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Title: Deep peat warming increases surface methane and carbon dioxide emissions in a black spruce-dominated ombrotrophic bog

ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Department of Biology, Boston University, Boston MA USA
Publication Date:
Sponsoring Org.:
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-06OR23100; SC-0012288
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Publisher's Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Global Change Biology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 23; Journal Issue: 12; Related Information: CHORUS Timestamp: 2017-11-13 01:35:03; Journal ID: ISSN 1354-1013
Country of Publication:
United Kingdom

Citation Formats

Gill, Allison L., Giasson, Marc-André, Yu, Rieka, and Finzi, Adrien C. Deep peat warming increases surface methane and carbon dioxide emissions in a black spruce-dominated ombrotrophic bog. United Kingdom: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1111/gcb.13806.
Gill, Allison L., Giasson, Marc-André, Yu, Rieka, & Finzi, Adrien C. Deep peat warming increases surface methane and carbon dioxide emissions in a black spruce-dominated ombrotrophic bog. United Kingdom. doi:10.1111/gcb.13806.
Gill, Allison L., Giasson, Marc-André, Yu, Rieka, and Finzi, Adrien C. Fri . "Deep peat warming increases surface methane and carbon dioxide emissions in a black spruce-dominated ombrotrophic bog". United Kingdom. doi:10.1111/gcb.13806.
title = {Deep peat warming increases surface methane and carbon dioxide emissions in a black spruce-dominated ombrotrophic bog},
author = {Gill, Allison L. and Giasson, Marc-André and Yu, Rieka and Finzi, Adrien C.},
abstractNote = {},
doi = {10.1111/gcb.13806},
journal = {Global Change Biology},
number = 12,
volume = 23,
place = {United Kingdom},
year = {Fri Jul 28 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Fri Jul 28 00:00:00 EDT 2017}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
This content will become publicly available on July 28, 2018
Publisher's Accepted Manuscript

