Articles | Volume 19, issue 5
18 Mar 2022
Research article | 18 Mar 2022
Mangrove sediment organic carbon storage and sources in relation to forest age and position along a deltaic salinity gradient
Rey Harvey Suello et al.
No articles found.
Vao Fenotiana Razanamahandry, Marjolein Dewaele, Gerard Govers, Liesa Brosens, Benjamin Campforts, Liesbet Jacobs, Tantely Razafimbelo, Tovonarivo Rafolisy, and Steven Bouillon
Biogeosciences, 19, 3825–3841,Short summary
In order to shed light on possible past vegetation shifts in the Central Highlands of Madagascar, we measured stable isotope ratios of organic carbon in soil profiles along both forested and grassland hillslope transects in the Lake Alaotra region. Our results show that the landscape of this region was more forested in the past: soils in the C4-dominated grasslands contained a substantial fraction of C3-derived carbon, increasing with depth.
Olivier Gourgue, Jim van Belzen, Christian Schwarz, Wouter Vandenbruwaene, Joris Vanlede, Jean-Philippe Belliard, Sergio Fagherazzi, Tjeerd J. Bouma, Johan van de Koppel, and Stijn Temmerman
Earth Surf. Dynam., 10, 531–553,Short summary
There is an increasing demand for tidal-marsh restoration around the world. We have developed a new modeling approach to reduce the uncertainty associated with this development. Its application to a real tidal-marsh restoration project in northwestern Europe illustrates how the rate of landscape development can be steered by restoration design, with important consequences for restored tidal-marsh resilience to increasing sea level rise and decreasing sediment supply.
Liesa Brosens, Benjamin Campforts, Gerard Govers, Emilien Aldana-Jague, Vao Fenotiana Razanamahandry, Tantely Razafimbelo, Tovonarivo Rafolisy, and Liesbet Jacobs
Earth Surf. Dynam., 10, 209–227,Short summary
Obtaining accurate information on the volume of geomorphic features typically requires high-resolution topographic data, which are often not available. Here, we show that the globally available 12 m TanDEM-X DEM can be used to accurately estimate gully volumes and establish an area–volume relationship after applying a correction. This allowed us to get a first estimate of the amount of sediment that has been mobilized by large gullies (lavaka) in central Madagascar over the past 70 years.
Florian Lauryssen, Philippe Crombé, Tom Maris, Elliot Van Maldegem, Marijn Van de Broek, Stijn Temmerman, and Erik Smolders
Biogeosciences, 19, 763–776,Short summary
Surface waters in lowland regions have a poor surface water quality, mainly due to excess nutrients like phosphate. Therefore, we wanted to know the phosphate levels without humans, also called the pre-industrial background. Phosphate binds strongly to sediment particles, suspended in the river water. In this research we used sediments deposited by a river as an archive for surface water phosphate back to 1800 CE. Pre-industrial phosphate levels were estimated at one-third of the modern levels.
Arthur Depicker, Gerard Govers, Liesbet Jacobs, Benjamin Campforts, Judith Uwihirwe, and Olivier Dewitte
Earth Surf. Dynam., 9, 445–462,Short summary
We investigated how shallow landslide occurrence is impacted by deforestation and rifting in the North Tanganyika–Kivu rift region (Africa). We developed a new approach to calculate landslide erosion rates based on an inventory compiled in biased © Google Earth imagery. We find that deforestation increases landslide erosion by a factor of 2–8 and for a period of roughly 15 years. However, the exact impact of deforestation depends on the geomorphic context of the landscape (rejuvenated/relict).
Man Zhao, Liesbet Jacobs, Steven Bouillon, and Gerard Govers
Biogeosciences, 18, 1511–1523,Short summary
We investigate the relative importance of two individual factors (hydrodynamical disturbance and aquatic microbial community) that possibly control SOC decomposition rates in river systems. We found aquatic microbial organisms led to rapid SOC decomposition, while effect of mechanical disturbance is relative minor. We propose a simple conceptual model: hydrodynamic disturbance is only important when soil aggregates are strong enough to withstand the disruptive forces imposed by water immersions.
Zhan Hu, Pim W. J. M. Willemsen, Bas W. Borsje, Chen Wang, Heng Wang, Daphne van der Wal, Zhenchang Zhu, Bas Oteman, Vincent Vuik, Ben Evans, Iris Möller, Jean-Philippe Belliard, Alexander Van Braeckel, Stijn Temmerman, and Tjeerd J. Bouma
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 13, 405–416,Short summary
Erosion and accretion processes govern the ecogeomorphic evolution of intertidal (salt marsh and tidal flat) ecosystems and hence substantially affect their valuable ecosystem services. By applying a novel sensor, we obtained unique high-resolution daily bed-level change datasets from 10 marsh–mudflat sites in northwestern Europe. This dataset has revealed diverse spatial bed-level change patterns over daily to seasonal scales, which are valuable to theoretical and model development.
Chen Wang, Lennert Schepers, Matthew L. Kirwan, Enrica Belluco, Andrea D'Alpaos, Qiao Wang, Shoujing Yin, and Stijn Temmerman
Earth Surf. Dynam., 9, 71–88,Short summary
Coastal marshes are valuable natural habitats with normally dense vegetation. The presence of bare patches is a symptom of habitat degradation. We found that the occurrence of bare patches and regrowth of vegetation is related to spatial variations in soil surface elevation and to the distance and connectivity to tidal creeks. These relations are similar in three marshes at very different geographical locations. Our results may help nature managers to conserve and restore coastal marshes.
