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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. Here, 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 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,more » 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.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
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.:
Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER). Earth and Environmental Systems Science Division; National Science Foundation (NSF)
OSTI Identifier:
1475225
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1474445; OSTI ID: 1491363; OSTI ID: 1502578
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231; AC05-00OR22725; 1331083; SC0006982; SC0014085; 0747195; 1026415; 1203777; PLR-1304220
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Environmental Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Environmental Research Letters Journal Volume: 13 Journal Issue: 10; Journal ID: ISSN 1748-9326
Publisher:
IOP Publishing
Country of Publication:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Tundra; gross primary productivity; ecosystem respiration; net ecosystem exchange; thaw

Citation Formats

Schädel, Christina, Koven, Charles D., Lawrence, David M., Celis, Gerardo, Garnello, Anthony J., Hutchings, Jack, Mauritz, Marguerite, Natali, Susan M., Pegoraro, Elaine, Rodenhizer, Heidi, Salmon, Verity G., Taylor, Meghan A., Webb, Elizabeth E., Wieder, William R., and Schuur, Edward AG. Divergent patterns of experimental and model-derived permafrost ecosystem carbon dynamics in response to Arctic warming. United Kingdom: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/aae0ff.
Schädel, Christina, Koven, Charles D., Lawrence, David M., Celis, Gerardo, Garnello, Anthony J., Hutchings, Jack, Mauritz, Marguerite, Natali, Susan M., Pegoraro, Elaine, Rodenhizer, Heidi, Salmon, Verity G., Taylor, Meghan A., Webb, Elizabeth E., Wieder, William R., & Schuur, Edward AG. Divergent patterns of experimental and model-derived permafrost ecosystem carbon dynamics in response to Arctic warming. United Kingdom. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/aae0ff.
Schädel, Christina, Koven, Charles D., Lawrence, David M., Celis, Gerardo, Garnello, Anthony J., Hutchings, Jack, Mauritz, Marguerite, Natali, Susan M., Pegoraro, Elaine, Rodenhizer, Heidi, Salmon, Verity G., Taylor, Meghan A., Webb, Elizabeth E., Wieder, William R., and Schuur, Edward AG. Mon . "Divergent patterns of experimental and model-derived permafrost ecosystem carbon dynamics in response to Arctic warming". United Kingdom. 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 D. 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 A. and Webb, Elizabeth E. and Wieder, William R. and Schuur, Edward AG},
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. Here, 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 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},
number = 10,
volume = 13,
place = {United Kingdom},
year = {2018},
month = {10}
}

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

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Cited by: 2 works
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Figures / Tables:

Table 1 Table 1: Environmental variables, carbon dynamics, and plant related variables measured in the field experiment and extracted from model simulations

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