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 1work
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  • There is a substantial amount of carbon stored in the permafrost soils of boreal forest ecosystems, where it is currently protected from decomposition. The surface organic horizons insulate the deeper soil from variations in atmospheric temperature. The removal of these insulating horizons through consumption by fire increases the vulnerability of permafrost to thaw, and the carbon stored in permafrost to decomposition. In this study we ask how warming and fire regime may influence spatial and temporal changes in active layer and carbon dynamics across a boreal forest landscape in interior Alaska. To address this question, we (1) developed and testedmore » a predictive model of the effect of fire severity on soil organic horizons that depends on landscape-level conditions and (2) used this model to evaluate the long-term consequences of warming and changes in fire regime on active layer and soil carbon dynamics of black spruce forests across interior Alaska. The predictive model of fire severity, designed from the analysis of field observations, reproduces the effect of local topography (landform category, the slope angle and aspect and flow accumulation), weather conditions (drought index, soil moisture) and fire characteristics (day of year and size of the fire) on the reduction of the organic layercaused by fire. The integration of the fire severity model into an ecosystem process-based model allowed us to document the relative importance and interactions among local topography, fire regime and climate warming on active layer and soil carbon dynamics. Lowlands were more resistant to severe fires and climate warming, showing smaller increases in active layer thickness and soil carbon loss compared to drier flat uplands and slopes. In simulations that included the effects of both warming and fire at the regional scale, fire was primarily responsible for a reduction in organic layer thickness of 0.06 m on average by 2100 that led to an increase in active layer thickness of 1.1 m on average by 2100. The combination of warming and fire led to a simulated cumulative loss of 9.6 kgC m 2 on average by 2100. Our analysis suggests that ecosystem carbon storage in boreal forests in interior Alaska is particularly vulnerable, primarily due to the combustion of organic layer thickness in fire and the related increase in active layer thickness that exposes previously protected permafrost soil carbon to decomposition.« less
  • The characteristics of soil formation processes in the Peat-Bog soils of waterlogged spruce phytocenoses on the Kola Peninsula are investigated. It is found that the ash composition of the peat layer is determined primarily by the composition of the buried plant residues. The effect of the chemical composition of water feeding the peat bogs is determined. (Refs. 7).
  • Hydrological changes, particularly alterations in water table level, may largely overshadow the more direct effects of global temperature increase upon carbon cycling in arctic and subarctic wetlands. Frozen cores (n=40) of intact soils and vegetation were collected from a bog near Fairbanks, Alaska, and fluxes of CO{sub 2}, CH{sub 4}, and Co in response to water table variation were studied under controlled conditions in the Duke University phytotron. Core microcosms thawed to a 20-cm depth over 30 days under a 20 hour photoperiod with a day/night temperature regime of 20/10{degrees}C. After 30 days the water table in 20 microcosms wasmore » decreased from the soil surface to -15 cm and maintained at the soil surface in 20 control cores. Outward fluxes of CO{sub 2} (9-16 g m{sup -2}d{sup -1}) and CO (3-4 mg m{sup -2}d{sup -1}) were greatest during early thaw and decreased to near zero for both gases before the water table treatment started. Lower water table tripled CO{sub 2} flux to the atmosphere when compared with control cores. Carbon monoxide was emitted at low rates from high water table cores and consumed by low water table cores. Methane fluxes were low (<1 mg m{sup -2}d{sup -1}) in all cores during thaw. High water table cores increased CH{sub 4} flux to 8-9 mg m{sup -2}d{sup -1} over 70 days and remained high relative to the low water table cores (<0.74 mg m{sup -2}d{sup -1}). Although drying of wetland taiga soils may decrease CH{sub 4} emissions to the atmosphere, the associated increase in CO{sub 2} due to aerobic respiration will likely increase the global warming potential of gas emissions from these soils. 43 refs., 4 figs.« less
  • Increasing temperatures in northern high latitudes are causing permafrost to thaw, making large amounts of previously frozen organic matter vulnerable to microbial decomposition. Permafrost thaw also creates a fragmented landscape of drier and wetter soil conditions that determine the amount and form (carbon dioxide (CO2), or methane (CH4)) of carbon (C) released to the atmosphere. The rate and form of C release control the magnitude of the permafrost C feedback, so their relative contribution with a warming climate remains unclear. We quantified the effect of increasing temperature and changes from aerobic to anaerobic soil conditions using 25 soil incubation studiesmore » from the permafrost zone. Here we show, using two separate meta-analyses, that a 10 C increase in incubation temperature increased C release by a factor of 2.0 (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.8 to 2.2). Under aerobic incubation conditions, soils released 3.4 (95% CI, 2.2 to 5.2) times more C than under anaerobic conditions. Even when accounting for the higher heat trapping capacity of CH4, soils released 2.3 (95% CI, 1.5 to 3.4) times more C under aerobic conditions. These results imply that permafrost ecosystems thawing under aerobic conditions and releasing CO2 will strengthen the permafrost C feedback more than waterlogged systemsreleasingCO2 andCH4 for a given amount of C.« less
  • Here, we characterized dissolved organic matter (DOM) composition throughout the peat column at the Marcell S1 forested bog in northern Minnesota and tested the hypothesis that redox oscillations associated with cycles of wetting and drying at the surface of the fluctuating water table correlate with increased carbon, sulfur, and nitrogen turn over. We found significant vertical stratification of DOM molecular composition and excitation-emission matrix parallel factor analysis components within the peat column. In particular, the intermediate depth zone (~ 50 cm) was identified as a zone where maximum decomposition and turnover is taking place. Surface DOM was dominated by inputsmore » from surface vegetation. The intermediate depth zone was an area of high organic matter reactivity and increased microbial activity with diagenetic formation of many unique compounds, among them polycyclic aromatic compounds that contain both nitrogen and sulfur heteroatoms. These compounds have been previously observed in coal-derived compounds and were assumed to be responsible for coal's biological activity. Biological processes triggered by redox oscillations taking place at the intermediate depth zone of the peat profile at the S1 bog are assumed to be responsible for the formation of these heteroatomic PACs in this system. Alternatively, these compounds could stem from black carbon and nitrogen derived from fires that have occurred at the site in the past. Surface and deep DOM exhibited more similar characteristics, compared to the intermediate depth zone, with the deep layer exhibiting greater input of microbially degraded organic matter than the surface suggesting that the entire peat profile consists of similar parent material at different degrees of decomposition and that lateral and vertical advection of pore water from the surface to the deeper horizons is responsible for such similarities. Lastly, our findings suggest that molecular composition of DOM in peatland pore water is dynamic and is a function of ecosystem activity, water table, redox oscillation, and pore water advection.« less