Browsing by Subject "peatland"

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  • Korrensalo, Aino; Kettunen, Laura; Laiho, Raija; Alekseychik, Pavel; Vesala, Timo; Mammarella, Ivan; Tuittila, Eeva-Stiina (2018)
    Question: Peatlands are globally important for carbon storage due to the imbalance between plant biomass production and decomposition. Distribution of both live standing biomass (BM, dry mass g/m(2)) and biomass production (BMP, dry mass gm(-2) growing season(-1)) are known to be dependent on the water table (WT). However, the relations of BM and BMP to WT variation are poorly known. Here we investigated, how the above- and below-ground BM and BMP of three different plant functional types (PFTs), dwarf shrubs, sedges and Sphagnum mosses, relate to natural WT variation within an ombrotrophic boreal bog. In addition, we estimated ecosystem-level BMP and compared that with ecosystem net primary production (NPP) derived from eddy covariance (EC) measurements. Location: Siikaneva bog, Ruovesi, Finland. Methods: We quantified above- and below-ground BM and BMP of PFTs along the WT gradient, divided into six plant community types. Plant community scale BM and BMP were up-scaled to the ecosystem level. NPP was derived from EC measurements using a literature-based ratio of heterotrophic respiration to total ecosystem respiration. Results: BM varied from 211 to 979 g/m(2) among the plant community types, decreasing gradually from dry to wet community types. In contrast, BMP was similar between plant community types (162-216 g/m(2)), except on nearly vegetation-free bare peat surfaces where it was low (38 g/m(2)). Vascular plant BM turnover rate (BMP:BM, per year) varied from 0.14 to 0.30 among the plant community types, being highest in sedge-dominated hollows. On average 56% of the vascular BM was produced below ground. Mosses, when present, produced on average 31% of the total BM, ranging from 16% to 53% depending on community type. EC-derived NPP was higher than measured BMP due to underestimation of certain components. Conclusions: We found that the diversity of PFTs decreases the spatial variability in productivity of a boreal bog ecosystem. The observed even distribution of BMP resulted from different WT optima and BMP:BM of dwarf shrubs, sedges and Sphagnum species. These differences in biomass turnover rate and species responses to environmental conditions may provide a resilience mechanism for bog ecosystems in changing conditions.
  • Finér, Leena; Lepistö, Ahti; Karlsson, Kristian; Räike, Antti; Härkönen, Laura; Huttunen, Markus; Joensuu, Samuli; Kortelainen, Pirkko; Mattsson, Tuija; Piirainen, Sirpa; Sallantaus, Tapani; Sarkkola, Sakari; Tattari, Sirkka; Ukonmaanaho, Liisa (Elsevier, 2021)
    Science of The Total Environment 762 (2021), 144098
    More reliable assessments of nutrient export to surface waters and the Baltic Sea are required to achieve good ecological status of all water bodies. Previous nutrient export estimates have recently been questioned since they did not include the long-term impacts of drainage for forestry. We made new estimates of the total nitrogen (N), total phosphorus (P) and total organic carbon (TOC) export from forests to surface waters at different spatial scales in Finland. This was done by formulating statistical equations between streamwater concentrations and climate, soil, forest management and runoff variables and spatial data on catchment characteristics. The equations were based on a large, long-term runoff and streamwater quality dataset, which was collected from 28 pristine and 61 managed boreal forest catchments located around Finland. We found that the concentrations increased with temperature sum (TS), i.e. from north to south. Nitrogen, P and TOC concentrations increased with the proportion of drained areas in the catchment; those of N and TOC also increased with the proportion of peatlands. In contrast, with the increasing concentrations of N and TOC with time, P concentrations showed a decreasing trend over the last few decades. According to our estimates, altogether 47,300 Mg of N, 1780 Mg of P and 1814 Gg of TOC is transported from forest areas to surface waters in Finland. Forest management contributes 17% of the N export, 35% of the P export and 12% of the TOC export. Our new forest management export estimates for N and P are more than two times higher than the old estimates used by the environment authorities. The differences may be explained by the long-term impact of forest drainage. The spatial results indicate that peatland forests are hotspots for N, P and TOC export, especially in the river basins draining to the Gulf of Bothnia.
