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Title: Hydrogeomorphic controls on soil carbon composition in two classes of subalpine wetlands

Abstract

Wetlands play a vital role in terrestrial carbon (C) sequestration, but the sensitivity of their C stocks to disturbance remains uncertain, requiring enhanced understanding of the processes that govern C storage and removal. The unique conditions in wetlands from different hydrogeomorphic (HGM) classes likely regulate the cycling, storage and vulnerabilities of wetland soil C stocks. To determine how differences in hydrogeomorphic setting influence soil organic carbon (SOC) processing, in this study we compared C content and composition between depressional and slope wetlands located in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Isolated depressional wetlands were characterized by seasonally declining water tables, slow discharge, high clay content, and thick organic horizons. Slope wetlands received perennial groundwater inputs and had coarser soil textures and thinner organic horizons. Seasonal snowmelt inputs coupled with low hydrologic discharge and higher clay content in depressional wetlands were predicted to sustain anoxic conditions, leading to high SOC content and chemically reduced C compounds. Depressional wetland soils had higher SOC content at depth and higher porewater DOC concentrations compared to slope wetland soils. Solid-state 13C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy demonstrated that aliphatic compounds were the dominant SOC component in depressional wetlands compared to aromatic C forms in the slope wetlands. Themore » higher prevalence of aliphatic carbon in depressional wetland soils suggests that stored SOC is protected by anaerobic conditions to a greater extent than in the slope wetlands, and that this SOC may be more vulnerable to drying and oxic conditions associated with wetland drainage and climate change.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [2]; ORCiD logo [3];  [4]; ORCiD logo [5];  [1]; ORCiD logo [5]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO (United States)
  2. Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO (United States); USDA Forest Service, Jackson, MS (United States)
  3. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States). Environmental Molecular Sciences Lab. (EMSL)
  4. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)
  5. USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fort Collins, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States). Environmental Molecular Sciences Lab. (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDA; National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA); USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER)
OSTI Identifier:
1574470
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-145302
Journal ID: ISSN 0168-2563
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-76RL01830; 2013-67019-21359
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Biogeochemistry
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 145; Journal Issue: 1-2; Journal ID: ISSN 0168-2563
Publisher:
Springer
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 13C NMR; Decomposition; Soil organic carbon; Wetlands

Citation Formats

Daugherty, Ellen E., McKee, Georgina A., Bergstrom, Robert, Burton, Sarah, Pallud, Céline, Hubbard, Robert M., Kelly, Eugene F., Rhoades, Charles C., and Borch, Thomas. Hydrogeomorphic controls on soil carbon composition in two classes of subalpine wetlands. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10533-019-00597-y.
Daugherty, Ellen E., McKee, Georgina A., Bergstrom, Robert, Burton, Sarah, Pallud, Céline, Hubbard, Robert M., Kelly, Eugene F., Rhoades, Charles C., & Borch, Thomas. Hydrogeomorphic controls on soil carbon composition in two classes of subalpine wetlands. United States. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10533-019-00597-y
Daugherty, Ellen E., McKee, Georgina A., Bergstrom, Robert, Burton, Sarah, Pallud, Céline, Hubbard, Robert M., Kelly, Eugene F., Rhoades, Charles C., and Borch, Thomas. Sat . "Hydrogeomorphic controls on soil carbon composition in two classes of subalpine wetlands". United States. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10533-019-00597-y. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1574470.
@article{osti_1574470,
title = {Hydrogeomorphic controls on soil carbon composition in two classes of subalpine wetlands},
author = {Daugherty, Ellen E. and McKee, Georgina A. and Bergstrom, Robert and Burton, Sarah and Pallud, Céline and Hubbard, Robert M. and Kelly, Eugene F. and Rhoades, Charles C. and Borch, Thomas},
abstractNote = {Wetlands play a vital role in terrestrial carbon (C) sequestration, but the sensitivity of their C stocks to disturbance remains uncertain, requiring enhanced understanding of the processes that govern C storage and removal. The unique conditions in wetlands from different hydrogeomorphic (HGM) classes likely regulate the cycling, storage and vulnerabilities of wetland soil C stocks. To determine how differences in hydrogeomorphic setting influence soil organic carbon (SOC) processing, in this study we compared C content and composition between depressional and slope wetlands located in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Isolated depressional wetlands were characterized by seasonally declining water tables, slow discharge, high clay content, and thick organic horizons. Slope wetlands received perennial groundwater inputs and had coarser soil textures and thinner organic horizons. Seasonal snowmelt inputs coupled with low hydrologic discharge and higher clay content in depressional wetlands were predicted to sustain anoxic conditions, leading to high SOC content and chemically reduced C compounds. Depressional wetland soils had higher SOC content at depth and higher porewater DOC concentrations compared to slope wetland soils. Solid-state 13C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy demonstrated that aliphatic compounds were the dominant SOC component in depressional wetlands compared to aromatic C forms in the slope wetlands. The higher prevalence of aliphatic carbon in depressional wetland soils suggests that stored SOC is protected by anaerobic conditions to a greater extent than in the slope wetlands, and that this SOC may be more vulnerable to drying and oxic conditions associated with wetland drainage and climate change.},
doi = {10.1007/s10533-019-00597-y},
journal = {Biogeochemistry},
number = 1-2,
volume = 145,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {9}
}

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