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Hydrology-driven ecosystem respiration determines the carbon balance of a boreal peatland

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Gazovic, M., Forbrich, I., Jager, D. F., Kutzbach, L., Wille, C., & Wilmking, M. (2013). Hydrology-driven ecosystem respiration determines the carbon balance of a boreal peatland. Science of the Total Environment, 463, 675-682. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.06.077.

The carbon (C) balance of boreal peatlands is mainly the sum of three different C fluxes: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC). lntra- and inter-annual dynamics of these fluxes are differentially controlled by similar factors, such as temperature and water-table. Different climatic conditions within and between years might thus result in varying absolute and relative contributions of each flux to net ecosystem productivity (NEP). In this study CO2 fluxes were measured at a boreal peatland in eastern Finland during a dry year (2006) and a wet year (2007) and combined with DOC and CH4 fluxes from the same site. CO2 uptake in the wet year was 65% higher than in the dry year, caused by higher water table (WT) and subsequently reduced rates of soil respiration. Two to three-fold increases in DOC and CH4 fluxes in the wet year did not completely offset the higher CO2 uptake in that year, resulting in NEP of -83.7 +/- 14 g C M-2 in the dry and 134.5 +/- 21 g C 111(-2) in the wet year. Thus, in our study, WT was identified as the most important factor responsible for variations in the C balance between the observed years. (C) 2013 Elsevier By. All rights reserved.