  • Karim, Md Rezaul (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Peat lands are net sinks of carbon (C) and a net source of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions owing to drainage during the growing season. The surface peat layer can be lost because of aerobic decomposition (oxidation) after drainage resulting in emissions of CO2. One way to reduce these emissions is to keep the water table at a high level as much as possible. The resulting anoxic conditions reduce the decomposition of organic matter and hence CO2 emissions. In the current Finnish agri-environmental scheme, the farmers may receive subsidies for controlled drainage on peatlands, and a raised ground water level through controlled drainage could be used as a greenhouse gas mitigation measure. This study reports the carbon balance of drained peatland under controlled drainage during the growing season in Mouhijärvi, Southwestern Finland. The CO2 fluxes measured with a transparent chamber method were divided into gross primary productivity (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (ER) for modelling based on environmental factors (light and temperature) and canopy reflectance (leaf area index, LAI). The GPP model estimates the effect of light and vegetation status, whereas the ER model captures the share of foliar biomass-dependent respiration and the ground water table. The sum of the study period (June–August 2016) GPP varied from -1301 to -670 g C m-2, ER from 632 to 1029 g C m-2 and net ecosystem exchange (NEE) from -322 to 68.5 g C m-2. NEE indicated a net sink of C in all plots except one with poor crop growth. The net ecosystem carbon balance (as the sum of NEE and carbon export as grains), indicated a net source of carbon in both plots with controlled drainage and a net sink in conventionally drained plots during the cultivation period. The greatest sink reported either as NEE or with the harvest included was the wettest plot, indicating that cereal production is possible in wetter than normal conditions.
  • Turunen, Pauliina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Peatlands play an important role in the carbon cycle. Natural peatlands are in general sinks of carbon dioxide (CO2) and sources of methane (CH4), whereas drained peatland forests are CH4 sinks but their CO2 emissions increase compared to natural peatlands. Rotational even-aged forestry followed by ditch network maintenance (DNM) affect the water dynamics of the soil by increasing the water table level (WTL) first during clear-cut after which the WTL is lowered by DNM. Rising of WTL causes more anaerobic conditions and risk that CH4 sink turns into CH4 emissions. Lowering the WTL causes more aerobic conditions and strengthens the CH4 sink function but also increases CO2 emissions. In continuous cover forestry (CCF) where only part of the trees are removed, WTL would be naturally maintained. This could maintain CH4 sinks while lowering CO2 emissions by keeping the WTL at an adequate depth. Net emissions of CO2 and CH4 could be expected to follow the changes in CO2 and CH4 concentrations in soil. To understand the processes isotopic values can be used to interpret the production pathways of CO2 and CH4 since different pathways produce different isotope values. In this master’s thesis the aim was to study how the concentration of CO2 and CH4 as well as CO2 isotope values change in a peat soil and how partial harvest affects them. Gas samples were collected from the peat profile (5 – 65cm) at two different drained peatland forests, Lettosuo and Paroninkorpi, from control plots and partial harvested plots during 2019 and 2020. Samples were also collected from the moss layer. In addition, WTL, temperature of peat and O2 concentrations were measured. Concentrations and isotope values were analysed the laboratory with gas chromatography and isotope analyser (Picarro G2201-i). Water table level and temperature were generally higher in partial harvested areas than in control. Highest concentrations of both CO2 and CH4 were found in the deeper layers of the soil. Partial harvest had higher CO2 and CH4 concentrations in the deep layers (50 – 65cm) than control. The differences between partial harvest and control areas could be explained with the higher WTL in partial harvest. The measured isotopic values of CO2 indicated that most of the CO2 in the soil was derived from atmosphere or heterotrophic respiration and only <<20 % of CO2 was derived from CH4 oxidation. Even though both in control and in partial harvest the CH4 concentrations in the deep soil layers were high, the oxidation processes decrease the concentrations under the atmospheric CH4 concentration maintaining the CH4 sinks in both treatments. In partial harvest the CH4 sink is not in risk due to oxidation even though the WTL is higher. This should be verified with gas flux measurements.
