extent and milder climatic conditions than the Russian site. Bare peat surfaces on palsas, created by wind

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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. PMID:26661597

  10. 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. PMID:26851760

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. The Carbon Stocks of Peatlands Under Forestry in the Republic of Ireland.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wellock, M.; Laperle, C.; Kiely, G.; Reidy, B.; Duffy, C.; Tobin, B.

    2009-04-01

    Under the Kyoto Protocol it is necessary for all industries (including forestry) within the Republic of Ireland to report their GHG emission sinks and sources. Forestry plays an important role within the global carbon cycle as a carbon store within the biomass (above- and below-ground), litter and soil. Along with forests, peatlands are another important store for carbon, holding around one third of the global soil carbon pool. Peatlands held very important roles for irish society for hundreds of years, i.e. agriculture, horticulture, energy etc, and cover approximately 17.2 % or 1.34 million ha of the total irish land area (Hammond, 1981) with around 260,000 ha of the peatland forested (NFI, 2007). Afforestation of peatlands began in Ireland in the 1950s with the majority of the planting being done by the state. At present the state doesn't forest peatland, but there is still substantial planting from the private sector. Afforested peatland in Ireland represents a large store of C and so far there has been no quantification of the total carbon stock of the soil. The project FORESTC is aiming to provide an analysis of the stocks of C that are stored within the afforested peatlands of Ireland. To achieve this 20 forested peatland sites around Ireland will be sampled, comprising 5 conifer, low level blanket peat sites (peats located at elevations lower than 150 m), 5 conifer, high level blanket peat sites (peats located at elevations greater than 150 m), 5 conifer basin peats and 5 mixed conifer and broadleaf basin peats. The peat will be sampled down the entire soil profile up to 10 m deep for both bulk density and carbon % every 50 cm using a peat sampler (Eijlelkamp, NL). Along with the peat samples, litter and F/H layer samples will be taken to quantify the carbon stock of the litter layer atop the peat. This data shall then be able to provide a total carbon stock of these 20 forest sites that hopefully will allow for the estimation of the total C stock of the

  14. Short-Term Biogeochemical Consequences of Long-Term Permafrost Degradation in a Northern Peatland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ewing, S. A.; Harden, J. W.; Johnston, C.; Varner, R. K.; Koch, J. C.; Stoy, P. C.; Wickland, K. P.; Jorgenson, T. T.

    2011-12-01

    Carbon loss in the form of methane emissions is an important consequence of permafrost degradation in sub-arctic lowland basin settings that host ice-rich peat deposits. Under these circumstances, thaw leads to accumulation of water and anaerobic conditions, with trace gas production as a dominant mechanism of carbon loss. We use a chronosequence of collapse scar bog features in a young peat deposit (3700 y) to explore pathways of decadal to millennial scale decreases in total carbon stocks. We show that the highest methane fluxes over a growing season occur in intermediate age landscape thaw features that have experienced rapid carbon loss over hundreds of years. These features are isolated from the regional flow system and defined by actively advancing thaw fronts with high nutrient availability that facilitates trace gas emission.

  15. Magnitude and Significance of Carbon Burial in Lakes, Reservoirs, and Northern Peatlands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    U.S. Geological Survey

