Browsing by Subject "HOLOCENE CARBON"

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  • Mathijssen, Paul J. H.; Kahkola, Noora; Tuovinen, Juha-Pekka; Lohila, Annalea; Minkkinen, Kari; Laurila, Tuomas; Väliranta, Minna (2017)
    Data on past peatland growth patterns, vegetation development, and carbon (C) dynamics during the various Holocene climate phases may help us to understand possible future climate-peatland feedback mechanisms. In this study, we analyzed and radiocarbon dated several peat cores from Kalevansuo, a drained bog in southern Finland. We investigated peatland succession and C dynamics throughout the Holocene. These data were used to reconstruct the long-term atmospheric radiative forcing, i.e., climate impact of the peatland since initiation. Kalevansuo peat records revealed a general development from fen to bog, typical for the southern boreal zone, but the timing of ombrotrophication varied in different parts of the peatland. Peat accumulation patterns and lateral expansion through paludification were influenced by fires and climate conditions. Long-term C accumulation rates were overall lower than the average values found from literature. We suggest the low accumulation rates are due to repeated burning of the peat surface. Drainage for forestry resulted in a nearly complete replacement of typical bog mosses by forest species within 40 years after drainage. The radiative forcing reconstruction suggested positive values ( warming) for the first similar to 7000 years following initiation. The change from positive to negative forcing was triggered by an expansion of bog vegetation cover and later by drainage. The strong relationship between peatland area and peat type with radiative forcing suggests a possible feedback for future changing climate, as high-latitude peatlands may experience prominent regime shifts, such as fen to bog transitions.
  • Piilo, Sanna; Zhang, Hui; Garneau, Michelle; Gallego-Sala, Angela V.; Amesbury, Matthew; Väliranta, Minna (2019)
    Peatland ecosystems are important carbon sinks, but also release carbon back to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide and methane. Peatlands therefore play an essential role in the global carbon cycle. However, the response of high-latitude peatlands to ongoing climate change is still not fully understood. In this study, we used plant macrofossils and peat property analyses as proxies to document changes in vegetation and peat and carbon accumulation after the Little Ice Age. Results from 12 peat monoliths collected in high-boreal and low-subarctic regions in northwestern Quebec, Canada, suggest high carbon accumulation rates for the recent past (post AD 1970s). Successional changes in plant assemblages were asynchronous within the cores in the southernmost region, but more consistent in the northern region. Average apparent recent carbon accumulation rates varied between 50.7 and 149.1 g C m(-2) yr(-1) with the northernmost study region showing higher values. The variation in vegetation records and peat properties found within samples taken from the same sites and amongst cores taken from different regions highlights the need to investigate multiple records from each peatland, but also from different peatlands within one region.
  • Ojanen, Paavo; Minkkinen, Kari (2020)
    Peat soils drained for agriculture and forestry are important sources of carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide. Rewetting effectively reduces these emissions. However, rewetting also increases methane emissions from the soil and, on forestry-drained peatlands, decreases the carbon storage of trees. To analyze the effect of peatland rewetting on the climate, we built radiative forcing scenarios for tropical peat soils, temperate and boreal agricultural peat soils, and temperate and boreal forestry-drained peat soils. The effect of tree and wood product carbon storage in boreal forestry-drained peatlands was also estimated as a case study for Finland. Rewetting of tropical peat soils resulted in immediate cooling. In temperate and boreal agricultural peat soils, the warming effect of methane emissions offsets a major part of the cooling for the first decades after rewetting. In temperate and boreal forestry-drained peat soils, the effect of rewetting was mostly warming for the first decades. In addition, the decrease in tree and wood product carbon storage further delayed the onset of the cooling effect for decades. Global rewetting resulted in increasing climate cooling, reaching -70 mW (m(2)Earth)(-1)in 100 years. Tropical peat soils (9.6 million ha) accounted for approximately two thirds and temperate and boreal agricultural peat soils (13.0 million ha) for one third of the cooling. Forestry-drained peat soils (10.6 million ha) had a negligible effect. We conclude that peatland rewetting is beneficial and important for mitigating climate change, but abandoning tree stands may instead be the best option concerning forestry-drained peatlands.