Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-1047
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-1047
16 Apr 2024
 | 16 Apr 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Complexity of nutrient enrichment on subarctic peatland soil CO2 and CH4 production under increasing wildfire and permafrost thaw

Eunji Byun, Fereidoun Rezanezhad, Stephanie Slowinski, Christina Lam, Saraswati Saraswati, Stephanie Wright, William L. Quinton, Kara L. Webster, and Philippe Van Cappellen

Abstract. The adverse impacts of excessive soil nutrients on water quality and carbon sequestration have been recognized in tropical and temperate regions, with already widespread industrial farming and urbanization, but rarely in subarctic regions. However, recent studies have shown significant increases in porewater nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) concentrations in burned subarctic peatlands and downstream waters, which is a growing concern as climate change leads to increasing wildfires, permafrost thaws, and waterlogged peatlands. In this study, we present the results of a short-term incubation experiment conducted on soils from subarctic bogs and fens, aimed at evaluating the effects of high levels of nutrients on carbon gas production rates. We divided aliquots of the peatland soil samples into separate containers and added artificial porewater to each, enriching them with dissolved inorganic nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), both, or none for controls. Overall, the fen samples showed higher carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) production rates at 1, 5, 15, and 25 °C compared to the bog samples, which we attributed to differences in soil properties and initial microbial biomass. The bog sample with added N produced more CO2 compared to its control, while the fen sample with added P produced more CO2 compared to its control. It was unexpected that the addition of both N and P reduced CO2 but increased CH4 production in both soils compared to their controls. After a month, the pore water C, N, and P stochiometric ratios approached the initial soil microbial biomass ratios, suggesting microbial nutrient recycling in an inherently nutrient-poor soil environment. These preliminary results imply a complex response of carbon turnover in peatland soils to nutrient enrichment.

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Eunji Byun, Fereidoun Rezanezhad, Stephanie Slowinski, Christina Lam, Saraswati Saraswati, Stephanie Wright, William L. Quinton, Kara L. Webster, and Philippe Van Cappellen

Status: open (until 16 Jun 2024)

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Eunji Byun, Fereidoun Rezanezhad, Stephanie Slowinski, Christina Lam, Saraswati Saraswati, Stephanie Wright, William L. Quinton, Kara L. Webster, and Philippe Van Cappellen

Data sets

Dataset for Examining the Effects of Nutrient Pulses on Biogeochemical Cycling in Subarctic Peatlands in the Context of Permafrost Thaw and Wildfires Eunji Byun, Fereidoun Rezanezhad, Stephanie Slowinski, Christina Lam, Saraswati Saraswati, Stephanie Wright, William L. Quinton, Kara L. Webster, and Philippe Van Cappellen https://doi.org/10.20383/102.0712

Eunji Byun, Fereidoun Rezanezhad, Stephanie Slowinski, Christina Lam, Saraswati Saraswati, Stephanie Wright, William L. Quinton, Kara L. Webster, and Philippe Van Cappellen

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Short summary
We explored how nutrient enrichment (N and P) affects carbon gas (CO2 and CH4) productions from subarctic bog and fen soils. Adding N increased CO2 from bog, P did so for fen, but combined N and P reduced CO2 but enhanced CH4 in both. Soil microbes may have adapted to the natural differences in bog and fen conditions and complicated the changes in carbon gas productions. These insights can guide future research on the impacts of changing nutrient status in cold region soils and carbon emissions.