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Title: Divergent patterns of experimental and model-derived permafrost ecosystem carbon dynamics in response to Arctic warming

Abstract

In the last few decades, temperatures in the Arctic have increased twice as much as the rest of the globe. As permafrost thaws in response to this warming, large amounts of soil organic matter may become vulnerable to decomposition. Microbial decomposition will release carbon (C) from permafrost soils, however, warmer conditions could also lead to enhanced plant growth and C uptake. Field and modeling studies show high uncertainty in soil and plant responses to climate change but there have been few studies that reconcile field and model data to understand differences and reduce uncertainty. In this work, we evaluate gross primary productivity (GPP), ecosystem respiration (R eco), and net ecosystem C exchange (NEE) from eight years of experimental soil warming in moist acidic tundra against equivalent fluxes from the Community Land Model (CLM) during simulations parameterized to reflect the field conditions associated with this manipulative field experiment. Over the eight-year experimental period, soil temperatures and thaw depths increased with warming in field observations and model simulations. However, the field and model results do not agree on warming effects on water table depth; warming created wetter soils in the field and drier soils in the models. In the field, initial increasesmore » in growing season GPP, R eco, and NEE to experimentally-induced permafrost thaw created a higher C sink capacity in the first years followed by a stronger C source in years six through eight. In contrast, both models predicted linear increases in GPP, R eco, and NEE with warming. The divergence of model results from field experiments reveals the role subsidence, hydrology, and nutrient cycling play in influencing the C flux responses to permafrost thaw, a complexity that the models are not structurally able to predict, and highlight challenges associated with projecting C cycle dynamics across the Arctic.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2];  [3];  [1];  [1];  [4];  [1];  [5];  [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [6];  [1];  [7];  [8];  [1]
  1. Northern Arizona Univ., Flagstaff, AZ (United States). Center for Ecosystem Science and Society
  2. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Climate and Ecosystem Science Division
  3. National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States)
  4. Washington Univ., St. Louis, MO (United States). Dept. of Earth and Planetary Sciences
  5. Woods Hole Research Center, Falmouth, MA (United States)
  6. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Environmental Sciences Division and Climate Change Science Inst.
  7. Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL (United States). School of Natural Resources and Environment
  8. National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States); Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States). Inst. of Arctic and Alpine Research
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL (United States); Northern Arizona Univ., Flagstaff, AZ (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23). Climate and Environmental Sciences Division; National Science Foundation (NSF)
OSTI Identifier:
1475225
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1474445; OSTI ID: 1491363; OSTI ID: 1502578
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-00OR22725; 1331083; SC0006982; SC0014085; 0747195; 1026415; 1203777; PLR-1304220; AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Published Article
Journal Name:
Environmental Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 13; Journal ID: ISSN 1748-9326
Publisher:
IOP Publishing
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Tundra; gross primary productivity; ecosystem respiration; net ecosystem exchange; thaw

Citation Formats

Schädel, Christina, Koven, Charles, Lawrence, David M., Celis, Gerardo, Garnello, Anthony J., Hutchings, Jack, Mauritz, Marguerite, Natali, Susan M., Pegoraro, Elaine, Rodenhizer, Heidi, Salmon, Verity G., Taylor, Meghan, Webb, Elizabeth E., Wieder, William R., and Schuur, Edward A. G. Divergent patterns of experimental and model-derived permafrost ecosystem carbon dynamics in response to Arctic warming. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/aae0ff.
Schädel, Christina, Koven, Charles, Lawrence, David M., Celis, Gerardo, Garnello, Anthony J., Hutchings, Jack, Mauritz, Marguerite, Natali, Susan M., Pegoraro, Elaine, Rodenhizer, Heidi, Salmon, Verity G., Taylor, Meghan, Webb, Elizabeth E., Wieder, William R., & Schuur, Edward A. G. Divergent patterns of experimental and model-derived permafrost ecosystem carbon dynamics in response to Arctic warming. United States. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/aae0ff.
Schädel, Christina, Koven, Charles, Lawrence, David M., Celis, Gerardo, Garnello, Anthony J., Hutchings, Jack, Mauritz, Marguerite, Natali, Susan M., Pegoraro, Elaine, Rodenhizer, Heidi, Salmon, Verity G., Taylor, Meghan, Webb, Elizabeth E., Wieder, William R., and Schuur, Edward A. G. Thu . "Divergent patterns of experimental and model-derived permafrost ecosystem carbon dynamics in response to Arctic warming". United States. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/aae0ff.
@article{osti_1475225,
title = {Divergent patterns of experimental and model-derived permafrost ecosystem carbon dynamics in response to Arctic warming},
author = {Schädel, Christina and Koven, Charles and Lawrence, David M. and Celis, Gerardo and Garnello, Anthony J. and Hutchings, Jack and Mauritz, Marguerite and Natali, Susan M. and Pegoraro, Elaine and Rodenhizer, Heidi and Salmon, Verity G. and Taylor, Meghan and Webb, Elizabeth E. and Wieder, William R. and Schuur, Edward A. G.},
abstractNote = {In the last few decades, temperatures in the Arctic have increased twice as much as the rest of the globe. As permafrost thaws in response to this warming, large amounts of soil organic matter may become vulnerable to decomposition. Microbial decomposition will release carbon (C) from permafrost soils, however, warmer conditions could also lead to enhanced plant growth and C uptake. Field and modeling studies show high uncertainty in soil and plant responses to climate change but there have been few studies that reconcile field and model data to understand differences and reduce uncertainty. In this work, we evaluate gross primary productivity (GPP), ecosystem respiration (Reco), and net ecosystem C exchange (NEE) from eight years of experimental soil warming in moist acidic tundra against equivalent fluxes from the Community Land Model (CLM) during simulations parameterized to reflect the field conditions associated with this manipulative field experiment. Over the eight-year experimental period, soil temperatures and thaw depths increased with warming in field observations and model simulations. However, the field and model results do not agree on warming effects on water table depth; warming created wetter soils in the field and drier soils in the models. In the field, initial increases in growing season GPP, Reco, and NEE to experimentally-induced permafrost thaw created a higher C sink capacity in the first years followed by a stronger C source in years six through eight. In contrast, both models predicted linear increases in GPP, Reco, and NEE with warming. The divergence of model results from field experiments reveals the role subsidence, hydrology, and nutrient cycling play in influencing the C flux responses to permafrost thaw, a complexity that the models are not structurally able to predict, and highlight challenges associated with projecting C cycle dynamics across the Arctic.},
doi = {10.1088/1748-9326/aae0ff},
journal = {Environmental Research Letters},
issn = {1748-9326},
number = ,
volume = 13,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {9}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record at 10.1088/1748-9326/aae0ff

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