THE CHANGING BIOGEOCHEMICAL CYCLES OF TUNDRA


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claire.treat [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

Tundra is experiencing more intense warming than any other ecosystem on earth. While warming is the most direct effect of climate change on tundra, warming leads to a cascade of environmental changes such as permafrost thaw, altered precipitation regimes, and increased wildfires. This chapter will first focus on how climate change is changing the environment of Arctic and subarctic tundra and then focus on how climate change is altering tundra's carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus cycles with a focus on soils. Overall, tundra soils are shifting from being a carbon sink into a carbon source as rising temperatures increase microbial activity—a positive feedback to climate change. However, those rising temperatures are also increasing nutrient mineralization rates, which could increase ecosystem carbon storage via enhanced plant productivity as well as increase emissions of nitrous oxide, a powerful greenhouse gas. There is currently a disconnect between the large soil carbon losses measured in many in situ experiments and the strong plant carbon gains predicted by models. Ultimately, more research is needed on the interplay between tundra soils, nutrients, and plants to determine the magnitude of tundra's feedback to climate change.



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Inbook
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Peer-reviewed
Publication Status
Published online
Eprint ID
56110
DOI 10.1002/9781119480419.ch7

Cite as
Pries, C. E. H. , McLaren, J. R. , Vaughn, L. S. , Treat, C. and Voigt, C. (2022): THE CHANGING BIOGEOCHEMICAL CYCLES OF TUNDRA / Y. Yang , M. Keiluweit , N. Senesi and B. Xing (editors) , In: Multi‐Scale Biogeochemical Processes in Soil Ecosystems, Multi‐Scale Biogeochemical Processes in Soil Ecosystems, Hoboken, NJ, Wiley, ISBN: 9781119480471 . doi: 10.1002/9781119480419.ch7


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