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Trough ponds are ubiquitous features of Arctic landscapes and an important component of freshwater aquatic ecosystems. Permafrost thaw causes ground subsidence, creating depressions that gather water, creating ponds. Permafrost thaw also releases solutes and nutrients, which may fertilize these newly formed ponds. We measured water budget elements and chloride, ammonium, and dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) across a chronosequence of trough ponds representing different stages of ice wedge degradation and stabilization. We developed a coupled hydrologic and biogeochemical model to explore how ice wedge degradation affects hydrology and nutrient availability in trough ponds in the advanced degradation stages (DAs),...
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This study integrates push-pull tracer tests (PPTT) with microbial characterization of extracted water via quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and reverse transcriptase qPCR (RT-qPCR) of selected functional N transformation genes to quantify nitrate reduction mechanisms and rates in sites with different redox potential in a karst aquifer. PPTT treatments with nitrate (AN) and nitrate-fumarate (ANC) were executed in two wells representing anoxic and oxic geochemical end-members. Oxic aquifer zero-order nitrate loss rates (mmol L−1 h−1) were similar for AN and ANC treatment, ranging from 0.03 ± 0.01 to 0.05 ± 0.01. Anoxic aquifer zero-order nitrate loss rates ranged from 0.03 ± 0.02 (AN) to 0.13 ± 0.02 (ANC)....
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Peat soils store a large fraction of the global soil carbon (C) pool and comprise 95% of wetland C stocks. While isolated freshwater wetlands in temperate and tropical biomes account for more than 20% of the global peatland C stock, most studies of wetland soil C have occurred in expansive peatlands in northern boreal and subarctic biomes. Furthermore, the contribution of small depressional wetlands in comparison to larger wetland systems in these environments is very uncertain. Given the fact that these wetlands are numerous and variable in terms of their internal geometry, innovative methods are needed for properly estimating belowground C stocks and their overall C contribution to the landscape. In this study,...
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Forest disturbances greatly alter the carbon cycle at various spatial and temporal scales. It is critical to understand disturbance regimes and their impacts to better quantify regional and global carbon dynamics. This review of the status and major challenges in representing the impacts of disturbances in modeling the carbon dynamics across North America revealed some major advances and challenges. First, significant advances have been made in representation, scaling, and characterization of disturbances that should be included in regional modeling efforts. Second, there is a need to develop effective and comprehensive process‐based procedures and algorithms to quantify the immediate and long‐term impacts of disturbances...
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Hyporheic flow in streams has typically been studied separately from geomorphic processes. We investigated interactions between bed mobility and dynamic hyporheic storage of solutes and fine particles in a sand-bed stream before, during, and after a flood. A conservatively transported solute tracer (bromide) and a fine particles tracer (5 μm latex particles), a surrogate for fine particulate organic matter, were co-injected during base flow. The tracers were differentially stored, with fine particles penetrating more shallowly in hyporheic flow and retained more efficiently due to the high rate of particle filtration in bed sediment compared to solute. Tracer injections lasted 3.5 h after which we released a small...
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Many estimates of nitrogen removal in streams and watersheds do not include or account for nitrate removal in deep sediments, particularly in gaining streams. We developed and tested a conceptual model for nitrate removal in deep sediments in a nitrogen-rich river network. The model predicts that oxic, nitrate-rich groundwater will become depleted in nitrate as groundwater upwelling through sediments encounters a zone that contains buried particulate organic carbon, which promotes redox conditions favorable for nitrate removal. We tested the model at eight sites in upwelling reaches of lotic ecosystems in the Waupaca River Watershed that varied by three orders of magnitude in groundwater nitrate concentration. We...
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A nested sampling network on the Colorado (CR) and Missouri Rivers (MR) provided data to assess impacts of large-scale reservoir systems and climate on carbon export. The Load Estimator (LOADEST) model was used to estimate both dissolved inorganic and organic carbon (DIC and DOC) fluxes for a total of 22 sites along the main stems of the CR and MR. Both the upper CR and MR DIC and DOC fluxes increased longitudinally, but the lower CR fluxes decreased while the lower MRs continued to increase. We examined multiple factors through space and time that help explain these flux patterns. Seasonal variability in precipitation and temperature, along with site-level concentration versus discharge relationships proved to...
