Can frequent precipitation moderate the impact of drought on peatmoss carbon uptake in northern peatlands?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Northern peatlands represent a large global carbon store that can potentially be destabilized by summer water table drawdown. Precipitation can moderate the negative impacts of water table drawdown by rewetting peatmoss (Sphagnum spp.), the ecosystem's key species. Yet, the frequency of such rewetting required for it to be effective remains unknown. We experimentally assessed the importance of precipitation frequency for Sphagnum water supply and carbon uptake during a stepwise decrease in water tables in a growth chamber. CO2 exchange and the water balance were measured for intact cores of three peatmoss species (Sphagnum majus, Sphagnum balticum and Sphagnum fuscum) representative of three hydrologically distinct peatland microhabitats (hollow, lawn and hummock) and expected to differ in their water table–precipitation relationships. Precipitation contributed significantly to peatmoss water supply when the water table was deep, demonstrating the importance of precipitation during drought. The ability to exploit transient resources was species-specific; S. fuscum carbon uptake increased linearly with precipitation frequency for deep water tables, whereas carbon uptake by S. balticum and S. majus was depressed at intermediate precipitation frequencies. Our results highlight an important role for precipitation in carbon uptake by peatmosses. Yet, the potential to moderate the impact of drought is species-specific and dependent on the temporal distribution of precipitation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-80
JournalNew Phytologist
Volume203
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Fingerprint

Sphagnopsida
Droughts
Groundwater
Sphagnum
peatlands
water table
Carbon
drought
carbon
drawdown
Water Supply
water supply
Water
growth chambers
carbon sinks
water balance
microhabitats
Ecosystem
ecosystems
summer

Keywords

  • sphagnum mosses
  • climate-change
  • water-content
  • co2 exchange
  • soil respiration
  • vegetation
  • accumulation
  • desiccation
  • boreal
  • bog

Cite this

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title = "Can frequent precipitation moderate the impact of drought on peatmoss carbon uptake in northern peatlands?",
abstract = "Northern peatlands represent a large global carbon store that can potentially be destabilized by summer water table drawdown. Precipitation can moderate the negative impacts of water table drawdown by rewetting peatmoss (Sphagnum spp.), the ecosystem's key species. Yet, the frequency of such rewetting required for it to be effective remains unknown. We experimentally assessed the importance of precipitation frequency for Sphagnum water supply and carbon uptake during a stepwise decrease in water tables in a growth chamber. CO2 exchange and the water balance were measured for intact cores of three peatmoss species (Sphagnum majus, Sphagnum balticum and Sphagnum fuscum) representative of three hydrologically distinct peatland microhabitats (hollow, lawn and hummock) and expected to differ in their water table–precipitation relationships. Precipitation contributed significantly to peatmoss water supply when the water table was deep, demonstrating the importance of precipitation during drought. The ability to exploit transient resources was species-specific; S. fuscum carbon uptake increased linearly with precipitation frequency for deep water tables, whereas carbon uptake by S. balticum and S. majus was depressed at intermediate precipitation frequencies. Our results highlight an important role for precipitation in carbon uptake by peatmosses. Yet, the potential to moderate the impact of drought is species-specific and dependent on the temporal distribution of precipitation.",
keywords = "sphagnum mosses, climate-change, water-content, co2 exchange, soil respiration, vegetation, accumulation, desiccation, boreal, bog",
author = "J.J. Nijp and J. Limpens and K. Metselaar and {van der Zee}, S.E.A.T.M. and F. Berendse and B.J.M. Robroek",
year = "2014",
doi = "10.1111/nph.12792",
language = "English",
volume = "203",
pages = "70--80",
journal = "New Phytologist",
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Can frequent precipitation moderate the impact of drought on peatmoss carbon uptake in northern peatlands? / Nijp, J.J.; Limpens, J.; Metselaar, K.; van der Zee, S.E.A.T.M.; Berendse, F.; Robroek, B.J.M.

In: New Phytologist, Vol. 203, No. 1, 2014, p. 70-80.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Can frequent precipitation moderate the impact of drought on peatmoss carbon uptake in northern peatlands?

AU - Nijp, J.J.

AU - Limpens, J.

AU - Metselaar, K.

AU - van der Zee, S.E.A.T.M.

AU - Berendse, F.

AU - Robroek, B.J.M.

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - Northern peatlands represent a large global carbon store that can potentially be destabilized by summer water table drawdown. Precipitation can moderate the negative impacts of water table drawdown by rewetting peatmoss (Sphagnum spp.), the ecosystem's key species. Yet, the frequency of such rewetting required for it to be effective remains unknown. We experimentally assessed the importance of precipitation frequency for Sphagnum water supply and carbon uptake during a stepwise decrease in water tables in a growth chamber. CO2 exchange and the water balance were measured for intact cores of three peatmoss species (Sphagnum majus, Sphagnum balticum and Sphagnum fuscum) representative of three hydrologically distinct peatland microhabitats (hollow, lawn and hummock) and expected to differ in their water table–precipitation relationships. Precipitation contributed significantly to peatmoss water supply when the water table was deep, demonstrating the importance of precipitation during drought. The ability to exploit transient resources was species-specific; S. fuscum carbon uptake increased linearly with precipitation frequency for deep water tables, whereas carbon uptake by S. balticum and S. majus was depressed at intermediate precipitation frequencies. Our results highlight an important role for precipitation in carbon uptake by peatmosses. Yet, the potential to moderate the impact of drought is species-specific and dependent on the temporal distribution of precipitation.

AB - Northern peatlands represent a large global carbon store that can potentially be destabilized by summer water table drawdown. Precipitation can moderate the negative impacts of water table drawdown by rewetting peatmoss (Sphagnum spp.), the ecosystem's key species. Yet, the frequency of such rewetting required for it to be effective remains unknown. We experimentally assessed the importance of precipitation frequency for Sphagnum water supply and carbon uptake during a stepwise decrease in water tables in a growth chamber. CO2 exchange and the water balance were measured for intact cores of three peatmoss species (Sphagnum majus, Sphagnum balticum and Sphagnum fuscum) representative of three hydrologically distinct peatland microhabitats (hollow, lawn and hummock) and expected to differ in their water table–precipitation relationships. Precipitation contributed significantly to peatmoss water supply when the water table was deep, demonstrating the importance of precipitation during drought. The ability to exploit transient resources was species-specific; S. fuscum carbon uptake increased linearly with precipitation frequency for deep water tables, whereas carbon uptake by S. balticum and S. majus was depressed at intermediate precipitation frequencies. Our results highlight an important role for precipitation in carbon uptake by peatmosses. Yet, the potential to moderate the impact of drought is species-specific and dependent on the temporal distribution of precipitation.

KW - sphagnum mosses

KW - climate-change

KW - water-content

KW - co2 exchange

KW - soil respiration

KW - vegetation

KW - accumulation

KW - desiccation

KW - boreal

KW - bog

U2 - 10.1111/nph.12792

DO - 10.1111/nph.12792

M3 - Article

VL - 203

SP - 70

EP - 80

JO - New Phytologist

JF - New Phytologist

SN - 0028-646X

IS - 1

ER -