Browsing by Subject "carbon cycling"

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  • Trotsiuk, Volodymyr; Hartig, Florian; Cailleret, Maxime; Babst, Flurin; Forrester, David I.; Baltensweiler, Andri; Buchmann, Nina; Bugmann, Harald; Gessler, Arthur; Gharun, Mana; Minunno, Francesco; Rigling, Andreas; Rohner, Brigitte; Stillhard, Jonas; Thurig, Esther; Waldner, Peter; Ferretti, Marco; Eugster, Werner; Schaub, Marcus (2020)
    The response of forest productivity to climate extremes strongly depends on ambient environmental and site conditions. To better understand these relationships at a regional scale, we used nearly 800 observation years from 271 permanent long-term forest monitoring plots across Switzerland, obtained between 1980 and 2017. We assimilated these data into the 3-PG forest ecosystem model using Bayesian inference, reducing the bias of model predictions from 14% to 5% for forest stem carbon stocks and from 45% to 9% for stem carbon stock changes. We then estimated the productivity of forests dominated by Picea abies and Fagus sylvatica for the period of 1960-2018, and tested for productivity shifts in response to climate along elevational gradient and in extreme years. Simulated net primary productivity (NPP) decreased with elevation (2.86 +/- 0.006 Mg C ha(-1) year(-1) km(-1) for P. abies and 0.93 +/- 0.010 Mg C ha(-1) year(-1) km(-1) for F. sylvatica). During warm-dry extremes, simulated NPP for both species increased at higher and decreased at lower elevations, with reductions in NPP of more than 25% for up to 21% of the potential species distribution range in Switzerland. Reduced plant water availability had a stronger effect on NPP than temperature during warm-dry extremes. Importantly, cold-dry extremes had negative impacts on regional forest NPP comparable to warm-dry extremes. Overall, our calibrated model suggests that the response of forest productivity to climate extremes is more complex than simple shift toward higher elevation. Such robust estimates of NPP are key for increasing our understanding of forests ecosystems carbon dynamics under climate extremes.
  • Gora, Evan M.; Kneale, Riley C.; Larjavaara, Markku; Muller-Landau, Helene C. (2019)
    Woody debris (WD) stocks and fluxes are important components of forest carbon budgets and yet remain understudied, particularly in tropical forests. Here we present the most comprehensive assessment of WD stocks and fluxes yet conducted in a tropical forest, including one of the first tropical estimates of suspended WD. We rely on data collected over 8 years in an old-growth moist tropical forest in Panama to quantify spatiotemporal variability and estimate minimum sample sizes for different components. Downed WD constituted the majority of total WD mass (78%), standing WD contributed a substantial minority (21%), and suspended WD was the smallest component (1%). However, when considering sections of downed WD that are elevated above the soil, the majority of WD inputs and approximately 50% of WD stocks were disconnected from the forest floor. Branchfall and liana wood accounted for 17 and 2% of downed WD, respectively. Residence times averaged 1.9 years for standing coarse WD (CWD; > 20 cm diameter) and 3.6 years for downed CWD. WD stocks and inputs were highly spatially variable, such that the sampling efforts necessary to estimate true values within 10% with 95% confidence were > 130 km of transects for downed CWD and > 550 ha area for standing CWD. The vast majority of studies involve much lower sampling efforts, suggesting that considerably more data are required to precisely quantify tropical forest WD pools and fluxes. The demonstrated importance of elevated WD in our study indicates a need to understand how elevation above the ground alters decomposition rates and incorporate this understanding into models of forest carbon cycling.
