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Quantity and quality of soil organic matter in permafrost terrain
Responsible organisation
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]
High latitude terrestrial ecosystems are considered key components in the global carbon (C) cycle and hold large reservoirs of soil organic carbon (SOC). Much of this is stored as soil organic matter (SOM) in permafrost soils and peat deposits and is vulnerable to remobilization under future global warming. While the large size and potential vulnerability of arctic SOM reservoirs is recognized, detailed knowledge on its landscape partitioning and quality is poor. This thesis describes total storage, landscape partitioning and lability of SOM stored in permafrost areas of Canada and Russia. Detailed studies of SOC partitioning highlight the importance of especially permafrost peatlands, but also of O-horizons in moist tundra soils and cryoturbated soil horizons. A general characterization of SOM in an area of discontinuous permafrost shows that >70% of the SOC in the landscape is stored in SOM with a low degree of decomposition. Projections of permafrost thaw predict that the amount of SOC stored in the active layer of permafrost soils in this area could double by the end of this century. A lateral expansion of current thermokarst lakes by 30 m would expose comparable amounts of SOC to degradation. The results from this thesis have demonstrated the value of high-resolution studies of SOC storage. It is found that peat plateaus, common in the sporadic and discontinuous permafrost zones, store large quantities of labile SOM and may be highly susceptible to permafrost degradation, especially thermokarst, under future climate warming. Large quantities of labile SOM is also stored in cryoturbated soil horizons which may be affected by active layer warming and deepening. The current upscaling methodology is statistically evaluated and recommendations are given for the design of future studies. To accurately predict responses of periglacial C pools to a warming climate detailed studies of SOC storage and partitioning in different periglacial landscapes are needed.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Stockholm University , 2011. , 37 p.
Keyword [en]
carbon, soil organic matter, soil organic carbon, permafrost, Arctic, upscaling, peat plateau, cryoturbation, active layer, thermokarst, carbon/nitrogen ratio, stable isotopes, humification
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:polar:diva-775OAI: oai:DiVA.org:polar-775DiVA: diva2:568909
Note

Source: Polardok by Swedish Polar Research Secretariat

5 papers

Available from: 2012-11-15 Created: 2012-11-15 Last updated: 2012-11-15

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http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:su:diva-54041

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf