Browsing by Subject "carbon"

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  • Vuorinne, Ilja Elias; Heiskanen, Janne; Pellikka, Petri (2021)
    Biomass is a principal variable in crop monitoring and management and in assessing carbon cycling. Remote sensing combined with field measurements can be used to estimate biomass over large areas. This study assessed leaf biomass of Agave sisalana (sisal), a perennial crop whose leaves are grown for fibre production in tropical and subtropical regions. Furthermore, the residue from fibre production can be used to produce bioenergy through anaerobic digestion. First, biomass was estimated for 58 field plots using an allometric approach. Then, Sentinel-2 multispectral satellite imagery was used to model biomass in an 8851-ha plantation in semi-arid south-eastern Kenya. Generalised Additive Models were employed to explore how well biomass was explained by various spectral vegetation indices (VIs). The highest performance (explained deviance = 76%, RMSE = 5.15 Mg ha−1) was achieved with ratio and normalised difference VIs based on the green (R560), red-edge (R740 and R783), and near-infrared (R865) spectral bands. Heterogeneity of ground vegetation and resulting background effects seemed to limit model performance. The best performing VI (R740/R783) was used to predict plantation biomass that ranged from 0 to 46.7 Mg ha−1 (mean biomass 10.6 Mg ha−1). The modelling showed that multispectral data are suitable for assessing sisal leaf biomass at the plantation level and in individual blocks. Although these results demonstrate the value of Sentinel-2 red-edge bands at 20-m resolution, the difference from the best model based on green and near-infrared bands at 10-m resolution was rather small.
  • Ravikumar, Ashwin; Larjavaara, Markku; Larson, Anne; Kanninen, Markku (2017)
    Revenues derived from carbon have been seen as an important tool for supporting forest conservation over the past decade. At the same time, there is high uncertainty about how much revenue can reasonably be expected from land use emissions reductions initiatives. Despite this uncertainty, REDD+ projects and conservation initiatives that aim to take advantage of available or, more commonly, future funding from carbon markets have proliferated. This study used participatory multi-stakeholder workshops to develop divergent future scenarios of land use in eight landscapes in four countries around the world: Peru, Indonesia, Tanzania, and Mexico. The results of these future scenario building exercises were analyzed using a new tool, CarboScen, for calculating the landscape carbon storage implications of different future land use scenarios. The findings suggest that potential revenues from carbon storage or emissions reductions are significant in some landscapes (most notably the peat forests of Indonesia), and much less significant in others (such as the low-carbon forests of Zanzibar and the interior of Tanzania). The findings call into question the practicality of many conservation programs that hinge on expectations of future revenue from carbon finance. The future scenarios-based approach is useful to policy-makers and conservation program developers in distinguishing between landscapes where carbon finance can substantially support conservation, and landscapes where other strategies for conservation and land use should be prioritized.
  • Neumann, Mathias; Moreno, Adam; Thurnher, Christopher; Mues, Volker; Härkönen, Sanna; Mura, Matteo; Bouriaud, Olivier; Lang, Mait; Cardellini, Giuseppe; Thivolle-Cazat, Alain; Bronisz, Karol; Merganic, Jan; Alberdi, Iciar; Astrup, Rasmus; Mohren, Frits; Zhao, Maosheng; Hasenauer, Hubert (2016)
    Net primary production (NPP) is an important ecological metric for studying forest ecosystems and their carbon sequestration, for assessing the potential supply of food or timber and quantifying the impacts of climate change on ecosystems. The global MODIS NPP dataset using the MOD17 algorithm provides valuable information for monitoring NPP at 1-km resolution. Since coarse-resolution global climate data are used, the global dataset may contain uncertainties for Europe. We used a 1-km daily gridded European climate data set with the MOD17 algorithm to create the regional NPP dataset MODIS EURO. For evaluation of this new dataset, we compare MODIS EURO with terrestrial driven NPP from analyzing and harmonizing forest inventory data (NFI) from 196,434 plots in 12 European countries as well as the global MODIS NPP dataset for the years 2000 to 2012. Comparing these three NPP datasets, we found that the global MODIS NPP dataset differs from NFI NPP by 26%, while MODIS EURO only differs by 7%. MODIS EURO also agrees with NFI NPP across scales (from continental, regional to country) and gradients (elevation, location, tree age, dominant species, etc.). The agreement is particularly good for elevation, dominant species or tree height. This suggests that using improved climate data allows the MOD17 algorithm to provide realistic NPP estimates for Europe. Local discrepancies between MODIS EURO and NFI NPP can be related to differences in stand density due to forest management and the national carbon estimation methods. With this study, we provide a consistent, temporally continuous and spatially explicit productivity dataset for the years 2000 to 2012 on a 1-km resolution, which can be used to assess climate change impacts on ecosystems or the potential biomass supply of the European forests for an increasing bio-based economy. MODIS EURO data are made freely available at
