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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2017

Aquatic export of young dissolved and gaseous carbon from a pristine boreal fen: Implications for peat carbon stock stability

Campeau, Audrey; Bishop, Kevin; Billett, Michael F.; Garnett, Mark H.; Laudon, Hjalmar; Leach, Jason; Nilsson, Mats; Öquist, Mats; Wallin, Marcus

Abstract

The stability of northern peatland's carbon (C) store under changing climate is of major concern for the global C cycle. The aquatic export of C from boreal peatlands is recognized as both a critical pathway for the remobilization of peat C stocks as well as a major component of the net ecosystem C balance (NECB). Here, we present a full year characterization of radiocarbon content (C-14) of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), carbon dioxide (CO2), and methane (CH4) exported from a boreal peatland catchment coupled with C-14 characterization of the catchment's peat profile of the same C species. The age of aquatic C in runoff varied little throughout the year and appeared to be sustained by recently fixed C from the atmosphere (<60 years), despite stream DOC, CO2, and CH4 primarily being sourced from deep peat horizons (2-4 m) near the mire's outlet. In fact, the C-14 content of DOC, CO2, and CH4 across the entire peat profile was considerably enriched with postbomb C compared with the solid peat material. Overall, our results demonstrate little to no mobilization of ancient C stocks from this boreal peatland and a relatively large resilience of the source of aquatic C export to forecasted hydroclimatic changes.

Keywords

aquatic C export; carbon dioxide; dissolved organic carbon; methane; northern peatlands; radiocarbon dating

Published in

Global Change Biology
2017, volume: 23, number: 12, pages: 5523-5536
Publisher: WILEY

Authors' information

Campeau, Audrey
Uppsala University
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment
Billett, Michael F.
University of Stirling
Garnett, Mark H.
NERC Radiocarbon Facility
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Ecology and Management
Leach, Jason
Simon Fraser University
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Ecology and Management
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Ecology and Management
Uppsala University

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG14 Life below water
SDG13 Climate action

UKÄ Subject classification

Environmental Sciences

Publication Identifiers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.13815

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/93158