IP1: Carbon Storage in Cryoturbated Soils

People: Peter Kuhry (PI), Gustaf Hugelius, Juri Palmtag and Justine Ramage

Aims and Objectives

IP1 aims to carry out detailed landscape level inventories of soil organic matter (SOM) in tundra regions of central and eastern Siberia, focusing on carbon allocation in cryoturbated soils compared to other soil types. This study fills an important geographic gap recognized by the Carbon Pools in Permafrost Regions project of the International Permafrost Association (IPA) and the International Polar Year (IPY), as the vast Siberian tundra has a general paucity of pedon information [1]. Newly collected data will be added to the Northern Circumpolar Soil Carbon Database (NCSCD).
We aim to establish the total mean carbon storage in these areas, as well as its partitioning in accordance to landscape units and soil genetic and permafrost ground horizons.
We will carry out simple geochemical and radiometric analyses of bulk soil samples for the evaluation of simple approaches to assess SOM lability classes at the landscape level [3, 4]. Subsets of soil samples from representative landscape units will be shared with other CryoCARB partners for more detailed geochemical and microbiological analyses (WP2 and 3).
Results from the CryoCARB study areas in Siberia (representing continental climates and continuous permafrost) will be compared to similar studies in northern Sweden and Northeast European Russia (more oceanic climates and discontinuous permafrost) and Northeast Greenland (more continental climate and continuous permafrost) in order to carry out a Pan-Eurasian analysis of soil carbon quantity and quality along bioclimatic and permafrost gradients using multivariate statistical analyses [2, 5].


[1] Tarnocai, C., Canadell, J., Mazhitova, G., Schuur, E.A.G., Kuhry, P. and Zimov, S., 2009, Global Biogeochemical Cycles 23, GB2023, doi:10.1029/2008GB003327
[2] Hugelius, G. and Kuhry, P., 2009, Global Biogeochemical Cycles 23, GB3006, doi:10.1029/2008GB003419.
[3] Blackford and Chambers, 1993, International Peat Journal, 5: 7-24.
[4] Kuhry and Vitt, 1996, Ecology, 77: 271-275.
[5] Kent, 2006, Progress in Physical Geography, 30(3): 399-408.