Characterizing ecosystem-driven chemical composition differences in natural and drained Finnish bogs using Pyrolysis-GC/MS

Klein, Kristy and Schellekens, Judith and Gross-Schmölders, Miriam and von Sengbusch, Pascal and Alewell, Christine and Leifeld, Jens. (2021) Characterizing ecosystem-driven chemical composition differences in natural and drained Finnish bogs using Pyrolysis-GC/MS. Organic geochemistry. p. 104351.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/87022/

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Aerobic decomposition increases in drained peatlands; releasing stored organic matter (OM) and shifting greenhouse gas fluxes from sink to source. This study explored how drainage influenced peat OM chemical composition by investigating paired sites from a Sphagnum-dominated ombrotrophic Finnish bog undergoing contrasting hydrological management (natural and drained). Peat OM was investigated in replicate cores using analytical pyrolysis, compared with observed vegetation, elemental analysis (O:C, N:C), stable isotopes (δ13C, δ15N), and fraction radiocarbon. Principal component analysis of quantified pyrolysis products separated four primary components: vascular plants vs Sphagnum, aerobic degradation of fresh plant biomass, anaerobic processes in water-saturated depths, and pine vs Eriophorum. The largest influence of drainage on peat chemistry was via aerobic decomposition (decreased abundance of Sphagnum phenols and simple polysaccharides; accumulation of macromolecular polysaccharides) (p<0.05, 0-2 cm). Drainage-induced shifts in vegetation (from Sphagnum to Pinus sylvestris (p<0.01, 0-2 cm) were reflected by increased abundance in lignin, N-compounds, and lipids, and decreased abundance in phenols and polysaccharides. Anaerobic processes also differentiated the natural and drained sites and primarily affected polysaccharides (p<0.05, 0-2, 8-10 cm). Vegetation shifts and aerobic decomposition similarly affected many of the same compounds upon drainage- demonstrating the simultaneous influence of different processes on the same OM. Pre-drainage inter-core variation illustrated the importance of replicate cores in disentangling anthropogenic changes from natural biodiversity. These findings suggest that even short-term and moderate alterations in peatland hydrology strongly influence the chemical composition of peat OM, and that its chemistry serves as an effective indicator to assess decomposition status.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Geowissenschaften > Umweltgeowissenschaften (Alewell)
UniBasel Contributors:Alewell, Christine and Klein, Jennifer Kristin and Gross-Schmölders, Miriam and Leifeld, Jens
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:10 Feb 2022 11:22
Deposited On:10 Feb 2022 11:22

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