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Title: Long-term carbon and nitrogen dynamics at SPRUCE revealed through stable isotopes in peat profiles

Abstract

Peatlands encode information about past vegetation dynamics, climate, and microbial processes. Here, we used δ15N and δ13C patterns from 16 peat profiles to deduce how the biogeochemistry of the Marcell S1 forested bog in northern Minnesota responded to environmental and vegetation change over the past ~10 000 years. In multiple regression analyses, δ15N and δ13C correlated strongly with depth, plot location, C/N, %N, and each other. Correlations with %N, %C, C/N, and the other isotope accounted for 80 % of variance for δ15N and 38 % of variance for δ13C, reflecting N and C losses. In contrast, correlations with depth and topography (hummock or hollow) reflected peatland successional history and climate. Higher δ15N in plots closer to uplands may reflect upland-derived DON inputs and accompanying shifts in N dynamics in the lagg drainage area surrounding the bog. The Suess effect (declining δ13CO2 since the Industrial Revolution) lowered δ13C in recent surficial samples. High δ15N from –35 to –5 cm probably indicated the depth of ectomycorrhizal activity after tree colonization of the peatland over the last 400 years, as confirmed by the occasional presence of wood down to –35 cm depth. High δ13C at ~4000 years BP (–65 to –105 cm) could reflect amore » transition at that time to slower rates of peat accumulation, when 13C discrimination during peat decomposition may increase in importance. Low δ13C and high δ15N at –213 and –225 cm (~8500 years BP) corresponded to a warm period during a sedge-dominated rich fen stage. As a result, the above processes appear to be the primary drivers of the observed isotopic patterns, whereas there was no clear evidence for methane dynamics influencing δ13C patterns.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [3]; ORCiD logo [4];  [1];  [5]
  1. Univ. of New Hampshire, Durham, NH (United States)
  2. Univ. of New Hampshire, Durham, NH (United States); FAO/IAEA Agriculture & Biotechnology Labs., Seibersdorf (Austria)
  3. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  4. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
  5. Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States); Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States). Environmental Molecular Sciences Lab. (EMSL); Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
OSTI Identifier:
1363995
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1376511
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-126833
Journal ID: ISSN 1726-4189; 49729; KP1704020
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-76RL01830; AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Biogeosciences (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Biogeosciences (Online); Journal Volume: 14; Journal Issue: 9; Journal ID: ISSN 1726-4189
Publisher:
European Geosciences Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Hobbie, Erik A., Chen, Janet, Hanson, Paul J., Iversen, Colleen M., McFarlane, Karis J., Thorp, Nathan R., and Hofmockel, Kirsten S. Long-term carbon and nitrogen dynamics at SPRUCE revealed through stable isotopes in peat profiles. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.5194/bg-14-2481-2017.
Hobbie, Erik A., Chen, Janet, Hanson, Paul J., Iversen, Colleen M., McFarlane, Karis J., Thorp, Nathan R., & Hofmockel, Kirsten S. Long-term carbon and nitrogen dynamics at SPRUCE revealed through stable isotopes in peat profiles. United States. doi:10.5194/bg-14-2481-2017.
Hobbie, Erik A., Chen, Janet, Hanson, Paul J., Iversen, Colleen M., McFarlane, Karis J., Thorp, Nathan R., and Hofmockel, Kirsten S. Wed . "Long-term carbon and nitrogen dynamics at SPRUCE revealed through stable isotopes in peat profiles". United States. doi:10.5194/bg-14-2481-2017. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1363995.
@article{osti_1363995,
title = {Long-term carbon and nitrogen dynamics at SPRUCE revealed through stable isotopes in peat profiles},
author = {Hobbie, Erik A. and Chen, Janet and Hanson, Paul J. and Iversen, Colleen M. and McFarlane, Karis J. and Thorp, Nathan R. and Hofmockel, Kirsten S.},
abstractNote = {Peatlands encode information about past vegetation dynamics, climate, and microbial processes. Here, we used δ15N and δ13C patterns from 16 peat profiles to deduce how the biogeochemistry of the Marcell S1 forested bog in northern Minnesota responded to environmental and vegetation change over the past ~10 000 years. In multiple regression analyses, δ15N and δ13C correlated strongly with depth, plot location, C/N, %N, and each other. Correlations with %N, %C, C/N, and the other isotope accounted for 80 % of variance for δ15N and 38 % of variance for δ13C, reflecting N and C losses. In contrast, correlations with depth and topography (hummock or hollow) reflected peatland successional history and climate. Higher δ15N in plots closer to uplands may reflect upland-derived DON inputs and accompanying shifts in N dynamics in the lagg drainage area surrounding the bog. The Suess effect (declining δ13CO2 since the Industrial Revolution) lowered δ13C in recent surficial samples. High δ15N from –35 to –5 cm probably indicated the depth of ectomycorrhizal activity after tree colonization of the peatland over the last 400 years, as confirmed by the occasional presence of wood down to –35 cm depth. High δ13C at ~4000 years BP (–65 to –105 cm) could reflect a transition at that time to slower rates of peat accumulation, when 13C discrimination during peat decomposition may increase in importance. Low δ13C and high δ15N at –213 and –225 cm (~8500 years BP) corresponded to a warm period during a sedge-dominated rich fen stage. As a result, the above processes appear to be the primary drivers of the observed isotopic patterns, whereas there was no clear evidence for methane dynamics influencing δ13C patterns.},
doi = {10.5194/bg-14-2481-2017},
journal = {Biogeosciences (Online)},
number = 9,
volume = 14,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {5}
}

