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The impact of recent paludification rates on the carbon budget of taiga regions: Case studies from two peatlands in European Russia
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
2009 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Paludification is a natural process by which an upland forest is replaced by a peatland. Manyfactors affect the initiation and the expansion of peatland ecosystems, and climate is a majorone. The consequences for the total carbon storage and its ecosystem distribution aresignificant. The two main carbon sinks in a boreal environment are phytomass and soilorganic matter. The change of ecosystem induces a decrease in phytomass from forest topeatland but also an increase in soil carbon. We assess the recent evolution (about the last300 years) in the distribution of carbon in the boreal ecosystem from the dating of basal peatand quantifying the total carbon storage. Based on two peatlands with different basal ages, we have seen that the evolution of paludification and the consequences for the carbonstorage can be significantly different. The older peatland with steeper slopes had a slowadvance in recent times, about 2.6 m per century, whereas the recently initiated peatland inflatter terrain has expanded much more rapidly, about 92 m per century. The general trend inthe distribution of the total carbon storage is an increase from forest to peatland ecosystem. However, the transitional stage of the shift shows either a loss of carbon in the flat case or anull balance in the steep one. After the initiation of a peatland, a period is necessary torecover the initial loss of carbon and become a larger sink of carbon than the original forest. An intensification of the paludification process with massive peatland initiation induced byfuture climate change could lead to a loss of carbon in the short term.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. , 47 p.
Keyword [en]
Paludification; Carbon; Peatland; Taiga
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-36866OAI: diva2:290698
2009-06-09, Stockholm University, 00:00 (English)

Available from: 2010-01-28 Created: 2010-01-28 Last updated: 2010-01-28Bibliographically approved

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