Cédric Morana, Steven Bouillon, Vimac Nolla-Ardèvol, Fleur A. E. Roland, William Okello, Jean-Pierre Descy, Angela Nankabirwa, Erina Nabafu, Dirk Springael, and Alberto V. Borges
Biogeosciences, 17, 5209–5221,Short summary
A growing body of studies challenges the paradigm that methane (CH4) production occurs only under anaerobic conditions. Our field experiments revealed that oxic CH4 production is closely related to phytoplankton metabolism and is indeed a common feature in five contrasting African lakes. Nevertheless, we found that methanotrophic activity in surface waters and CH4 emissions to the atmosphere were predominantly fuelled by CH4 generated in sediments and physically transported to the surface.
Marijn Van de Broek, Shiva Ghiasi, Charlotte Decock, Andreas Hund, Samuel Abiven, Cordula Friedli, Roland A. Werner, and Johan Six
Biogeosciences, 17, 2971–2986,Short summary
Four wheat cultivars were labeled with 13CO2 to quantify the effect of rooting depth and root biomass on the belowground transfer of organic carbon. We found no clear relation between the time since cultivar development and the amount of carbon inputs to the soil. Therefore, the hypothesis that wheat cultivars with a larger root biomass and deeper roots promote carbon stabilization was rejected. The amount of root biomass that will be stabilized in the soil on the long term is, however, unknown.
Benjamin Campforts, Veerle Vanacker, Frédéric Herman, Matthias Vanmaercke, Wolfgang Schwanghart, Gustavo E. Tenorio, Patrick Willems, and Gerard Govers
Earth Surf. Dynam., 8, 447–470,Short summary
In this contribution, we explore the spatial determinants of bedrock river incision in the tropical Andes. The model results illustrate the problem of confounding between climatic and lithological variables, such as rock strength. Incorporating rock strength explicitly into river incision models strongly improves the explanatory power of all tested models and enables us to clarify the role of rainfall variability in controlling river incision rates.
Clare Woulds, James B. Bell, Adrian G. Glover, Steven Bouillon, and Louise S. Brown
Biogeosciences, 17, 1–12,Short summary
Sedimented hydrothermal vents occur where heated, mineral-rich (hydrothermal) water seeps through seafloor sediments. They host chemosynthetic microbes, which use chemical energy to fix dissolved carbon dioxide into sugars (chemosynthesis). We conducted carbon tracing experiments, and observed chemosynthesis at both vent and non-vent sites. Thus, chemosynthesis occurred over a much larger area than expected, suggesting it is more widespread than previously thought.
Alberto V. Borges, François Darchambeau, Thibault Lambert, Cédric Morana, George H. Allen, Ernest Tambwe, Alfred Toengaho Sembaito, Taylor Mambo, José Nlandu Wabakhangazi, Jean-Pierre Descy, Cristian R. Teodoru, and Steven Bouillon
Biogeosciences, 16, 3801–3834,Short summary
Tropical rivers might be strong sources of CO2 and CH4 to the atmosphere, although there is an enormous data gap. The origin of CO2 in lowland tropical rivers is not well characterized and can be from terra firme or from wetlands (flooded forests and aquatic macrophytes). We obtained a large field dataset of CO2, CH4 and N2O in the Congo, the second-largest river in the world, which allows us to quantity the emission of these greenhouse gases to the atmosphere and investigate their origin.
Trent R. Marwick, Fredrick Tamooh, Bernard Ogwoka, Alberto V. Borges, François Darchambeau, and Steven Bouillon
Biogeosciences, 15, 1683–1700,Short summary
A 2-year biogeochemical record provides annual sediment and element flux estimates for the non-dammed Sabaki River, Kenya, establishing a baseline for future research in light of impending construction of the first major upstream reservoir. Over 80 % of material fluxes occur across the wet season, with annual yields comparable to the adjacent, and dammed, Tana River. Observations at low-flow periods suggest large mammalian herbivores may be vectors of terrestrial subsidies to the water column.
Alberto V. Borges, Gwenaël Abril, and Steven Bouillon
Biogeosciences, 15, 1093–1114,Short summary
The Mekong River is among the largest on Earth and is vital for the economy of Vietnam and South East Asia and the livelihood of the local population (70 million across six countries). Numerous dams for hydropower are planned, which will affect the delivery of water and sediments to the Mekong delta, with numerous possible consequences. We report the dynamics of two greenhouse gases (CO2 and CH4) in the Mekong delta that can be used as a reference state to evaluate future changes.
Gerard Govers, Roel Merckx, Bas van Wesemael, and Kristof Van Oost
SOIL, 3, 45–59,Short summary
We discuss pathways towards better soil protection in the 21st century. The efficacy of soil conservation technology is not a fundamental barrier for a more sustainable soil management. However, soil conservation is generally not directly beneficial to the farmer. We believe that the solution of this conundrum is a rapid, smart intensification of agriculture in the Global South. This will reduce the financial burden and will, at the same time, allow more effective conservation.
Naomi Geeraert, Fred O. Omengo, Fredrick Tamooh, Trent R. Marwick, Alberto V. Borges, Gerard Govers, and Steven Bouillon
Manuscript not accepted for further reviewShort summary
We observed that the relationship between the concentrations and the water discharge in the Tana River changed in wet seasons with and without flooding. Detailed sampling in those seasons is required in order to construct several rating curves and to obtain reliable flux estimates. The sediment and carbon fluxes in function of discharge will help us to asses the flux changes that can be expected when the hydrology changes due to climate change or human impact.
Marijn Van de Broek, Stijn Temmerman, Roel Merckx, and Gerard Govers
Biogeosciences, 13, 6611–6624,Short summary
The results of this study on the organic carbon (OC) stocks of tidal marshes show that variations in OC stocks along estuaries are important and should be taken into account to make accurate estimates of the total amount of OC stored in these ecosystems. Moreover, our results clearly show that most studies underestimate the variation in OC stocks along estuaries due to a shallow sampling depth, neglecting the variation in OC decomposition after burial along estuaries.
