Nitrogen Deposition And Increased Carbon Accumulation In Ombrotrophic Peatlands In Eastern Canada

  • Sites: CA-Mer
  • Publication Type: JOUR
  • Authors: Turunen, J.; Roulet, N. T.; Moore, T. R.; Richard, P. J.

  • Recent and long-term accumulation rates of carbon (C), using 210Pb- and 14C-dating, were examined in 23 ombrotrophic peatlands in eastern Canada, where average 1990–1996 atmospheric wet nitrogen (N) deposition ranged from 0.3 to 0.8 g N m−2 yr−1. The average recent rate of C accumulation (RERCA) over the past 150 years was 73 ± 17 (SD) g C m−2 yr−1, ranging from 40 to 117 g C m−2 yr−1. The difference in RERCA between hummocks (78 g C m−2 yr−1) and hollows (65 g C m−2 yr−1) was significant. Increased RERCA over the past 50 years was found in hummocks and hollows in regions of higher N deposition and related to both elevated N deposition and growing degree-days above +5°C. There was a statistically significant positive relationship between N deposition alone and present-day C accumulation in both hummocks and hollows (R2 = 0.28 and 0.38, respectively). Recent N accumulation was significantly larger in high N deposition regions. The total average aboveground vegetation biomass of hollows and hummocks did not differ significantly with N deposition. However, a significantly larger vascular plant leaf biomass was found in both hollows and hummocks of the high N deposition class than in the low N deposition class (>0.6 and <0.4 g m−2 yr−1, respectively). The average long-term apparent rate of C accumulation (LORCA) at 15 sites was 19 ± 8 (SD) g C m−2 yr−1, with no significant difference due to age of peat inception, latitude, or continentality.


  • Journal: Global Biogeochemical Cycles
  • Funding Agency: —
  • Citation Information:
  • Volume: 18
  • No: 3
  • Pages: n/a-n/a
  • Publication Year: 2004/09
  • DOI: 10.1029/2003gb002154