  • Luoma, Antti (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Plantation forestry has increased dramatically in Uruguay during the past 25 years. Thus, planted forests have an increasing importance in providing other ecosystem services in addition to wood provision in landscape scale. Forest sector company UPM owns more than 250 000 hectares of Eucalyptus plantations in Uruguay. UPM seeks to enhance their systems to measure and monitor ecosystem services, to better understand sustainable provision of ecosystem services in their plantation landscapes, and to mitigate negative and maximize positive impacts. Benefits of monitoring and incorporating ecosystem services at management level include strengthened decision-making and communication, license to operate in long-term and better corporate image. Four ecosystem services were selected for analysis based on their relevance in UPM’s corporate strategy: wood provision, climate regulation, water provision and biodiversity maintenance. Provision of the ecosystem services were estimated quantitatively and compared to a pasture land baseline. Provision of ecosystem services was also linked to product level, tonne of pulp, when applicable. Data for the analysis was partly provided by UPM and partly by literature meta-analysis. Climate benefit of converting pasture to Eucalyptus is 8–31 MgC/ha or 29–115 MgCO2/ha depending on species and rotation number. Planting 40% of a micro water-shed with Eucalyptus reduces water streamflow approximately by 20–27%, while reducing streamflow of peak rainfall months by up to 40%, potentially alleviating floods. Pastures in UPM’s landscapes are well connected, but provided little core habitats. Native riparian forests are fragmented and maintain biodiversity poorly. Suggestions for future monitoring and measuring are presented. This thesis works as a waypoint for future studies of holistic ecosystem services provision in UPM assets.
  • Laine, Anna M.; Lindholm, Tapio; Nilsson, Mats; Kutznetsov, Oleg; Jassey, Vincent E. J.; Tuittila, Eeva-Stiina (John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 2021)
    Journal of Ecology 109, 4 (2021), 1774–1789
    1. Most of the carbon accumulated into peatlands is derived from Sphagnum mosses. During peatland development, the relative share of vascular plants and Sphagnum mosses in the plant community changes, which impacts ecosystem functions. Little is known on the successional development of functional plant traits or functional diversity in peatlands, although this could be a key for understanding the mechanisms behind peatland resistance to climate change. Here we aim to assess how functionality of successive plant communities change along the autogenic peatland development and the associated environmental gradients, namely peat thickness and pH, and to determine whether trait trade-offs during peatland succession are analogous between vascular plant and moss communities. 2. We collected plant community and trait data on successional peatland gradients from post-glacial rebound areas in coastal Finland, Sweden and Russia, altogether from 47 peatlands. This allowed us to analyse the changes in community-weighted mean trait values and functional diversity (diversity of traits) during peatland development. 3. Our results show comparative trait trade-offs from acquisitive species to conservative species in both vascular plant and Sphagnum moss communities during peatland development. However, mosses had higher resistance to environmental change than vascular plant communities. This was seen in the larger proportion of intraspecific trait variation than species turnover in moss traits, while the proportions were opposite for vascular plants. Similarly, the functional diversity of Sphagnum communities increased during the peatland development, while the opposite occurred for vascular plants. Most of the measured traits showed a phylogenetic signal. More so, the species common to old successional stages, namely Ericacae and Sphagna from subgroup Acutifolia were detected as most similar to their phylogenetic neighbours. 4. Synthesis. During peatland development, vegetation succession leads to the dominance of conservative plant species accustomed to high stress. At the same time, the autogenic succession and ecological engineering of Sphagna leads to higher functional diversity and intraspecific variability, which together indicate higher resistance towards environmental perturbations.
