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High-resolution mapping of ecosystem carbon storage and potential effects of permafrost thaw in periglacial terrain, European Russian Arctic
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
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2011 (English)In: Journal of Geophysical Research, ISSN 0148-0227, E-ISSN 2156-2202, Vol. 116, G03024- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study describes detailed partitioning of phytomass carbon (C) and soil organic carbon (SOC) for four study areas in discontinuous permafrost terrain, Northeast European Russia. The mean aboveground phytomass C storage is 0.7 kg C m(-2). Estimated landscape SOC storage in the four areas varies between 34.5 and 47.0 kg C m(-2) with LCC (land cover classification) upscaling and 32.5-49.0 kg C m(-2) with soil map upscaling. A nested upscaling approach using a Landsat thematic mapper land cover classification for the surrounding region provides estimates within 5 +/- 5% of the local high-resolution estimates. Permafrost peat plateaus hold the majority of total and frozen SOC, especially in the more southern study areas. Burying of SOC through cryoturbation of O- or A-horizons contributes between 1% and 16% (mean 5%) of total landscape SOC. The effect of active layer deepening and thermokarst expansion on SOC remobilization is modeled for one of the four areas. The active layer thickness dynamics from 1980 to 2099 is modeled using a transient spatially distributed permafrost model and lateral expansion of peat plateau thermokarst lakes is simulated using geographic information system analyses. Active layer deepening is expected to increase the proportion of SOC affected by seasonal thawing from 29% to 58%. A lateral expansion of 30 m would increase the amount of SOC stored in thermokarst lakes/fens from 2% to 22% of all SOC. By the end of this century, active layer deepening will likely affect more SOC than thermokarst expansion, but the SOC stores vulnerable to thermokarst are less decomposed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 116, G03024- p.
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-68309DOI: 10.1029/2010JG001606ISI: 000294368900001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-68309DiVA: diva2:477498
Note
authorCount :8Available from: 2012-01-13 Created: 2012-01-03 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Quantity and quality of soil organic matter in permafrost terrain
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Quantity and quality of soil organic matter in permafrost terrain
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

High latitude terrestrial ecosystems are considered key components in the global carbon (C) cycle and hold large reservoirs of soil organic carbon (SOC). Much of this is stored as soil organic matter (SOM) in permafrost soils and peat deposits and is vulnerable to remobilization under future global warming. While the large size and potential vulnerability of arctic SOM reservoirs is recognized, detailed knowledge on its landscape partitioning and quality is poor. This thesis describes total storage, landscape partitioning and lability of SOM stored in permafrost areas of Canada and Russia. Detailed studies of SOC partitioning highlight the importance of especially permafrost peatlands, but also of O-horizons in moist tundra soils and cryoturbated soil horizons. A general characterization of SOM in an area of discontinuous permafrost shows that >70% of the SOC in the landscape is stored in SOM with a low degree of decomposition. Projections of permafrost thaw predict that the amount of SOC stored in the active layer of permafrost soils in this area could double by the end of this century. A lateral expansion of current thermokarst lakes by 30 m would expose comparable amounts of SOC to degradation. The results from this thesis have demonstrated the value of high-resolution studies of SOC storage. It is found that peat plateaus, common in the sporadic and discontinuous permafrost zones, store large quantities of labile SOM and may be highly susceptible to permafrost degradation, especially thermokarst, under future climate warming. Large quantities of labile SOM is also stored in cryoturbated soil horizons which may be affected by active layer warming and deepening. The current upscaling methodology is statistically evaluated and recommendations are given for the design of future studies. To accurately predict responses of periglacial C pools to a warming climate detailed studies of SOC storage and partitioning in different periglacial landscapes are needed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology (INK), Stockholm University, 2011. 38 p.
Series
Dissertations from the Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, ISSN 1653-7211 ; 26
Keyword
carbon, soil organic matter, soil organic carbon, permafrost, arctic, upscaling, peat plateau, cryoturbation, active layer, thermokarst, carbon/nitrogen ratio, stable isotopes, humification
National Category
Physical Geography
Research subject
Physical Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-54041 (URN)978-91-7447-207-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-02-25, De Geer salen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 8, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
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Supervisors
Note
At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3, 4 and 5: Manuscripts.Available from: 2011-02-03 Created: 2011-01-25 Last updated: 2012-01-13Bibliographically approved

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