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In high latitudes, changes in climate impact fire regimes and snow cover duration, altering the surface albedo and the heating of the regional atmosphere. In the western Arctic, under four scenarios of future climate change and future fire regimes (2003–2100), we examined changes in surface albedo and the related changes in regional atmospheric heating due to: (1) vegetation changes following a changing fire regime, and (2) changes in snow cover duration. We used a spatially explicit dynamic vegetation model (Alaskan Frame-based Ecosystem Code) to simulate changes in successional dynamics associated with fire under the future climate scenarios, and the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model to simulate changes in snow cover....
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Satellite-derived land cover land use (LCLU), snow and albedo data, and incoming surface solar radiation reanalysis data were used to study the impact of LCLU change from 1973 to 2000 on surface albedo and radiative forcing for 58 ecoregions covering 69% of the conterminous United States. A net positive surface radiative forcing (i.e., warming) of 0.029 Wm−2 due to LCLU albedo change from 1973 to 2000 was estimated. The forcings for individual ecoregions were similar in magnitude to current global forcing estimates, with the most negative forcing (as low as −0.367 Wm−2) due to the transition to forest and the most positive forcing (up to 0.337 Wm−2) due to the conversion to grass/shrub. Snow exacerbated both negative...
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Grasslands, which provide fundamental ecosystem services in many arid and semiarid regions of the world, are undergoing rapid increases in fire activity and are highly susceptible to postfire-accelerated soil erosion by wind. A quantitative assessment of physical processes that integrates fire-wind erosion feedbacks is therefore needed relative to vegetation change, soil biogeochemical cycling, air quality, and landscape evolution. We investigated the applicability of a novel tracer technique—the use of multiple rare earth elements (REE)—to quantify soil transport by wind and to identify sources and sinks of wind-blown sediments in both burned and unburned shrub-grass transition zone in the Chihuahuan Desert, NM,...
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Woody encroachment is a globally occurring phenomenon that contributes to the global carbon sink. The magnitude of this contribution needs to be estimated at regional and local scales to address uncertainties present in the global- and continental-scale estimates, and guide regional policy and management in balancing restoration activities, including removal of woody plants, with greenhouse gas mitigation goals. The objective of this study was to estimate carbon stored in various successional phases of woody encroachment. Using lidar measurements of individual trees, we present high-resolution estimates of aboveground carbon storage in juniper woodlands. Segmentation analysis of lidar point cloud data identified...
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The purpose of this study was to determine how drainage impacts carbon densities and recent rates (past 50 years) of vertical accretion and carbon accumulation in southeastern forested peatlands. We compared these parameters in drained maple-gum (MAPL), Atlantic white cedar (CDR), and pocosin (POC) communities in the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge (GDS) of Virginia/North Carolina and in an intact (undrained) CDR swamp in the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge (AR) of North Carolina. Peat cores were analyzed for bulk density, percent organic carbon, and 137Cs and 210Pb. An uncertainty analysis of both 137Cs and 210Pb approaches was used to constrain error at least partially related to mobility...
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Soil temperature and moisture are important factors that control many ecosystem processes. However, interactions between soil thermal and hydrological processes are not adequately understood in cold regions, where the frozen soil, fire disturbance, and soil drainage play important roles in controlling interactions among these processes. These interactions were investigated with a new ecosystem model framework, the dynamic organic soil version of the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model, that incorporates an efficient and stable numerical scheme for simulating soil thermal and hydrological dynamics within soil profiles that contain a live moss horizon, fibrous and amorphous organic horizons, and mineral soil horizons. The...
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We performed plant removal (devegetation) experiments across a suite of ecologically diverse wetland settings (tidal salt marshes, river floodplain, rotational rice fields, and freshwater wetlands with permanent or seasonal flooding) to determine the extent to which the presence (or absence) of actively growing plants influences the activity of the Hg(II)-methylating microbial community and the availability of Hg(II) to those microbes. Vegetated control plots were paired with neighboring devegetated plots in which photosynthetic input was terminated 4–8 months prior to measurements, through clipping aboveground biomass, severing belowground connections, and shading the sediment surface to prevent regrowth. Across...
