Summer carbon dioxide and water vapor fluxes across a range of northern peatlands

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Humphreys, Elyn R.
Lafleur, Peter M.
Flanagan, Larry B.
Hedstrom, Newell
Syed, Kamran H.
Glenn, Aaron J.
Granger, Raoul
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American Geophysical Union
Northern peatlands are a diverse group of ecosystems varying along a continuum of hydrological, chemical, and vegetation gradients. These ecosystems contain about one third of the global soil carbon pool, but it is uncertain how carbon and water cycling processes and response to climate change differ among peatland types. This study examines midsummer CO2 and H2O fluxes measured using the eddy covariance technique above seven northern peatlands including a low-shrub bog, two open poor fens, two wooded moderately rich fens, and two open extreme-rich fens. Gross ecosystem production and ecosystem respiration correlated positively with vegetation indices and with each other. Consequently, 24-hour net ecosystem CO2 exchange was similar among most of the sites (an average net carbon sink of 1.5 ± 0.2 g C m 2 d 1) despite large differences in water table depth, water chemistry, and plant communities. Evapotranspiration was primarily radiatively driven at all sites but a decline in surface conductance with increasing water vapor deficit indicated physiological restrictions to transpiration, particularly at the peatlands with woody vegetation and less at the peatlands with 100% Sphagnum cover. Despite these differences, midday evapotranspiration ranged only from 0.21 to 0.34 mm h 1 owing to compensation among the factors controlling evapotranspiration. Water use efficiency varied among sites primarily as a result of differences in productivity and plant functional type. Although peatland classification includes a great variety of ecosystem characteristics,peatland type may not be an effective way to predict the magnitude and characteristics of midsummer CO2 and water vapor exchanges.
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Net ecosystem exchange , Evapotranspiration , Fen , Bog , CO2 fluxes , H2O fluxes
Humphreys, E. R., Lafleur, P. M., Flanagan, L. B., Hedstrom, N., Syed, K. H. Glenn, A. J., & Granger, R. (2006). Summer carbon dioxide and water vapor fluxes across a range of northern peatlands. Journal of Geophysical Research (Biogeosciences), 111, G04011. doi:10.1029/2005JG000111