  • Snelgrove, Paul V.R.; Soetaert, Karline; Solan, Martin; Thrush, Simon; Wei, Chih-Lin; Danovaro, Roberto; Fulweiler, Robinson W.; Kitazato, Hiroshi; Ingole, Baban; Norkko, Alf; Parkes, R. John; Volkenborn, Nils (2018)
    Diverse biological communities mediate the transformation, transport, and storage of elements fundamental to life on Earth, including carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen. However, global biogeochemical model outcomes can vary by orders of magnitude, compromising capacity to project realistic ecosystem responses to planetary changes, including ocean productivity and climate. Here, we compare global carbon turnover rates estimated using models grounded in biological versus geochemical theory and argue that the turnover estimates based on each perspective yield divergent outcomes. Importantly, empirical studies that include sedimentary biological activity vary less than those that ignore it. Improving the relevance of model projections and reducing uncertainty associated with the anticipated consequences of global change requires reconciliation of these perspectives, enabling better societal decisions on mitigation and adaptation.
  • Nurmi, Juha (The Society of Forestry in Finland, 1997)
    The effective heating values of the above and below ground biomass components of mature Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), Norway spruce (Picea abies), downy birch (Betula pubescens), silver birch (Betula pendula), grey alder (Alnus incana), black alder (Alnus glutinosa) and trembling aspen (Populus tremula) were studied. Each sample tree was divided into wood, bark and foliage components. Bomb calorimetry was used to determine the calorimetric heating values. The species is a significant factor in the heating value of individual tree components. The heating value of the wood proper is highest in conifers. Broad-leaved species have a higher heating value of bark than conifers. The species factor diminishes when the weighted heating value of crown, whole stems or stump-root-system are considered. The crown material has a higher heating value per unit weight in comparison with fuelwood from small-sized stems or wholetrees. The additional advantages of coniferous crown material are that it is a non-industrial biomass resource and is readily available. The variability of both the chemical composition and the heating value is small in any given tree component of any species. However, lignin, carbohydrate and extractive content were found to vary from one part of the tree to another and to correlate with the heating value.
  • Salminen, Eero-Matti (Helsingfors universitet, 2012)
    The purpose of this study was to examine the integrated climatic impacts of forestry and the use fibre-based packaging materials. The responsible use of forest resources plays an integral role in mitigating climate change. Forests offer three generic mitigation strategies; conservation, sequestration and substitution. By conserving carbon reservoirs, increasing the carbon sequestration in the forest or substituting fossil fuel intensive materials and energy, it is possible to lower the amount of carbon in the atmosphere through the use of forest resources. The Finnish forest industry consumed some 78 million m3 of wood in 2009, while total of 2.4 million tons of different packaging materials were consumed that same year in Finland. Nearly half of the domestically consumed packaging materials were wood-based. Globally the world packaging material market is valued worth annually some €400 billion, of which the fibre-based packaging materials account for 40 %. The methodology and the theoretical framework of this study are based on a stand-level, steady-state analysis of forestry and wood yields. The forest stand data used for this study were obtained from Metla, and consisted of 14 forest stands located in Southern and Central Finland. The forest growth and wood yields were first optimized with the help of Stand Management Assistant software, and then simulated in Motti for forest carbon pools. The basic idea was to examine the climatic impacts of fibre-based packaging material production and consumption through different forest management and end-use scenarios. Economically optimal forest management practices were chosen as the baseline (1) for the study. In the alternative scenarios, the amount of fibre-based packaging material on the market decreased from the baseline. The reduced pulpwood demand (RPD) scenario (2) follows economically optimal management practices under reduced pulpwood price conditions, while the sawlog scenario (3) also changed the product mix from packaging to sawnwood products. The energy scenario (4) examines the impacts of pulpwood demand shift from packaging to energy use. The final scenario follows the silvicultural guidelines developed by the Forestry Development Centre Tapio (5). The baseline forest and forest product carbon pools and the avoided emissions from wood use were compared to those under alternative forest management regimes and end-use scenarios. The comparison of the climatic impacts between scenarios gave an insight into the sustainability of fibre-based packaging materials, and the impacts of decreased material supply and substitution. The results show that the use of wood for fibre-based packaging purposes is favorable, when considering climate change mitigation aspects of forestry and wood use. Fibre-based packaging materials efficiently displace fossil carbon emissions by substituting more energy intensive materials, and they delay biogenic carbon re-emissions to the atmosphere for several months up to years. The RPD and the sawlog scenarios both fared well in the scenario comparison. These scenarios produced relatively more sawnwood, which can displace high amounts of emissions and has high carbon storing potential due to the long lifecycle. The results indicate the possibility that win-win scenarios exist by shifting production from pulpwood to sawlogs; on some of the stands in the RPD and sawlog scenarios, both carbon pools and avoided emissions increased from the baseline simultaneously. On the opposite, the shift from packaging material to energy use caused the carbon pools and the avoided emissions to diminish from the baseline. Hence the use of virgin fibres for energy purposes, rather than forest industry feedstock biomass, should be critically judged if optional to each other. Managing the stands according to the silvicultural guidelines developed by the Forestry Development Centre Tapio provided the least climatic benefits, showing considerably lower carbon pools and avoided emissions. This seems interesting and worth noting, as the guidelines are the current basis for the forest management practices in Finland.
