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Biogeochemistry

Current research reports and chronological list of recent articles..




The international scientific journal Biogeochemistry publishes original papers and occasional reviews dealing with biotic controls on the chemistry of the environment, or with the geochemical control of the structure and function of ecosystems.

The publisher is Springer. The copyright and publishing rights of specialized products listed below are in this publishing house. This is also responsible for the content shown.

To search this web page for specific words type "Ctrl" + "F" on your keyboard (Command + "F" on a Mac). Then: type the word you are searching for in the window that pops up!

Additional research articles see Current Chemistry Research Articles. General information about this topic see biogeochemistry.



Biogeochemistry - Abstracts



Cycling and atmospheric exchanges of selenium in Canadian subarctic thermokarst ponds

Abstract

The levels and speciation of dissolved, particulate and gaseous Se have been measured in five thermokarst ponds in a sporadic and discontinuous permafrost region of northern Québec (Canada) during summer oxygen stratification. Evolution of Se concentrations with depth was investigated in sediment cores collected in three different ponds. The potential for inorganic Se transformation in natural pond waters was investigated by experimental incubations of isotopic species-specific tracers of selenite and selenate. Experimental and monitoring observation revealed that high dissolved carbon concentration, suspended particle matter concentration, heterotrophic activity and periphytic biofilms have a significant role in the formation of gaseous selenium species. In sediment, Se is mainly associated with organic matter in the concentration range 0.14–1.6 mg kg−1. Despite low outgassing rates of volatile Se toward the atmosphere (1–97 ng Se m−2 day−1), the large surface occupied by ponds in northern Canada may lead to important exchange rates (ca. 1 ton year−1) at the global scale. Detailed measurements of Se speciation, including volatile compounds, and its reactivity toward heterotrophic activity in selected thaw ponds from the Canadian Subarctic provides new insight to better constrain the biogeochemical pathways leading to Se removal from the water column via atmospheric gas exchange and sediment accumulation.


Datum: 21.09.2019


Plant root exudates increase methane emissions through direct and indirect pathways

Abstract

The largest natural source of methane (CH4) to the atmosphere is wetlands, which produce 20% to 50% of total global emissions. Vascular plants play a key role regulating wetland CH4 emissions through multiple mechanisms. They often contain aerenchymatous tissues which act as a diffusive pathway for CH4 to travel from the anoxic soil to the atmosphere and for O2 to diffuse into the soil and enable methanotrophy. Plants also exude carbon from their roots which stimulates microbial activity and fuels methanogenesis. This study investigated these mechanisms in a laboratory experiment utilizing rootboxes containing either Carex aquatilis plants, silicone tubes that simulated aerenchymatous gas transfer, or only soil as a control. CH4 emissions were over 50 times greater from planted boxes than from control boxes or simulated plants, indicating that the physical transport pathway of aerenchyma was of little importance when not paired with other effects of plant biology. Plants were exposed to 13CO2 at two time-points and subsequent enrichment of root tissue, rhizosphere soil, and emitted CH4 was used in an isotope mixing model to determine the proportion of plant-derived versus soil-derived carbon supporting methanogenesis. Results showed that carbon exuded by plants was converted to CH4 but also that planted boxes emitted 28 times more soil-derived carbon than the other experimental treatments. At the end of the experiment, emissions of excess soil-derived carbon from planted boxes exceeded the emission of plant-derived carbon. This result signifies that plants and root exudates altered the soil chemical environment, increased microbial metabolism, and/or changed the microbial community such that microbial utilization of soil carbon was increased (e.g. microbial priming) and/or oxidation of soil-derived CH4 was decreased (e.g., by microbial competition for oxygen).


