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https://doi.org/10.5194/bgd-9-1129-2012
© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 26 Jan 2012

Research article | 26 Jan 2012

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It has been under review for the journal Biogeosciences (BG). The revised manuscript was not accepted.

Environmental factors regulating winter CO2 flux in snow-covered boreal forest soil, interior Alaska

Y. Kim1 and Y. Kodama2 Y. Kim and Y. Kodama
  • 1International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks, AK 99775–7335, USA
  • 2Institute of Low Temperature Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060–0819, Japan

Abstract. Winter CO2 flux is an important element to assess when estimating the annual carbon budget on regional and global scales. However, winter observation frequency is limited due to the extreme cold weather in sub-Arctic and Arctic ecosystems. In this study, the continuous monitoring of winter CO2 flux in black spruce forest soil of interior Alaska was performed using NDIR CO2 sensors at 10, 20, and 30 cm above the soil surface during the snow-covered period (DOY 357 to 466) of 2006/2007. The atmospheric pressure was divided into four phases: >1000 hPa (HP: high pressure); 985<P<1000 (IP: intermediate pressure); <986 hPa (LP: low pressure); and a snow-melting period (MP); for the quantification of the effect of the environmental factors determining winter CO2 flux. The winter CO2 fluxes were 0.22 ± 0.02, 0.23 ± 0.02, 0.25 ± 0.03, and 0.17 ± 0.02 gCO2-C/m2 d−1 for the HP, IP, LP, and MP phases, respectively. Wintertime CO2 emission represents 20 % of the annual CO2 emissions in this boreal black spruce forest soil. Atmospheric temperature, pressure, and soil temperature correlate at levels of 56, 25, and 31 % to winter CO2 flux, respectively, during the snow-covered period of 2006/2007, when snow depth experienced one of its lowest totals of the past 80 years. Atmospheric temperature and soil temperature at 5 cm depth, modulated by atmospheric pressure, were found to be significant factors in determining winter CO2 emission and fluctuation in snowpack. Regional/global process-based carbon cycle models should be reassessed to account for the effect of winter CO2 emissions, regulated by temperature and soil latent-heat flux, in the snow-covered soils of Arctic and sub-Arctic terrestrial ecosystems of the Northern Hemisphere.

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Y. Kim and Y. Kodama
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Y. Kim and Y. Kodama
Y. Kim and Y. Kodama
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