  • Jokinen, Henri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Dead wood includes everything between small branches and large trunks. Dead wood is created by abiotic and biotic factors like wind, lightning, competition and diseases. The amount of dead wood in Finland varies significantly between managed and natural forests. Approximately 50 % of the biomass of dead wood is carbon and thus dead wood is a notable carbon storage. Carbon may remain in dead wood for decades after the tree death. The amount of nitrogen in dead wood is small and it increases when the decay process proceeds. The aim of this study was to research the amount and quality of dead wood near the SMEAR II -station. The study also examined how the amount of carbon and nitrogen in dead wood varies between tree species and decay classes. Dead wood measurements were done at the ICOS-plots (24 pcs.) near the SMEAR II -station. At every plot there was a measurement area of 60 m2 where every piece of dead wood at the diameter of 2 cm or more was measured. Only dead wood inside the measurement area was measured. The length and top and down diameters of downed dead wood were measured. In case of standing dead wood the length and diameter at breast height were measured. The height and top diameter of stumps were measured as well. The decay class and appearance of dead wood were determined according to national forest inventory´s criteria. Based on the measurements the amount of dead wood at the plots and the whole area was calculated. Dead wood samples were taken from the plots. The samples were dried, milled and their carbon and nitrogen concentrations were analysed. The study revealed that the amount of dead wood in the study area is larger than in managed forests on average. Downed dead wood was the most common dead wood type while standing dead wood was the rarest type. The number of stumps was quite large. The most common species were Scots pine, Norway spruce and birch. The amount of dead wood varied significantly between the plots. The concentration of carbon in dead wood was on average 49 % and there were no differences between tree species and decay classes. The concentration of nitrogen was on average 0,8 % which is relatively high compared to other studies, and the concentration increased with increased decaying. There was a significant variation on nitrogen concentration between decay classes but not between tree species. This study supports other studies´ results that dead wood has an important role on carbon and nitrogen cycling in the forest.
