High-resolution mapping of ecosystem carbon storage and potential effects of permafrost thaw in periglacial terrain, European Russian Arctic
|Title||High-resolution mapping of ecosystem carbon storage and potential effects of permafrost thaw in periglacial terrain, European Russian Arctic|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2011|
|Authors||Hugelius, G, Virtanen, T, Kaverin, D, Pastukhov, A, Rivkin, F, Marchenko, SS, Romanovsky, VE, Kuhry, P|
|Journal||J. Geophys. Res.|
|Keywords||0428 Biogeosciences: Carbon cycling (4806), 0475 Biogeosciences: Permafrost, 0476 Biogeosciences: Plant ecology (1851), 0480 Biogeosciences: Remote sensing, 0486 Biogeosciences: Soils/pedology (1865), 0716), active layer, and high, cryosphere, latitude processes (0702, permafrost thaw, phytomass carbon, soil carbon, Thermokarst, upscaling|
This study describes detailed partitioning of phytomass carbon (C) and soil organic carbon (SOC) for four study areas in discontinuous permafrost terrain, Northeast European Russia. The mean aboveground phytomass C storage is 0.7 kg C m−2. Estimated landscape SOC storage in the four areas varies between 34.5 and 47.0 kg C m−2 with LCC (land cover classification) upscaling and 32.5–49.0 kg C m−2 with soil map upscaling. A nested upscaling approach using a Landsat thematic mapper land cover classification for the surrounding region provides estimates within 5 ± 5% of the local high-resolution estimates. Permafrost peat plateaus hold the majority of total and frozen SOC, especially in the more southern study areas. Burying of SOC through cryoturbation of O- or A-horizons contributes between 1% and 16% (mean 5%) of total landscape SOC. The effect of active layer deepening and thermokarst expansion on SOC remobilization is modeled for one of the four areas. The active layer thickness dynamics from 1980 to 2099 is modeled using a transient spatially distributed permafrost model and lateral expansion of peat plateau thermokarst lakes is simulated using geographic information system analyses. Active layer deepening is expected to increase the proportion of SOC affected by seasonal thawing from 29% to 58%. A lateral expansion of 30 m would increase the amount of SOC stored in thermokarst lakes/fens from 2% to 22% of all SOC. By the end of this century, active layer deepening will likely affect more SOC than thermokarst expansion, but the SOC stores vulnerable to thermokarst are less decomposed.