Current forest carbon fixation fuels stream CO2 emissions

Campeau, A., Bishop, K., Amvrosiadi, N., Billett, M.F., Garnett, M.H. , Laudon, H., Öquist, M.G. and Wallin, M.B. (2019) Current forest carbon fixation fuels stream CO2 emissions. Nature Communications, 10, 1876. (doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-09922-3) (PMID:31015439) (PMCID:PMC6478898)

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Stream CO2 emissions contribute significantly to atmospheric climate forcing. While there are strong indications that groundwater inputs sustain these emissions, the specific biogeochemical pathways and timescales involved in this lateral CO2 export are still obscure. Here, via an extensive radiocarbon (14C) characterisation of CO2 and DOC in stream water and its groundwater sources in an old-growth boreal forest, we demonstrate that the 14C-CO2 is consistently in tune with the current atmospheric 14C-CO2 level and shows little association with the 14C-DOC in the same waters. Our findings thus indicate that stream CO2 emissions act as a shortcut that returns CO2 recently fixed by the forest vegetation to the atmosphere. Our results expose a positive feedback mechanism within the C budget of forested catchments, where stream CO2 emissions will be highly sensitive to changes in forest C allocation patterns associated with climate and land-use changes.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This study was supported by the Swedish Research Council (contract: 2012-3919 to K. Bishop), the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Radiocarbon Facility NRCF010001 (allocation number 1947.1015) and the Department of Earth Sciences at Uppsala University. Financial support from the Swedish Research Council and contributing research institutes to the Swedish Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS-Sweden) research infrastructure and the Swedish Infrastructure for Ecosystem Science (SITES) are also acknowledged.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Garnett, Dr Mark
Authors: Campeau, A., Bishop, K., Amvrosiadi, N., Billett, M.F., Garnett, M.H., Laudon, H., Öquist, M.G., and Wallin, M.B.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Nature Communications
Publisher:Nature Research
ISSN (Online):2041-1723
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in Nature Communications 10: 1876
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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