  • Kramarenko, Dmitri (Helsingfors universitet, 2012)
    In the carbon cycle carbon is sequestrated from the atmosphere through photosynthesis in vegetation, returned into soils as litter and released into atmosphere in decomposition as carbon dioxide. In the boreal zone a large proportion of the organic carbon is bound into soil. The aim of this study was to find out how the amount of soil organic carbon (SOC) has changed in Finnish forests in last 20 years by comparing results of empirical measurements from two projects (1986-1995 and 2006). The purpose of the study was also to analyze how well the field measurements of SOC collected in two consecutive periods of time are suitable for characterization of changes in the SOC stock. The effect of soil structure, vegetation type and climatic factors on possible SOC changes were also studied. The average size of SOC stock (organic layer + mineral layer 0-40cm) in Finnish forests is 5.65 kg C m-2. About one third of SOC is in the organic layer (2.10 kg C m-2) and the rest of it is in the mineral soil (3.56 kg C m-2 ). Higher amount of SOC stock in the organic layer has been determined on plots with thicker organic layer, poor drainage and the presence of peat mosses. Higher amount of SOC in the mineral layer has been measured on plots which have a more southerly location, lower stoniness and high proportion of fine textures. Coefficients of determination in General Linear Models were between 23-61%. The average annual change of SOC (organic layer + mineral layer 0-40 cm) is +33.9 g C m-2a-1. Change in the organic layer has been +11.4 g C m-2a-1 and in the mineral soil +22.5 g C m-2a-1. The accumulation of organic carbon into the organic layer is positively correlated with the thickness of the organic layer, the southern location, pine dominance in tree layer and the age of the trees, while in the mineral soil higher carbon accumulation occurs in less stony soils and in more southern locations. Coefficients of determination in General Linear Models describing the change in SOC were low, between 11-14%. The largest positive or negative changes in SOC are in plots where the depth of the organic layer measured in two successive measurements was very different. Also, the differences in the measurements of SOC were large if the plots were drained, divided to two different sections or plots were excessively moist. Climate change and higher temperature will probably affect soil carbon sequestration positively, forecasted by using the results of the south-north gradient in which more carbon was accumulated into the soils of southern Finland. Soil monitoring research should be developed by using precise sampling methods and establishing permanent instructions for field work in order to avoid additional sources of error and to minimize variation.
  • Lahtinen, Maria; Salmi, Anna-Kaisa (2019)
    A stable isotope investigation of a large Medieval population buried in Iin Hamina, northern Finland, has been used to reconstruct palaeodiet. Iin Hamina is situated approximately 30 km away from the modern city Oulu, in close proximity to the Bothnian Bay coast and the river Ii. The material used in this study is human skeletal material from an Iin Hamina cemetery dated as 15 to 17th centuries AD and animal bones excavated in Northern Ostrobothnia from pre-industrial contexts. Stable isotope analysis of well-preserved collagen indicate that both freshwater and marine fish was the dominant protein source for the people buried at the Iin Hamina cemetery.
  • Laurén, Ari; Palviainen, Marjo; Page, Susan; Evans, Chris; Urzainki, Inaki; Hökkä, Hannu (2021)
    Responsible management of Acacia plantations requires an improved understanding of trade-offs between maintaining stand production whilst reducing environmental impacts. Intensive drainage and the resulting low water tables (WT) increase carbon emissions, peat subsidence, fire risk and nutrient export to water courses, whilst increasing nutrient availability for plant uptake from peat mineralization. In the plantations, hydrology, stand growth, carbon and nutrient balance, and peat subsidence are connected forming a complex dynamic system, which can be thoroughly understood by dynamic process models. We developed the Plantation Simulator to describe the effect of drainage, silviculture, fertilization, and weed control on the above-mentioned processes and to find production schemes that are environmentally and economically viable. The model successfully predicted measured peat subsidence, which was used as a proxy for stand total mass balance. Computed nutrient balances indicated that the main growth-limiting factor was phosphorus (P) supply, and the P balance was affected by site index, mortality rate and WT. In a scenario assessment, where WT was raised from -0.80 m to -0.40 m the subsidence rate decreased from 4.4 to 3.3 cm yr(-1), and carbon loss from 17 to 9 Mg ha(-1) yr(-1). P balance shifted from marginally positive to negative suggesting that additional P fertilization is needed to maintain stand productivity as a trade-off for reducing C emissions.
  • Soimakallio, Sampo; Kalliokoski, Tuomo; Lehtonen, Aleksi; Salminen, Olli (Springer, 2021)
    Mitigation and Adaption Strategies for Global Change 26: 4
    Forest biomass can be used in two different ways to limit the growth of the atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations: (1) to provide negative emissions through sequestration of carbon into forests and harvested wood products or (2) to avoid GHG emissions through substitution of non-renewable raw materials with wood. We study the trade-offs and synergies between these strategies using three different Finnish national-level forest scenarios between 2015 and 2044 as examples. We demonstrate how GHG emissions change when wood harvest rates are increased. We take into account CO2 and other greenhouse gas flows in the forest, the decay rate of harvested wood products and fossil-based CO2 emissions that can be avoided by substituting alternative materials with wood derived from increased harvests. We considered uncertainties of key parameters by using stochastic simulation. According to our results, an increase in harvest rates in Finland increased the total net GHG flow to the atmosphere virtually certainly or very likely, given the uncertainties and time frame considered. This was because the increased biomass-based CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere together with decreased carbon sequestration into the forest were very likely higher than the avoided fossil-based CO2 emissions. The reverse of this conclusion would require that compared to what was studied in this paper, the share of long-living wood products in the product mix would be higher, carbon dioxide from bioenergy production would be captured and stored, and reduction in forest carbon equivalent net sink due to wood harvesting would be minimized.
