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  • 1.
    Becher, Marina
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Institutionen för ekologi, miljö och geovetenskap.
    Olofsson, Johan
    Umeå universitet, Institutionen för ekologi, miljö och geovetenskap.
    Klaminder, Jonatan
    Umeå universitet, Institutionen för ekologi, miljö och geovetenskap.
    Cryogenic disturbance and its impact on carbon fluxes in a subarctic heathland2015In: Environmental Research Letters, ISSN 1748-9326, E-ISSN 1748-9326, Vol. 10, no 11, article id 114006Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Differential frost heave, along with the associated cryogenic disturbance that accompanies it, is an almost universal feature of arctic landscapes that potentially influences the fate of the soil carbon (C) stored in arctic soils. In this study, we quantify how gross ecosystem photosynthesis (GEP), soil respiration (Re) and the resulting net ecosystem exchange (NEE) vary in a patterned ground system (non-sorted circles) at plot-scale and whole-patterned ground scales in response to cryogenic disturbances (differential heave and soil surface disruption). We found that: (i) all studied non-sorted circles (n=15) acted as net CO2 sources (positive NEE); (ii) GEP showed a weaker decrease than Re in response to increased cryogenic disturbance/decreased humus cover, indicating that undisturbed humus-covered sites are currently the main source of atmospheric CO2 in the studied system. Interestingly, Re fluxes normalized to C pools indicated that C is currently respired more rapidly at sites exposed to cryogenic disturbances; hence, higher NEE fluxes at less disturbed sites are likely an effect of a more slowly degrading but larger total pool that was built up in the past. Our results highlight the complex effects of cryogenic processes on the C cycle at various time scales. 

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