Datum: 19.09.2019


Topographic controls on the variability of soil respiration in a humid subtropical forest

Abstract

Knowledge of the spatial and temporal variabilities of soil respiration is important in estimating the soil carbon budget and in understanding how soils may respond to global changes. In areas with complex terrain, the topography can modify the hydrological conditions and other biophysical variables, which complicates the spatial and temporal heterogeneity of soil respiration. Herein, we investigated soil respiration along topographic transects with ridge, middle slope, lower slope and valley positions in a humid subtropical mountain forest in China to assess the driving factors of the variations in soil respiration. Our results showed that there were substantial temporal and spatial variations in soil respiration. The temporal variation of soil respiration could be well explained by the dynamics of soil temperature and moisture. Soil respiration rates also showed clear topographic pattern and decreased significantly from the ridge to valley soils, with the mean rates equaled 3.43 ± 0.13, 2.64 ± 0.30, 2.13 ± 0.26 and 1.88 ± 0.24 μmol m−2 s−1 at the ridge, middle slope, lower slope, and valley, respectively. Correlation analyses revealed that the spatial variation of soil respiration could be explained by multiple variables (e.g., soil temperature, basal area of the trees, thickness of the forest floor, root biomass and stock of soil dissolved carbon, soil C/N and soil bulk density). Results from partial least squares path modeling suggested that the topography modified the fine root distribution and the lateral losses of light and dissolved organic materials that created areas of high carbon sources for soil respiration at the ridge. The topographically regulated processes further resulted in a high soil C/N at the ridge that favored SOC decomposition. The higher respiration rate for the ridge soil and its higher sensitivity to soil temperature and moisture changes suggested that the ridge position was a potential hot spot for future environmental changes. Future studies and management practices regarding the soil carbon efflux in forest ecosystems with topographical variations should take into account the topographic effects.


Datum: 16.09.2019


Hydrogeomorphic controls on soil carbon composition in two classes of subalpine wetlands

Abstract

Wetlands play a vital role in terrestrial carbon (C) sequestration, but the sensitivity of their C stocks to disturbance remains uncertain, requiring enhanced understanding of the processes that govern C storage and removal. The unique conditions in wetlands from different hydrogeomorphic (HGM) classes likely regulate the cycling, storage and vulnerabilities of wetland soil C stocks. To determine how differences in hydrogeomorphic setting influence soil organic carbon (SOC) processing, we compared C content and composition between depressional and slope wetlands located in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Isolated depressional wetlands were characterized by seasonally declining water tables, slow discharge, high clay content, and thick organic horizons. Slope wetlands received perennial groundwater inputs and had coarser soil textures and thinner organic horizons. Seasonal snowmelt inputs coupled with low hydrologic discharge and higher clay content in depressional wetlands were predicted to sustain anoxic conditions, leading to high SOC content and chemically reduced C compounds. Depressional wetland soils had higher SOC content at depth and higher porewater DOC concentrations compared to slope wetland soils. Solid-state 13C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy demonstrated that aliphatic compounds were the dominant SOC component in depressional wetlands compared to aromatic C forms in the slope wetlands. The higher prevalence of aliphatic carbon in depressional wetland soils suggests that stored SOC is protected by anaerobic conditions to a greater extent than in the slope wetlands, and that this SOC may be more vulnerable to drying and oxic conditions associated with wetland drainage and climate change.


Datum: 14.09.2019


Microsite conditions influence leaf litter decomposition in sugar maple bioclimatic domain of Quebec

Abstract

Litter decomposition in forests is affected by tree species composition which produces litters with specific characteristics and alters soil surface conditions and nutrient availability. The impact of such changes in soil microsite conditions on litter decomposition is however poorly elucidated. We studied the decomposition of sugar maple leaves in 22 plots varying from pure hardwoods to mixedwoods to conifer-dominated stands across four sites in the sugar maple bioclimatic domain in Quebec. Mass loss and nutrient release were assessed over a 2-year experiment. Proxies of moisture availability measured under the canopy were more valuable for explaining the variability in leaf litter decomposition rates than soil temperature, litter quality and general site measurements (e.g. air temperature, rainwater). Throughfall amounts and soil volumetric water content (VWC) explained 56% of the variability in mass loss constants. Sugar maple leaf litter under hardwoods also decomposed more rapidly than under conifer-dominated stands. Slower litter decomposition under conifer-dominated stands was again more largely controlled by the lower soil VWC than the more acidic forest floor created by the needles. This study highlights that proxies of moisture availability measured at the microsite level can be key variables to predict litter dynamics in forests.


