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    Author(s): Jason B. Fellman; David V. D’Amore; Eran Hood; Pat Cunningham
    Date: 2017
    Source: Biogeochemistry. 133(2): 165-179.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (621.0 KB)

    Description

    The perhumid coastal temperate rainforest (PCTR) of southeast Alaska has some of the densest soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks in the world (>300 Mg C ha-1) but the fate of this SOC with continued warming remains largely unknown. We quantified dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and carbon dioxide (CO2) yields from four different wetland types (rich fen, poor fen, forested wetland and cedar wetland) using controlled laboratory incubations of surface (10 cm) and subsurface (25 cm) soils incubated at 8 and 15 °C for 37 weeks. Furthermore, we used fluorescence characterization of DOC and laboratory bioassays to assess how climate-induced soil warming may impact the quality and bioavailability of DOC delivered to fluvial systems. Soil temperature was the strongest control on SOC turnover, with wetland type and soil depth less important in controlling CO2 flux and extractable DOC. The high temperature incubation increased average CO2 yield by ∼40 and ∼25% for DOC suggesting PCTR soils contain a sizeable pool of readily biodegradable SOC that can be mineralized to DOC and CO2 with future climate warming. Fluxes of CO2 were positively correlated to both extractable DOC and percent bioavailable DOC during the last few months of the incubation suggesting mineralization of SOC to DOC is a strong control of soil respiration rates. Whether the net result is increased export of either carbon form will depend on the balance between the land to water transport of DOC and the ability of soil microbial communities to mineralize DOC to CO2.

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    Citation

    Fellman, Jason B.; D’Amore, David V.; Hood, Eran; Cunningham, Pat. 2017. Vulnerability of wetland soil carbon stocks to climate warming in the perhumid coastal temperate rainforest. Biogeochemistry. 133(2): 165-179. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10533-017-0324-y.

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    Keywords

    Dissolved organic carbon, carbon dioxide, soil organic carbon turnover, soil respiration, dissolved organic carbon bioavailability.

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