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Previous studies suggested that the grasslands may be carbon sinks or near equilibrium, and they often shift between carbon sources in drought years and carbon sinks in other years. It is important to understand the responses of net ecosystem production (NEP) to various climatic conditions across the U.S. Great Plains grasslands. Based on 15 grassland flux towers, we developed a piecewise regression model and mapped the grassland NEP at 250 m spatial resolution over the Great Plains from 2000 to 2008. The results showed that the Great Plains was a net sink with an averaged annual NEP of 24 ± 14 g C m−2 yr−1, ranging from a low value of 0.3 g C m−2 yr−1 in 2002 to a high value of 47.7 g C m−2 yr−1 in 2005. The regional...
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The boreal region stores large amounts of organic carbon (C) in organic-soil horizons, which are vulnerable to destabilization via warming and disturbance. Decomposition of soil organic matter (SOM) contributes to the production and turnover of dissolved organic matter (DOM). While temperature is a primary control on rates of SOM and DOM cycling, little is known about temperature effects on DOM composition in soil leachate. Here we conducted a 30 day incubation to examine the effects of temperature (20 versus 5°C) and SOM decomposition state (moss versus fibric versus amorphous horizons) on DOM composition in organic soils of interior Alaska. We characterized DOM using bulk dissolved organic C (DOC) concentration,...
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Ongoing climate change is affecting the concentration, export (flux), and timing of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) exported to the Gulf of Maine (GoM) through changes in hydrologic regime. DOC export was calculated for water years 1950 through 2013 for 20 rivers and for water years 1930 through 2013 for 14 rivers draining to the GoM. DOC export was also estimated for the 21st century based on climate and hydrologic modeling in a previously published study. DOC export was calculated by using the regression model LOADEST to fit seasonally adjusted concentration discharge (C-Q) relations. Our results are an analysis of the sensitivity of DOC export to changes in hydrologic conditions over time since land cover and...
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Information on the contribution of nitrogen (N)-cycling processes in bed sediments to river nutrient fluxes in large northern latitude river systems is limited. This study examined the relationship between N-cycling processes in bed sediments and N speciation and loading in the Yukon River near its mouth at the Bering Sea. We conducted laboratory bioassays to measure N-cycling processes in sediment samples collected over distinct water cycle seasons. In conjunction, the microbial community composition in the bed sediments using genes involved in N-cycling (narG, napA, nosZ, and amoA) and 16S rRNA gene pyrosequences was examined. Temporal variation was observed in net N mineralization, nitrate uptake, and denitrification...
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We analyze climate simulations conducted with the RegCM3 regional climate model on 50‐ and 15‐km model grids to diagnose the dependence of wildfire incidence and area burned variations on monthly climate long‐term means and anomalies over North America for the period 1986–2013. We created a new wildfire database by merging the Fire Program Analysis Fire‐Occurrence Database, the National Interagency Fire Center Fire History Data, and the Canadian National Fire Database. The database includes 2,083,865 daily fire starts that burned a total of 1.25 × 108 ha in North America. We derive long‐term climatologies, standardized gamma indices, and composite climate anomalies of atmospheric circulation (500‐hPa height and...
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[1] Nitrate (NO3−) concentrations and dual isotopic composition (δ15N and δ18O) were measured during various seasons and tidal conditions in Elkhorn Slough to evaluate mixing of sources of NO3− within this California estuary. We found the isotopic composition of NO3− was influenced most heavily by mixing of two primary sources with unique isotopic signatures, a marine (Monterey Bay) and terrestrial agricultural runoff source (Old Salinas River). However, our attempt to use a simple two end‐member mixing model to calculate the relative contribution of these two NO3− sources to the Slough was complicated by periods of nonconservative behavior and/or the presence of additional sources, particularly during the dry season...


map background search result map search result map Lidar-derived estimate and uncertainty of carbon sink in successional phases of woody encroachment Lidar-derived estimate and uncertainty of carbon sink in successional phases of woody encroachment