BelangerPinno2008

Référence

Belanger, N. and Pinno, B.D. (2008) Carbon sequestration, vegetation dynamics and soil development in the Boreal Transition ecoregion of Saskatchewan during the Holocene. Catena, 74(1):65-72. (Scopus )

Résumé

Boreal forest soils have the potential to sequester large amounts of carbon by accumulating charcoal from fire. Some suggest that sequestration rates could be large enough to account for some of the missing sink in the global CO<sub>2</sub> budget, but further data on soil charcoal pools are necessary to adequately develop boreal carbon budgets under a changing climate and fire regime. The primary objective of this study was to determine the amount of charred wood in surface mineral soil horizons (Ah) of the Boreal Transition of Saskatchewan, a fire-prone grassland forest ecotone region of western Canada. A second objective was to use the charcoal data to infer vegetation dynamics and the development of these Ah horizons as a function of parent material type, i.e. glacio-fluvial, glacio-lacustrine and glacial till. The latter objective served to provide information in regards to future vegetation shifts and ecosystem C budgets of Boreal Plain ecosystems under climatic warming. The carbon fraction measured as charcoal is an important component of organic matter in Ah horizons of Chernozemic soils in Saskatchewan and differs from the classical model of humus fractions in Chernozems which suggests that it is a system created from microbial degradation of root litter only. The carbon sequestered as charcoal within the whole ecoregion was estimated at 36.1 Tg, which is the lower limit of the global annual rate of charcoal accumulation in terrestrial environments estimated from experimental fires. Charcoal pools were consistently lower in the fluvial soils relative to the lacustrine and till soils. We suggest a model where dry conditions and low water availability prevailing under the coarser fluvial soils during the Holocene favoured the dominance of low productivity herbaceous vegetation that led to a high ash to charcoal production ratio from fire and to the development of relatively thick Ah horizons through below ground additions of organic matter from root decay. We propose that the more available water in lacustrine and till soils favoured the growth of trembling aspen which, through less frequent/intense fires relative to grasslands and incomplete burning of the woody material, led to high charcoal accumulation rates in soil. The development of thick Ah horizons in lacustrine soils likely occurred during a warm and dry period of the early Holocene (i.e. the hypsithermal) when herbaceous vegetation invaded forested land or during dry spells in the mid to late Holocene (e.g. the Medieval Warm Period) when opening of forest canopies occurred, thus augmenting light transmission to the forest floor and favouring the growth of herbaceous vegetation in the understory. Such events did not create deep Ah horizons in the tills soils as a consistent rock impediment near the surface limited the penetration of understory roots at greater depth. These results suggest that fluvial sites my be the first shifting to herbaceous vegetation in the future due to climatic warming, followed by till sites and then lacustrine sites. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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@ARTICLE { BelangerPinno2008,
    AUTHOR = { Belanger, N. and Pinno, B.D. },
    TITLE = { Carbon sequestration, vegetation dynamics and soil development in the Boreal Transition ecoregion of Saskatchewan during the Holocene },
    JOURNAL = { Catena },
    YEAR = { 2008 },
    VOLUME = { 74 },
    PAGES = { 65-72 },
    NUMBER = { 1 },
    ABSTRACT = { Boreal forest soils have the potential to sequester large amounts of carbon by accumulating charcoal from fire. Some suggest that sequestration rates could be large enough to account for some of the missing sink in the global CO<sub>2</sub> budget, but further data on soil charcoal pools are necessary to adequately develop boreal carbon budgets under a changing climate and fire regime. The primary objective of this study was to determine the amount of charred wood in surface mineral soil horizons (Ah) of the Boreal Transition of Saskatchewan, a fire-prone grassland forest ecotone region of western Canada. A second objective was to use the charcoal data to infer vegetation dynamics and the development of these Ah horizons as a function of parent material type, i.e. glacio-fluvial, glacio-lacustrine and glacial till. The latter objective served to provide information in regards to future vegetation shifts and ecosystem C budgets of Boreal Plain ecosystems under climatic warming. The carbon fraction measured as charcoal is an important component of organic matter in Ah horizons of Chernozemic soils in Saskatchewan and differs from the classical model of humus fractions in Chernozems which suggests that it is a system created from microbial degradation of root litter only. The carbon sequestered as charcoal within the whole ecoregion was estimated at 36.1 Tg, which is the lower limit of the global annual rate of charcoal accumulation in terrestrial environments estimated from experimental fires. Charcoal pools were consistently lower in the fluvial soils relative to the lacustrine and till soils. We suggest a model where dry conditions and low water availability prevailing under the coarser fluvial soils during the Holocene favoured the dominance of low productivity herbaceous vegetation that led to a high ash to charcoal production ratio from fire and to the development of relatively thick Ah horizons through below ground additions of organic matter from root decay. We propose that the more available water in lacustrine and till soils favoured the growth of trembling aspen which, through less frequent/intense fires relative to grasslands and incomplete burning of the woody material, led to high charcoal accumulation rates in soil. The development of thick Ah horizons in lacustrine soils likely occurred during a warm and dry period of the early Holocene (i.e. the hypsithermal) when herbaceous vegetation invaded forested land or during dry spells in the mid to late Holocene (e.g. the Medieval Warm Period) when opening of forest canopies occurred, thus augmenting light transmission to the forest floor and favouring the growth of herbaceous vegetation in the understory. Such events did not create deep Ah horizons in the tills soils as a consistent rock impediment near the surface limited the penetration of understory roots at greater depth. These results suggest that fluvial sites my be the first shifting to herbaceous vegetation in the future due to climatic warming, followed by till sites and then lacustrine sites. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. },
    COMMENT = { Export Date: 10 February 2010 Source: Scopus CODEN: CIJPD doi: 10.1016/j.catena.2008.03.005 },
    ISSN = { 03418162 (ISSN) },
    KEYWORDS = { Ah horizon development, Boreal Transition ecoregion, Carbon sequestration, Holocene, Parent material types, Soil charcoal, Vegetation dynamics, boreal forest, carbon budget, carbon dioxide, carbon sequestration, charcoal, Chernozem, ecoregion, fire, forest soil, grassland, Holocene, humus, soil horizon, vegetation dynamics, warming, Canada, North America, Saskatchewan },
    OWNER = { Luc },
    TIMESTAMP = { 2010.02.10 },
    URL = { http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-44149113956&partnerID=40&md5=bf0e4186f5f9b9a4011f65d38fdf83e1 },
}

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