Thibault Lambert, Steven Bouillon, François Darchambeau, Philippe Massicotte, and Alberto V. Borges
Biogeosciences, 13, 5405–5420,Short summary
This paper aims to investigate the spatial variability in dissolved organic matter (DOM) in terms of both concentration and composition in the Congo River network. Stable carbon isotopes and absorption and fluorescent properties of DOM were used as proxies for DOM composition. This study shows that DOM degradation within the Congo Basin results in the transition from aromatic to aliphatic DOM as well as the role of landscape and water residence time on this transition.
Clare Woulds, Steven Bouillon, Gregory L. Cowie, Emily Drake, Jack J. Middelburg, and Ursula Witte
Biogeosciences, 13, 4343–4357,Short summary
Estuarine sediments are important locations for carbon cycling and burial. We used tracer experiments to investigate how site conditions affect the way in which seafloor biological communities cycle carbon. We showed that while total respiration rates are primarily determined by temperature, total carbon processing by the biological community is strongly related to its biomass. Further, we saw a distinct pattern of carbon cycling in sandy sediment, in which uptake by bacteria dominates.
Thibault Lambert, Cristian R. Teodoru, Frank C. Nyoni, Steven Bouillon, François Darchambeau, Philippe Massicotte, and Alberto V. Borges
Biogeosciences, 13, 2727–2741,Short summary
This manuscript presents a detailed analysis of transport and transformation of dissolved organic matter along the Zambezi River and its largest tributary. A particular focus is put on the effects of floodplains/wetlands and reservoirs as well as low-flow vs. high-flow conditions on the longitudinal patterns in DOM concentration and composition. It is the first study to present such a detailed analysis for a whole, large river system, and in particular for a tropical river other than the Amazon.
N. Geeraert, F. O. Omengo, G. Govers, and S. Bouillon
Biogeosciences, 13, 517–525,Short summary
Rivers transport a large amount of carbon as dissolved organic carbon (DOC). Our incubation experiments on water of the Tana River, Kenya, showed that microbial decomposition of 10–60 % of the initial DOC occurred within the first 24–48 h. Simultaneously, there was a decrease in isotopic composition, indicating that DOC derived from C4 vegetation is preferentially decomposed. This has implications for the assessment of vegetation in a catchment based on isotope signatures of riverine carbon.
C. Morana, F. Darchambeau, F. A. E. Roland, A. V. Borges, F. Muvundja, Z. Kelemen, P. Masilya, J.-P. Descy, and S. Bouillon
Biogeosciences, 12, 4953–4963,
S. Smolders, Y. Plancke, S. Ides, P. Meire, and S. Temmerman
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 15, 1659–1675,Short summary
Within a confined estuary, a large wetland can play an important role in storm surge mitigation. By use of a numerical model the effects of different wetland sizes, wetland elevations and wetland locations along the estuary on storm surge attenuation along the estuary were investigated. With this paper we aim to contribute towards a better understanding and wider implementation of ecosystem-based adaptation to increasing estuarine flood risks associated with storms.
C. R. Teodoru, F. C. Nyoni, A. V. Borges, F. Darchambeau, I. Nyambe, and S. Bouillon
Biogeosciences, 12, 2431–2453,Short summary
CO2 and CH4 concentrations and fluxes in the Zambezi River basin are well below the median/average values reported previously for tropical rivers, streams and reservoirs, and mainly controlled by the connectivity with floodplains and the presence of waterfalls and man-made reservoirs. The mass balance suggests that carbon transport to the ocean represents the major component (~60%) of the budget, while emissions to the atmosphere account for less than 40% of the total carbon yield.
C. Morana, A. V. Borges, F. A. E. Roland, F. Darchambeau, J.-P. Descy, and S. Bouillon
Biogeosciences, 12, 2077–2088,
G. Abril, S. Bouillon, F. Darchambeau, C. R. Teodoru, T. R. Marwick, F. Tamooh, F. Ochieng Omengo, N. Geeraert, L. Deirmendjian, P. Polsenaere, and A. V. Borges
Biogeosciences, 12, 67–78,Short summary
We compared pCO2 data calculated from pH and alkalinity from those measured directly in a large array of temperate and tropical freshwaters. This revealed a large overestimation (up to 300%) of calculated pCO2 in the case of acidic and organic-rich waters, due to a contribution of organic acids anions to alkalinity and a lower buffering capacity of the carbonate system at acidic pH. Given the widespread distribution of acidic freshwaters, direct measurements of water pCO2 are encouraged.
T. R. Marwick, F. Tamooh, B. Ogwoka, C. Teodoru, A. V. Borges, F. Darchambeau, and S. Bouillon
Biogeosciences, 11, 443–460,
F. Tamooh, A. V. Borges, F. J. R. Meysman, K. Van Den Meersche, F. Dehairs, R. Merckx, and S. Bouillon
Biogeosciences, 10, 6911–6928,
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Cordula Nina Gutekunst, Susanne Liebner, Anna-Kathrina Jenner, Klaus-Holger Knorr, Viktoria Unger, Franziska Koebsch, Erwin Don Racasa, Sizhong Yang, Michael Ernst Böttcher, Manon Janssen, Jens Kallmeyer, Denise Otto, Iris Schmiedinger, Lucas Winski, and Gerald Jurasinski
Biogeosciences, 19, 3625–3648,Short summary
Methane emissions decreased after a seawater inflow and a preceding drought in freshwater rewetted coastal peatland. However, our microbial and greenhouse gas measurements did not indicate that methane consumers increased. Rather, methane producers co-existed in high numbers with their usual competitors, the sulfate-cycling bacteria. We studied the peat soil and aimed to cover the soil–atmosphere continuum to better understand the sources of methane production and consumption.
