Articles | Volume 12, issue 15
Research article
06 Aug 2015
Research article |  | 06 Aug 2015

Simultaneous high C fixation and high C emissions in Sphagnum mires

S. F. Harpenslager, G. van Dijk, S. Kosten, J. G. M. Roelofs, A. J. P. Smolders, and L. P. M. Lamers

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Cited articles

Alm, J., Schulman, L., Walden, J., Nykänen, H., Martikainen, P. J., and Silvola, J.: Carbon balance of a boreal bog during a year with an exceptionally dry summer, Ecology, 80, 161–174, 1999.
Andrus, R. E.: Some aspects of Sphagnum ecology, Can. J. Botany, 64, 416–426, 1986.
Bache, B. W.: The role of calcium in buffering soils, Plant Cell Environ., 7, 391–395, 1984.
Bartlett, K. B. and Harriss, R. C.: Review and Assessment of Methane Emissions from Wetlands, Chemosphere, 26, 261–320, 1993.
Belyea, L. R. and Malmer, N.: Carbon sequestration in peatland: patterns and mechanisms of response to climate change, Glob. Change Biol., 10, 1043–1052, 2004.
Short summary
While pristine, growing peatlands are often considered to be net sinks of carbon dioxide (CO2), fluxes vary considerably and these systems can be net sinks or sources of CO2. To explain part of this huge variation, here we present a phenomenon of peat moss (Sphagnum)-driven CO2 production. Due to the acid excreted by Sphagnum, bicarbonate in the surface water is transformed into CO2. Thus, while these systems have high CO2 fixation rates due to growing Sphagnum, they show a net emission of CO2.
Final-revised paper