Skip to Main Content
Dynamic vertical profiles of peat porewater chemistry in a northern peatlandAuthor(s): Natalie A. Griffiths; Stephen D. Sebestyen
Source: Wetlands. 36: 1119-1130.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Northern Research Station
Download Publication (896.0 KB)
DescriptionWe measured pH, cations, nutrients, and total organic carbon (TOC) over 3 years to examine weekly to monthly variability in porewater chemistry depth profiles (0–3.0 m) in an ombrotrophic bog in Minnesota, USA. We also compared temporal variation at one location to spatial variation in depth profiles at 16 locations across the bog. Most solutes exhibited large gradients with depth. pH increased by two units and calcium concentrations increased over 20 fold with depth, and may reflect peatland development from minerotrophic to ombrotrophic conditions. Ammonium concentrations increased almost 20 fold and TOC concentrations decreased by half with depth, and these patterns likely reflect mineralization of peat or decomposition of TOC. There was also considerable temporal variation in the porewater chemistry depth profiles. Ammonium, soluble reactive phosphorus, and potassium showed greater temporal variation in near-surface porewater, while pH, calcium, and TOC varied more at depth. This variation demonstrates that deep peat porewater chemistry is not static. Lastly, temporal variation in solute chemistry depth profiles was greater than spatial variation in several instances, especially in shallow porewaters. Characterizing both temporal and spatial variability is necessary to ensure representative sampling in peatlands, especially when calculating solute pools and fluxes and parameterizing process-based models.
- Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
- During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
- Please contact Sharon Hobrla, email@example.com if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationGriffiths, Natalie A.; Sebestyen, Stephen D. 2016. Dynamic vertical profiles of peat porewater chemistry in a northern peatland. Wetlands. 36: 1119-1130. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13157-016-0829-5.
KeywordsBlack spruce-Sphagnum ombrotrophic bog, Solute chemistry, Spatial and temporal variability, Depth profiles, Groundwater
- Sphagnum mosses limit total carbon consumption during fire in Alaskan black spruce forests
- Differential effects of high atmospheric N and S deposition on bog plant/lichen tissue and porewater chemistry across the Athabasca Oil Sands Region
- Biophysical drivers of seasonal variability in Sphagnum gross primary production in a northern temperate bog
XML: View XML