Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-1397
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-1397
24 May 2024
 | 24 May 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Soil and forest floor carbon balance in drained and undrained hemiboreal peatland forests

Aldis Butlers, Raija Laiho, Kaido Soosaar, Jyrki Jauhiainen, Thomas Schindler, Arta Bārdule, Muhammad Kamil-Sardar, Andreas Haberl, Valters Samariks, Hanna Vahter, Andis Lazdiņš, Dovilė Čiuldienė, Kęstutis Armolaitis, and Ieva Līcīte

Abstract. Drainage of organic soil is associated with increasing soil carbon (C) efflux, which is typically linked to losses in C stock. In previous studies, soil in drained peatland forests has been reported as both a C sink and source depending on, e.g., soil nutrient and moisture regimes. However, most of the earlier research was done in boreal sites, and the impact of soil moisture regime on soil C stock is likely to vary across different climatic conditions and ecosystems, depending further on vegetation. In this study, we examined the soil and forest floor (including ground vegetation) C balance in drained and undrained hemiboreal forests to evaluate drainage impact on C balance. A two-year study was conducted in 26 drained and undrained forest stands with nutrient-rich organic soil in the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania). To assess the C balance, measurements of soil heterotrophic and total respiration were carried out, along with the evaluation of C influx into the soil through litter, including fine foliar litterfall, herbaceous ground vegetation, and fine roots of trees. The CO2 emissions did not significantly differ between the study countries; therefore, one emission factor can be applied to characterize soil emissions in the Baltic States. It was observed that C influx into the soil through litter can compensate for the C losses caused by heterotrophic soil respiration, and neither drained nor undrained soils were proven to be losing their C stock. Comparing the C balances in drained and undrained sites, it was found that drainage of organic soils reduces their C sequestration by 0.43±2.69 t C ha−1 year−1.

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Aldis Butlers, Raija Laiho, Kaido Soosaar, Jyrki Jauhiainen, Thomas Schindler, Arta Bārdule, Muhammad Kamil-Sardar, Andreas Haberl, Valters Samariks, Hanna Vahter, Andis Lazdiņš, Dovilė Čiuldienė, Kęstutis Armolaitis, and Ieva Līcīte

Status: open (until 19 Jul 2024)

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Aldis Butlers, Raija Laiho, Kaido Soosaar, Jyrki Jauhiainen, Thomas Schindler, Arta Bārdule, Muhammad Kamil-Sardar, Andreas Haberl, Valters Samariks, Hanna Vahter, Andis Lazdiņš, Dovilė Čiuldienė, Kęstutis Armolaitis, and Ieva Līcīte
Aldis Butlers, Raija Laiho, Kaido Soosaar, Jyrki Jauhiainen, Thomas Schindler, Arta Bārdule, Muhammad Kamil-Sardar, Andreas Haberl, Valters Samariks, Hanna Vahter, Andis Lazdiņš, Dovilė Čiuldienė, Kęstutis Armolaitis, and Ieva Līcīte

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Short summary
A two-year study in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania evaluated forest organic soil carbon balance and the impact of drainage. CO2 emissions from soil did not significantly differ, showing a uniform methodology should be applied in national greenhouse gas inventories. Neither drained or undrained soils lost carbon during the study period. However, it was estimated that the negative impact of drainage on carbon sequestration in hemiboreal forest soils is 0.43±2.69 t C ha−1 year−1.