Assessment of the vulnerability of peatland carbon in the Albany Ecodistrict of the Hudson Bay Lowlands, Ontario, Canada to climate change

Summary

Peatlands (soil organic horizon of 40 cm or more) help regulate climate by sequestering (net removal) carbon (C) from the atmosphere and storing it in plants and soils. Peatlands are separated into bogs, which receive water from precipitation, and fens, which receive water from precipitation and groundwater. Weather and geologic conditions interactively determine the specific peatland types that occur on a landscape and their C sequestration and storage potential. Peatland C has been extensively researched but contrasting results are reported for peatland C gains from, and losses to, the atmosphere in response to altered climatic conditions. Thus, uncertainty is high in forecasts of future C exchange between peatlands and the atmosphere and subsequent storage in plants and soils. Understanding interactive effects of weather and geology on ecosystem conditions is needed to adequately assess the vulnerability of peatland C to future climate change. In this report, published data were synthesized and new data produced pertaining to climate change, C flux and mass, land cover, landscape position (defined here as elevation), fire records, and current and future climate scenarios.

Published Date: 2018
Publisher: Forest Research and Monitoring Section, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
Author: Jim McLaughlin, Maara Packalen, and Bharat Shrestha

Details

Assessment of the vulnerability of peatland carbon in the Albany Ecodistrict of the Hudson Bay Lowlands, Ontario, Canada to climate change
ISBN: 978-1-4868-1481-7   (PDF) 2.42 MB