Datum: 12.09.2019


Lignin from white-rotted European beech deadwood and soil functions

Abstract

In forest ecosystems, deadwood can improve carbon storage, nutrient availability, and water holding capacity in soils. Yet the effect of organic matter from deadwood such as lignin on these soil functions and their regulators are unknown. We hypothesized that carbon storage, exchangeable cations, and pore space increase with the quantity of lignin-derived phenolic acids from beech deadwood. We also hypothesize that the most pronounced differences occur in more advanced decay classes, in the forest floor at sites with moder forest floors, and in the Ah horizon at sites with mull forest floors. Cupric oxide-oxidation products were used to determine lignin concentration, composition, and oxidation from paired reference and test samples next to 42 downed European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) deadwood logs in ten stands in Southwest Germany. Compared to reference points, the sum of vanillyl, syringyl and cinnamyl lignin-derived phenols increased next to beech deadwood (within 10–20 cm). The composition and oxidation of lignin-derived phenols also changed near beech deadwood: syringyl/vanillyl ratios increased while cinnamyl/vanillyl and aldehyde/acid ratios for vanillyl decreased. Water-extractable organic carbon (OC) and its aromaticity also increased next to beech deadwood as did total OC and particulate OC separated by density fractionation relative to total and mineral-bound OC. These changes occurred namely in the organic horizons of moder forest floors, and in the Ah horizon underneath mull forest floors. These observations indicated that phenols predominantly entered soil in fluxes of fragmented and dissolved organic matter from beech deadwood. Changes to soil nutrient availability and porosity were linked to increasing lignin-derived phenols from beech deadwood especially in nutrient-poor soils and near heavily decayed deadwood. This is evidence that soils close to beech deadwood, a substrate, are spatially limited pedogenic hot-spots that have increased soil carbon, available nutrients, and pore space depending on the forest floor and parent material.


Datum: 10.09.2019


Dissolved organic carbon leaching from montane grasslands under contrasting climate, soil and management conditions

Abstract

Grasslands are thought to be more vulnerable than many other ecosystems to climate change since their soils are characterized by high organic carbon contents and warming in montane regions is twice the global average rate. Despite these expected vulnerabilities, little is known about how climate change and management influence dissolved organic carbon (DOC) losses from montane grasslands and how relevant these losses are compared to other ecosystem carbon fluxes. In this study, 36 large (1 m2, 140 cm height) grassland lysimeters were filled with undisturbed soil monoliths and operated at three different sites located along an elevational gradient from 860 to 600 m a.s.l. From 2012 to 2014, changes in soil DOC concentrations and DOC leaching losses were quantified under different climate, soil and management (intensive vs. extensive; i.e., differing in the frequency of cutting and manuring events) conditions. The annual DOC leaching losses ranged between 6.6 and 27.5 kg C ha−1 year−1, which was only a minor (< 3%) component of the net ecosystem carbon exchange. DOC leaching losses were not affected by management intensity but were positively correlated with soil organic carbon in the top soil. Climate warming (~ + 2 °C) significantly increased DOC leaching rates for intensive (+ 43%) and extensive management (+ 58%), but only if simultaneous reductions in leachate were moderate. The DOC concentrations in soil water significantly decreased with soil depth. In 10, 30 and 50 cm DOC concentration were positively correlated with aboveground biomass production, indicating that plants play a crucial role in topsoil DOC dynamics. However, this relationship did not occur for DOC in soil water collected at 140 cm, suggesting that adsorption and degradation processes in the subsoil ultimately determine the dynamics of DOC losses below the rooting zone.