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Works referenced in this record:

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A database and synthesis of northern peatland soil properties and Holocene carbon and nitrogen accumulation
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Responses of Vegetation and Ecosystem CO2 Exchange to 9 Years of Nutrient Addition at Mer Bleue Bog
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Controls of isotopic patterns in saprotrophic and ectomycorrhizal fungi
journal, May 2012


Nitrogen isotope signature variability in plant species from open peatland
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15N natural abundance of vascular rainforest epiphytes: implications for nitrogen source and acquisition
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δ13C values and radiocarbon dates of microbial biomarkers as tracers for carbon recycling in peat deposits
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Nitrogen availability and colonization by mycorrhizal fungi correlate with nitrogen isotope patterns in plants
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Effects of the early stage of decomposition on change in carbon and nitrogen isotopes in Sphagnum litter
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Responses of boreal conifers to climate fluctuations: indications from tree-ring widths and carbon isotope analyses
journal, January 1998

  • Brooks, J. Renée; Flanagan, Lawrence B.; Ehleringer, James R.
  • Canadian Journal of Forest Research, Vol. 28, Issue 4
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    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Patterns of nitrogen and carbon stable isotope ratios in macrofungi, plants and soils in two old-growth conifer forests
    journal, August 2004


    Introduction to coupled biogeochemical cycles
    journal, February 2011

    • Schlesinger, William H.; Cole, Jonathan J.; Finzi, Adrien C.
    • Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, Vol. 9, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.1890/090235

    Peat decomposition records in three pristine ombrotrophic bogs in southern Patagonia
    journal, January 2012


    Stable Carbon and Nitrogen Isotopes in a Peat Profile Are Influenced by Early Stage Diagenesis and Changes in Atmospheric CO2 and N Deposition
    journal, January 2012

    • Esmeijer-Liu, Alice J.; Kürschner, Wolfram M.; Lotter, André F.
    • Water, Air, & Soil Pollution, Vol. 223, Issue 5
    • DOI: 10.1007/s11270-011-1001-8

    15N natural abundance of vascular rainforest epiphytes: implications for nitrogen source and acquisition
    journal, January 1995


    A new model of Holocene peatland net primary production, decomposition, water balance, and peat accumulation
    journal, January 2010

