Linking land-atmosphere-stream carbon fluxes in a lowland peatland system

M F Billett, S M Palmer, D Hope, C Deacon, R Storeton-West, K J Hargreaves, C Flechard, D Fowler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

174 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Any change in the ability of northern peatlands to act as a sink for atmospheric CO2 will play a crucial part in the response of the Earth system to global warming. We argue that a true assessment of the sink-source relationships of peatland ecosystems requires that losses of C in drainage waters be included when determining annual net C uptake, thus connecting measurements of stream C fluxes with those made at the land surface-atmosphere interface. This was done by combining estimates of net ecosystem exchange (NEE) with stream water measurements of TOC, DIC, and gaseous C loss, in a 335-ha lowland temperate peatland catchment (55degrees48.80'N, 03degrees14.40'W) in central Scotland over a 2-year period (1996-1998). Mean annual downstream C flux was 304 (+/-62) kg C ha(-1) yr(-1), of which total organic carbon (TOC) contributed 93%, the remainder being dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and free CO2. At the catchment outlet evasion loss of CO2 from the stream surface was estimated to be an additional 46 kg C ha(-1) yr(-1). Over the study period, NEE of CO2-C resulted in a flux from the atmosphere to the land surface of 278 (+/-25) kg C ha(-1) yr(-1). Net C loss in drainage water, including both the downstream flux and CO2 evasion from the stream surface to the atmosphere, was therefore greater or equal to the net annual C uptake as a result of photosynthesis/respiration at the land surface. By combining these and other flux terms, the overall C mass balance suggests that this system was either acting as a terrestrial C source or was C neutral.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalGlobal Biogeochemical Cycles
Volume18
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Keywords

  • carbon flux
  • land-atmosphere exchange
  • peatland
  • stream
  • DISSOLVED ORGANIC-CARBON
  • OMBROTROPHIC BOG
  • INORGANIC CARBON
  • CLIMATE-CHANGE
  • CO2
  • EXCHANGE
  • DIOXIDE
  • WATER
  • SCOTLAND
  • BALANCE

Cite this

Billett, M. F., Palmer, S. M., Hope, D., Deacon, C., Storeton-West, R., Hargreaves, K. J., ... Fowler, D. (2004). Linking land-atmosphere-stream carbon fluxes in a lowland peatland system. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 18. https://doi.org/10.1029/2003GB002058

Linking land-atmosphere-stream carbon fluxes in a lowland peatland system. / Billett, M F ; Palmer, S M ; Hope, D ; Deacon, C ; Storeton-West, R ; Hargreaves, K J ; Flechard, C ; Fowler, D .

In: Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Vol. 18, 2004.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Billett, MF, Palmer, SM, Hope, D, Deacon, C, Storeton-West, R, Hargreaves, KJ, Flechard, C & Fowler, D 2004, 'Linking land-atmosphere-stream carbon fluxes in a lowland peatland system', Global Biogeochemical Cycles, vol. 18. https://doi.org/10.1029/2003GB002058
Billett MF, Palmer SM, Hope D, Deacon C, Storeton-West R, Hargreaves KJ et al. Linking land-atmosphere-stream carbon fluxes in a lowland peatland system. Global Biogeochemical Cycles. 2004;18. https://doi.org/10.1029/2003GB002058
Billett, M F ; Palmer, S M ; Hope, D ; Deacon, C ; Storeton-West, R ; Hargreaves, K J ; Flechard, C ; Fowler, D . / Linking land-atmosphere-stream carbon fluxes in a lowland peatland system. In: Global Biogeochemical Cycles. 2004 ; Vol. 18.
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abstract = "Any change in the ability of northern peatlands to act as a sink for atmospheric CO2 will play a crucial part in the response of the Earth system to global warming. We argue that a true assessment of the sink-source relationships of peatland ecosystems requires that losses of C in drainage waters be included when determining annual net C uptake, thus connecting measurements of stream C fluxes with those made at the land surface-atmosphere interface. This was done by combining estimates of net ecosystem exchange (NEE) with stream water measurements of TOC, DIC, and gaseous C loss, in a 335-ha lowland temperate peatland catchment (55degrees48.80'N, 03degrees14.40'W) in central Scotland over a 2-year period (1996-1998). Mean annual downstream C flux was 304 (+/-62) kg C ha(-1) yr(-1), of which total organic carbon (TOC) contributed 93{\%}, the remainder being dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and free CO2. At the catchment outlet evasion loss of CO2 from the stream surface was estimated to be an additional 46 kg C ha(-1) yr(-1). Over the study period, NEE of CO2-C resulted in a flux from the atmosphere to the land surface of 278 (+/-25) kg C ha(-1) yr(-1). Net C loss in drainage water, including both the downstream flux and CO2 evasion from the stream surface to the atmosphere, was therefore greater or equal to the net annual C uptake as a result of photosynthesis/respiration at the land surface. By combining these and other flux terms, the overall C mass balance suggests that this system was either acting as a terrestrial C source or was C neutral.",
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AU - Billett, M F