Datum: 05.09.2019


Decadal carbon decomposition dynamics in three peatlands in Northern Minnesota

Abstract

The uppermost portion of the peat profile, an area of active diagenetic processes, is exceedingly important for understanding peatland dynamics and the diagenesis and geochemistry of atmospherically-deposited materials. We investigated high resolution carbon (C) accrual and peat decomposition rates at two Sphagnum-rich ombrotrophic bogs and one fen in northern Minnesota, USA by analyzing 1 cm increments from 30 cm thick intact frozen blocks of peat soil. We conducted radiocarbon analysis of Sphagnum cellulose to determine peat age and net C accumulation at each depth interval. Calibrated peat ages were determined using CALIBomb and a compilation of calibration datasets for the pre-bomb period. We fit data with a negative exponential accumulation model and used model-derived parameters to estimate net primary productivity (NPP) and a peat decomposition rate constant k. FTIR spectroscopy and C:N were used to derive humification indices and to chemically characterize the peat. NPP ranged from 180 to 266 g C m−2 year−1, k ranged from 0.015 to 0.019 year−1. Net C accumulation rates ranged from 112 to 174 g C m−2 year−1 at 25 years and 70 to 113 g C m−2 year−1 at 50 years. Mass loss was up to 55% during the first 50 years of peat accumulation. Decomposition is greater at depth in the bogs—where 25 cm of peat correspond to 55 years of peat accumulation—than in the fen, where peat age is approximately 25 years at 25 cm depth. Information on fine-scale variations in peat mass decomposition and loss across ombrotrophic bogs and a fen help interpret other diagenetic processes in peatlands.


Datum: 05.09.2019


Carbon and nitrogen exports from forested headwater catchment in southwestern Japan

Abstract

Accurate estimation of carbon and nitrogen exports from forest ecosystems via streams is important because of the critical role these losses play in the carbon and nitrogen budgets in forest ecosystems. However, little is known about the export of carbon and nitrogen from small hilly catchment under an East Asian monsoon climate In this study, carbon and nitrogen exports in both particulate and dissolved forms were measured under baseflow and stormflow conditions of a forested catchment in southwestern Japan. Coarse particulate matter (CPM) was collected continuously by using mesh frames deployed across a channel. Exports of fine particulate matter (FPM) and dissolved organic and inorganic matter were calculated by using load–discharge relationships. Total estimated yields for carbon and nitrogen were 369.6 kg ha−1 year−1 and 18.3 kg ha−1 year−1, respectively. FPM accounted for more than 60% of the total stream yield of both carbon and nitrogen, and was on the upper end of the range found in worldwide reviews. The contribution of CPM to the total yield was limited to 2% and 1% for carbon and nitrogen, respectively. Most of the carbon (81%) and nitrogen (93%) was exported by stormflows which occurred only 8% of the time. Large rainstorms occurred during the bai-u season and typhoons, which is a typical rainfall pattern in the monsoon climate. Therefore, to estimate the total yield of carbon and nitrogen from hilly catchments experiencing large frequent storms, adequate sampling and computation particularly of FPM export by stormflows is critical.


Datum: 04.09.2019


Natural groundwater nutrient fluxes exceed anthropogenic inputs in an ecologically impacted estuary: lessons learned from Mobile Bay, Alabama

Abstract

In this study we evaluated the magnitude and seasonal variations of natural and anthropogenic fluxes of inorganic (NO3, NH4+, and PO43−) and organic (DON and dissolved organic carbon) nutrients delivered by submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) and rivers to the fourth largest estuary in the USA, Mobile Bay in Alabama. To identify the sources of SGD-nutrient in the estuary and their subsurface biogeochemical transformation, we applied a multi-method approach that combines geochemical nutrient (N and P) mass-balances, stable isotopes (nitrate \(\updelta^{15} {\text{N}}_{{{\text{NO}}_{3} }}\) and \(\updelta^{18} {\text{O}}_{{{\text{NO}}_{3} }}\) and sediment organic matter δ13Corg and δ15Norg) signatures, microbial sequencing analyses, dissolved organic matter source-composition, and shallow estuarine sediment lithological analyses. We found that during dry seasons SGD delivered nearly a quarter of the total nutrient inputs to Mobile Bay. These SGD fluxes were anoxic and N was delivered to the bay almost entirely as NH4+ and DON, which represented more than half of the total NH4+ and almost one fifth of the total DON inputs to the bay. We further observed that these significant SGD-derived N fluxes occurred exclusively to the east shore of Mobile Bay, historically impacted by hypoxia and large-scale fish kills known as “Jubilees”. We demonstrate here that although the Mobile Bay coastal area is largely developed and anthropogenic influences are well documented, a shallow peat layer identified only on the east shore serves as the main source of the exceptionally high NH4+ and DON fluxes. We found that the high groundwater NO3 concentrations observed further inland from over-fertilization also identified by previous studies, decreased dramatically as groundwater percolated through the intertidal zone of the coastal aquifer. The microbial community identified in the coastal sediments suggests that denitrification and dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA) were the main processes responsible for this extensive removal and transformation of anthropogenic N, respectively. Furthermore, we found no significant anthropogenic inputs from manure or sewage waste to the bay. These findings show that natural sources of nutrients can outcompete anthropogenic inputs despite extensive development of the coastal area. We hypothesize that similar subsurface biogeochemical nutrient transformations can occur in other shallow estuaries of the northern Gulf of Mexico and worldwide.


