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The undetected loss of aged carbon from boreal mineral soils

Hensgens, Geert and Laudon, Hjalmar and Johnson, Mark S. and Berggren, Martin (2021). The undetected loss of aged carbon from boreal mineral soils. Scientific Reports. 11 , 6202
[Research article]

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Abstract

The boreal forest is among the largest terrestrial biomes on earth, storing more carbon (C) than the atmosphere. Due to rapid climatic warming and enhanced human development, the boreal region may have begun transitioning from a net C sink to a net source. This raises serious concern that old biogenic soil C can be re-introduced into the modern C cycle in near future. Combining bio-decay experiments, mixing models and the Keeling plot method, we discovered a distinct old pre-bomb organic carbon fraction with high biodegradation rate. In total, 34 +/- 12% of water-extractable organic carbon (WEOC) in podzols, one of the dominating boreal soil types, consisted of aged (similar to 1000 year) labile C. The omission of this aged (i.e., Delta C-14 depleted) WEOC fraction in earlier studies is due to the co-occurrence with Delta C-14 enriched modern C formed following 1950s nuclear bomb testing masking its existence. High lability of aged soil WEOC and masking effects of modern Delta C-14 enriched C suggests that the risk for mobilization and re-introduction of this ancient C pool into the modern C cycle has gone undetected. Our findings have important implications for earth systems models in terms of climate-carbon feedbacks and the future C balance of the boreal forest.

Authors/Creators:Hensgens, Geert and Laudon, Hjalmar and Johnson, Mark S. and Berggren, Martin
Title:The undetected loss of aged carbon from boreal mineral soils
Series Name/Journal:Scientific Reports
Year of publishing :2021
Volume:11
Article number:6202
Number of Pages:10
Publisher:NATURE RESEARCH
ISSN:2045-2322
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 105 Earth and Related Environmental Sciences > Geochemistry
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-113129
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-113129
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1038/s41598-021-85506-w
Web of Science (WoS)000667581800002
ID Code:25070
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(S) > Dept. of Forest Ecology and Management
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:27 Aug 2021 09:25
Metadata Last Modified:27 Aug 2021 09:31

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