  • Lippu, Jukka (The Finnish Society of Forest Science and The Finnish Forest Research Institute, 1994)
    Changes in dry matter partitioning, 14C-incorporation, and sink 14C-activity of 1.5-year-old Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) seedlings grown in growth chamber conditions were studied during a 91-day experiment. On five sampling dates, seedlings were labeled with 14CO2, and whole-plant allocation patterns were determined. Intensively growing shoots modified the dry matter partitioning: during shoot growth the proportion of roots decreased but after that it increased. Based on their large proportion of dry matter, the needles (excluding current needles) were the strongest sink of carbon containing 40% of the incorporated 14C. Despite their small initial sink size, the elongating shoots (current main shoot + current branch) and their needles were the second strongest sink (30–40% of the total 14C) which reflects their high physiological activity. The proportion of 14C in the current year’s main shoot increased during shoot growth but decreased as the growth began to decline after 70 days. 10–20% of the total assimilated 14C was translocated to the roots. Laterals above 2nd order were the strongest sink in the root system, containing twice as much 14C as the other roots together. Alternation between shoot and root growth can be seen clearly: carbon allocation to roots was relatively high before and after the period of intensive shoot growth. Changes in root sink strength resulted primarily from changes in root sink activity rather than sink size.
  • Sadik, Samica Anastasia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Agricultural systems hold great potential in contributing greenhouse gas mitigation measures globally. Crop diversification, perennial vegetative cover and soil conservational measures are highlighted in order to develop agricultural production in a sustainable way. Increasing climate related public concern has created a demand for sustainable materials for manufacturing industries. Nettle (Urtica dioica) has been proven to hold economic and ecological advantages and great commercial potential. Nettle is a perennial low input crop with multiple end uses within harvest offering an attractive crop for farmers. The crop has been historically used in industrial scale however, current nettle production in agricultural scale is marginal despite its positive characteristics. Research on nettle’s commercial potential has been conducted in various industries. Lack of farmers has left results idle and commercial potential unachieved. This study uses basic management accounting practices in order to find the break-even points and profitability of the production in Finnish conventional farming framework. The production information is gathered from various international projects and is used in order to assess the profitability of nettle production and expand the assessment to evaluate production’s environmental benefits. For a comparison, similar assessment is performed for a conventional crop rotation consisting an oilseed crop, wheat and grass. In the chosen 4-year setting, the nettle production proves more expensive majorly due to first year’s economically non-viable production. Nettle’s low input use during the yield years and predictable long term yield output is likely to reduce unit costs over time. Nettle’s production cost of dry biomass is 0,29 euros per kilogram and break-even price after subsidies is 0,16 euros for a kilogram, similar to wheat. Nettle’s low input use and relatively large, annual 8000kg fresh yields indicate the production could turn profitable with comparably low prices. Environmentally, after the first year nettle creates an annual 1,3 ton carbon sink despite conventional fertilizer use and machinery work done of field.
