Long-Term Release of Carbon Dioxide from Arctic Tundra Ecosystems in Alaska

Long-Term Release of Carbon Dioxide from Arctic Tundra Ecosystems in Alaska Releases of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) from thawing permafrost are expected to be among the largest feedbacks to climate from arctic ecosystems. However, the current net carbon (C) balance of terrestrial arctic ecosystems is unknown. Recent studies suggest that these ecosystems are sources, sinks, or approximately in balance at present. This uncertainty arises because there are few long-term continuous measurements of arctic tundra CO2 fluxes over the full annual cycle. Here, we describe a pattern of CO2 loss based on the longest continuous record of direct measurements of CO2 fluxes in the Alaskan Arctic, from two representative tundra ecosystems, wet sedge and heath tundra. We also report on a shorter time series of continuous measurements from a third ecosystem, tussock tundra. The amount of CO2 loss from both heath and wet sedge ecosystems was related to the timing of freeze-up of the soil active layer in the fall. Wet sedge tundra lost the most CO2 during the anomalously warm autumn periods of September–December 2013–2015, with CH4 emissions contributing little to the overall C budget. Losses of C translated to approximately 4.1 and 1.4% of the total soil C stocks in active layer of the wet sedge and heath tundra, respectively, from 2008 to 2015. Increases in air temperature and soil temperatures at all depths may trigger a new trajectory of CO2 release, which will be a significant feedback to further warming if it is representative of larger areas of the Arctic. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Ecosystems Springer Journals

Long-Term Release of Carbon Dioxide from Arctic Tundra Ecosystems in Alaska

Loading next page...
 
/lp/springer_journal/long-term-release-of-carbon-dioxide-from-arctic-tundra-ecosystems-in-pSpuCC0grG
Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Life Sciences; Ecology; Plant Sciences; Zoology; Environmental Management; Geoecology/Natural Processes; Hydrology/Water Resources
ISSN
1432-9840
eISSN
1435-0629
D.O.I.
10.1007/s10021-016-0085-9
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Releases of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) from thawing permafrost are expected to be among the largest feedbacks to climate from arctic ecosystems. However, the current net carbon (C) balance of terrestrial arctic ecosystems is unknown. Recent studies suggest that these ecosystems are sources, sinks, or approximately in balance at present. This uncertainty arises because there are few long-term continuous measurements of arctic tundra CO2 fluxes over the full annual cycle. Here, we describe a pattern of CO2 loss based on the longest continuous record of direct measurements of CO2 fluxes in the Alaskan Arctic, from two representative tundra ecosystems, wet sedge and heath tundra. We also report on a shorter time series of continuous measurements from a third ecosystem, tussock tundra. The amount of CO2 loss from both heath and wet sedge ecosystems was related to the timing of freeze-up of the soil active layer in the fall. Wet sedge tundra lost the most CO2 during the anomalously warm autumn periods of September–December 2013–2015, with CH4 emissions contributing little to the overall C budget. Losses of C translated to approximately 4.1 and 1.4% of the total soil C stocks in active layer of the wet sedge and heath tundra, respectively, from 2008 to 2015. Increases in air temperature and soil temperatures at all depths may trigger a new trajectory of CO2 release, which will be a significant feedback to further warming if it is representative of larger areas of the Arctic.

Journal

EcosystemsSpringer Journals

Published: Nov 21, 2016

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create lists to
organize your research

Export lists, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off