    1999-01-01

    It is estimated that freshwater lakes in the world have a total area of about 1.5x1012 m2 (Shiklomanov, 1993; table 1). Including saline inland seas in this total would add another 1x1012 m2. The 28 largest (area of each > 5,000 km2) freshwater lakes in the world have a total area of 1.18x1012 m2 or about 79 percent of the total area of all freshwater lakes. If the 28 large lakes bury organic carbon (OC), on average, at the same rate as Lake Michigan (5 g/m2/yr), then the annual rate of OC burial in these 28 lakes is about 6 Tg/yr (6 terragrams per year or 6x1012 g/yr; table 1). If the smaller lakes bury OC, on average, at the same rate as an average Minnesota lake (72 g/m2/yr), then the annual rate of OC accumulation in these smaller lakes is about 23 Tg/yr (23x1012 g/yr; table 1). If saline inland seas bury OC at the Lake Michigan rate, this would be an additional 5 Tg/yr, for a total of 34 Tg/yr for all freshwater lakes and saline inland seas (table 1). Mulholland and Elwood (1982) estimated the OC burial in all lakes and inland seas (excluding the Black Sea) to be 60 Tg/yr today (table 1) and an average of 20 Tg/yr for the last 10,000 years. Stallard (1998) modeled terrestrial sedimentation as a series of 864 scenarios. For lake area, he used 1.54x1012 m2, the area of the 250 largest lakes in the world. This is close to the total of large and small lakes given in table 1. Again, including inland seas to this total would add an additional 1x1012 m2. Results of scenarios for lakes and reservoirs were divided into two components, those with clastic sediments and those with organic sediments. The results of OC burial in the most likely of Stallard's scenarios for lakes range from 48 to 72 Tg/yr (table 1), the average of which is close to the 60 Tg/yr estimated by Mulholland and Elwood (1982). We will use an average of 54 Tg/yr (table 1). The closeness of these estimates, calculated by different methods, suggests that this value is not in error by more than a factor of two.

  16. Evaluating CO2 and CH4 fluxes in Arctic peatland and tundra using a satellite remote sensing driven biophysical model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watts, J.; Kimball, J. S.; Parmentier, F. W.; Sachs, T.; Rinne, J.; Zona, D.; Oechel, W. C.; Tagesson, T.

    2013-12-01

    The Arctic terrestrial carbon sink is contingent on the balance between vegetation gross primary productivity (GPP) and emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). With climate change, warming temperatures could increase GPP within high latitude systems but may also accelerate soil decomposition and CO2 loss. Regional wetting may also shift carbon emissions towards greater CH4 release, a greenhouse gas at least 25 times more potent than CO2. However, an effective framework for monitoring changes in the Arctic net ecosystem carbon balance (NECB) is lacking. Here we introduce an integrated terrestrial carbon flux (TCF) model approach to estimate CO2 and CH4 fluxes from northern peatland and tundra ecosystems at a daily time step. The TCF model framework uses a light-use efficiency (LUE) algorithm to estimate GPP according to satellite NDVI inputs and estimated moisture and temperature constraints. Ecosystem respiration is derived using a three-pool soil organic carbon decomposition model regulated by surface (< 10 cm depth) soil temperature and volumetric moisture inputs. A TCF-CH4 component simulates gas production according to near-surface temperature, anaerobic soil fractions and labile soil carbon inputs derived during model spin-up. Plant transport, soil diffusion and ebullition pathways are used to regulate CH4 emissions into the atmosphere. The combined TCF CO2 and CH4 model was evaluated against tower eddy covariance (EC) flux datasets from six peatland and tundra sites in North America, Eurasia and Greenland. TCF model simulations driven with site information explained on average > 70% (r^2; p < 0.05) of the respective EC record 8-day cumulative CO2 and CH4 fluxes. The TCF results from model simulations using coarser satellite (MODIS 250-m resolution) and reanalysis (MERRA; 1/2 x 2/3° resolution) inputs were more variable, but captured the overall seasonality and magnitude of ecosystem carbon exchange. Model simulations of annual carbon fluxes

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Burned and unburned peat water repellency: Implications for peatland evaporation following wildfire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

