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Biogeochemical processes in forest riparian zones

conceptualizing function and heterogeneity in boreal catchments

Ledesma, José L. J. (2016). Biogeochemical processes in forest riparian zones. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Uppsala : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880 ; 2016:14
ISBN 978-91-576-8530-8
eISBN 978-91-576-8531-5
[Doctoral thesis]

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The area of interaction between terrestrial and aquatic environments, i.e. the riparian zone (RZ), has long been recognized as an important landscape feature from both scientific and management perspectives. Surface water quality is to a great extent regulated by substances exported from RZs. Boreal forest RZs are characterized by high organic matter content, which drives important biogeochemical processes. The overall objective of this thesis was to develop the understanding of RZ biogeochemical processes so as to provide a sound scientific basis for protection of surface water quality in boreal forests. The work was based on measurements from stream, riparian, and upslope monitoring sites in the 68 km² Krycklan catchment in northern Sweden. Specifically, the study of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), base cations (BC), silicon (Si), and sulfate (SO₄²⁻) was included.

Opposite SO₄²⁻ and DOC trends were observed in both stream and riparian water, whereas no trends were apparent in the upslope area. This suggests that RZ processes control stream SO₄²⁻ and DOC independently of upslope soils. On the other hand, the upslope signal of BC and Si was maintained through the RZ and subsequently exported to the streams. RZs were found to have a long-term potential to export DOC from both new and old carbon pools. This, in combination with predicted future climate and exhaustion of residual S pools accumulated during the acidification period, is likely to increase DOC concentrations affecting surface water quality and the global carbon cycle. The hydrological connectivity between RZs and streams can be conceptualized as a ‘dominant source layer’, the narrow depth range with the highest contribution to solute and water fluxes. Local hydromorphology drives spatial heterogeneity in the distribution of RZs and in the intensity of their biogeochemical functions including retention via interaction with organic matter and transformation via redox reactions.

Overall, this thesis provides new insights into the role of the RZ in catchment biogeochemistry and proposes a conceptualization of its function and heterogeneity. These outcomes are an essential prerequisite for ecologically sustainable and economically effective land management that preserves surface water quality.

Authors/Creators:Ledesma, José L. J.
Title:Biogeochemical processes in forest riparian zones
Subtitle:conceptualizing function and heterogeneity in boreal catchments
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
Year of publishing :4 February 2016
Depositing date:4 February 2016
Number of Pages:64
ILedesma, J.L.J., Grabs, T., Futter, M.N., Bishop, K.H., Laudon, H. & Köhler, S.J. (2013). Riparian zone control on base cation concentration in boreal streams. Biogeosciences, 10(6), pp. 3849-3868.
IILedesma, J.L.J., Grabs, T., Bishop, K.H., Schiff, S.L. & Köhler, S.J. (2015). Potential for long-term transfer of dissolved organic carbon from riparian zones to streams in boreal catchments. Global Change Biology, 21(8), pp. 2963-79.
IIILedesma, J.L.J., Futter, M.N., Laudon, H., Evans, C.D. & Köhler, S.J. Boreal forest riparian zones regulate stream sulfate and dissolved organic carbon. (Submitted manuscript).
IVLedesma, J.L.J., Futter, M.N., Blackburn, M., Lidman, F., Grabs, T., Sponseller, R.A., Laudon, H., Bishop, K.H., & Köhler, S.J. Towards an improved conceptualization of riparian zone biogeochemical function in boreal forest headwaters. (Manuscript).
Place of Publication:Uppsala
Publisher:Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
ISBN for printed version:978-91-576-8530-8
ISBN for electronic version:978-91-576-8531-5
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:K Forestry > K01 Forestry - General aspects
P Natural resources > P10 Water resources and management
P Natural resources > P33 Soil chemistry and physics
Subjects:(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 > Geochemistry
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 105 Earth and Related Environmental Sciences > Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
Agrovoc terms:watersheds, rivers, riparian zones, water quality, biogeochemical cycle, organic matter, carbon, climate change, boreal forests, forest soils, sweden
Keywords:riparian zone, near-stream, heterogeneity, organic matter, biogeochemistry, climate change, environmental change, catchment science, boreal forest, water quality
Permanent URL:
ID Code:13019
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment
External funders:FORMAS
Deposited By: José Ledesma
Deposited On:04 Feb 2016 09:17
Metadata Last Modified:10 Sep 2020 13:41

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