Liam Heffernan, Maria A. Cavaco, Maya P. Bhatia, Cristian Estop-Aragonés, Klaus-Holger Knorr, and David Olefeldt
Biogeosciences, 19, 3051–3071,Short summary
Permafrost thaw in peatlands leads to waterlogged conditions, a favourable environment for microbes producing methane (CH4) and high CH4 emissions. High CH4 emissions in the initial decades following thaw are due to a vegetation community that produces suitable organic matter to fuel CH4-producing microbes, along with warm and wet conditions. High CH4 emissions after thaw persist for up to 100 years, after which environmental conditions are less favourable for microbes and high CH4 emissions.
Julia Gensel, Marc Steven Humphries, Matthias Zabel, David Sebag, Annette Hahn, and Enno Schefuß
Biogeosciences, 19, 2881–2902,Short summary
We investigated organic matter (OM) and plant-wax-derived biomarkers in sediments and plants along the Mkhuze River to constrain OM's origin and transport pathways within South Africa's largest freshwater wetland. Presently, it efficiently captures OM, so neither transport from upstream areas nor export from the swamp occurs. Thus, we emphasize that such geomorphological features can alter OM provenance, questioning the assumption of watershed-integrated information in downstream sediments.
Petri Kiuru, Marjo Palviainen, Tiia Grönholm, Maarit Raivonen, Lukas Kohl, Vincent Gauci, Iñaki Urzainki, and Annamari Laurén
Biogeosciences, 19, 1959–1977,Short summary
Peatlands are large sources of methane (CH4), and peat structure controls CH4 production and emissions. We used X-ray microtomography imaging, complex network theory methods, and pore network modeling to describe the properties of peat macropore networks and the role of macropores in CH4-related processes. We show that conditions for gas transport and CH4 production vary with depth and are affected by hysteresis, which may explain the hotspots and episodic spikes in peatland CH4 emissions.
Maiju Linkosalmi, Juha-Pekka Tuovinen, Olli Nevalainen, Mikko Peltoniemi, Cemal Melih Taniş, Ali Nadir Arslan, Juuso Rainne, Annalea Lohila, Tuomas Laurila, and Mika Aurela
Revised manuscript accepted for BGShort summary
The vegetation phenology was monitored with digital cameras in three northern peatlands during five growing seasons. The greenness index derived from the images was highest at the most nutrient-rich site. Greenness indicated the main phases of phenology and correlated with CO2 uptake, though this was mainly related to the common seasonal cycle. The cameras and Sentinel-2 satellite showed consistent results, but more frequent satellite data are needed for reliable detection of phenological phases.
Hao Tang, Susanne Liebner, Svenja Reents, Stefanie Nolte, Kai Jensen, Fabian Horn, and Peter Mueller
Biogeosciences, 18, 6133–6146,Short summary
We examined if sea-level rise and plant genotype interact to affect soil microbial functioning in a mesocosm experiment using two genotypes of a dominant salt-marsh grass characterized by differences in flooding sensitivity. Larger variability in microbial community structure, enzyme activity, and litter breakdown in soils with the more sensitive genotype supports our hypothesis that effects of climate change on soil microbial functioning can be controlled by plant intraspecific adaptations.
Naima Iram, Emad Kavehei, Damien T. Maher, Stuart E. Bunn, Mehran Rezaei Rashti, Bahareh Shahrabi Farahani, and Maria Fernanda Adame
Biogeosciences, 18, 5085–5096,Short summary
Greenhouse gas emissions were measured and compared from natural coastal wetlands and their converted agricultural lands across annual seasonal cycles in tropical Australia. Ponded pastures emitted ~ 200-fold-higher methane than any other tested land use type, suggesting the highest greenhouse gas mitigation potential and financial incentives by the restoration of ponded pastures to natural coastal wetlands.
Pavel Alekseychik, Aino Korrensalo, Ivan Mammarella, Samuli Launiainen, Eeva-Stiina Tuittila, Ilkka Korpela, and Timo Vesala
Biogeosciences, 18, 4681–4704,Short summary
Bogs of northern Eurasia represent a major type of peatland ecosystem and contain vast amounts of carbon, but carbon balance monitoring studies on bogs are scarce. The current project explores 6 years of carbon balance data obtained using the state-of-the-art eddy-covariance technique at a Finnish bog Siikaneva. The results reveal relatively low interannual variability indicative of ecosystem resilience to both cool and hot summers and provide new insights into the seasonal course of C fluxes.
Timea Katona, Benjamin Silas Gilfedder, Sven Frei, Matthias Bücker, and Adrian Flores-Orozco
Biogeosciences, 18, 4039–4058,Short summary
We used electrical geophysical methods to map variations in the rates of microbial activity within a wetland. Our results show that the highest electrical conductive and capacitive properties relate to the highest concentrations of phosphates, carbon, and iron; thus, we can use them to characterize the geometry of the biogeochemically active areas or hotspots.
Jurek Müller and Fortunat Joos
Biogeosciences, 18, 3657–3687,Short summary
We present long-term projections of global peatland area and carbon with a continuous transient history since the Last Glacial Maximum. Our novel results show that large parts of today’s northern peatlands are at risk from past and future climate change, with larger emissions clearly connected to larger risks. The study includes comparisons between different emission and land-use scenarios, driver attribution through factorial simulations, and assessments of uncertainty from climate forcing.
Lianlian Zhu, Zhengmiao Deng, Yonghong Xie, Xu Li, Feng Li, Xinsheng Chen, Yeai Zou, Chengyi Zhang, and Wei Wang
Biogeosciences, 18, 1–11,Short summary
We conducted a Carex brevicuspis leaf litter input experiment to clarify the intrinsic factors controlling litter decomposition and quantify its contribution to the soil organic carbon pool at different water levels. Our results revealed that the water level in natural wetlands influenced litter decomposition mainly by leaching and microbial activity, by extension, and affected the wetland surface carbon pool.
