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High variability in the decay of dissolved organic carbon from different boreal litter sources; a challenge to land-water carbon flux modeling

  • Geert Hensgens
  • Carlos Arellano
  • Benjamin Smith
  • Anneli Poska
  • Martin Berggren
Publishing year: 2016
Language: English
Document type: Conference paper: abstract

Abstract english

Dynamic ecosystem modelling offers potentially groundbreaking possibilities to reconstruct and project exports of Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC) from land to surface water. However, the balance between production, degradation and export of soil DOC remains a challenge to model in boreal forests, partly because variability in soil DOC turnover is poorly understood. Here we determined the heterogeneity in decay potentials for DOC leached from main litter sources in boreal forest. We measured 48h leaching potentials (20°C in pure water) of fresh and pre-degraded leaf and wood litter, and subsequently performed short- and long-term standardized bioassays. Leaching and decay potentials of DOC varied more than tenfold between species. Broadleaf trees and shrubs generally showed highest magnitudes and variability in both DOC leaching and subsequent decay, compared to coniferous materials. However, it appears impossible to predict differences in decay potentials without considering both the physical structure and chemical composition of source materials. We suggest that a thorough inventory of soil DOC sources with regard to decay potentials is needed to adequately model the response in DOC export to changes in climate and vegetation.


  • Earth and Related Environmental Sciences


ASLO Summer meeting, 2016
2016-06-05 - 2016-06-10
Santa Fé, United States
  • An empirical framework for large-scale modeling of dissolved organic carbon fluxes across soils and water
E-mail: anneli [dot] poska [at] nateko [dot] lu [dot] se

Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science
Lund University
Sölvegatan 12
S-223 62 Lund

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