Post-fire soil carbon emission rates along boreal forest fire chronosequences in northwest Canada show significantly higher emission potentials from permafrost soils compared to non-permafrost soils

Kajar Köster, Heidi Aaltonen, Egle Köster, Frank Berninger, Jukka Pumpanen

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review


Boreal forests are one of the most important biomes storing carbon (C). Wildfires burn yearly on average more than 1% of the boreal forest, and it is expected that the fire return intervals will shorten due to climate change. Fire is one of the most influential factors affecting soil organic matter quantity and quality, soil C pools, and presumably also the time C resides in the soil (soil C turnover time in years). We compared the potential effects of forest fire through post-fire succession on soil carbon dioxide (CO2) emission rates and soil C turnover time in two fire chronosequences, one with underlying permafrost soil and the other without permafrost. We found that fire had a significant effect on potential soil C turnover times, but surprisingly there was no significant difference in soil C turnover times between the permafrost and non-permafrost areas, although the soil CO2 emissions rates in permafrost areas are approximately three times higher compared to non-permafrost areas. In recently burned areas the potential soil C turnover times were two times longer compared to control areas located in forests burned more than 100 years ago. The longest potential soil C turnover times were recorded in mineral soil layers (30 cm) of permafrost soils, and the shortest potential soil C turnover times were recorded in humus layers of non-permafrost areas.

TidskriftFrontiers in Ecology and Evolution
Antal sidor14
StatusPublicerad - 2023
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


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