Inconsistent Response of Arctic Permafrost Peatland Carbon Accumulation to Warm Climate Phases

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/276995

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Zhang , H , Gallego-Sala , A V , Amesbury , M J , Charman , D J , Piilo , S R & Väliranta , M M 2018 , ' Inconsistent Response of Arctic Permafrost Peatland Carbon Accumulation to Warm Climate Phases ' , Global Biogeochemical Cycles , vol. 32 , no. 10 , pp. 1605-1620 . https://doi.org/10.1029/2018GB005980

Title: Inconsistent Response of Arctic Permafrost Peatland Carbon Accumulation to Warm Climate Phases
Author: Zhang, Hui; Gallego-Sala, Angela V.; Amesbury, Matthew J.; Charman, Dan J.; Piilo, Sanna Riikka; Väliranta, Minna Maria
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Environmental Change and Policy
University of Helsinki, Ecosystems and Environment Research Programme
University of Helsinki, Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS)
University of Helsinki, Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS)
Date: 2018-10
Language: eng
Number of pages: 16
Belongs to series: Global Biogeochemical Cycles
ISSN: 0886-6236
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/276995
Abstract: Northern peatlands have accumulated large carbon (C) stocks since the last deglaciation and during past millennia they have acted as important atmospheric C sinks. However, it is still poorly understood how northern peatlands in general and Arctic permafrost peatlands in particular will respond to future climate change. In this study, we present C accumulation reconstructions derived from 14 peat cores from four permafrost peatlands in northeast European Russia and Finnish Lapland. The main focus is on warm climate phases. We used regression analyses to test the importance of different environmental variables such as summer temperature, hydrology, and vegetation as drivers for nonautogenic C accumulation. We used modeling approaches to simulate potential decomposition patterns. The data show that our study sites have been persistent mid- to late-Holocene C sinks with an average accumulation rate of 10.80-32.40g C m(-2) year(-1). The warmer climate phase during the Holocene Thermal Maximum stimulated faster apparent C accumulation rates while the Medieval Climate Anomaly did not. Moreover, during the Little Ice Age, apparent C accumulation rates were controlled more by other factors than by cold climate per se. Although we could not identify any significant environmental factor that drove C accumulation, our data show that recent warming has increased C accumulation in some permafrost peatland sites. However, the synchronous slight decrease of C accumulation in other sites may be an alternative response of these peatlands to warming in the future. This would lead to a decrease in the C sequestration ability of permafrost peatlands overall.
Subject: 1172 Environmental sciences
SOUTH-CENTRAL ALASKA
NET PRIMARY PRODUCTION
HOLOCENE CLIMATE
PLANT MACROFOSSILS
VEGETATION CHANGE
BOREAL PEATLANDS
FINNISH LAPLAND
LAST MILLENNIUM
TESTATE AMEBA
DYNAMICS
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