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Title: Permafrost soils and carbon cycling

Abstract

Knowledge of soils in the permafrost region has advanced immensely in recent decades, despite the remoteness and inaccessibility of most of the region and the sampling limitations posed by the severe environment. These efforts significantly increased estimates of the amount of organic carbon stored in permafrost-region soils and improved understanding of how pedogenic processes unique to permafrost environments built enormous organic carbon stocks during the Quaternary. This knowledge has also called attention to the importance of permafrost-affected soils to the global carbon cycle and the potential vulnerability of the region's soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks to changing climatic conditions. In this review, we briefly introduce the permafrost characteristics, ice structures, and cryopedogenic processes that shape the development of permafrost-affected soils, and discuss their effects on soil structures and on organic matter distributions within the soil profile. We then examine the quantity of organic carbon stored in permafrost-region soils, as well as the characteristics, intrinsic decomposability, and potential vulnerability of this organic carbon to permafrost thaw under a warming climate. Overall, frozen conditions and cryopedogenic processes, such as cryoturbation, have slowed decomposition and enhanced the sequestration of organic carbon in permafrost-affected soils over millennial timescales. Due to the low temperatures, themore » organic matter in permafrost soils is often less humified than in more temperate soils, making some portion of this stored organic carbon relatively vulnerable to mineralization upon thawing of permafrost.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [1];  [1]
  1. Univ. of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK (United States)
  2. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
  3. Alaska Ecoscience, Fairbanks, AK (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA); USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
OSTI Identifier:
1197923
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1392440
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-06CH11357
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
SOIL
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 1; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2199-398X
Publisher:
European Geosciences Union/Copernicus
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Ping, C. L., Jastrow, J. D., Jorgenson, M. T., Michaelson, G. J., and Shur, Y. L. Permafrost soils and carbon cycling. United States: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.5194/soil-1-147-2015.
Ping, C. L., Jastrow, J. D., Jorgenson, M. T., Michaelson, G. J., & Shur, Y. L. Permafrost soils and carbon cycling. United States. doi:10.5194/soil-1-147-2015.
Ping, C. L., Jastrow, J. D., Jorgenson, M. T., Michaelson, G. J., and Shur, Y. L. Thu . "Permafrost soils and carbon cycling". United States. doi:10.5194/soil-1-147-2015.
@article{osti_1197923,
title = {Permafrost soils and carbon cycling},
author = {Ping, C. L. and Jastrow, J. D. and Jorgenson, M. T. and Michaelson, G. J. and Shur, Y. L.},
abstractNote = {Knowledge of soils in the permafrost region has advanced immensely in recent decades, despite the remoteness and inaccessibility of most of the region and the sampling limitations posed by the severe environment. These efforts significantly increased estimates of the amount of organic carbon stored in permafrost-region soils and improved understanding of how pedogenic processes unique to permafrost environments built enormous organic carbon stocks during the Quaternary. This knowledge has also called attention to the importance of permafrost-affected soils to the global carbon cycle and the potential vulnerability of the region's soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks to changing climatic conditions. In this review, we briefly introduce the permafrost characteristics, ice structures, and cryopedogenic processes that shape the development of permafrost-affected soils, and discuss their effects on soil structures and on organic matter distributions within the soil profile. We then examine the quantity of organic carbon stored in permafrost-region soils, as well as the characteristics, intrinsic decomposability, and potential vulnerability of this organic carbon to permafrost thaw under a warming climate. Overall, frozen conditions and cryopedogenic processes, such as cryoturbation, have slowed decomposition and enhanced the sequestration of organic carbon in permafrost-affected soils over millennial timescales. Due to the low temperatures, the organic matter in permafrost soils is often less humified than in more temperate soils, making some portion of this stored organic carbon relatively vulnerable to mineralization upon thawing of permafrost.},
doi = {10.5194/soil-1-147-2015},
journal = {SOIL},
number = 1,
volume = 1,
place = {United States},
year = {2015},
month = {2}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
DOI: 10.5194/soil-1-147-2015

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