Small scale hydrological variation determines landscape CO2 fluxes in the high Arctic.

S. Sjogersten, R. van der Wal, Sarah Jane Woodin

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Abstract

We explored the influence of small-scale spatial variation in soil moisture on CO2 fluxes in the high Arctic. Of five sites forming a hydrological gradient, CO2 was emitted from the three driest sites and only the wettest site was a net sink of CO2. Soil moisture was a good predictor of net ecosystem exchange (NEE). Higher gross ecosystem photosynthesis (GEP) was linked to higher bryophyte biomass and activity in response to the moisture conditions. Ecosystem respiration (R-e) rates increased with soil moisture until the soil became anaerobic and then R (e) decreased. At well-drained sites R-e was driven by GEP, suggesting substrate and moisture limitation of soil respiration. We propose that spatial variability in soil moisture is a primary driver of NEE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-216
Number of pages11
JournalBiogeochemistry
Volume80
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Keywords

  • high Arctic
  • carbon dioxide fluxes
  • spatial variability
  • soil moisture
  • vegetation
  • SIMULATED ENVIRONMENTAL-CHANGE
  • CARBON-DIOXIDE FLUXES
  • FOREST-TUNDRA ECOTONE
  • TRACE GAS-EXCHANGE
  • CLIMATE-CHANGE
  • MICROBIAL BIOMASS
  • SOIL RESPIRATION
  • POLAR SEMIDESERT
  • METHANE EXCHANGE
  • GROWTH-RESPONSES

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