Elemental and isotopic carbon and itrogen records of organic matter accumulation in a Holocene permafrots peat sequence in the East European Russian Arctic
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
A peat deposit from the East European Russian Arctic, spanning nearly 10,000 years, was investigated to reconstruct past environmental conditions and to study soil organic matter (SOM) degradation using analyses of bulk elemental and stable isotopic compositions and plant macrofossil remains. The peat accumulated initially in a wet fen that transformed into a peat plateau bog following aggradation of permafrost in the late Holocene (~2,500 cal a BP). Total organic carbon (TOC) and total nitrogen (N) concentrations are different in the bog peat compared to the fen peat, with lower values in the moss-dominated bog peat layers. Lower concentrations of total hydrogen (H) are associated with degraded vascular plant residues. The atomic ratios of bulk elemental parameters indicate better preservation of organic matter in peat deposits dominated by bryophytes relative to vascular plants. The presence of permafrost in the peat plateau stage and water-saturated conditions at the bottom of the fen stage appear to be associated with better preservation of organic plant material. δ15N values suggest N isotopic fractionation was driven primarily by microbial decomposition while differences in δ13C values appear to be associated mainly with changes in plant assemblages rather than diagenesis. Positive shifts in both δ15N and δ13C values coincide with a local change to drier conditions as a result of the onset of permafrost and frost heave of the peat surface. This pattern suggests that permafrost aggradation not only resulted in changes in vegetation but also aerated the underlying fen peat, which enhanced microbial denitrification, causing the observed 15N-enrichment.
Arctic peatlands, permafrost, stable isotopes, elemental anaöyses, macrofossil analyses
Research subject Geochemistry
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-64489OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-64489DiVA: diva2:461836