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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Seasonal Biotic Processes Vary the Carbon Turnover by Up To One Order of Magnitude in Wetlands

Pasut, Chiara; Tang, Fiona H. M.; Minasny, Budiman; Warren, Charles R.; Dijkstra, Feike A.; Riley, William J.; Maggi, Federico


Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) turnover t in wetlands and the corresponding governing processes are still poorly represented in numerical models. t is a proxy to the carbon storage potential in each SOC pool and C fluxes within the whole ecosystem; however, it has not been comprehensively quantified in wetlands globally. Here, we quantify the turnover time t of various SOC pools and the governing biotic and abiotic processes in global wetlands using a comprehensively tested process-based biogeochemical model. Globally, we found that t ranges between 1 and 1,000 years and is controlled by anaerobic (in 78% of global wetlands area) and aerobic (15%) respiration, and by abiotic destabilization from soil minerals (5%). t in the remaining 2% of wetlands is controlled by denitrification, sulfur reduction, and leaching below the subsoil. t can vary by up to one order of magnitude in temperate, continental, and polar regions due to seasonal temperature and can shift from being aerobically controlled to anaerobically controlled. Our findings of seasonal variability in SOC turnover suggest that wetlands are susceptible to climate-induced shifts in seasonality, thus requiring better accounting of seasonal fluctuations at geographic scales to estimate C exchanges between land and atmosphere.


wetlands turnover time; modeling; abiotic; biotic processes

Published in

Global Biogeochemical Cycles
2023, Volume: 37, number: 5, article number: e2022GB007679

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    Climate Research

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