  • Denfeld, Blaize A.; Kortelainen, Pirkko; Rantakari, Miitta; Sobek, Sebastian; Weyhenmeyer, Gesa A. (2016)
    Northern lakes are ice-covered for considerable portions of the year, where carbon dioxide (CO2) can accumulate below ice, subsequently leading to high CO2 emissions at ice-melt. Current knowledge on the regional control and variability of below ice partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO(2)) is lacking, creating a gap in our understanding of how ice cover dynamics affect the CO2 accumulation below ice and therefore CO2 emissions from inland waters during the ice-melt period. To narrow this gap, we identified the drivers of below ice pCO(2) variation across 506 Swedish and Finnish lakes using water chemistry, lake morphometry, catchment characteristics, lake position, and climate variables. We found that lake depth and trophic status were the most important variables explaining variations in below ice pCO(2) across the 506 lakes(.) Together, lake morphometry and water chemistry explained 53% of the site-to-site variation in below ice pCO(2). Regional climate (including ice cover duration) and latitude only explained 7% of the variation in below ice pCO(2). Thus, our results suggest that on a regional scale a shortening of the ice cover period on lakes may not directly affect the accumulation of CO2 below ice but rather indirectly through increased mobility of nutrients and carbon loading to lakes. Thus, given that climate-induced changes are most evident in northern ecosystems, adequately predicting the consequences of a changing climate on future CO2 emission estimates from northern lakes involves monitoring changes not only to ice cover but also to changes in the trophic status of lakes.
  • Evans, Claire; Brandsma, Joost; Meredith, Michael; Thomas, David Neville; Venables, Hugh; Pond, David; Brussaard, Corina (2021)
    The relative flow of carbon through the viral shunt and the microbial loop is a pivotal factor controlling the contribution of secondary production to the food web and to rates of nutrient remineralization and respiration. The current study examines the significance of these processes in the coastal waters of the Antarctic during the productive austral summer months. Throughout the study a general trend towards lower bacterioplankton and heterotrophic nanoflagellate (HNF) abundances was observed, whereas virioplankton concentration increased. A corresponding decline of HNF grazing rates and shift towards viral production, indicative of viral infection, was measured. Carbon flow mediated by HNF grazing decreased by more than half from 5.7 μg C L−1day−1 on average in December and January to 2.4 μg C L−1 day−1 in February. Conversely, carbon flow through the viral shunt increased substantially over the study from on average 0.9 μg C L−1day−1 in December to 7.6 μg C L−1 day−1 in February. This study shows that functioning of the coastal Antarctic microbial community varied considerably over the productive summer months. In early summer, the system favors transfer of matter and energy to higher trophic levels via the microbial loop, however towards the end of summer carbon flow is redirected towards the viral shunt, causing a switch towards more recycling and therefore increased respiration and regeneration.
  • Kohli, Juliana (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Boreal forests are an important storage of carbon (C), representing over one-third of terrestrial C stocks. The continuity of C storage in boreal forests and forest soils is critical to mitigate climate change. Climate change will likely increase the fire season length and the frequency of forest fires in Finland, of which surface fires are the dominant type. Fire affects C dynamics by modifying biotic (SOM, vegetation, microbial activity) and abiotic (soil temperature, moisture, chemistry) components of the forest ecosystem. These fire-induced effects will depend on the intensity of the fire (duration, flame temperature) and the site characteristics, ultimately resulting in either the persistence of, or in a net C loss, which has implications on both a local and global scale. There is a lack of existing research regarding the short-term impacts of surface forest fires and comparisons between different fire intensities. Subsequently, this thesis describes an experimental burn conducted in an even-aged Pinus sylvestris forest in southern Finland and the short- term post-fire impacts on soil biogeochemical processes (June-October 2020). The aims of this study were: (1) to study the effects of low- (200-300 oC) and high- (500-600 oC) intensity surface fires on soil temperature, moisture and soil surface CO2 fluxes straight after fire and through four months after experimental fire; (2) to study the effects of low- and high-intensity surface fires on plant (above and below ground) biomass immediately and four months after fire; (3) to identify the most important factors driving soil CO2 effluxes shortly after the fire. Eight sample plots (225 m2 each) were used, divided between high and low biomass loads to achieve high- and low-intensity fires. Continuous soil temperature and moisture measurements, vegetation inventories, soil sampling (0-30 cm), and soil CO2 efflux measurements were obtained using portable chambers. The results of this study showed that some soil physical and chemical properties were significantly altered due to the experimental surface fire (vegetation, temperature, moisture, root biomass, C, N (nitrogen), C/N), whereas some remained unchanged (pH, humus thickness). Soil moisture was the only variable, which increased as a result of higher fire intensity. Fires at both intensities resulted in the mortality of ground vegetation whilst trees did not experience mortality by the end of the monitoring period. Soil CO2 fluxes decreased in burned areas compared to unburned plots over time, but this change was not significantly different between burning intensities. Future research should investigate the mechanisms of C and N translocation through the soil profile following the addition of water, the relationship between post-fire soil temperature and soil CO2 efflux, how burning different biomass components changes the composition of ash, and how larger differences in burning intensities affect soil properties and soil CO2 effluxes. If trees experience mortality after the time period encompassed by this study, the site could become a potential C source; further monitoring of the study site could account for delayed indirect impacts such as these.