Robert J. Parker, Chris Wilson, A. Anthony Bloom, Edward Comyn-Platt, Garry Hayman, Joe McNorton, Hartmut Boesch, and Martyn P. Chipperfield
Biogeosciences, 17, 5669–5691,Short summary
Wetlands contribute the largest uncertainty to the atmospheric methane budget. WetCHARTs is a simple, data-driven model that estimates wetland emissions using observations of precipitation and temperature. We perform the first detailed evaluation of WetCHARTs against satellite data and find it performs well in reproducing the observed wetland methane seasonal cycle for the majority of wetland regions. In regions where it performs poorly, we highlight incorrect wetland extent as a key reason.
Jurek Müller and Fortunat Joos
Biogeosciences, 17, 5285–5308,Short summary
We present an in-depth model analysis of transient peatland area and carbon dynamics over the last 22 000 years. Our novel results show that the consideration of both gross positive and negative area changes are necessary to understand the transient evolution of peatlands and their net effect on atmospheric carbon. The study includes the attributions to drivers through factorial simulations, assessments of uncertainty from climate forcing, and determination of the global net carbon balance.
Lilli Zeh, Marie Theresa Igel, Judith Schellekens, Juul Limpens, Luca Bragazza, and Karsten Kalbitz
Biogeosciences, 17, 4797–4813,
Jérémy Guilhen, Ahmad Al Bitar, Sabine Sauvage, Marie Parrens, Jean-Michel Martinez, Gwenael Abril, Patricia Moreira-Turcq, and José-Miguel Sánchez-Pérez
Biogeosciences, 17, 4297–4311,Short summary
The quantity of greenhouse gases (GHGs) released to the atmosphere by human industries and agriculture, such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O), has been constantly increasing for the last few decades. This work develops a methodology which makes consistent both satellite observations and modelling of the Amazon basin to identify and quantify the role of wetlands in GHG emissions. We showed that these areas produce non-negligible emissions and are linked to land use.
Thomas Rosset, Stéphane Binet, Jean-Marc Antoine, Emilie Lerigoleur, François Rigal, and Laure Gandois
Biogeosciences, 17, 3705–3722,Short summary
Peatlands export a large amount of DOC through inland waters. This study aims at identifying the mechanisms controlling the DOC concentration at the outlet of two mountainous peatlands in the French Pyrenees. Peat water temperature and water table dynamics are shown to drive seasonal- and event-scale DOC concentration variation. According to water recession times, peatlands appear as complexes of different hydrological and biogeochemical units supplying inland waters at different rates.
David Holl, Eva-Maria Pfeiffer, and Lars Kutzbach
Biogeosciences, 17, 2853–2874,Short summary
We measured greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes at a bog site in northwestern Germany that has been heavily degraded by peat mining. During the 2-year investigation period, half of the area was still being mined, whereas the remaining half had been rewetted shortly before. We could therefore estimate the impact of rewetting on GHG flux dynamics. Rewetting had a considerable effect on the annual GHG balance and led to increased (up to 84 %) methane and decreased (up to 40 %) carbon dioxide release.
Jacob S. Diamond, Daniel L. McLaughlin, Robert A. Slesak, and Atticus Stovall
Biogeosciences, 17, 901–915,Short summary
Many wetland systems exhibit lumpy, or uneven, soil surfaces where higher points are called hummocks and lower points are called hollows. We found that, while hummocks extended only ~ 20 cm above hollow surfaces, they exhibited distinct plant communities, plant growth, and soil properties. Differences between hummocks and hollows were the greatest in wetter sites, supporting the hypothesis that plants create and maintain their own hummocks in response to saturated soil conditions.
Terhi Riutta, Aino Korrensalo, Anna M. Laine, Jukka Laine, and Eeva-Stiina Tuittila
Biogeosciences, 17, 727–740,Short summary
We studied the role of plant species groups in peatland methane fluxes under natural conditions and lowered water level. At a natural water level, sedges and mosses increased the fluxes. At a lower water level, the impact of plant groups on the fluxes was small. Only at a high water level did vegetation regulate the fluxes. The results are relevant for assessing peatland methane fluxes in a changing climate, as peatland water level and vegetation are predicted to change.
M. Graham Clark, Elyn R. Humphreys, and Sean K. Carey
Biogeosciences, 17, 667–682,Short summary
Natural and restored wetlands typically emit methane to the atmosphere. However, we found that a wetland constructed after oil sand mining in boreal Canada using organic soils from local peatlands had negligible emissions of methane in its first 3 years. Methane production was likely suppressed due to an abundance of alternate inorganic electron acceptors. Methane emissions may increase in the future if the alternate electron acceptors continue to decrease.
Hendrik Reuter, Julia Gensel, Marcus Elvert, and Dominik Zak
Biogeosciences, 17, 499–514,Short summary
Using infrared spectroscopy, we developed a routine to disentangle microbial nitrogen (N) and plant N in decomposed litter. In a decomposition experiment in three wetland soils, this routine revealed preferential protein depolymerization as a decomposition-site-dependent parameter, unaffected by variations in initial litter N content. In Sphagnum peat, preferential protein depolymerization led to a N depletion of still-unprocessed litter tissue, i.e., a gradual loss of litter quality.
Kevan J. Minick, Bhaskar Mitra, Asko Noormets, and John S. King
Biogeosciences, 16, 4671–4686,Short summary
Sea level rise alters hydrology and vegetation in coastal wetlands. We studied effects of freshwater, saltwater, and wood on soil microbial activity in a freshwater forested wetland. Saltwater reduced CO2/CH4 production compared to freshwater, suggesting large changes in greenhouse gas production and microbial activity are possible due to saltwater intrusion into freshwater wetlands but that the availability of C in the form of dead wood (as forests transition to marsh) may alter the magnitude.
