08 Dec 2021
08 Dec 2021
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal BG.

Moist moss tundra on Kapp Linne, Svalbard is a net source of CO2 and CH4 to the atmosphere

Anders Lindroth1, Norbert Pirk2, Ingibjörg S. Jónsdóttir3, Christian Stiegler4, Leif Klemedtsson5, and Mats Nilsson6 Anders Lindroth et al.
  • 1Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
  • 2Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
  • 3Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland
  • 4Bioclimatology, Georg-August Universität Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany
  • 5Department of Earth Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
  • 6Department of Forest Ecology and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå, Sweden

Abstract. We measured CO2 and CH4 fluxes using chambers and eddy covariance (only CO2) from a moist moss tundra in Svalbard. The average net ecosystem exchange (NEE) during the summer (June–August) was −0.40 g C m−2 day−1 or −37 g C m−2 for the whole summer. Including spring and autumn periods the NEE was reduced to −6.8 g C m−2 and the annual NEE became positive, 24.7 gC m−2 due to the losses during the winter. The CH4 flux during the summer period showed a large spatial and temporal variability. The mean value of all 214 samples was 0.000511 ± 0.000315 µmol m−2s−1 which corresponds to a growing season estimate of 0.04 to 0.16 g CH4 m−2. We find that this moss tundra emits about 94–100 g CO2-equivalents m−2 yr−1 of which CH4 is responsible for 3.5–9.3 % using GWP100 of 27.9 respectively GWP20.

Air temperature, soil moisture and greenness index contributed significantly to explain the variation in ecosystem respiration (Reco) while active layer depth, soil moisture and greenness index were the variables that best explained CH4 emissions. Estimate of temperature sensitivity of Reco and gross primary productivity showed that a modest increase in air temperature of 1 degree did not significantly change the NEE during the growing season but that the annual NEE would be even more positive adding another 8.5 g C m−2 to the atmosphere. We tentatively suggest that the warming of the Arctic that has already taken place is partly responsible for the fact that the moist moss tundra now is a source of CO2 to the atmosphere.

Anders Lindroth et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on bg-2021-308', Thomas Friborg, 27 Jan 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC1', Anders Lindroth, 21 Feb 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on bg-2021-308', Anonymous Referee #2, 28 Jan 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC2', Anders Lindroth, 21 Feb 2022

Anders Lindroth et al.

Anders Lindroth et al.


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Short summary
The moist moss tundra is a small source of CO2 and CH4 on annual basis, Temperature sensitivity during summer is higher for gross primary productivity than for ecosystem respiration at low temperature and the opposite at high temperature. A modest temperature increase of 1 degree increases ecosystem respiration and gross primary productivity of similar magnitude during summer but strengthens the annual source of CO2. Vegetation greeness contribute to explaining bot respiration and CH4 flux.