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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-408
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-408
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  11 Nov 2020

11 Nov 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal BG.

First Pan-Arctic Assessment of Dissolved Organic Carbon in Permafrost-Region Lakes

Lydia Stolpmann1,2, Caroline Coch1,2,3, Anne Morgenstern1, Julia Boike1,4, Michael Fritz1, Ulrike Herzschuh1,2,5, Kathleen Stoof-Leichsenring1, Yury Dvornikov6, Birgit Heim1, Josefine Lenz1,7, Amy Larsen8, Katey Walter Anthony7, Benjamin Jones9, Karen Frey10, and Guido Grosse1,2 Lydia Stolpmann et al.
  • 1Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Potsdam, Germany
  • 2Institute of Geosciences, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany
  • 3World Wildlife Fund, The Living Planet Centre, Rufford House, Brewery Road, Working, Surrey, GU214LL
  • 4Geography Department, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany
  • 5Institute of Biochemistry and Biology, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany
  • 6Agrarian-Technological Institute, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, Moscow, 117198, Russia
  • 7Water and Environmental Research Center, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK, USA 99775
  • 8Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve and Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, National Park Service, Fairbanks, AK, USA
  • 9Institute of Northern Engineering, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK, USA
  • 10Graduate School of Geography, Clark University, Worcester, MA, USA

Abstract. Lakes in permafrost regions are dynamic landscape components and play an important role for climate change feedbacks. Lake processes such as mineralization and flocculation of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), one of the main carbon fractions in lakes, contribute to the greenhouse effect and are part of the global carbon cycle. These processes are in focus of climate research but studies so far are limited to specific study regions. In our synthesis, we analysed 2,167 water samples from 1,833 lakes across the Arctic in permafrost regions of Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and Siberia to provide first pan-Arctic insights for linkages between DOC concentrations and the environment. Using published data and unpublished datasets from the author team we report regional DOC differences linked to latitude, permafrost zones, ecoregions, geology, near-surface soil organic carbon contents, and ground ice classification of each lake region. The lake DOC concentrations in our dataset range from 0 mg L−1 to 1,130 mg L−1 (10.8 mg L−1 median DOC concentration). Regarding the permafrost regions of our synthesis, we found median lake DOC concentrations of 12.4 mg L−1 (Siberia), 12.3 mg L−1 (Alaska), 10.3 mg L−1 (Greenland), and 4.5 mg L−1 (Canada). Our synthesis shows a significant relationship of lake DOC concentration and ecoregion of the lake. We found higher lake DOC concentrations in boreal permafrost sites compared to tundra sites. About 22 % of the lakes in our extensive dataset are located in regions with ice-rich syngenetic permafrost deposits (yedoma). Yedoma contains large amounts of easily erodible organic carbon and we found significantly higher DOC concentrations in yedoma lakes compared to non-yedoma lakes. Compared to previous studies we found a weak significant relationship of soil organic carbon content and lake DOC concentration as well as between ground-ice content and lake DOC. Our pan-Arctic dataset shows that the DOC concentration of a lake strongly depends on its environmental properties, especially on permafrost extent and ecoregion, as well as vegetation, which is the most important driver of lake DOC in this study. This new dataset will be fundamental to quantify a pan-Arctic lake DOC pool for estimations of the impact of lake DOC on the global carbon cycle and climate change.

Lydia Stolpmann et al.

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Our new database summarizes DOC results of 2,167 water samples from 1,833 lakes in permafrost regions across the Arctic to provide insights for linkages between DOC and environment. We found increasing lake DOC concentration with decreasing permafrost extent and higher DOC concentrations in boreal permafrost sites compared to tundra sites. Our study shows that DOC concentration depends on the environmental properties of a lake, especially on permafrost extent, ecoregion, and vegetation.
Our new database summarizes DOC results of 2,167 water samples from 1,833 lakes in permafrost...
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