Skip to Main Content
Estimating belowground carbon stocks in peatlands of the Ecuadorian páramo using ground-penetrating radar (GPR)Author(s): Xavier Comas; Neil Terry; John A. Hribljan; Erik A. Lilleskov; Esteban Suarez; Rodney A. Chimner; Randy K. Kolka
Source: Biogeosciences. 122. 17 p.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Northern Research Station
Download Publication (5.0 MB)
DescriptionThe páramo ecoregion of Ecuador contains extensive peatlands that are known to contain carbon (C) dense soils capable of long-term C storage. Although high-altitude mountain peatlands are typically small when compared to low-altitude peatlands, they are abundant across the Andean landscape and are likely a key component in regional C cycling. Since efforts to quantify peatland distribution and C stocks across the tropical Andes have been limited due to the difficulty in sampling remote areas with very deep peat, there is a large knowledge gap in our quantification of the current C pools in the Andean mountains, which limits our ability to predict and monitor change from high rates of land use and climate change. In this paper we tested if ground-penetrating radar (GPR), combined with manual coring and C analysis, could be used for estimating C stocks in peatlands of the Ecuadorian páramo. Our results indicated that GPR was successful in quantifying peat depths and carbon stocks. Detection of volcanic horizons like tephra layers allowed further refinement of variability of C stocks within the peat column, while providing information on the lateral extent of tephras at high (centimeter-scale) resolution that may prove very useful for the correlation of time-stratigraphic markers between sediments in alpine peatlands. In conclusion, this paper provides a methodological basis for quantifyingCstocks in high-altitude peatlands and to infer changes in the physical properties of soils that could be used as proxies for C content or paleoclimate reconstructions.
- 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.
CitationComas, Xavier; Terry, Neil; Hribljan, John A.; Lilleskov, Erik A.; Suarez, Esteban; Chimner, Rodney A.; Kolka, Randy K. 2017. Estimating belowground carbon stocks in peatlands of the Ecuadorian páramo using ground-penetrating radar (GPR). Biogeosciences. 122: 370-386. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2016JG003550
- Peatland carbon stocks and accumulation rates in the Ecuadorian páramo
- Carbon storage and long-term rate of accumulation in high-altitude Andean peatlands of Bolivia
- Imaging tropical peatlands in Indonesia using ground-penetrating radar (GPR) and electrical resistivity imaging (ERI): implications for carbon stock estimates and peat soil characterization
XML: View XML