Advanced

Global-scale pattern of peatland Sphagnum growth driven by photosynthetically active radiation and growing season length

Loisel, J.; Gallego-Sala, Angela LU and Yu, Z. (2012) In Biogeosciences 9(7). p.2737-2746
Abstract
High-latitude peatlands contain about one third of the world's soil organic carbon, most of which is derived from partly decomposed Sphagnum (peat moss) plants. We conducted a meta-analysis based on a global data set of Sphagnum growth measurements collected from published literature to investigate the effects of bioclimatic variables on Sphagnum growth. Analysis of variance and general linear models were used to relate Sphagnum magellanicum and S. fuscum growth rates to photosynthetically active radiation integrated over the growing season (PAR0) and a moisture index. We found that PAR0 was the main predictor of Sphagnum growth for the global data set, and effective moisture was only correlated with moss growth at continental sites. The... (More)
High-latitude peatlands contain about one third of the world's soil organic carbon, most of which is derived from partly decomposed Sphagnum (peat moss) plants. We conducted a meta-analysis based on a global data set of Sphagnum growth measurements collected from published literature to investigate the effects of bioclimatic variables on Sphagnum growth. Analysis of variance and general linear models were used to relate Sphagnum magellanicum and S. fuscum growth rates to photosynthetically active radiation integrated over the growing season (PAR0) and a moisture index. We found that PAR0 was the main predictor of Sphagnum growth for the global data set, and effective moisture was only correlated with moss growth at continental sites. The strong correlation between Sphagnum growth and PAR0 suggests the existence of a global pattern of growth, with slow rates under cool climate and short growing seasons, highlighting the important role of growing season length in explaining peatland biomass production. Large-scale patterns of cloudiness during the growing season might also limit moss growth. Although considerable uncertainty remains over the carbon balance of peatlands under a changing climate, our results suggest that increasing PAR0 as a result of global warming and lengthening growing seasons, without major change in cloudiness, could promote Sphagnum growth. Assuming that production and decomposition have the same sensitivity to temperature, this enhanced growth could lead to greater peat-carbon sequestration, inducing a negative feedback to climate change. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Biogeosciences
volume
9
issue
7
pages
2737 - 2746
publisher
Copernicus Publications
external identifiers
  • wos:000306976100026
  • scopus:84864587774
ISSN
1726-4189
DOI
10.5194/bg-9-2737-2012
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
3e8e9d16-d16e-40c4-91e3-17e7bf6037bb (old id 3073435)
date added to LUP
2012-09-25 15:44:01
date last changed
2017-08-13 03:20:20
@article{3e8e9d16-d16e-40c4-91e3-17e7bf6037bb,
  abstract     = {High-latitude peatlands contain about one third of the world's soil organic carbon, most of which is derived from partly decomposed Sphagnum (peat moss) plants. We conducted a meta-analysis based on a global data set of Sphagnum growth measurements collected from published literature to investigate the effects of bioclimatic variables on Sphagnum growth. Analysis of variance and general linear models were used to relate Sphagnum magellanicum and S. fuscum growth rates to photosynthetically active radiation integrated over the growing season (PAR0) and a moisture index. We found that PAR0 was the main predictor of Sphagnum growth for the global data set, and effective moisture was only correlated with moss growth at continental sites. The strong correlation between Sphagnum growth and PAR0 suggests the existence of a global pattern of growth, with slow rates under cool climate and short growing seasons, highlighting the important role of growing season length in explaining peatland biomass production. Large-scale patterns of cloudiness during the growing season might also limit moss growth. Although considerable uncertainty remains over the carbon balance of peatlands under a changing climate, our results suggest that increasing PAR0 as a result of global warming and lengthening growing seasons, without major change in cloudiness, could promote Sphagnum growth. Assuming that production and decomposition have the same sensitivity to temperature, this enhanced growth could lead to greater peat-carbon sequestration, inducing a negative feedback to climate change.},
  author       = {Loisel, J. and Gallego-Sala, Angela and Yu, Z.},
  issn         = {1726-4189},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {7},
  pages        = {2737--2746},
  publisher    = {Copernicus Publications},
  series       = {Biogeosciences},
  title        = {Global-scale pattern of peatland Sphagnum growth driven by photosynthetically active radiation and growing season length},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/bg-9-2737-2012},
  volume       = {9},
  year         = {2012},
}