Datum: 03.09.2019


Decreased buffering capacity and increased recovery time for legacy phosphorus in a typical watershed in eastern China between 1960 and 2010

Abstract

Legacy phosphorus (P) accumulated in watersheds from excessive historical P inputs is recognized as an important component of water pollution control and sustainable P management in watersheds worldwide. However, little is known about how watershed P buffering capacity responds to legacy P pressures over time and how long it takes for riverine P concentrations to recover to a target level, especially in developing countries. This study examined long-term (1960–2010) accumulated legacy P stock, P buffering capacity and riverine TP flux dynamics to predict riverine P-reduction recovery times in the Yongan watershed of eastern China. Due to a growing legacy P stock coupled with changes in land use and climate, estimated short- and long-term buffering metrics (i.e., watershed ability to retain current year and historically accumulated surplus P, respectively) decreased by 65% and 36%, respectively, resulting in a 15-fold increase of riverine P flux between 1980 and 2010. An empirical model incorporating accumulated legacy P stock and annual precipitation was developed (R2 = 0.99) and used to estimate a critical legacy P stock of 22.2 ton P km−2 (95% CI 19.4–25.3 ton P km−2) that would prevent exceedance of a target riverine TP concentration of 0.05 mg P L−1. Using an exponential decay model, the recovery time for depleting the estimated legacy P stock in 2010 (29.3 ton P km−2) to the critical level (22.2 ton P km−2) via riverine flux was 456 years (95% CI 353–560 years), 159 years (95% CI 57–262 years) and 318 years (95% CI 238–400 years) under scenarios of a 4% reduction in annual P inputs, total cessation of P inputs, and 4% reduction of annual P inputs with a 10% increase in average annual precipitation, respectively. Given the lower P buffering capacity and lengthening recovery time, strategies to reduce P inputs and utilize soil legacy P for crop production are necessary to effectively control riverine P pollution and conserve global rock P resources. A long-term perspective that incorporates both contemporary and historical information is required for developing sustainable P management strategies to optimize both agronomic and environmental benefits at the watershed scale.


Datum: 01.09.2019


Nitrous oxide in the Great Lakes: insights from two trophic extremes

Abstract

Freshwaters are a significant yet understudied component of the global nitrous oxide (N2O) budget. Despite the potential importance of the Laurentian Great Lakes in the freshwater N2O budget, studies have been extremely limited to date. This study evaluated the production pathways, concentrations, and atmospheric emissions of N2O across the two trophic extremes of the Great Lakes: the deep oligotrophic waters of Lake Superior and shallow eutrophic zones of western Lake Erie. Production pathways via denitrification and nitrification were evaluated through stable isotope analysis, and atmospheric emissions were determined from surface concentrations and wind speed. Across all sites and dates, N2O saturation ranged from 98 to 129% in Lake Superior and 93 to 676% in Sandusky Bay, Lake Erie, indicating these lakes are net sources of N2O to the atmosphere. Isotopic site preference values (SP) suggest a mix of production pathways, with nitrification dominating most time periods and denitrification occurring under conditions of high nutrient availability and microbial activity. N2O atmospheric emissions were strong but highly variable in Lake Erie, and emissions in Lake Superior were consistently low (− 0.26 to 33.03 and − 0.14 to 1.41 μmol N m−2 day−1, respectively). Our findings highlight two paradigms of N2O production and emissions: low, wind-driven rates in deep oligotrophic zones and temporally dynamic rates driven by N loading in shallow eutrophic zones. Offshore regions likely make up the majority of the N2O budget for the Great Lakes, yet nearshore regions have a greater capacity for increased N2O emissions in the face of increased nutrient loading.


