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Northern Peatland Carbon Stocks and Dynamics: a Review : Volume 9, Issue 4 (26/04/2012)

By Yu, Z.

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Book Id: WPLBN0003974063
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 35
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Northern Peatland Carbon Stocks and Dynamics: a Review : Volume 9, Issue 4 (26/04/2012)  
Author: Yu, Z.
Volume: Vol. 9, Issue 4
Language: English
Subject: Science, Biogeosciences, Discussions
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection (Contemporary), Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Yu, Z. (2012). Northern Peatland Carbon Stocks and Dynamics: a Review : Volume 9, Issue 4 (26/04/2012). Retrieved from

Description: Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Lehigh University, 1 West Packer Avenue, Bethlehem, PA 18015, USA. Here I review different approaches and associated uncertainties of estimates in the literature of carbon stocks and found that there is most likely 500 (± 100 range) gigatons of carbon (Gt C) in northern peatlands. The greatest uncertainty for all the approaches is the lack or insufficient representation of data, including depth, bulk density and carbon accumulation data, especially from the world's large peatlands. Several ways to improve estimates of peat carbon stocks were also discussed in this paper. Changes in peatland carbon stocks over time, estimated using Sphagnum (peat moss) spore data and down-core peat accumulation records, show different patterns during the Holocene. Considering long-term peat decomposition using peat accumulation data allows estimates of net carbon sequestration rates by peatlands, or net ecosystem carbon balance (NECB), which indicates more than half of peat carbon (> 270 Gt C) was sequestrated before 7000 yr ago during the Holocene. Contemporary carbon flux studies at 5 peatland sites show much larger NECB during the last decade (32 ± 7.8 (S.E.) g C m−2 yr−1) than during the last 7000 yr (~ 11 g C m−2 yr−1) as modeled from peat records across northern peatlands. This discrepancy highlights the urgent need for carbon accumulation data and process understanding, especially at decadal and centennial timescales, that would bridge current knowledge gaps and facilitate comparisons of NECB across all timescales.

Northern peatland carbon stocks and dynamics: a review

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