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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2016

The role of sediments in the carbon budget of a small boreal lake

Chmiel, Hannah E.; Kokic, Jovana; Denfeld, Blaize A.; Einarsdottir, Karolina; Wallin, Marcus B.; Koehler, Birgit; Isidorova, Anastasija; Bastviken, David; Ferland, Marie-Eve; Sobek, Sebastian


We investigated the role of lake sediments as carbon (C) source and sink in the annual C budget of a small (0.07 km(2)) and shallow (mean depth, 3.4 m), humic lake in boreal Sweden. Organic carbon (OC) burial and mineralization in the sediments were quantified from Pb-210-dated sediment and laboratory sediment incubation experiments, respectively. Burial and mineralization rates were then upscaled to the entire basin and to one whole year using sediment thickness derived from sub-bottom profiling, basin morphometry, and water column monitoring data of temperature and oxygen concentration. Furthermore, catchment C import, open water metabolism, photochemical mineralization as well as carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) emissions to the atmosphere were quantified to relate sediment processes to other lake C fluxes. We found that on a whole-basin and annual scale, sediment OC mineralization was three times larger than OC burial, and contributed about 16% to the annual CO2 emission. Other contributions to CO2 emission were water column metabolism (31%), photochemical mineralization (6%), and catchment imports via inlet streams and inflow of shallow groundwater (22%). The remainder (25%) could not be explained by our flux calculations, but was most likely attributed to an underestimation in groundwater inflow. We conclude that on an annual and whole-basin scale (1) sediment OC mineralization dominated over OC burial, (2) water column OC mineralization contributed more to lake CO2 emission than sediment OC mineralization, and (3) catchment import of C to the lake was greater than lake-internal C cycling.

Published in

Limnology and Oceanography
2016, Volume: 61, number: 5, pages: 1814-1825
Publisher: WILEY

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources

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