Datum: 01.09.2019


Plant functional group effects on peat carbon cycling in a boreal rich fen

Abstract

Dominant plant functional groups (PFGs) found in boreal rich fens include sedges, grasses, horsetails, and cinquefoils (obligate wetland shrubs). Precipitation regime shift and permafrost thaw due to climate change will likely trigger changes in fen plant community structure through shifts in these PFGs, and it is thus crucial to understand how these PFGs will impact carbon cycling and greenhouse gas dynamics to predict and model peatland-climate feedbacks. In this study, we detail the above and belowground effects of these PFGs on aspects of carbon cycling using a mesocosm approach. We hypothesized that PFGs capable of aerating the rhizosphere (sedges, horsetails, and grasses) would oxidize the belowground environment supporting higher redox potentials, a favorable environment for decomposition, and higher CO2:CH4 in pore water and gas efflux measurements than PFGs lacking aerenchyma (cinquefoil, unplanted control). Overall, sedges, horsetail and grasses had an oxidizing effect on rhizosphere pore water chemistry, producing an environment more favorable for methanotrophy during the growing season, as supported by an approximate isotopic enrichment of pore water methane (δ13CH4) by 5‰, and isotopic depletion in pore water carbon dioxide (δ13CO2) by 10‰, relative to cinquefoil treatments. Cinquefoil and unplanted control treatments fostered a reducing environment more favorable for methanogenesis. In addition, cinquefoil appeared to slow decomposition in comparison with the other PFGs. These findings, paired with PFG effects on oxidation–reduction potential and CO2 and CH4 production, point to the ability of rich fen plant communities to moderate biogeochemistry, specifically carbon cycling, in response to changing climatic conditions.


Datum: 01.09.2019


Thermal oxidation of carbon in organic matter rich volcanic soils: insights into SOC age differentiation and mineral stabilization

Abstract

Radiocarbon ages and thermal stability measurements can be used to estimate the stability of soil organic carbon (OC). Soil OC is a complex reservoir that contains a range of compounds with different sources, reactivities, and residence times. This heterogeneity can shift bulk radiocarbon values and impact assessment of OC stability and turnover in soils. Four soil horizons (Oa, Bhs, Bs, Bg) were sampled from highly weathered 350 ka Pololu basaltic volcanics on the Island of Hawaii and analyzed by Ramped PyrOX (RPO) in both the pyrolysis (PY) and oxidation (OX) modes to separate a complex mixture of OC into thermally defined fractions. Fractions were characterized for carbon stable isotope and radiocarbon composition. PY and OX modes yielded similar results. Bulk radiocarbon measurements were modern in the Oa horizon (Fm = 1.013) and got progressively older with depth: the Bg horizon had an Fm value of 0.73. Activation energy distributions (p(E)) calculated using the ‘rampedpyrox’ model yielded consistent mean E values of 140 kJ mol−1 below the Oa horizon. The ‘rampedpyrox’ model outputs showed a mostly bimodal distribution in the p(E) below the Oa, with a primary peak at 135 kJ mol−1 and a secondary peak at 148 kJ mol−1, while the Oa was dominated by a single, higher E peak at 157 kJ mol−1. We suggest that mineral-carbon interaction, either through mineral surface-OC or metal-OC interactions, is the stabilization mechanism contributing to the observed mean E of 140 kJ mol−1 below the Oa horizon. In the Oa horizon, within individual RPO analyses, radiocarbon ages in the individual thermal fractions were indistinguishable (p > 0.1). The flat age distributions indicate there is no relationship between age and thermal stability (E) in the upper horizon (> 25 cm). Deeper in the soil profile higher µEf values were associated with older radiocarbon ages, with slopes progressively steepening with depth. In the deepest (Bg) horizon, there was the largest, yet modest change in Fm of 0.06 (626 radiocarbon years), indicating that older OC is slightly more thermally stable.


