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In this review, we give an overview of the current state of knowledge regarding how permafrost thaw affects aquatic systems. We describe the general impacts of thaw on aquatic ecosystems, pathways of organic matter and contaminant release and degradation, resulting emissions and burial, and effects on ecosystem structure and functioning. We conclude with an overview of potential climate effects and recommendations for future research.
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Articles | Volume 12, issue 23
Biogeosciences, 12, 7129–7167, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-12-7129-2015

Special issue: Freshwater ecosystems in changing permafrost landscapes

Biogeosciences, 12, 7129–7167, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-12-7129-2015

Reviews and syntheses 08 Dec 2015

Reviews and syntheses | 08 Dec 2015

Reviews and syntheses: Effects of permafrost thaw on Arctic aquatic ecosystems

J. E. Vonk et al.

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Cited articles

Abbott, M. B. and Stafford, T. W.: Radiocarbon geochemistry of modern and ancient Arctic lake systems, Baffin Island, Canada, Quaternary Res., 45, 300–311, 1996.
Abbott, B. W., Larouche, J. R., Jones Jr., J. B., Bowden, W. B., and Balser, A. W.: Elevated dissolved organic carbon biodegradability from thawing and collapsing permafrost, J. Geophys. Res.-Biogeo., 119, 2049–2063, 2014.
Abbott, B. W., Jones, J. B., Godsey, S. E., Larouche, J. R., and Bowden, W. B.: Patterns and persistence of hydrologic carbon and nutrient export from collapsing upland permafrost, Biogeosciences, 12, 3725–3740, https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-12-3725-2015, 2015.
Abnizova, A., Siemens, J., Langer, M., and Boike, J.: Small ponds with major impact: the relevance of ponds and lakes in permafrost landscapes to carbon dioxide emissions, Global Biogeochem. Cy., 26, GB2041, https://doi.org/10.1029/2011GB004237, 2012.
Abnizova, A., Young, K. L., and Lafrenière, M. J.: Pond hydrology and dissolved carbon dynamics at Polar Bear Pass wetland, Bathurst Island, Nunavut, Canada, Ecohydroly, 7, 73–90, 2014.
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
In this review, we give an overview of the current state of knowledge regarding how permafrost thaw affects aquatic systems. We describe the general impacts of thaw on aquatic ecosystems, pathways of organic matter and contaminant release and degradation, resulting emissions and burial, and effects on ecosystem structure and functioning. We conclude with an overview of potential climate effects and recommendations for future research.
Citation
Altmetrics
Final-revised paper
Preprint