  • Väliranta, Minna; Salojärvi, Niina; Vuorsalo, Annina; Juutinen, Sari; Korhola, Atte; Luoto, Miska; Tuittila, Eeva-Stiina (2017)
    Minerotrophic fens and ombrotrophic bogs differ in their nutrient status, hydrology, vegetation and carbon dynamics, and their geographical distribution is linked to various climate parameters. Currently, bogs dominate the northern temperate and southern boreal zones but climate warming may cause a northwards shift in the distribution of the bog zone. To more profoundly understand the sensitivity of peatlands to changes in climate, we first used the plant macrofossil method to identify plant communities that are characteristic of past fen-bog transitions. These transitions were radiocarbon dated, to be linked to Holocene climate phases. Subsequently, palaeoecological data were combined with an extensive vegetation survey dataset collected along the current fen-bog ecotone in Finland where we studied how the distribution of the key plant species identified from peat records is currently related to the most important environmental variables. The fossil plant records revealed clear successional phases: an initial Carex-dominated fen phase, an Eriophorum vaginatum-dominated oligotrophic fen phase followed by an early bog phase with wet bog Sphagna. This was occasionally followed by a dry ombrotrophic bog phase. Timing of initiation and phase transitions, and duration of succession phases varied between three sites studied. However, the final ombrotrophication occurred during 2000-3000 cal. BP corresponding to the neoglacial cooling phase. Dry mid-Holocene seems to have facilitated initiation of Eriophorum fens. The peatlands surveyed in the fen-bog ecotone were classified into succession phases based on the key species distribution. In 33% of the studied peatlands, Sphagnum had taken over and we interpret they are going through a final transition from fen to bog. In addition to autogenic processes and direct climate impact, our results showed that ecosystem shifts are also driven by allogenic disturbances, such as fires, suggesting that climate change can indirectly assist the ombrotrophication process in the southern border of the fen-bog ecotone.
  • Menberu, Meseret Walle; Marttila, Hannu; Ronkanen, Anna-Kaisa; Haghighi, Ali Torabi; Kløve, Bjørn (American Geophysical Union, 2021)
    Water Resources Research 57, e2020WR028624
    Undisturbed peatlands are effective carbon sinks and provide a variety of ecosystem services. However, anthropogenic disturbances, especially land drainage, strongly alter peat soil properties and jeopardize the benefits of peatlands. The effects of disturbances should therefore be assessed and predicted. To support accurate modeling, this study determined the physical and hydraulic properties of intact and disturbed peat samples collected from 59 sites (in total 3,073 samples) in Finland and Norway. The bulk density (BD), porosity, and specific yield (Sy) values obtained indicated that the top layer (0–30 cm depth) at agricultural and peat extraction sites was most affected by land use change. The BD in the top layer at agricultural, peat extraction, and forestry sites was 441%, 140%, and 92% higher, respectively, than that of intact peatlands. Porosity decreased with increased BD, but not linearly. Agricultural and peat extraction sites had the lowest saturated hydraulic conductivity, Sy, and porosity, and the highest BD of the land use options studied. The van Genuchten-Mualem (vGM) soil water retention curve (SWRC) and hydraulic conductivity (K) models proved to be applicable for the peat soils tested, providing values of SWRC, K, and vGM-parameters (α and n) for peat layers (top, middle and bottom) under different land uses. A decrease in peat soil water content of ≥10% reduced the unsaturated K values by two orders of magnitude. This unique data set can be used to improve hydrological modeling in peat-dominated catchments and for fuller integration of peat soils into large-scale hydrological models.
  • Matkala, Laura (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    Boreal peatlands contain approximately one third of the global soil carbon and are considered net sinks of atmospheric CO2. Water level position is one of the main regulators of CO2 fluxes in northern peatlands because it controls both the thickness of the aerobic layer in peat and plant communities. However, little is known about the role of different plant functional groups and their possible interaction with changing water level in boreal peatlands with regard to CO2 cycling. Climate change may also accelerate changes in hydrological conditions, changing both aerobic conditions and plant communities. To help answer these questions, this study was conducted at a mesocosm facility in Northern Michigan where the aim was to experimentally study the effects of water levels, plant functional groups (sedges, shrubs and mosses) and the possible interaction of these on the CO2 cycle of a boreal peatland ecosystem. The results indicate that Ericaceous shrubs are important in the boreal peatland CO2 cycle. The removal of these plants decreased ecosystem respiration, gross ecosystem production and net ecosystem exchange rates, whereas removing sedges did not show any significant differences in the flux rates. The water level did not significantly affect the flux rates. The amount of aboveground sedge biomass was higher in the low water level sedge treatment plots compared to the high water level sedge plots, possibly because the lowered water level and the removal of Ericaceae released nutrients for sedges to use up.
