Back to search

FRIMEDBIO-Fri prosj.st. med.,helse,biol

Biogeochemical processes governing boreal C cycling

Alternative title: Biogeokjemiske prosesser i den boreale C-syklus

Awarded: NOK 12.0 mill.

Positive climate feedbacks can undermine policy efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Biogov focuses on the high risk of mobilization of soil organic carbon (C) in the boreal biome as a consequence of warming and changes in precipitation, growing forest biomass (greening), and thawing of permafrost. BioGov will address processes and fluxes from micro- to macroscale and provide inputs to state-of-the art climate models, Land Surface Models (LSM) or Earth System Models (ESM). The main goals are to 1) Understand and predict production of CO2 and CH4 (methane)in boreal areas under different climatic scenarios, and 2) generate data for improved performance of climate models at regional and global scale. As stated, a proper understanding of self reinforcing feedback cycles is crucial in this context. By use of field studies, lab experiments and models, BioGov will achieve a strongly improved understanding of transport of carbon compounds between ecosystem components (atmosphere, land, aquatic systems) on different spatial and temporal scales, and thus make us better equipped to understand the complex, boreal C-cycle and thus predict future climate drivers and responses.

Positive climate feedbacks can undermine policy efforts to minimise greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. BioGov focuses on the high risk of mobilization of soil organic carbon (C) in the boreal biome as a consequence of warming and changes in precipitation, growing forest biomass (greening), and thawing of permafrost. The microbial transformation of C-stores is prone to boost GHG emissions, while thawing permafrost and increased precipitation will affect the flux of organic matter (OM) into lakes. Knowledge gaps on sensitivities of C cycling to climate change and shifts in ecosystem traits restrict our ability to make robust predictions of GHG trajectories using Land System Models (LSM). In particular, microbial and geochemical controls of OM processing under expected ecosystem transitions are poorly understood. BioGov aims to provide a process-based understanding of how organic C from soils and biomass is exported, processed and converted to GHG, including its transport along a land to water continuum at various spatial and temporal scales, as results of environmental changes. This project links terrestrial, aquatic and atmospheric processes, and unifies researchers from biology, geosciences and chemistry with modelers to address these complex issues of vital importance to climate and ecosystems. We will advance the 1-D representation in LSMs by adding linkages with lateral fluxes, across micro- to regional scale, between decomposition of OM, lateral transport of OM across the landscape, and vertical flux of GHG at three sites, in combination with laboratory experiments, using novel combination of state-of-the-art analysis methods, and national and regional water chemistry studies across a boreal ecosystem gradient. With high precision field and experimental data we will quantify key OM fluxes and processing rates enabling us to parameterize and validate models promoting more robust predictions of atmospheric GHGs under climate change.

Funding scheme:

FRIMEDBIO-Fri prosj.st. med.,helse,biol