  • Fagerholm, Freja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    In the process of decomposition soil carbon is transformed into CO2 by microbial respiration, which makes decomposition a key process for understanding carbon cycling an releases of CO2. Since the northern permafrost regions contain half of all belowground carbon and the tundra regions are expected to be markedly affected by climate warming, it is of particular interest to understand how warming will affect decomposition in the tundra. Decomposition is however influenced by many factors, from climatic factors such as temperature and precipitation to the belowground organisms inhabiting the soils and the aboveground system dictating the litter that falls to the ground and is decomposed. Further, grazing has been shown to oppose some of the effects of warming on tundra. In this thesis I analyzed data collected from two long-term field experiments, one in Kilpisjärvi (NW Finland) and the other close to Kangerlussuaq Fjord (SW Greenland), both using fencing for manipulation of grazing regime and open-top chambers for artificial warming. My aim was to not only investigate how warming and grazing affect decomposition, but also to understand whether the magnitude of changes in decomposition can be explained by changes in plant community traits and soil characteristics. I found that in contrast to my hypothesis, warming decreased decomposition in Kangerlussuaq, where the soil was drier and contained less carbon than in Kilpisjärvi. I found no effects of grazing on decomposition, plant community traits nor soil characteristics in neither of the study locations. Neither did I find any consistent associations between changes in decomposition and changes in plant community traits, indicating that the effect of litter quality on decomposition is minor in these areas likely rather limited by climate. I found an association for increased decomposition when plant community C:N ratio and C:P ratio increased as a response to warming, but only in Kilpisjärvi, and since increased plant community C:N and C:P ratios are linked to resistant litter this positive effect is unlikely driven by enhanced litter quality. However, I did find a positive relationship between increased root biomass and increased decomposition as a response to warming that was consistent across areas and grazing regimes, indicating that warming can boost decomposition in different tundra habitats by promoting root growth.
  • Adamczyk, Bartosz; Heinonsalo, Jussi; Simon, Judy (2020)
    Abstract Organic matter decomposition plays a major role in the cycling of carbon (C) and nutrients in terrestrial ecosystems across the globe. Climate change accelerates the decomposition rate to potentially increase the release of greenhouse gases and further enhance global warming in the future. However, fractions of organic matter vary in turnover times and parts are stabilized in soils for longer time periods (C sequestration). Overall, a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying C sequestration is needed for the development of effective mitigation policies to reduce land-based production of greenhouse gases. Known mechanisms of C sequestration include the recalcitrance of C input, interactions with soil minerals, aggregate formation, as well as its regulation via abiotic factors. In this Minireview, we discuss the mechanisms behind C sequestration including the recently emerging significance of biochemical interactions between organic matter inputs that lead to C stabilization.
  • Maillard, Francois; Kennedy, Peter G.; Adamczyk, Bartosz; Heinonsalo, Jussi; Buee, Marc (2021)
    Recent studies have highlighted that dead fungal mycelium represents an important fraction of soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) inputs and stocks. Consequently, identifying the microbial communities and the ecological factors that govern the decomposition of fungal necromass will provide critical insight into how fungal organic matter (OM) affects forest soil C and nutrient cycles. Here, we examined the microbial communities colonising fungal necromass during a multiyear decomposition experiment in a boreal forest, which included incubation bags with different mesh sizes to manipulate both plant root and microbial decomposer group access. Necromass-associated bacterial and fungal communities were taxonomically and functionally rich throughout the 30 months of incubation, with increasing abundances of oligotrophic bacteria and root-associated fungi (i.e., ectomycorrhizal, ericoid mycorrhizal and endophytic fungi) in the late stages of decomposition in the mesh bags to which they had access. Necromass-associated beta-glucosidase activity was highest at 6 months, while leucine aminopeptidase peptidase was highest at 18 months. Based on an asymptotic decomposition model, root presence was associated with an initial faster rate of fungal necromass decomposition, but resulted in higher amounts of fungal necromass retained at later sampling times. Collectively, these results indicate that microbial community composition and enzyme activities on decomposing fungal necromass remain dynamic years after initial input, and that roots and their associated fungal symbionts result in the slowing of microbial necromass turnover with time.
  • Elovaara, Samu; Degerlund, Maria; Franklin, Daniel J.; Kaartokallio, Hermanni; Tamelander, Tobias (Springer Link, 2020)
    Hydrobiologia 847 11 (2020)
    Cell death drives the magnitude and community composition of phytoplankton and can result in the conversion of particulate organic carbon to dissolved organic carbon (DOC), thereby affecting carbon cycling in the aquatic food web. We used a membrane integrity probe (Sytox Green) to study the seasonal variation in the percentage of viable cells in the phytoplankton population in an estuary in the northern Baltic Sea for 21 months. The associated dissolved and particulate organic matter concentrations were also studied. The viable fraction of phytoplankton cells varied from < 20% to almost 100%, with an average of 62%. Viability was highest when a single phytoplankton group (diatoms or dinoflagellates) dominated the community. Viability of sinking phytoplankton cells, including some motile species, was in general as high as in surface water. Changes in viability were not closely related to nutrient concentrations, virus-like particle abundance, seawater temperature or salinity. There was a weak but significant negative correlation between viability and DOC, although at this location, the DOC pool was mainly influenced by the inflow of riverine water. This study demonstrates that cell viability, and its relationship with carbon export, is highly variable in the complex microbial populations common within estuarine and coastal marine ecosystems.
