Phosphorus supply affects long-term carbon accumulation in mid-latitude ombrotrophic peatlands

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed. The published version of this Preprint is available: https://doi.org/10.1038/s43247-021-00316-2. This is version 2 of this Preprint.

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Authors

Daniel Schillereff, Richard Chiverrell, Jenny Sjöström, Malin Kylander, John Boyle, Jessica Davies, Hannah Toberman, Edward Tipping

Abstract

Ombrotrophic peatlands are a globally important carbon store and depend on atmospheric nutrient deposition to balance ecosystem productivity and microbial decomposition. Human activities have increased atmospheric nutrient fluxes, but the impacts of variability in phosphorus supply on carbon sequestration in ombrotrophic peatlands are unclear. Here, we synthesise phosphorus, nitrogen and carbon stoichiometric data in the surface and deeper layers of mid-latitude Sphagnum-dominated peatlands across Europe, North America and Chile. We find that long-term elevated phosphorus deposition and accumulation strongly correlate with increased organic matter decomposition and lower carbon accumulation in the catotelm. This contrasts with literature that finds short-term increases in phosphorus supply stimulates rapid carbon accumulation, suggesting phosphorus deposition imposes a threshold effect on net ecosystem productivity and carbon burial. We suggest phosphorus supply is an important, but overlooked, factor governing long-term carbon storage in ombrotrophic peatlands, raising the prospect that post-industrial phosphorus deposition may degrade this carbon sink.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31223/X5FW3J

Subjects

Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences

Keywords

Holocene, Peatland ecology, Peatland biogeochemistry

Dates

Published: 2021-03-12 15:49

Last Updated: 2021-12-10 20:49

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License

CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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Comments

Comment #24 Daniel Schillereff @ 2021-04-07 14:44

Dear Leszek, Many thanks for your comment and pointers to those papers, they are new to me. Best wishes, Daniel

Comment #18 Leszek A Bledzki @ 2021-03-31 20:37

Hi it is interesting paper, however helpful, would be also another two papers dealing with P and Rotifers - missing in almost all P budget calculations. Błędzki, L. A., et al. (2020). "Nutrient addition increases rotifer abundance and diversity in a temperate bog." Fundamental and Applied Limnology 194(2): 77-83 Błędzki, L. A., et al. (2018). "Ecology of rotifers and their unappreciated source of nitrogen and phosphorus in temperate northeastern American bogs." Fundamental and Applied Limnology 191(4): 277-287. Sincerely Leszek Bledzki