  • Johnson, Christopher (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    Experimental warming provides a method to determine how an ecosystem will respond to increased temperatures. Northern peatland ecosystems, sensitive to changing climates, provide an excellent setting for experimental warming. Storing great quantities of carbon, northern peatlands play a critical role in regulating global temperatures. Two of the most common methods of experimental warming include open top chambers (OTCs) and infrared (IR) lamps. These warming systems have been used in many ecosystems throughout the world, yet their efficacy to create a warmer environment is variable and has not been widely studied. To date, there has not been a direct, experimentally controlled comparison of OTCs and IR lamps. As a result, a factorial study was implemented to compare the warming efficacy of OTCs and IR lamps and to examine the resulting carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) flux rates in a Lake Superior peatland. IR lamps warmed the ecosystem on average by 1-2 oC, with the majority of warming occurring during nighttime hours. OTC's did not provide any long-term warming above control plots, which is contrary to similar OTC studies at high latitudes. By investigating diurnal heating patterns and micrometeorological variables, we were able to conclude that OTCs were not achieving strong daytime heating peaks and were often cooler than control plots during nighttime hours. Temperate day-length, cloudy and humid conditions, and latent heat loss were factors that inhibited OTC warming. There were no changes in CO2 flux between warming treatments in lawn plots. Gross ecosystem production was significantly greater in IR lamp-hummock plots, while ecosystem respiration was not affected. CH4 flux was not significantly affected by warming treatment. Minimal daytime heating differences, high ambient temperatures, decay resistant substrate, as well as other factors suppressed significant gas flux responses from warming treatments.
  • Bechtold, M.; De Lannoy, G. J. M.; Koster, R. D.; Reichle, R. H.; Mahanama, S. P.; Bleuten, W.; Bourgault, M. A.; Brümmer, C.; Burdun; Desai, A. R.; Devito, K.; Grünwald, T.; Grygoruk, M.; Humphreys, E. R.; Klatt, J.; Kurbatova, J.; Lohila, A.; Munir, T. M.; Nilsson, M. B.; Price, J. S.; Röhl, M.; Schneider, A.; Tiemeyer, B. (2019)
    Peatlands are poorly represented in global Earth system modeling frameworks. Here we add a peatland-specific land surface hydrology module (PEAT-CLSM) to the Catchment Land Surface Model (CLSM) of the NASA Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS) framework. The amended TOPMODEL approach of the original CLSM that uses topography characteristics to model catchment processes is discarded, and a peatland-specific model concept is realized in its place. To facilitate its utilization in operational GEOS efforts, PEAT-CLSM uses the basic structure of CLSM and the same global input data. Parameters used in PEAT-CLSM are based on literature data. A suite of CLSM and PEAT-CLSM simulations for peatland areas between 40 degrees N and 75 degrees N is presented and evaluated against a newly compiled data set of groundwater table depth and eddy covariance observations of latent and sensible heat fluxes in natural and seminatural peatlands. CLSM's simulated groundwater tables are too deep and variable, whereas PEAT-CLSM simulates a mean groundwater table depth of -0.20 m (snow-free unfrozen period) with moderate temporal fluctuations (standard deviation of 0.10 m), in significantly better agreement with in situ observations. Relative to an operational CLSM version that simply includes peat as a soil class, the temporal correlation coefficient is increased on average by 0.16 and reaches 0.64 for bogs and 0.66 for fens when driven with global atmospheric forcing data. In PEAT-CLSM, runoff is increased on average by 38% and evapotranspiration is reduced by 19%. The evapotranspiration reduction constitutes a significant improvement relative to eddy covariance measurements.