Datum: 01.09.2019


High sulfate concentration enhances iron mobilization from organic soil to water

Abstract

Widespread increases in iron (Fe) concentrations are contributing to ongoing browning of northern freshwaters, but the driver/s behind the trends are not known. Fe mobilization in soils is known to be controlled by redox conditions, pH, and DOC availability for complexation. Moreover, high sulfate concentrations have been suggested to constrain Fe in transition from soil to water, and declining sulfate deposition to have the opposite effect. We studied the effect of these Fe mobilization barriers in a microcosm experiment, applying high (peak S deposition) and low (present day) sulfate treatments and oxic versus anoxic conditions to boreal (O horizon) soil slurries. We hypothesized that anoxic conditions would favor Fe release. On the contrary we expected high sulfate concentrations to suppress Fe mobility, through FeS formation or by lowering pH and thereby DOC concentrations. Anoxia had positive effects on both Fe and DOC concentrations in solution. Contrasting with our hypothesis, Fe concentrations were enhanced at high sulfate concentrations, i.e. increasing acidity in high sulfate treatments appeared to promote Fe mobilization. Establishment of the basidiomycete fungus Jaapia ochroleuca in the oxic treatments 44 days into the experiment had a major impact on Fe mobilization by increasing total Fe concentrations in solution. Thus, anoxia and acidity, along with fungi mediated mobilization, were important in controlling Fe release from soil to the aqueous phase. While Fe is often assumed to precipitate as Fe(oxy)hydroxides in the transition from anoxic to oxic water in the riparian zone, Fe from anoxic treatments remained in solution after introduction of oxygen. Our results do not support reduced atmospheric S deposition as a driver behind increasing Fe concentrations in boreal freshwaters, but confirm the importance of reducing conditions—which may be enhanced by higher soil temperature and moisture—for mobilization of Fe across the terrestrial-aquatic interphase.


Datum: 01.09.2019


Publishing scientific research in open access, hybrid, or paywall journals: what model serves all authors and all readers?


Datum: 01.09.2019


A first record of bulk atmospheric deposition patterns of major ions in southern South America

Abstract

Despite the importance of long-term atmospheric deposition of ions for vegetation productivity and biogeochemistry, southern South America lacks long-term deposition records. We report a 6-year-long record of atmospheric deposition measurements of Mg2+, Ca2+, Na+, K+, Cl, SO42−, NO3 and NH4+ in the plains of southern South America, which encompass one of the most important agricultural basins and urban clusters of the continent. After establishing a deposition measurement network across four sites in Argentina and Uruguay, we collected bulk atmospheric deposition monthly form January 2007 through December 2012 in an east–west transect of 700 km. Spatial changes in the sea-salt component of atmospheric deposition were primarily associated with proximity to the sea—as observed in other regions of the world—whereas non-sea-salt components of atmospheric deposition of terrestrial origin were primarily associated with the size of the human population surrounding collection sites. Atmospheric deposition showed a strong interannual variability (CV 50%) mainly associated with variations in the non-sea salt components of terrestrial origin and were within observed values for other relatively unpolluted sites of South America and globally. However, atmospheric deposition appears to be increasing in the region, particularly for SO42− and other ions around Buenos Aires, Argentina, which may represent an early warning of increased air pollution in the area. Average annual regional deposition of sulfate (SO42−) was 12.7 kg S hectare−1 and nitrate (NO3) was 9.2 kg N hectare−1. Weighted average concentrations of base cations (sum of Mg2+, Ca2+, Na+ and K+) was 0.27 mg L−1, and weighted average concentrations of SO42−, NO3 and NH4+ were 0.094, 0.018 and 0.046 mg L−1, respectively. Our work highlights the need for long-term networks recording atmospheric deposition in the region, increasing knowledge of nutrient cycling and establishing a baseline for future atmospheric pollution measurements.


