Scaling net ecosystem CO2 exchange from the community to landscape-level at a subarctic fen

Authors

  • Timothy J. Griffis,

    1. Program in Earth and Environmental Research, School of Geography and Geology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, L8S 4K1
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  • Wayne R. Rouse,

    1. Program in Earth and Environmental Research, School of Geography and Geology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, L8S 4K1
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  • J. M. Waddington

    1. Program in Earth and Environmental Research, School of Geography and Geology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, L8S 4K1
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Timothy J. Griffis, tel +1/905-525-9140 x23529, fax +1/905-546-0463, e-mail griffitj@mcmaster.ca

Summary

Landscape- and community-level CO2 measurements were made at a subarctic sedge fen near Churchill Manitoba during the 1997 growing season. Climatic conditions were warmer and drier than the 30-y normal. Landscape-scale micrometeorological measurements indicated that the wetland gained 49 g CO2 m−2 during the growing season. Chamber-scale measurements from the main vegetation community types showed that small hummocks (Carex spp. sites) dominated the CO2 exchange, yielding an effective scaling factor of 70%. Scaled parameters of two algorithms describing photosynthesis and respiration for each community type show strong similarity to those derived at the landscape level. Scaling photosynthesis, respiration, and net ecosystem CO2 exchange from the community to landscape-level over the season is within the maximum probable error of each methodological approach and helps substantiate the 1997 CO2 budget. We explore the equilibrium response of net ecosystem CO2 exchange of this fen to climatic change by examining the feedback of water table position on vegetation distribution and nitrogen availability. Based on the effective scaling factors computed for each community type, we hypothesize that a small decrease in mean water table position could nearly triple the net uptake of CO2 at this wetland.

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