Carbon dynamics following permafrost thaw gradient in high latitude peatland environment

claire.treat [ at ]


Recent studies estimate approximately 1700 Pg of organic carbon in perennially frozen soil areas in Arctic and Sub-Arctic regions. Recent warming causes permafrost areas to thaw and expose formerly frozen carbon-rich soil to potential accelerated microbial decomposition. The goal of this study is to quantify carbon dynamics along a thaw gradient by comparing carbon stocks of a) intact permafrost site, b) partly thawed intermediate site and c) thawed area. One long core until mineral soil for each selected site was taken in a rapidly thawing palsa area in Northern Finland (coordinates). Additionally, bulk density (g cm−3) probes were taken for each location to measure carbon content. For a better understanding of the history of the sites, samples for macrofossil were collected, as well as samples for C:N ratio, radiocarbon measurements and peat properties analysis. Recent similar studies have drawn partly conflicting results, while some measured a rapid carbon loss after thaw, others showed that collapsing permafrost did neither lead to larger carbon loss nor to carbon uptake. Suggested explanations mainly focus on the influence of permafrost type and site history. This study of carbon dynamics in a thawing palsa site aims to contribute to the discussion.

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Reif, J. , Laurent, M. , Baysinger, M. , Jentzsch, K. , Kumpala, T. , Korpelainen, P. , Verdonen, M. , Strauß, J. and Treat, C. (2022): Carbon dynamics following permafrost thaw gradient in high latitude peatland environment

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Arctic Land Expeditions > FN-Land_2022_Lapland

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