Map-based inventory of wetland biomass and net primary production in western Siberia

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Abstract

[1] We used available field survey and literature data to produce inventory maps of wetland biomass and net primary production (NPP) for western Siberia. Field survey data were obtained for major types of wetland microlandscapes within the boreal (taiga) region. We developed a multiscale approach based on using a regional wetland typology map (1:2,500,000 scale), further refined by satellite image classifications (LANDSAT-7, SPOT, RESURS, 1:200,000 scale). Satellite images on test areas designated in the boreal region of western Siberia were classified by 30 landscape classes. We used aerial photography (1:25,000 scale) to evaluate the fraction of the area occupied by microlandscape elements within patterned wetlands. As a result, we were able to produce a GIS map-based inventory of ecosystem phytomass and NPP in west Siberian wetlands. Using the GIS map, the average and total net primary production and biomass were estimated by ecosystem type, the number of vegetation layers, and climatic gradient. The annual NPP to live biomass ratio increases southward from 0.27 in the tundra to 0.65 in the steppe region. Live biomass of wetlands amounts to only 10–30% of the average biomass of upland forests in the same climatic region, although wetland NPP was found to be equal or higher then that of upland forests. Mosses and the belowground fraction of grasses are the major contributors to NPP. Average live biomass and NPP in wetlands were estimated to be 1600 g/m2 and 790 g/m2/yr, respectively. Total wetland NPP amounts to 530 Tg/yr, and live biomass amounts to 1070 Tg.

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