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Increased nitrous oxide emissions from Arctic peatlands after permafrost thaw

Voigt, Carolina; Marushchak, Maija E.; Lamprecht, Richard E.; Jackowicz-Korczynski, Marcin LU ; Lindgren, Amelie LU ; Mastepanov, Mikhail LU ; Granlund, Lars; Christensen, Torben R. LU ; Tahvanainen, Teemu and Martikainen, Pertti J., et al. (2017) In Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 114(24). p.6238-6243
Abstract

Permafrost in the Arctic is thawing, exposing large carbon and nitrogen stocks for decomposition. Gaseous carbon release from Arctic soils due to permafrost thawing is known to be substantial, but growing evidence suggests that Arctic soils may also be relevant sources of nitrous oxide (N2O). Here we show that N2O emissions from subarctic peatlands increase as the permafrost thaws. In our study, the highest postthaw emissions occurred from bare peat surfaces, a typical landform in permafrost peatlands, where permafrost thaw caused a fivefold increase in emissions (0.56 ± 0.11 vs. 2.81 ± 0.6 mg N2O m-2 d-1). These emission rates match those from tropical forest soils, the world's largest natural terrestrial N2O source. The presence of... (More)

Permafrost in the Arctic is thawing, exposing large carbon and nitrogen stocks for decomposition. Gaseous carbon release from Arctic soils due to permafrost thawing is known to be substantial, but growing evidence suggests that Arctic soils may also be relevant sources of nitrous oxide (N2O). Here we show that N2O emissions from subarctic peatlands increase as the permafrost thaws. In our study, the highest postthaw emissions occurred from bare peat surfaces, a typical landform in permafrost peatlands, where permafrost thaw caused a fivefold increase in emissions (0.56 ± 0.11 vs. 2.81 ± 0.6 mg N2O m-2 d-1). These emission rates match those from tropical forest soils, the world's largest natural terrestrial N2O source. The presence of vegetation, known to limit N2O emissions in tundra, did decrease (by ∼90%) but did not prevent thaw-induced N2O release, whereas waterlogged conditions suppressed the emissions. We show that regions with high probability for N2O emissions cover one-fourth of the Arctic. Our results imply that the Arctic N2O budget will depend strongly on moisture changes, and that a gradual deepening of the active layer will create a strong noncarbon climate change feedback.

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publication status
published
subject
keywords
Arctic soils, Climate change, Greenhouse gases, Nitrogen, Tundra
in
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
volume
114
issue
24
pages
6 pages
publisher
National Acad Sciences
external identifiers
  • scopus:85020807112
ISSN
0027-8424
DOI
10.1073/pnas.1702902114/
language
English
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yes
id
45182121-5766-4107-87ad-3413d4d4fbed
date added to LUP
2017-07-04 09:43:17
date last changed
2018-01-07 12:10:27
@article{45182121-5766-4107-87ad-3413d4d4fbed,
  abstract     = {<p>Permafrost in the Arctic is thawing, exposing large carbon and nitrogen stocks for decomposition. Gaseous carbon release from Arctic soils due to permafrost thawing is known to be substantial, but growing evidence suggests that Arctic soils may also be relevant sources of nitrous oxide (N2O). Here we show that N2O emissions from subarctic peatlands increase as the permafrost thaws. In our study, the highest postthaw emissions occurred from bare peat surfaces, a typical landform in permafrost peatlands, where permafrost thaw caused a fivefold increase in emissions (0.56 ± 0.11 vs. 2.81 ± 0.6 mg N2O m-2 d-1). These emission rates match those from tropical forest soils, the world's largest natural terrestrial N2O source. The presence of vegetation, known to limit N2O emissions in tundra, did decrease (by ∼90%) but did not prevent thaw-induced N2O release, whereas waterlogged conditions suppressed the emissions. We show that regions with high probability for N2O emissions cover one-fourth of the Arctic. Our results imply that the Arctic N2O budget will depend strongly on moisture changes, and that a gradual deepening of the active layer will create a strong noncarbon climate change feedback.</p>},
  author       = {Voigt, Carolina and Marushchak, Maija E. and Lamprecht,  Richard E. and Jackowicz-Korczynski, Marcin and Lindgren, Amelie and Mastepanov, Mikhail and Granlund, Lars and Christensen, Torben R. and Tahvanainen, Teemu and Martikainen, Pertti J. and Biasi,  Christina},
  issn         = {0027-8424},
  keyword      = {Arctic soils,Climate change,Greenhouse gases,Nitrogen,Tundra},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {06},
  number       = {24},
  pages        = {6238--6243},
  publisher    = {National Acad Sciences},
  series       = {Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America},
  title        = {Increased nitrous oxide emissions from Arctic peatlands after permafrost thaw},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1702902114/},
  volume       = {114},
  year         = {2017},
}