Jyrki Jauhiainen, Jukka Alm, Brynhildur Bjarnadottir, Ingeborg Callesen, Jesper R. Christiansen, Nicholas Clarke, Lise Dalsgaard, Hongxing He, Sabine Jordan, Vaiva Kazanavičiūtė, Leif Klemedtsson, Ari Lauren, Andis Lazdins, Aleksi Lehtonen, Annalea Lohila, Ainars Lupikis, Ülo Mander, Kari Minkkinen, Åsa Kasimir, Mats Olsson, Paavo Ojanen, Hlynur Óskarsson, Bjarni D. Sigurdsson, Gunnhild Søgaard, Kaido Soosaar, Lars Vesterdal, and Raija Laiho
Biogeosciences, 16, 4687–4703,Short summary
We collated peer-reviewed publications presenting GHG flux data for drained organic forest soils in boreal and temperate climate zones, focusing on data that have been used, or have the potential to be used, for estimating net annual soil GHG emission/removals. We evaluated the methods in data collection and identified major gaps in background/environmental data. Based on these, we developed suggestions for future GHG data collection to increase data applicability in syntheses and inventories.
Steffen Buessecker, Kaitlyn Tylor, Joshua Nye, Keith E. Holbert, Jose D. Urquiza Muñoz, Jennifer B. Glass, Hilairy E. Hartnett, and Hinsby Cadillo-Quiroz
Biogeosciences, 16, 4601–4612,Short summary
We investigated the potential for chemical reduction of nitrite into nitrous oxide (N2O) in soils from tropical peat. Among treatments, irradiation resulted in the lowest biological interference and least change of native soil chemistry (iron and organic matter). Nitrite depletion was as high in live or irradiated soils, and N2O production was significant in all tests. Thus, nonbiological production of N2O may be widely underestimated in wetlands and tropical peatlands.
Ward Swinnen, Nils Broothaerts, and Gert Verstraeten
Biogeosciences, 16, 3977–3996,Short summary
In this study, a new model is presented, which was specifically designed to study the development and carbon storage of blanket peatlands since the last ice age. In the past, two main processes (declining forest cover and rising temperatures) have been proposed as drivers of blanket peatland development on the British Isles. The simulations performed in this study support the temperature hypothesis for the blanket peatlands in the Cairngorms Mountains of central Scotland.
David Holl, Verónica Pancotto, Adrian Heger, Sergio Jose Camargo, and Lars Kutzbach
Biogeosciences, 16, 3397–3423,Short summary
We present 2 years of eddy covariance carbon dioxide flux data from two Southern Hemisphere peatlands on Tierra del Fuego. One of the investigated sites is a type of bog exclusive to the Southern Hemisphere, which is dominated by vascular, cushion-forming plants and is particularly understudied. One result of this study is that these cushion bogs apparently are highly productive in comparison to Northern and Southern Hemisphere moss-dominated bogs.
Liudmila S. Shirokova, Artem V. Chupakov, Svetlana A. Zabelina, Natalia V. Neverova, Dahedrey Payandi-Rolland, Carole Causserand, Jan Karlsson, and Oleg S. Pokrovsky
Biogeosciences, 16, 2511–2526,Short summary
Regardless of the size and landscape context of surface water in frozen peatland in NE Europe, the bio- and photo-degradability of dissolved organic matter (DOM) over a 1-month incubation across a range of temperatures was below 10 %. We challenge the paradigm of dominance of photolysis and biodegradation in DOM processing in surface waters from frozen peatland, and we hypothesize peat pore-water DOM degradation and respiration of sediments to be the main drivers of CO2 emission in this region.
Elisa Männistö, Aino Korrensalo, Pavel Alekseychik, Ivan Mammarella, Olli Peltola, Timo Vesala, and Eeva-Stiina Tuittila
Biogeosciences, 16, 2409–2421,Short summary
We studied methane emitted as episodic bubble release (ebullition) from water and bare peat surfaces of a boreal bog over three years. There was more ebullition from water than from bare peat surfaces, and it was controlled by peat temperature, water level, atmospheric pressure and the weekly temperature sum. However, the contribution of methane bubbles to the total ecosystem methane emission was small. This new information can be used to improve process models of peatland methane dynamics.
Franziska Koebsch, Matthias Winkel, Susanne Liebner, Bo Liu, Julia Westphal, Iris Schmiedinger, Alejandro Spitzy, Matthias Gehre, Gerald Jurasinski, Stefan Köhler, Viktoria Unger, Marian Koch, Torsten Sachs, and Michael E. Böttcher
Biogeosciences, 16, 1937–1953,Short summary
In natural coastal wetlands, high supplies of marine sulfate suppress methane production. We found these natural methane suppression mechanisms to be suspended by humane interference in a brackish wetland. Here, diking and freshwater rewetting had caused an efficient depletion of the sulfate reservoir and opened up favorable conditions for an intensive methane production. Our results demonstrate how human disturbance can turn coastal wetlands into distinct sources of the greenhouse gas methane.
Luke C. Jeffrey, Damien T. Maher, Scott G. Johnston, Kylie Maguire, Andrew D. L. Steven, and Douglas R. Tait
Biogeosciences, 16, 1799–1815,Short summary
Wetlands represent the largest natural source of methane (CH4), so understanding CH4 drivers is important for management and climate models. We compared several CH4 pathways of a remediated subtropical Australian wetland. We found permanently inundated sites emitted more CH4 than seasonally inundated sites and that the soil properties of each site corresponded to CH4 emissions. This suggests that selective wetland remediation of favourable soil types may help to mitigate unwanted CH4 emissions.
Ryo Shingubara, Atsuko Sugimoto, Jun Murase, Go Iwahana, Shunsuke Tei, Maochang Liang, Shinya Takano, Tomoki Morozumi, and Trofim C. Maximov
Biogeosciences, 16, 755–768,Short summary
(1) Wetting event with extreme precipitation increased methane emission from wetland, especially two summers later, despite the decline in water level after the wetting. (2) Isotopic compositions of methane in soil pore water suggested enhancement of production and less significance of oxidation in the following two summers after the wetting event. (3) Duration of water saturation in the active layer may be important for predicting methane emission after a wetting event in permafrost ecosystems.