  • Hooijer, A.; Page, S.; Jauhiainen, Jyrki; Lee, W.A.; Lu, X.X.; Idris, A.; Anshari, G. (2012)
    Abstract. Conversion of tropical peatlands to agriculture leads to a release of carbon from previously stable, long-term storage, resulting in land subsidence that can be a surrogate measure of CO2 emissions to the atmosphere. We present an analysis of recent large-scale subsidence monitoring studies in Acacia and oil palm plantations on peatland in SE Asia, and compare the findings with previous studies. Subsidence in the first 5 yr after drainage was found to be 142 cm, of which 75 cm occurred in the first year. After 5 yr, the subsidence rate in both plantation types, at average water table depths of 0.7 m, remained constant at around 5 cm yr−1. The results confirm that primary consolidation contributed substantially to total subsidence only in the first year after drainage, that secondary consolidation was negligible, and that the amount of compaction was also much reduced within 5 yr. Over 5 yr after drainage, 75 % of cumulative subsidence was caused by peat oxidation, and after 18 yr this was 92 %. The average rate of carbon loss over the first 5 yr was 178 t CO2eq ha−1 yr−1, which reduced to 73 t CO2eq ha−1 yr−1 over subsequent years, potentially resulting in an average loss of 100 t CO2eq ha−1 yr−1 over 25 yr. Part of the observed range in subsidence and carbon loss values is explained by differences in water table depth, but vegetation cover and other factors such as addition of fertilizers also influence peat oxidation. A relationship with groundwater table depth shows that subsidence and carbon loss are still considerable even at the highest water levels theoretically possible in plantations. This implies that improved plantation water management will reduce these impacts by 20 % at most, relative to current conditions, and that high rates of carbon loss and land subsidence are inevitable consequences of conversion of forested tropical peatlands to other land uses.
  • Arnkil, Sini (Helsingfors universitet, 2016)
    The atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition has increased in industrialized and densely populated areas, which according to previous studies may cause changes in the vegetation, microtopography, and carbon (C) cycling of peatlands. Knowing the effects of nutrient deposition is important, because a significant amount of C is stored in boreal nutrient-limited ombrotrophic bogs, which are also a significant natural source of methane (CH4). The aim of this study was to investigate how elevated N deposition affects the CH4 fluxes and vegetation in an ombrotrophic bog. This study was conducted at a long-term fertilization experiment at Mer Bleue, a Sphagnum moss and evergreen shrub dominated ombrotrophic bog in Ottawa, Southern Ontario. The experiment consisted of nine nutrient treatments, each with three replicate 3 x 3 m plots. In the summer of 2015, the plots had been fertilized for 11–16 years with 1.6, 3.2, and 6.4 g N m-2 with or without phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) and control plots received distilled water. Methane fluxes were measured weekly from the beginning of May to the end of August using closed chamber method. Peat temperature, water table level, and volumetric soil water content were also measured. The changes in vegetation abundance and species composition were monitored monthly using point-intercept method. The results show that instantaneous CH4 fluxes at the bog are typically small (0–0.2 mmol m-2 h-1). The seasonal average CH4 emissions from N only treatments are equal to controls. However, the average CH4 emissions have increased after 15–16 years of fertilization from the highest NPK treatments compared to unfertilized control due to nutrient induced changes in vegetation, microtopography, and peat characteristics. The changes in vegetation include the loss of Sphagnum mosses and new deciduous species in the area. Due to the loss of moss cover, the peat has subsided and it has become wetter, which may explain the increased CH4 emissions. Direct effects of fertilization on the microbial communities may also be a factor. The results of this study indicate that elevated atmospheric deposition of nutrients may increase loss of C as CH4 in peatlands through a complex suite of feedbacks and interactions among vegetation, microclimate, and microbial communities.