AU - Palmer, S M

AU - Hope, D

AU - Deacon, C

AU - Storeton-West, R

AU - Hargreaves, K J

AU - Flechard, C

AU - Fowler, D

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N2 - Any change in the ability of northern peatlands to act as a sink for atmospheric CO2 will play a crucial part in the response of the Earth system to global warming. We argue that a true assessment of the sink-source relationships of peatland ecosystems requires that losses of C in drainage waters be included when determining annual net C uptake, thus connecting measurements of stream C fluxes with those made at the land surface-atmosphere interface. This was done by combining estimates of net ecosystem exchange (NEE) with stream water measurements of TOC, DIC, and gaseous C loss, in a 335-ha lowland temperate peatland catchment (55degrees48.80'N, 03degrees14.40'W) in central Scotland over a 2-year period (1996-1998). Mean annual downstream C flux was 304 (+/-62) kg C ha(-1) yr(-1), of which total organic carbon (TOC) contributed 93%, the remainder being dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and free CO2. At the catchment outlet evasion loss of CO2 from the stream surface was estimated to be an additional 46 kg C ha(-1) yr(-1). Over the study period, NEE of CO2-C resulted in a flux from the atmosphere to the land surface of 278 (+/-25) kg C ha(-1) yr(-1). Net C loss in drainage water, including both the downstream flux and CO2 evasion from the stream surface to the atmosphere, was therefore greater or equal to the net annual C uptake as a result of photosynthesis/respiration at the land surface. By combining these and other flux terms, the overall C mass balance suggests that this system was either acting as a terrestrial C source or was C neutral.

AB - Any change in the ability of northern peatlands to act as a sink for atmospheric CO2 will play a crucial part in the response of the Earth system to global warming. We argue that a true assessment of the sink-source relationships of peatland ecosystems requires that losses of C in drainage waters be included when determining annual net C uptake, thus connecting measurements of stream C fluxes with those made at the land surface-atmosphere interface. This was done by combining estimates of net ecosystem exchange (NEE) with stream water measurements of TOC, DIC, and gaseous C loss, in a 335-ha lowland temperate peatland catchment (55degrees48.80'N, 03degrees14.40'W) in central Scotland over a 2-year period (1996-1998). Mean annual downstream C flux was 304 (+/-62) kg C ha(-1) yr(-1), of which total organic carbon (TOC) contributed 93%, the remainder being dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and free CO2. At the catchment outlet evasion loss of CO2 from the stream surface was estimated to be an additional 46 kg C ha(-1) yr(-1). Over the study period, NEE of CO2-C resulted in a flux from the atmosphere to the land surface of 278 (+/-25) kg C ha(-1) yr(-1). Net C loss in drainage water, including both the downstream flux and CO2 evasion from the stream surface to the atmosphere, was therefore greater or equal to the net annual C uptake as a result of photosynthesis/respiration at the land surface. By combining these and other flux terms, the overall C mass balance suggests that this system was either acting as a terrestrial C source or was C neutral.

KW - carbon flux

KW - land-atmosphere exchange

KW - peatland

KW - stream

KW - DISSOLVED ORGANIC-CARBON

KW - OMBROTROPHIC BOG

KW - INORGANIC CARBON

KW - CLIMATE-CHANGE

KW - CO2

KW - EXCHANGE

KW - DIOXIDE

KW - WATER

KW - SCOTLAND

KW - BALANCE

U2 - 10.1029/2003GB002058

DO - 10.1029/2003GB002058

M3 - Article

VL - 18

JO - Global Biogeochemical Cycles

JF - Global Biogeochemical Cycles

SN - 0886-6236

ER -