Wiebke Münchberger, Klaus-Holger Knorr, Christian Blodau, Verónica A. Pancotto, and Till Kleinebecker
Biogeosciences, 16, 541–559,Short summary
Processes governing CH4 dynamics have been scarcely studied in southern hemispheric bogs. These can be dominated by cushion-forming plants with deep and dense roots suppressing emissions. Here we demonstrate how the spatial distribution of root activity drives a pronounced pattern of CH4 emissions, likewise also possible in densely rooted northern bogs. We conclude that presence of cushion vegetation as a proxy for negligible CH4 emissions from cushion bogs needs to be interpreted with caution.
Sarah Cook, Mick J. Whelan, Chris D. Evans, Vincent Gauci, Mike Peacock, Mark H. Garnett, Lip Khoon Kho, Yit Arn Teh, and Susan E. Page
Biogeosciences, 15, 7435–7450,Short summary
This paper presents the first comprehensive assessment of fluvial organic carbon loss from oil palm plantations on tropical peat: a carbon loss pathway previously unaccounted for from carbon budgets. Carbon in the water draining four plantations in Sarawak was monitored across a 1-year period. Greater fluvial carbon losses were linked to sites with lower water tables. These data will be used to complete the carbon budget from these ecosystems and assess the full impact of this land conversion.
Ariane Arias-Ortiz, Pere Masqué, Jordi Garcia-Orellana, Oscar Serrano, Inés Mazarrasa, Núria Marbà, Catherine E. Lovelock, Paul S. Lavery, and Carlos M. Duarte
Biogeosciences, 15, 6791–6818,Short summary
Efforts to include tidal marsh, mangrove and seagrass ecosystems in existing carbon mitigation strategies are limited by a lack of estimates of carbon accumulation rates (CARs). We discuss the use of 210Pb dating to determine CARs in these habitats, which are often composed of heterogeneous sediments and affected by sedimentary processes. Results show that obtaining reliable geochronologies in these systems is ambitious, but estimates of mean 100-year CARs are mostly secure within 20 % error.
Danielle D. Radu and Tim P. Duval
Biogeosciences, 15, 3937–3951,Short summary
Climate change can shift rainfall into fewer, more intense events with longer dry periods, leading to changes in peatland hydrology and carbon cycling. We manipulated rain events over three peatland plant types (moss, sedge, and shrub). We found increasing regime intensity led to drier surface soils and deeper water tables, reducing plant carbon uptake. Mosses became sources of CO2 after >3 consecutive dry days. This study shows peatlands may become smaller sinks for carbon due to rain changes.
Peter Mueller, Lisa M. Schile-Beers, Thomas J. Mozdzer, Gail L. Chmura, Thomas Dinter, Yakov Kuzyakov, Alma V. de Groot, Peter Esselink, Christian Smit, Andrea D'Alpaos, Carles Ibáñez, Magdalena Lazarus, Urs Neumeier, Beverly J. Johnson, Andrew H. Baldwin, Stephanie A. Yarwood, Diana I. Montemayor, Zaichao Yang, Jihua Wu, Kai Jensen, and Stefanie Nolte
Biogeosciences, 15, 3189–3202,
Karel Castro-Morales, Thomas Kleinen, Sonja Kaiser, Sönke Zaehle, Fanny Kittler, Min Jung Kwon, Christian Beer, and Mathias Göckede
Biogeosciences, 15, 2691–2722,Short summary
We present year-round methane emissions from wetlands in Northeast Siberia that were simulated with a land surface model. Ground-based flux measurements from the same area were used for evaluation of the model results, finding a best agreement with the observations in the summertime emissions that take place in this region predominantly through plants. During winter, methane emissions through the snow contribute 4 % of the total annual methane budget, but these are still underestimated.
Aino Korrensalo, Elisa Männistö, Pavel Alekseychik, Ivan Mammarella, Janne Rinne, Timo Vesala, and Eeva-Stiina Tuittila
Biogeosciences, 15, 1749–1761,Short summary
We measured methane fluxes of a boreal bog from six different plant community types in 2012–2014. We found only little variation in methane fluxes among plant community types. Peat temperature as well as both leaf area of plant species with air channels and of all vegetation are important factors controlling the fluxes. We also detected negative net fluxes indicating methane consumption each year. Our results can be used to improve the models of peatland methane dynamics under climate change.
Magnus Gålfalk, Martin Karlson, Patrick Crill, Philippe Bousquet, and David Bastviken
Biogeosciences, 15, 1549–1557,Short summary
We describe a quick in situ method for mapping ground surface cover, calculating areas of each surface type in a 10 x 10 m plot for each measurement. The method is robust, weather-independent, easily carried out, and uses wide-field imaging with a standard remote-controlled camera mounted on a very long extendible monopod from a height of 3–4.5 m. The method enables collection of detailed field reference data, critical in many remote sensing applications, such as wetland mapping.
Olli Peltola, Maarit Raivonen, Xuefei Li, and Timo Vesala
Biogeosciences, 15, 937–951,Short summary
Emission via bubbling, i.e. ebullition, is one of the main CH4 emission pathways from wetlands to the atmosphere, yet it is still coarsely represented in wetland CH4 models. In this study three ebullition modelling approaches are evaluated. Modeled annual CH4 emissions were similar, whereas temporal variability in CH4 emissions varied an order of magnitude between the approaches. Hence realistic description of ebullition is needed when models are compared to and calibrated against measurements.
