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Potential for long-term transfer of dissolved organic carbon from riparian zones to streams in boreal catchments

Ledesma, Jose and Grabs, Thomas and Bishop, Kevin and Schiff, Sherry L. and Köhler, Stephan (2015). Potential for long-term transfer of dissolved organic carbon from riparian zones to streams in boreal catchments. Global change biology. 21:8, 2963-2979
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gcb.12872

Abstract

Boreal regions store most of the global terrestrial carbon, which can be transferred as dissolved organic carbon (DOC) to inland waters with implications for both aquatic ecology and carbon budgets. Headwater riparian zones (RZ) are important sources of DOC, and often just a narrow ‘dominant source layer' (DSL) within the riparian profile is responsible for most of the DOC export. Two important questions arise: how long boreal RZ could sustain lateral DOC fluxes as the sole source of exported carbon and how its hydromorphological variability influences this role. We estimate theoretical turnover times by comparing carbon pools and lateral exports in the DSL of 13 riparian profiles distributed over a 69km2 catchment in northern Sweden. The thickness of the DSL was 36±18 (average ± SD) cm. Thus, only about one-third of the 1-m-deep riparian profile contributed 90% of the lateral DOC flux. The 13 RZ exported 8.7±6.5g C m-2year-1, covering the whole range of boreal stream DOC exports. The variation could be explained by local hydromorphological characteristics including RZ width (R2=0.90). The estimated theoretical turnover times were hundreds to a few thousands of years, that is there is a potential long-lasting supply of DOC. Estimates of net ecosystem production in the RZ suggest that lateral fluxes, including both organic and inorganic C, could be maintained without drawing down the riparian pools. This was supported by measurements of stream DO14C that indicated modern carbon as the predominant fraction exported, including streams disturbed by ditching. The transfer of DOC into boreal inland waters from new and old carbon sources has a major influence on surface water quality and global carbon balances. This study highlights the importance of local variations in RZ hydromorphology and DSL extent for future DOC fluxes under a changing climate.

Authors/Creators:Ledesma, Jose and Grabs, Thomas and Bishop, Kevin and Schiff, Sherry L. and Köhler, Stephan
Title:Potential for long-term transfer of dissolved organic carbon from riparian zones to streams in boreal catchments
Series/Journal:Global change biology (1365-2486)
Year of publishing :2015
Volume:21
Number:8
Page range:2963-2979
Number of Pages:17
Publisher:Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Associated Programs and Other Stakeholders:SLU - Environmental assessment > Programme Climate
SLU - Environmental assessment > Programme Forest
SLU - Environmental assessment > Programme Lakes and watercourses
ISSN:1365-2486
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Refereed:Yes
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:P Natural resources > P01 Nature conservation and land resources
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 105 Earth and Related Environmental Sciences > Climate Research
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 105 Earth and Related Environmental Sciences > Environmental Sciences (social aspects to be 507)
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 105 Earth and Related Environmental Sciences > Geosciences, Multidisciplinary
Agrovoc terms:boreal forests, carbon, riparian zones, organic matter, climate change
Keywords:boreal forests, carbon, riparian zones, organic matter, climate change
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-2860
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-2860
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
Web of Science (WoS)000358485200014
DOI10.1111/gcb.12872
ID Code:12525
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:26 Aug 2015 06:44
Metadata Last Modified:11 Feb 2016 15:13

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