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Forests 2017, 8(3), 75; doi:10.3390/f8030075

Partitioning Forest‐Floor Respiration into Source  Based Emissions in a Boreal Forested Bog: Responses  to Experimental Drought

1
Department of Geography, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
2
Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Robert Jandl and Mirco Rodeghiero
Received: 1 February 2017 / Accepted: 7 March 2017 / Published: 10 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Soil Respiration under Climate Changing)
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Abstract

Northern peatlands store globally significant amounts of soil carbon that could be released to the atmosphere under drier conditions induced by climate change. We measured forest floor respiration (RFF) at hummocks and hollows in a treed boreal bog in Alberta, Canada and partitioned the flux into aboveground forest floor autotrophic, belowground forest floor autotrophic, belowground tree respiration, and heterotrophic respiration using a series of clipping and trenching experiments. These fluxes were compared to those measured at sites within the same bog where water‐table (WT) was drawn down for 2 and 12 years. Experimental WT drawdown significantly increased RFF with greater increases at hummocks than hollows. Greater RFF was largely driven by increased autotrophic respiration driven by increased growth of trees and shrubs in response to drier conditions; heterotrophic respiration accounted for a declining proportion of RFF with time since drainage. Heterotrophic respiration was increased at hollows, suggesting that soil carbon may be lost from these sites in response to climate change induced drying. Overall, although WT drawdown increased RFF, the substantial contribution of autotrophic respiration to RFF suggests that peat carbon stocks are unlikely to be rapidly destabilized by drying conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: forest  floor  respiration;  root  respiration;  autotrophic  respiration;  heterotrophic  respiration; disturbance; water table; drought; climate change; modeling; soil temperature forest  floor  respiration;  root  respiration;  autotrophic  respiration;  heterotrophic  respiration; disturbance; water table; drought; climate change; modeling; soil temperature
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Munir, T.M.; Khadka, B.; Xu, B.; Strack, M. Partitioning Forest‐Floor Respiration into Source  Based Emissions in a Boreal Forested Bog: Responses  to Experimental Drought. Forests 2017, 8, 75.

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