Tracy Elsey-Quirk and Viktoria Unger
Biogeosciences, 15, 379–397,Short summary
Salt marshes have high rates of plant productivity and carbon accumulation. For this study, we found that differences in environmental conditions between estuary types were important in determining the source and stability of soil organic carbon. Specifically, sediment availability was extremely important in promoting high plant productivity and carbon accumulation in an estuary which was sediment-limited. In a sediment-rich estuary vegetation–soil-carbon relationships were weaker.
Jordan P. Goodrich, David I. Campbell, and Louis A. Schipper
Biogeosciences, 14, 4563–4576,
Jonathan P. Ritson, Richard E. Brazier, Nigel J. D. Graham, Chris Freeman, Michael R. Templeton, and Joanna M. Clark
Biogeosciences, 14, 2891–2902,Short summary
Peatlands are a globally important store of carbon; however increased droughts in the future may affect their ability to sequester carbon. Using laboratory simulations we show that droughts, through exposure to oxygen, greatly increase the quantity and alter the quality of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) released from peat. Catchment management which keeps water tables high to limit oxygen exposure is therefore likely to deliver positive water quality outcomes.
Sung-Ching Lee, Andreas Christen, Andrew T. Black, Mark S. Johnson, Rachhpal S. Jassal, Rick Ketler, Zoran Nesic, and Markus Merkens
Biogeosciences, 14, 2799–2814,Short summary
Burns Bog in Vancouver is the largest peatland on North America's west coast. It is undergoing rewetting as a restoration management after peat harvesting. Rewetting of disturbed areas facilitates their ecological recovery but has an immediate impact on carbon dioxide and methane exchange. On the floating flux tower, we quantified annual carbon dioxide and methane exchange to inform future management. Our results suggested that the study area was a net carbon sink after 7-year rewetting.
Amy E. Pickard, Kate V. Heal, Andrew R. McLeod, and Kerry J. Dinsmore
Biogeosciences, 14, 1793–1809,Short summary
Peatland catchments export significant volumes of photoreactive carbon to aquatic systems, particularly headwater streams. Delivery of photoreactive material is subject to seasonal variation, and is also influenced by the timing and magnitude of rainfall events. We suggest that photoprocessing of peatland derived carbon may contribute to carbon dioxide emissions from aquatic systems, although considerable uncertainty remains as to how much material is processed
in situwithin these systems.
Eva van den Elzen, Martine A. R. Kox, Sarah F. Harpenslager, Geert Hensgens, Christian Fritz, Mike S. M. Jetten, Katharina F. Ettwig, and Leon P. M. Lamers
Biogeosciences, 14, 1111–1122,Short summary
Peatlands are important because they sequester large amounts of carbon, for which nitrogen is needed. In peatlands dominated by peat mosses, atmospheric nitrogen is fixed by associated microorganisms. We here show for the first time experimentally that phosphorus availability and acid buffering, both showing large variations among peatlands, can explain the strong differences reported for nitrogen fixation. This improves our understanding of peatland functioning in relation to global change.
Paul J. Hanson, Jeffery S. Riggs, W. Robert Nettles, Jana R. Phillips, Misha B. Krassovski, Leslie A. Hook, Lianhong Gu, Andrew D. Richardson, Donald M. Aubrecht, Daniel M. Ricciuto, Jeffrey M. Warren, and Charlotte Barbier
Biogeosciences, 14, 861–883,Short summary
This paper describes operational methods to achieve whole-ecosystem warming (WEW) for tall-stature, high-carbon, boreal forest peatlands. The methods enable scientists to study immediate and longer-term (1 decade) responses of organisms (microbes to trees) and ecosystem functions (carbon, water and nutrient cycles). The WEW technology allows researchers to have a plausible glimpse of future environmental conditions for study that are not available in the current observational record.
Yingying Tang, Sarah F. Harpenslager, Monique M. L. van Kempen, Evi J. H. Verbaarschot, Laury M. J. M. Loeffen, Jan G. M. Roelofs, Alfons J. P. Smolders, and Leon P. M. Lamers
Biogeosciences, 14, 755–766,Short summary
Aquatic macrophytes can be used for wastewater polishing but not for purification. At a low nutrient loading M. spicatum and A. filiculoides performed equally well for P removal, whereas at loads ≥ 22 mg P m−2 d−1, A. filiculoides removes P more efficiently. We provide an easily applicable method to select efficient macrophytes species for wastewater polishing, which is essential for decision support in water management using constructed wetlands for nutrient removal by plant harvesting.
Marijn Van de Broek, Stijn Temmerman, Roel Merckx, and Gerard Govers
Biogeosciences, 13, 6611–6624,Short summary
The results of this study on the organic carbon (OC) stocks of tidal marshes show that variations in OC stocks along estuaries are important and should be taken into account to make accurate estimates of the total amount of OC stored in these ecosystems. Moreover, our results clearly show that most studies underestimate the variation in OC stocks along estuaries due to a shallow sampling depth, neglecting the variation in OC decomposition after burial along estuaries.
Rémon Saaltink, Stefan C. Dekker, Jasper Griffioen, and Martin J. Wassen
Biogeosciences, 13, 4945–4957,Short summary
We identified biogeochemical plant–soil feedback processes that occur when oxidation, drying and modification by plants alter sediment conditions. Wetland construction in Markermeer (a lake in the Netherlands) is used as a case study. Natural processes will be utilized during and after construction to accelerate ecosystem development. We conducted a 6-month greenhouse experiment to identify the key biogeochemical processes in the mud when Phragmites australis is used as an eco-engineer.
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This research shows indications that the age of the mangrove forest and its position along a deltaic gradient (upstream–downstream) play a vital role in the amount and sources of carbon stored in the mangrove sediments. Our findings also imply that carbon capture by the mangrove ecosystem itself contributes partly but relatively little to long-term sediment organic carbon storage. This finding is particularly relevant for budgeting the potential of mangrove ecosystems to mitigate climate change.
This research shows indications that the age of the mangrove forest and its position along a...