  • Varhimo, Antero; Kojola, Soili; Penttilä, Timo; Laiho, Raija (2003)
    The inherent structural dynamics of drained peatland forests may result in a great variation in various wood and fi ber properties. We examined variation in fi ber and pulp properties i) among stands, ii) among trees within stands, and iii) within trees in young stands dominated by Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.). The stands, selected to cover a maximal range of the potential variation, were all at a stage of development where the fi rst commercial thinnings would be feasible. Differences in the processability of the thinning removals were small. In similar kraft cooking conditions, a 5-unit variation in the kappa number of unbleached pulp was observed among the stands. Stand origin had no effect on pulp bleaching. The wood formed prior to drainage had a higher density, shorter fi bers, was slightly slower delignifi ed by cooking, and its yield was slightly lower than that of post-drainage wood. These properties, except for high density, are typical for juvenile wood in general, and at stand level they did not correlate with the proportion of pre-drainage wood. When the variation in fi ber and pulp properties was broken down into its components, most of it was derived from tree-level in all the cases. On average, the fi ber and pulp properties did not differ from those observed for fi rst-thinning pulpwood from upland sites. Consequently, peatland-grown pulpwood may be mixed with other pulpwood in industrial processes. It would probably be best suited as the raw material for pulps with high bonding requirements, e.g. in the top ply of multi-ply board grades or in some specialty grades.
  • Strakova, Petra; Larmola, Tuula; Andres, Javier; Ilola, Noora; Launiainen, Piia; Edwards, Keith; Minkkinen, Kari; Laiho, Raija (2020)
    Evidence of plant root biomass and production in peatlands at the level of species or plant functional type (PFT) is needed for defining ecosystem functioning and predicting its future development. However, such data are limited due to methodological difficulties and the toilsomeness of separating roots from peat. We developed Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy based calibration models for quantifying the mass proportions of several common peatland species, and alternatively, the PFTs that these species represented, in composite root samples. We further tested whether woody roots could be classified into diameter classes, and whether dead and living roots could be separated. We aimed to solve whether general models applicable in different studies can be developed, and what would be the best way to build such models. FTIR spectra were measured from dried and powdered roots: both "pure roots", original samples of 25 species collected in the field, and "root mixtures", artificial composite samples prepared by mixing known amounts of pure roots of different species. Partial least squares regression was used to build the calibration models. The general applicability of the models was tested using roots collected in different sites or times. Our main finding is that pure roots can replace complex mixtures as calibration data. Using pure roots, we constructed generally applicable models for quantification of roots of the main PFTs of northern peatlands. The models provided accurate estimates even for far distant sites, with root mean square error (RMSE) 1.4-6.6% for graminoids, forbs and ferns. For shrubs and trees the estimates were less accurate due to higher within-species heterogeneity, partly related to variation in root diameter. Still, we obtained RMSE 3.9-10.8% for total woody roots, but up to 20.1% for different woody-root types. Species-level and dead-root models performed well within the calibration dataset but provided unacceptable estimates for independent samples, limiting their routine application in field conditions. Our PFT-level models can be applied on roots separated from soil for biomass determination or from ingrowth cores for estimating root production. We present possibilities for further development of species-level or dead-root models using the pure-root approach.
  • Niemi, Suvi (Helsingfors universitet, 2012)
    Root and butt rot is the most harmful fungal disease affecting Norway spruce in southern Finland. In approximately 90 % of cases the causal agent is Heterobasidion parviporum. Root and butt rot infections have not been reported in Finnish peatlands. However, the increase in logging operations in peatlands means there is a risk that the fungus will eventually spread to these areas. The aim of this study was to find out the impact of growing site on the resistance of Norway spruce to Heterobasidion parviporum infections. This was investigated by artificially inoculating H. parviporum to spruce trees in pristine mire, drained peatland and mineral soil and comparing the defence reactions. Additionally, the effect of genotype on resistance was studied by comparing the responses of spruce clones representing different geographic origins. The roots and stems of the trees to be sampled were wounded and inoculated with wood dowels pre-colonised by H. parviporum hyphae. The resulting necrosis around the point of inoculation was observed. It was presumed that increased length of necrosis indicates high susceptibility of the tree to the disease. The relationship between growth rate and host resistance was also studied. The results indicated that growing site does not have a statistically significant effect on host resistance. The average length of necrosis around the point of inoculation was 35 mm in pristine mire, 37 mm in drained peatland and 40 mm in mineral soil. It was observed that growth rate does not affect resistance, but that the genotype of the tree does have an effect. The most resistant spruce clone was the one with Russian origin. The results suggest that the spruce stands in peatlands are not more resistant to root and butt rot infections than those in mineral soil. These findings should be taken into consideration when logging peatland forests.