Datum: 01.09.2019


Fast bacterial succession associated with the decomposition of Quercus wutaishanica litter on the Loess Plateau

Abstract

Understanding plant litter decomposition in broad-leaved forests is important because it influences the geochemical cycles of nutrients and represents a vital link in the global carbon cycle. Bacteria play an important role in litter decomposition, especially late in the decomposition process, when they become abundant. In this paper, we investigate bacterial community composition and diversity during about 1 year of Quercus wutaishanica litter decomposition using a molecular approach, to fill the gaps in knowledge about bacterial communities during decomposition. The results showed that the phyla Proteobacteria (Alpha and Betaproteobacteria), Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Acidobacteria were the most dominant throughout the experiment. As decomposition progressed, a dynamic succession of community and diversity was observed for different decomposition periods. Decay stages and seasonal shifts occurred by successful replacement of copiotrophic bacterial groups such as Betaproteobacteria in the early stage. During the entire process of decomposition, litter decomposition selectively stimulated the relative abundance of Alphaproteobacteria (Sphingomonas, Rhizobium, and Methylobacterium) and Bacteroidetes, but reduced the abundance of Massilia (Betaproteobacteria), Acidobacteria, and Actinobacteria. Among the abiotic factors, litter N and P content was the main factor driving the succession of litter bacteria. These results indicate the changes in decomposition stages in terms of the bacterial groups and elucidate the microbial community underpinnings of nutrient cycling in forest ecosystems.


Datum: 01.07.2019


Carbon dioxide fluxes of air-exposed sediments and desiccating ponds

Abstract

Ponds are active components of the global carbon cycle processing and emitting carbon dioxide and methane to the atmosphere. These common habitats frequently experience seasonal water table variations resulting in periodically air-exposed sediments. However, the influence of these events on both the system scale carbon balance and in-pond environmental conditions remains poorly studied. We took advantage of an extraordinarily warm and dry summer to quantify the CO2 efflux from air-exposed sediments and water surfaces in desiccating ponds on Öland, Sweden. Simultaneously, we modelled metabolism and measured environmental variables within the ponds. We found that air-exposed sediments had high CO2 effluxes greatly exceeding that from the water surfaces. Sediment water content influenced the temperature and strongly regulated the CO2 efflux gradually approaching zero as water evaporated. Within the desiccating ponds, respiration was generally higher than gross primary production, but was lower compared to the same ponds with higher water table. These findings highlight the role of periodically air-exposed pond sediments as sites of highly active carbon processes. Not only is this important for the system-scale carbon in ponds, but it may also influence the destiny of buried carbon in lakes subject to climate changes. The environmental conditions within desiccating ponds, most notably high water temperatures and poor oxygen conditions, further iterate the dynamics and extreme nature of ponds.


Datum: 01.07.2019


Impacts of an invasive grass on soil organic matter pools vary across a tree-mycorrhizal gradient

Abstract

Increases in carbon (C) inputs can augment soil organic matter (SOM), or reduce SOM by accelerating decomposition. Thus, there is a need to understand how and why ecosystems differ in their sensitivity to C inputs. Invasive plants that invade wide-ranging habitats, accumulate biomass rapidly, and contribute copious amounts of C to soil can be ideal for addressing this gap. We quantified the effects of the invasive C4 grass, Microstegium vimineum, on SOM in three temperate forests across plots varying in their relative abundance of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) versus ectomycorrhizal (ECM) trees. We hypothesized that invasion would differentially affect SOM along the mycorrhizal gradient owing to recognized patterns in nitrogen availability (AM > ECM) and the proportion of unprotected SOM (ECM > AM). Across all sites, M. vimineum was associated with lower particulate organic matter (POM) in ECM-dominated plots, consistent with our hypothesis that invader-derived C inputs should stimulate decomposers to acquire nitrogen from unprotected SOM in soils with low nitrogen availability. However, the pattern of lower POM in the ECM-dominated soils was offset by greater mineral-associated organic matter (MAOM)—and isotopic data suggest this was largely driven by native- rather than invader-derived SOM—implying an invasion-associated transfer of native-derived POM into MAOM. Our results demonstrate a context-dependent shift in the form of SOM in a system with presumably enhanced C inputs. This finding suggests a need to look beyond changes in total SOM stocks, as intrinsic SOM changes could lead to important long-term feedbacks on invasion or priming effects.


Datum: 01.07.2019


 


Category: Current Chemistry Research

Last update: 28.03.2018.






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