  • Wologo, Ethan; Shakil, Sarah; Zolkos, Scott; Textor, Sadie; Ewing, Stephanie; Klassen, Jane; Spencer, Robert G. M.; Podgorski, David C.; Tank, Suzanne E. T.; Baker, Michelle A.; O'Donnell, Jonathan A.; Wickland, Kimberly P.; Foks, Sydney S. W.; Zarnetske, Jay P.; Lee-Cullin, Joseph; Liu, Futing; Yang, Yuanhe; Kortelainen, Pirkko; Kolehmainen, Jaana; Dean, Joshua F.; Vonk, Jorien E.; Holmes, Robert M.; Pinay, Gilles; Powell, Michaela M.; Howe, Jansen; Frei, Rebecca J.; Bratsman, Samuel P.; Abbott, Benjamin W. (American Geophysical Union, 2021)
    Global Biogeochemical Cycles 35 (1), e2020GB006719
    Permafrost degradation is delivering bioavailable dissolved organic matter (DOM) and inorganic nutrients to surface water networks. While these permafrost subsidies represent a small portion of total fluvial DOM and nutrient fluxes, they could influence food webs and net ecosystem carbon balance via priming or nutrient effects that destabilize background DOM. We investigated how addition of biolabile carbon (acetate) and inorganic nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) affected DOM decomposition with 28-day incubations. We incubated late-summer stream water from 23 locations nested in seven northern or high-altitude regions in Asia, Europe, and North America. DOM loss ranged from 3% to 52%, showing a variety of longitudinal patterns within stream networks. DOM optical properties varied widely, but DOM showed compositional similarity based on Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR MS) analysis. Addition of acetate and nutrients decreased bulk DOM mineralization (i.e., negative priming), with more negative effects on biodegradable DOM but neutral or positive effects on stable DOM. Unexpectedly, acetate and nutrients triggered breakdown of colored DOM (CDOM), with median decreases of 1.6% in the control and 22% in the amended treatment. Additionally, the uptake of added acetate was strongly limited by nutrient availability across sites. These findings suggest that biolabile DOM and nutrients released from degrading permafrost may decrease background DOM mineralization but alter stoichiometry and light conditions in receiving waterbodies. We conclude that priming and nutrient effects are coupled in northern aquatic ecosystems and that quantifying two-way interactions between DOM properties and environmental conditions could resolve conflicting observations about the drivers of DOM in permafrost zone waterways.
  • Angove, Charlotte; Norkko, Alf; Gustafsson, Camilla (2020)
    Functional diversity (FD) experiments are highly effective for investigating how a community interacts with its environment. However, such experiments using morphological and chemical traits have not been conducted for submerged aquatic plants and their insights would be highly valuable for understanding the ecology of these communities. We conducted a 15-week field experiment in the Baltic Sea where we manipulated the species composition of aquatic plant communities to investigate functional diversity. We constructed artificial triculture communities with different species compositions to change the Community Weighted Means (CWMs) and variability of traits. We measured nine plant traits and tested how community productivity (CP) was related to FD, trait CWMs and community trait ranges. CP varied by more than four times across treatments and functional richness was significantly related to CP. Functional evenness and functional divergence were not significantly related to CR Height, leaf area and delta C-13 were significantly related to CP. Leaf delta C-13 trends with CP suggested that the carbon supply is not replete, yet species composition was partly responsible for the relationship. Plant height likely had multifaceted benefits to CP because there was evidence of a competitive height interaction between the tallest and 2 nd tallest species, therefore the effects of plant height to CP would have been disproportionally large. The height of the tallest species significantly drove the variability of the community height range, which was significantly related to CP and it had a relatively large influence on the calculation of FD indices. Leaf area, which was strongly correlated to plant height, was also significantly related to CR The significant relationship between functional richness and CP was most likely driven by the presence of taller plants. FD likely enhanced CP, by selecting for extreme trait values which enhanced production (selection effect), while niche complementarity effects were not observed. This study provides experimental evidence and mechanistic insights into the role of FD and specific traits for CP in submerged aquatic plant communities. To conclude, FD was significantly related to CP of temperate aquatic plant communities likely by selecting for traits which enhanced light capture, with consequences for carbon supply.