  • Gaudig, G.; Krebs, M.; Prager, A.; Wichmann, S.; Barney, M.; Caporn, S. J. M.; Emmel, M.; Fritz, C.; Graf, M.; Grobe, A.; Pacheco, S. Gutierrez; Hogue-Hugron, S.; Holztraeger, S.; Irrgang, S.; Kämäräinen, A.; Karofeld, E.; Koch, G.; Koebbing, J. F.; Kumar, S.; Matchutadze, I.; Oberpaur, C.; Oestmann, J.; Raabe, P.; Rammes, D.; Rochefort, L.; Schmilewksi, G.; Sendzikaite, J.; Smolders, A.; St-Hilaire, B.; van de Riet, B.; Wright, B.; Wright, N.; Zoch, L.; Joosten, H. (2017)
    Sphagnum farming - the production of Sphagnum biomass on rewetted bogs - helps towards achieving global climate goals by halting greenhouse gas emissions from drained peat and by replacing peat with a renewable biomass alternative. Large-scale implementation of Sphagnum farming requires a wide range of know-how, from initial species selection up to the final production and use of Sphagnum biomass based growing media in horticulture. This article provides an overview of relevant knowledge accumulated over the last 15 years and identifies open questions.
  • Park, Sung-Bin; Knohl, Alexander; Migliavacca, Mirco; Thum, Tea; Vesala, Timo; Peltola, Olli; Mammarella, Ivan; Prokushkin, Anatoly; Kolle, Olaf; Lavric, Jost; Park, Sang Seo; Heimann, Martin (2021)
    Climate change impacts the characteristics of the vegetation carbon-uptake process in the northern Eurasian terrestrial ecosystem. However, the currently available direct CO2 flux measurement datasets, particularly for central Siberia, are insufficient for understanding the current condition in the northern Eurasian carbon cycle. Here, we report daily and seasonal interannual variations in CO2 fluxes and associated abiotic factors measured using eddy covariance in a coniferous forest and a bog near Zotino, Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia, for April to early June, 2013-2017. Despite the snow not being completely melted, both ecosystems became weak net CO2 sinks if the air temperature was warm enough for photosynthesis. The forest became a net CO2 sink 7-16 days earlier than the bog. After the surface soil temperature exceeded similar to 1 degrees C, the ecosystems became persistent net CO2 sinks. Net ecosystem productivity was highest in 2015 for both ecosystems because of the anomalously high air temperature in May compared with other years. Our findings demonstrate that long-term monitoring of flux measurements at the site level, particularly during winter and its transition to spring, is essential for understanding the responses of the northern Eurasian ecosystem to spring warming.
  • Rinne, Janne; Tuittila, Eeva-Stiina; Peltola, Olli; Li, Xuefei; Raivonen, Maarit; Alekseychik, Pavel; Haapanala, Sami; Pihlatie, Mari; Aurela, Mika; Mammarella, Ivan; Vesala, Timo (2018)
    We have analyzed decade-long methane flux data set from a boreal fen, Siikaneva, together with data on environmental parameters and carbon dioxide exchange. The methane flux showed seasonal cycle but no systematic diel cycle. The highest fluxes were observed in July-August with average value of 73 nmol m(-2) s(-1). Wintertime fluxes were small but positive, with January-March average of 6.7 nmol m(-2) s(-1). Daily average methane emission correlated best with peat temperatures at 20-35 cm depths. The second highest correlation was with gross primary production (GPP). The best correspondence between emission algorithm and measured fluxes was found for a variable-slope generalized linear model (r(2) = 0.89) with peat temperature at 35 cm depth and GPP as explanatory variables, slopes varying between years. The homogeneity of slope approach indicated that seasonal variation explained 79% of the sum of squares variation of daily average methane emission, the interannual variation in explanatory factors 7.0%, functional change 5.3%, and random variation 9.1%. Significant correlation between interannual variability of growing season methane emission and that of GPP indicates that on interannual time scales GPP controls methane emission variability, crucially for development of process-based methane emission models. Annual methane emission ranged from 6.0 to 14 gC m(-2) and was 2.7 +/- 0.4% of annual GPP. Over 10-year period methane emission was 18% of net ecosystem exchange as carbon. The weak relation of methane emission to water table position indicates that space-to-time analogy, used to extrapolate spatial chamber data in time, may not be applicable in seasonal time scales.
