Life on the edge: carbon fluxes from wetland to ocean along Alaska's coastal temperate rain forestAuthor(s): Rhonda Mazza; Richard Edwards; David D'Amore
Source: Science Findings 122. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 5 p.
Publication Series: Science Findings
Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (3.0 MB)
Acre for acre, streams of the coastal temperate rain forest along the Gulf of Alaska export 36 times as much dissolved organic carbon as the world average. Rain and snow are the great connectors, tightly linking aquatic and terrestrial systems of this region. The freshwater that flushes over and through the forest floor leaches carbon and other nutrients from the soil and delivers them to headwater streams. Dissolved organic carbon derived from soils has a large biodegradable component, making it an important food source for freshwater and marine food webs. In the Tongass National Forest alone, there are 14,000 streams exporting these high-value nutrients to the estuaries that support Alaska’s $5 billion fishing industry.
Based on science by Rick Edwards, and Dave D'Amore.
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CitationMazza, Rhonda; Edwards, Rick; D'Amore, Dave. 2010. Life on the edge: carbon fluxes from wetland to ocean along Alaska's coastal temperate rain forest. Science Findings 122. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 5 p.
Keywordsdissolved organic carbon, coastal temperate rainforest, Tongass National Forest, climate change, carbon accounting.
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- Counting carbon: Calculating how headwater streams contribute to the carbon cycle
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