    • Frolking, S.; Roulet, N. T.; Tuittila, E.
    • Earth System Dynamics, Vol. 1, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.5194/esd-1-1-2010

    Nitrogen availability and colonization by mycorrhizal fungi correlate with nitrogen isotope patterns in plants
    journal, January 2003


    Stable carbon isotopes as indicators for environmental change in palsa peats
    journal, January 2011


    Atmospheric Radiocarbon for the Period 1950–2010
    journal, January 2013


    Nitrogen mineralization and decomposition in western boreal bog and fen peat
    journal, January 2005


    Leaf carbon isotope discrimination and nitrogen content for riparian trees along elevational transects
    journal, February 1997


    Nitrogen isotopes link mycorrhizal fungi and plants to nitrogen dynamics
    journal, August 2012


    Carbon sequestration in peatland: patterns and mechanisms of response to climate change
    journal, July 2004


    Mercury and Organic Carbon Relationships in Streams Draining Forested Upland/Peatland Watersheds
    journal, January 1999


    Changes in stable isotopic signatures of soil nitrogen and carbon during 40 years of forest development
    journal, February 2006


    Significance of rooting depth in mire plants: Evidence from natural 15 N abundance : Rooting depth and δ
    journal, May 2003


    The effect of elevated CO2 on the chemical composition and construction costs of leaves of 27 C3 species
    journal, April 1997


    IntCal13 and Marine13 Radiocarbon Age Calibration Curves 0–50,000 Years cal BP
    journal, January 2013


    Quantitative assessment of precipitation seasonality and summer surface wetness using ombrotrophic sediments from an Arctic Norwegian peatland
    journal, November 2009


    Effects of the early stage of decomposition on change in carbon and nitrogen isotopes in Sphagnum litter
    journal, December 2005


    Tansley Review No. 95. 15N natural abundance in soil-plant systems
    journal, October 1997


    Comparisons of soil nitrogen mass balances for an ombrotrophic bog and a minerotrophic fen in northern Minnesota
    journal, April 2016


    Methanotrophic symbionts provide carbon for photosynthesis in peat bogs
    journal, August 2005

    • Raghoebarsing, Ashna A.; Smolders, Alfons J. P.; Schmid, Markus C.
    • Nature, Vol. 436, Issue 7054
    • DOI: 10.1038/nature03802

    Responses of boreal conifers to climate fluctuations: indications from tree-ring widths and carbon isotope analyses
    journal, April 1998

    • Brooks, J. Renée; Flanagan, Lawrence B.; Ehleringer, James R.
    • Canadian Journal of Forest Research, Vol. 28, Issue 4
    • DOI: 10.1139/x98-018

    Environmental drivers of carbon and nitrogen isotopic signatures in peatland vascular plants along an altitude gradient
    journal, October 2015


    Nitrogen cycling in a forested Minnesota bog
    journal, March 1988

    • Urban, N. R.; Eisenreich, S. J.
    • Canadian Journal of Botany, Vol. 66, Issue 3
    • DOI: 10.1139/b88-069

    The influence of water content and leaf anatomy on carbon isotope discrimination and photosynthesis in Sphagnum
    journal, January 1996


    A database and synthesis of northern peatland soil properties and Holocene carbon and nitrogen accumulation
    journal, June 2014


    Plant and soil natural abundance δ 15N: indicators of relative rates of nitrogen cycling in temperate forest ecosystems
    journal, May 2007


    Biogeochemical indicators of peatland degradation – a case study of a temperate bog in northern Germany
    journal, January 2015


    Nitrogen isotope signature variability in plant species from open peatland
    journal, August 2005


    Controls of nitrogen isotope patterns in soil profiles
    journal, May 2009


    Controls of isotopic patterns in saprotrophic and ectomycorrhizal fungi
    journal, May 2012


    Responses of Vegetation and Ecosystem CO2 Exchange to 9 Years of Nutrient Addition at Mer Bleue Bog
    journal, July 2010