  • Latsa, Ilona (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Northern peatlands have a major role in the global carbon cycle due to their carbon stocks and fluxes of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). Anthropogenic climate change may affect peatland carbon dynamics through changes in e.g. primary production, hydrology, and permafrost dynamics. It is uncertain whether these changes will lead to northern peatlands becoming significant sources of carbon to the atmosphere. Changes in moisture conditions especially can be an important factor in determining the carbon sink potential of northern peatlands. In this thesis I examine the palaeohydrology and peat accumulation over the past centuries in a permafrost peatland complex in Lovozero, Kola Peninsula, Russia. I used testate amoebae as a proxy of past changes in moisture conditions. Other study methods used here are detrended correspondence analysis (DCA) and 14C and 210Pb dating. The results were also supplemented with plant macrofossil and carbon accumulation data provided by other members of the research team. The results show varying responses of the peatland hydrology and peat accumulation to the past climatic shifts, suggesting that the changes have been driven more by autogenic factors rather than climate. However, all three sites indicated a drying trend and an increased peat accumulation for the last century. Yet, the last decade is charachterised by a wet shift. The wet shifts suggest that the peatlands may have crossed a threshold where increased evapotranspiration is exceeded by increased moisture due to thawing permfrost. The surface peat layers of all three sites were dominated by mixotrophic testate amoebae, which may have contributed to the high peat accumulation. The inconsistency of past successional pathways identified at Lovozero peatlands and the drying trend over the past century correspond to the previous studies from northern peatlands elsewhere. However, the most recent surface wetting during the last decade differs from what has been reported for the other northern sites. This suggests that the response mechanisms of peatlands to the anthropogenic climate change may not be uniform. Thus, further research is inevitably needed to increase our understanding of peatland-climate intercations.
  • Pihlajamaa, Tuuli (Helsingfors universitet, 2010)
    The study is part of Future Biorefinery, the second research program of Forestcluster Ltd. The goal of the program is to find innovative ways to better utilize the raw materials of the forest industry. The aim of the study is to investigate the structure and characters of stump- and rootwood of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and Norway spruce (Picea abies [L.] Karst.). The aim is to find out if there is any reaction wood in the roots of Scots pine and Norway spruce and what is the proportion of the acetone soluble extractives in the stump- and root wood. The study material consisted of five stems of Scots pine and Norway spruce of various age. Root and stump samples of Scots pine and Norway spruce were collected after cutting the timber from a peatland site in Parkano (62.017°N, 23.017°E), Western Finland. Cutting was done by the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla). The samples were taken from the underground parts of roots a three different distances from the root collar. The study was executed as descriptive research. Neither of the species showed traces of actual reaction wood, but some samples showed traces of mild reaction wood. The mild form of reaction wood was more common in the pine roots than in the spruce roots and it did not appear in the samples that were taken from the thinnest parts of roots, i.e. the roots with ca. 2 cm diameter. The acetone soluble extractive content was higher in the pine stumps than in the spruce stumps. In the pine roots the extractives per cent increased towards the root tips. On the spruce roots the extractives per cent decreased at first and then increased near the root tips. The extractives per cent of the bark was higher than of the wood and that applied for both species. Becouse the sample set was rather limited there was no attempt to make any statistic analysis of the data. There is a need for further studies concerning properties of roots and stumps from peatlands. The supply of wood from peatlands is increasing in the future in Finland while the studies on wood properties and extractives of roots have been focused in the mineral soils.