    Water repellency alters soil hydrology after periods of wildfire, potentially modifying the ecosystem recovery to such disturbance. Despite this potential importance, the extent and severity of water repellency within burned peatlands and its importance in regulating peatland recovery to wildfire disturbance remains poorly understood. We characterised the water repellency of peat in a burned (one year post-fire) and unburned peatland in the Western Boreal Plain utilising the water drop penetration time and ethanol droplet molarity tests. Burned Sphagnum moss and feather moss sites had a more severe degree of water repellency than unburned sites, with differences being more pronounced between burned and unburned feather moss sites. Burned feather moss exhibited the most extreme water repellency, followed by unburned feather moss, and burned Sphagnum. The severity of water repellency varied with depth through the near surface of the moss/peat profile. This was most evident within the burned feathermoss where more extreme water repellency was observed at the near-surface compared to the surface, with the most extreme water repellency found at 1 and 5 cm depths. Unburned Sphagnum was completely hydrophilic at all depths. We suggest that the extreme water repellency in near-surface feather moss peat acts as a barrier that impedes the supply of water to the surface that replaces that lost via evaporation. This leads to drying of the near-surface vadose zone within feather moss areas and a concomitantly large decrease in peatland evaporation within feather moss dominated peatlands. This negative feedback mechanism likely enhances the resilience of such peatland to wildfire disturbance, maintaining a high water table position, thereby limiting peat decomposition. In comparison, such a feedback is not observed strongly within Sphagnum, leaving Sphagnum dominated peatlands potentially vulnerable to low water table positions post disturbance.

  20. Importance of West Siberian Peatlands to Global Carbon and Water Cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, L. C.

    2014-12-01

    Russia's West Siberian Lowland (WSL) contains nearly 600,000 km2 of peatlands with depth >0.5 m, the most extensive such deposits in the world. These peatlands impact the global carbon cycle, representing an important CH4 source and net CO2 sink since the early Holocene. However, together with other Arctic and sub-Arctic peatlands, the likely responses of WSL peatlands to warming climate and associated permafrost degradation are a subject of ongoing study and debate. Of prime interest is whether WSL peatlands may switch from a net carbon sink to source, especially in permafrost peatlands. Climate models predict warmer temperatures, longer growing seasons, and enhanced precipitation which should increase net primary productivity and litter production, but also soil microbial decomposition, increasing release of sequestered carbon through outgassing of CH4 and/or CO2 to the atmosphere. Projecting the net outcome of these opposing ecosystem processes on carbon sink/source status requires is difficult, and given strong N-S temperature and permafrost gradients across the WSL, the response will likely vary geographically. Hydrological status is deeply important because aerobic dry peats emit a greater fraction of CO2 whereas anaerobic wet peats predominately release CH4. A first estimate of subsurface water storage in WSL peatlands suggests they may hold ~1,200 km3 of liquid-water equivalent (~2 m), a large number that is roughly triple the annual flow of water in the Ob' River. New models, observations, and synthesis are needed to confidently project the future role of this important region to global carbon and water cycles.

  1. Understanding the spatial structure of peat permeability around natural pipes in blanket peatlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cunliffe, Andrew; Baird, Andy; Holden, Joseph

    2014-05-01

    Understanding the spatial structure of peat permeability around natural pipes in blanket peatlands We present the results of a detailed investigation of fine-scale variations in the permeability or hydraulic conductivity (K) of the peat around a natural pipe in a blanket peatland. Both vertical K and horizontal K ranged over seven orders of magnitude over scales of decimetres. K was found to be more variable than indicated by previous research. This finding has important implications for the approaches currently employed to investigate peatland hydrological processes, and the parameterisation of models used to simulate these complex ecohydrological systems. We also observed considerable spatial structuring in K. Lateral K parallel to the pipe was significantly greater than lateral K perpendicular to the pipe. Critically, a wedge of poorly-humified, high-permeability peat was present directly above the pipe, forming a hydrological connection between the peatland surface and the perennially-flowing pipe. These observations advance our mechanistic understanding of pipeflow generation in peatlands. We also attempted to investigate K across the pipe-peat interface to test for a hypothesised low-K skin; however, this was precluded by sample length dependency, which suggests that it is inappropriate to compare K measurements between peat samples of different lengths. Overall, we argue that high resolution work such as this is required for the development of more accurate perceptual models of peatland hydrological systems. Cunliffe, A. M., A. J. Baird, and J. Holden (2013), Hydrological hotspots in blanket peatlands: Spatial variation in peat permeability around a natural soil pipe, Water Resources Research, Vol.49, doi:10.1002/wrcr.20435.

