Dépôt numérique

The dominant role of sunlight in degrading winter dissolved organic matter from a thermokarst lake in a subarctic peatland.

Mazoyer, Flora; Laurion, Isabelle ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8694-3330 et Rautio, Milla (2022). The dominant role of sunlight in degrading winter dissolved organic matter from a thermokarst lake in a subarctic peatland. Biogeosciences , vol. 19 , nº 17. pp. 3959-3977. DOI: 10.5194/bg-19-3959-2022.

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Dissolved organic matter (DOM) leaching from thawing permafrost may promote a positive feedback on the climate if it is efficiently mineralized into greenhouse gases. However, many uncertainties remain on the extent of this mineralization, which depends on DOM lability that is seemingly quite variable across landscapes. Thermokarst peatlands are organic-rich systems where some of the largest greenhouse gas (GHG) emission rates have been measured. At spring turnover, anoxic waters release the GHG accumulated in winter, and the DOM pool is exposed to sunlight. Here, we present an experiment where DOM photoreactivity and bioreactivity were investigated in water collected from a thermokarst lake in a subarctic peatland during late winter (after 6 months of darkness). We applied treatment with or without light exposure, and manipulated the bacterial abundance with the aim to quantify the unique and combined effects of light and bacteria on DOM reactivity at ice-off in spring. We demonstrate that sunlight was clearly driving the transformation of the DOM pool, part of which went through a complete mineralization into CO2. Up to 18 % of the initial dissolved organic carbon (DOC, a loss of 3.9 mgC L−1) was lost over 18 d of sunlight exposure in a treatment where bacterial abundance was initially reduced by 95 %. However, sunlight considerably stimulated bacterial growth when grazers were eliminated, leading to the recovery of the original bacterial abundance in about 8 d, which may have contributed to the DOC loss. Indeed, the highest DOC loss was observed for the treatment with the full bacterial community exposed to sunlight (5.0 mgC L−1), indicating an indirect effect of light through the bacterial consumption of photoproducts. Dark incubations led to very limited changes in DOC, regardless of the bacterial abundance and activity. The results also show that only half of the light-associated DOC losses were converted into CO2, and we suggest that the rest potentially turned into particles through photoflocculation. Sunlight should therefore play a major role in DOM processing, CO2 production and carbon burial in peatland lakes during spring, likely lasting for the rest of the open season in mixing surface layers.

Type de document: Article
Informations complémentaires: Résumé avec symboles
Mots-clés libres: bacterium; degradation; dissolved organic matter; light effect; peatland; subarctic region; thermokarst
Centre: Centre Eau Terre Environnement
Date de dépôt: 10 juill. 2024 13:30
Dernière modification: 10 juill. 2024 13:30
URI: https://espace.inrs.ca/id/eprint/15341

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