  • Junttila, Sofia; Kelly, Julia; Kljun, Natascha; Aurela, Mika; Klemedtsson, Leif; Lohila, Annalea; Nilsson, Mats B.; Rinne, Janne; Tuittila, Eeva-Stiina; Vestin, Patrik; Weslien, Per; Eklundh, Lars (2021)
    Peatlands play an important role in the global carbon cycle as they contain a large soil carbon stock. However, current climate change could potentially shift peatlands from being carbon sinks to carbon sources. Remote sensing methods provide an opportunity to monitor carbon dioxide (CO2) exchange in peatland ecosystems at large scales under these changing conditions. In this study, we developed empirical models of the CO2 balance (net ecosystem exchange, NEE), gross primary production (GPP), and ecosystem respiration (ER) that could be used for upscaling CO2 fluxes with remotely sensed data. Two to three years of eddy covariance (EC) data from five peatlands in Sweden and Finland were compared to modelled NEE, GPP and ER based on vegetation indices from 10 m resolution Sentinel-2 MSI and land surface temperature from 1 km resolution MODIS data. To ensure a precise match between the EC data and the Sentinel-2 observations, a footprint model was applied to derive footprint-weighted daily means of the vegetation indices. Average model parameters for all sites were acquired with a leave-one-out-cross-validation procedure. Both the GPP and the ER models gave high agreement with the EC-derived fluxes (R-2 = 0.70 and 0.56, NRMSE = 14% and 15%, respectively). The performance of the NEE model was weaker (average R-2 = 0.36 and NRMSE = 13%). Our findings demonstrate that using optical and thermal satellite sensor data is a feasible method for upscaling the GPP and ER of northern boreal peatlands, although further studies are needed to investigate the sources of the unexplained spatial and temporal variation of the CO2 fluxes.
  • Korrensalo, Aino; Mehtätalo, Lauri; Alekseychik, Pavel; Uljas, Salli; Mammarella, Ivan; Vesala, Timo; Tuittila, Eeva-Stiina (2020)
    We quantified the role of spatially varying vegetation composition in seasonal and interannual changes in a boreal bog’s CO2 uptake. We divided the spatially heterogeneous site into six microform classes based on plant species composition and measured their net ecosystem exchange (NEE) using chamber method over the growing seasons in 2012–2014. A nonlinear mixed-effects model was applied to assess how the contributions of microforms with different vegetation change temporally, and to upscale NEE to the ecosystem level to be compared with eddy covariance (EC) measurements. Both ecosystem respiration (R) and gross photosynthesis (PG) were the largest in high hummocks, 894–964 (R) and 969–1132 (PG) g CO2 m−2 growing season−1, and decreased toward the wetter microforms. NEE had a different spatial pattern than R and PG; the highest cumulative seasonal CO2 sink was found in lawns in all years (165–353 g CO2 m−2). Microforms with similar wetness but distinct vegetation had different NEE, highlighting the importance of vegetation composition in regulating CO2 sink. Chamber-based ecosystem-level NEE was smaller and varied less interannually than the EC-derived estimate, indicating a need for further research on the error sources of both methods. Lawns contributed more to ecosystem-level NEE (55–78%) than their areal cover within the site (21.5%). In spring and autumn, lawns had the highest NEE, whereas in midsummer differences among microforms were small. The contributions of all microforms to the ecosystem-level NEE varied seasonally and interannually, suggesting that spatially heterogeneous vegetation composition could make bog CO2 uptake temporally more stable.
  • Laine, A.M.; Mäkiranta, P.; Laiho, R.; Mehtätalo, L.; Penttilä, T.; Korrensalo, A.; Minkkinen, K.; Fritze, H.; Tuittila, E-S (2019)
    Abstract Northern peatlands form a major soil carbon (C) stock. With climate change, peatland C mineralization is expected to increase, which in turn would accelerate climate change. A particularity of peatlands is the importance of soil aeration, which regulates peatland functioning and likely modulates the responses to warming climate. Our aim is to assess the impacts of warming on a southern boreal and a sub-arctic sedge fen carbon dioxide (CO2) exchange under two plausible water table regimes: wet and moderately dry. We focused this study on minerotrophic treeless sedge fens, as they are common peatland types at boreal and (sub)arctic areas, which are expected to face the highest rates of climate warming. In addition, fens are expected to respond to environmental changes faster than the nutrient poor bogs. Our study confirmed that CO2 exchange is more strongly affected by drying than warming. Experimental water level draw-down (WLD) significantly increased gross photosynthesis and ecosystem respiration. Warming alone had insignificant impacts on the CO2 exchange components, but when combined with WLD it further increased ecosystem respiration. In the southern fen, CO2 uptake decreased due to WLD, which was amplified by warming, while at northern fen it remained stable. As a conclusion, our results suggest that a very small difference in the WLD may be decisive, whether the C sink of a fen decreases, or whether the system is able to adapt within its regime and maintain its functions. Moreover, the water table has a role in determining how much the increased temperature impacts the CO2 exchange. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.