  2. 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.

  3. Northern Ireland.

    PubMed

    1998-01-01

    The anti-choice lobby has expressed concern that the government may consider reviewing or reforming abortion law in Northern Ireland. The legal status of abortion is similar to that in Britain before the introduction of the 1967 Abortion Act. However, the commemoration of the 30th anniversary of abortion law reform in Britain presents an opportunity to discuss the benefits of such change in Northern Ireland. Such discussion may cause ministers to reconsider the status of abortion. Anticipating possible discussion, some anti-choice Northern Ireland Members of Parliament tabled Early Day Motion (EDM) 352 "Northern Ireland and the Abortion Act," opposing the introduction of abortion services into Northern Ireland. Member of Parliament Harry Barnes tabled an amendment to the motion noting that current abortion law in Northern Ireland violates the standards of international human rights law and that about 2000 women travel from Northern Ireland annually for abortions. EDM 352 has been signed by 17 Members of Parliament; the amendment, by 13. PMID:12321442

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Peatland carbon cycling and the implications of permafrost thaw; a chronosequence study.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olefeldt, D.; Pelletier, N.; Talbot, J.; Blodau, C.; Turetsky, M. R.

    2015-12-01

    Peatlands in the Mackenzie River valley initiated ~9000 years ago and have built up vast soil carbon stores since. Peatland development history in this region is characterized by several distinct stages, varying in nutrient status and permafrost conditions. Widespread permafrost thaw has recently occurred in response to warming, thus making large soil C stores available for microbial processes and mineralization. A crucial question to answer is whether these peatland become net sinks or sources of C following thaw. The net response to thaw will either be dominated by new peat C accumulation at the surface or by mineralization of old peat C released from permafrost. In order to address this question we cored peat plateaus and nearby thermokarst bogs near Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories, representing 4 chronosequences. The cores were analyzed for C content, radiocarbon dates, macrofossils, testate amoebas, peat humification degree, elemental analysis, and microbial lability through an incubation experiment. Together, these approaches reveal peatland development histories, both before and following permafrost thaw. It is clear from our findings that C cycling following permafrost thaw will be intrinsically dependent on the developmental history of the peatland.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

    2015-01-01

    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

  11. 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.

  12. 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)).

  13. 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)). PMID:25897506

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  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. [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.

  19. Understanding multiple element budgets of peatlands - stoichiometry, enthalpy and entropy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Worrall, Fred; Clay, Gareth; Moody, Catherine; Burt, Timothy

    2015-04-01

    A few studies have considered the carbon budget of peatlands; fewer studies have considered the N budget of peat soils. None have considered both together, and furthermore, it is possible to include the oxygen; energy budgets; and even the transfer of entropy. By including the elemental and energy content of a range of organic matter transfers a range of types of flux the study can not only comment on the overall stoichiometry of the ecosystem but also constrain fluxes and predict the likely direction of change in response to ongoing climate change. This study has shown: 1. Over the 13-year study period, the total carbon balance varied between a net sink of -20 to - 91 tonnes C / km2 / yr. 2. Overall, the total N budget of the peat ecosystem varies from -1.0 to +2.5 tonnes N/km2/yr, i.e.in some years the ecosystem is a net source of N. 3. Oxidation state (Cox) decreases through the profile with DOC and POC fluxes acting as additional means of removing oxidised carbon. 4. By combining elemental and energy budgets it is possible to write stoichiometric equations for the ecosystem 5. By understanding the energy content, composition and stoichiometry of components of the organic matter it is possible to it is possible to constrain processes such as the extent of soil respiration to root respiration and the contribution of methane oxidation to the ecosystem respiration.

  20. Peatlands