Size and characteristics of the DOC pool in near-surface subarctic mire permafrost as a potential source for nearby freshwaters
2015 (English)In: Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine research, ISSN 1523-0430, E-ISSN 1938-4246, Vol. 47, no 1, 49-58 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Subarctic peatlands are rich sources of organic carbon for freshwater ecosystems. Where those peatlands are underlain by permafrost, permafrost thaw may cause an initial release of bioavailable dissolved organic carbon (DOC) to surrounding freshwaters. In this study, we measured icebound and potentially leachable (extracted) DOC quantities and indices of DOC quality in active layer and permafrost layers from two subarctic peat mires, Stord-alen and Storflaket. Most of the permafrost layers did not contain more organic matter or exportable DOC (as g kg(-1) dry soil) than the overlying active layer, and there was no difference in aromaticity, molecular weight, or the ratio between labile and recalcitrant DOC extracted from the permafrost and active layer. However, DOC held in segregated ice of the near-surface permafrost had relatively low aromaticity compared to extracted DOC from the same depth. Total icebound and potentially leachable DOC in the Stordalen mire permafrost that is predicted to experience active layer deepening during each of the next 50 years corresponded to about 0.1% of the current annual aquatic export of DOC from the mire. We conclude that the pool of potentially leachable DOC currently stored in permafrost layers is small. We also highlight differences in permafrost organic material between the two studied mire systems, which has an effect on the pool and properties of leachable DOC that is potentially available for export during thaw. Moreover, the geomorphological form of permafrost thaw will influence future hydrological connectedness and DOC production, in turn determining future DOC export from the mires.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 47, no 1, 49-58 p.
Environmental Sciences Ecology Physical Geography
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-101615DOI: 10.1657/AAAR0014-010ISI: 000350219000005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-101615DiVA: diva2:801741