Pulse-labeling studies of carbon cycling in arctic tundra ecosystems: Contribution of photosynthates to soil organic matter
Article first published online: 26 NOV 2002
Copyright 2002 by the American Geophysical Union.
Global Biogeochemical Cycles
Volume 16, Issue 4, pages 48-1–48-8, December 2002
How to Cite
Pulse-labeling studies of carbon cycling in arctic tundra ecosystems: Contribution of photosynthates to soil organic matter, Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 16(4), 1101, doi:10.1029/2001GB001464, 2002., , , , , and ,
- Issue published online: 26 NOV 2002
- Article first published online: 26 NOV 2002
- Manuscript Accepted: 28 MAY 2002
- Manuscript Revised: 30 APR 2002
- Manuscript Received: 10 JUL 2001
- soil organic matter;
- microbial biomass;
- Arctic tundra;
 To increase our understanding of carbon (C) cycling and storage in soils, we used 14C to trace C from roots into four soil organic matter (SOM) fractions and the movement of soil microbes in arctic wet sedge and tussock tundra. For both tundra types, the proportion of 14C activity in the soil was 6% of the total 14C-CO2 taken up by plants at each of the four harvests conducted 1, 7, 21, and 68 days after labeling. In tussock tundra, we observed rapid microbial transformation of labile C from root exudates into more stable SOM. In wet sedge tundra, there appears to be delayed or indirect microbial use of root exudates. The net amount of 14C label transferred to SOM by the end of the season in both tundra types was approximately equal to the amount transferred to soils 1 day after labeling, suggesting that transfer of 14C tracer from roots to soils continued through the growing season. Overall, C inputs from living roots contributes 24 g C m−2 yr−1 in tussock tundra and 8.8 g C m−2 yr−1 in wet sedge tundra. These results suggest rapid belowground allocation of C by plants and subsequent incorporation of much of this C into storage in the SOM.