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Title: Adding Depth to Our Understanding of Nitrogen Dynamics in Permafrost Soils

Abstract

Losses of C from decomposing permafrost may be offset by increased productivity of tundra plants, but nitrogen availability partially limits plant growth in tundra ecosystems. In this soil incubation experiment carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycling dynamics were examined from the soil surface down through upper permafrost. We found that losses of CO 2 were negatively correlated to net N mineralization because C-rich surface soils mineralized little N, while deep soils had low rates of C respiration but high rates of net N mineralization. Permafrost soils released a large flush of inorganic N when initially thawed. Depth-specific rates of N mineralization from the incubation were combined with thaw depths and soil temperatures from a nearby manipulative warming experiment to simulate the potential magnitude, timing, and depth of inorganic N release during the process of permafrost thaw. Our calculations show that inorganic N released from newly thawed permafrost may be similar in magnitude to the increase in N mineralized by warmed soils in the middle of the profile. The total release of inorganic N from the soil profile during the simulated thaw process was twice the size of the observed increase in the foliar N pool observed at the manipulative experiment.more » Here, our findings suggest that increases in N availability are likely to outpace the N demand of tundra plants during the first 5 years of permafrost thaw and may increase C losses from surface soils as well as induce denitrification and leaching of N from these ecosystems.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2];  [3];  [2]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [2];  [2];  [2]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  2. Northern Arizona Univ., Flagstaff, AZ (United States)
  3. Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1468280
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1465909
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-00OR22725; SC0006982; 1203777; 1026415
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research. Biogeosciences
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: TBD; Journal ID: ISSN 2169-8953
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; permafrost thaw; nitrogen availability; soil depth; moist acidic tussock tundra; mineralization

Citation Formats

Salmon, Verity G., Schädel, Christina, Bracho, Rosvel, Pegoraro, Elaine, Celis, Gerardo, Mauritz, Marguerite, Mack, Michelle C., and Schuur, Edward A. G. Adding Depth to Our Understanding of Nitrogen Dynamics in Permafrost Soils. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1029/2018JG004518.
Salmon, Verity G., Schädel, Christina, Bracho, Rosvel, Pegoraro, Elaine, Celis, Gerardo, Mauritz, Marguerite, Mack, Michelle C., & Schuur, Edward A. G. Adding Depth to Our Understanding of Nitrogen Dynamics in Permafrost Soils. United States. doi:10.1029/2018JG004518.
Salmon, Verity G., Schädel, Christina, Bracho, Rosvel, Pegoraro, Elaine, Celis, Gerardo, Mauritz, Marguerite, Mack, Michelle C., and Schuur, Edward A. G. Sat . "Adding Depth to Our Understanding of Nitrogen Dynamics in Permafrost Soils". United States. doi:10.1029/2018JG004518. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1468280.
@article{osti_1468280,
title = {Adding Depth to Our Understanding of Nitrogen Dynamics in Permafrost Soils},
author = {Salmon, Verity G. and Schädel, Christina and Bracho, Rosvel and Pegoraro, Elaine and Celis, Gerardo and Mauritz, Marguerite and Mack, Michelle C. and Schuur, Edward A. G.},
abstractNote = {Losses of C from decomposing permafrost may be offset by increased productivity of tundra plants, but nitrogen availability partially limits plant growth in tundra ecosystems. In this soil incubation experiment carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycling dynamics were examined from the soil surface down through upper permafrost. We found that losses of CO2 were negatively correlated to net N mineralization because C-rich surface soils mineralized little N, while deep soils had low rates of C respiration but high rates of net N mineralization. Permafrost soils released a large flush of inorganic N when initially thawed. Depth-specific rates of N mineralization from the incubation were combined with thaw depths and soil temperatures from a nearby manipulative warming experiment to simulate the potential magnitude, timing, and depth of inorganic N release during the process of permafrost thaw. Our calculations show that inorganic N released from newly thawed permafrost may be similar in magnitude to the increase in N mineralized by warmed soils in the middle of the profile. The total release of inorganic N from the soil profile during the simulated thaw process was twice the size of the observed increase in the foliar N pool observed at the manipulative experiment. Here, our findings suggest that increases in N availability are likely to outpace the N demand of tundra plants during the first 5 years of permafrost thaw and may increase C losses from surface soils as well as induce denitrification and leaching of N from these ecosystems.},
doi = {10.1029/2018JG004518},
journal = {Journal of Geophysical Research. Biogeosciences},
number = ,
volume = TBD,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {7}
}

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    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Distinct Taxonomic and Functional Profiles of the Microbiome Associated With Different Soil Horizons of a Moist Tussock Tundra in Alaska
    journal, June 2019