A weak C sink at high latitudes: support from an integrated terrestrial – aquatic C balance
Monday, 15 December 2014: 5:45 PM
High latitude ecosystems have served as net sinks of atmospheric carbon (C) in a Holocene time perspective. However, the ongoing warming makes it questionable if high latitude landscapes still function as net C sinks. In this study we used multiyear high resolution C flux data to estimate an integrated terrestrial-aquatic C balance of a sub-arctic catchment. The results indicate large inter annual variability in C fluxes and suggest that the C sink function of this landscape is weak, especially when also accounting for the often neglected C losses from aquatic systems. In fact, our results suggest that it is more likely that the studied catchment serves as a net source of C rather than a net sink. Our results highlight the importance of inland waters in the C cycle and that the strength of the C sequestering in the contemporary sub-arctic environment is much weaker than often assumed.