Please note that this session was withdrawn and is no longer available in the respective programme. This withdrawal might have been the result of a merge with another session.

BG3.9

Global shift in boreal forests and wetlands carbon cycle

There is evidence that boreal forests of the taiga biome will be strongly affected by the current climate change. Increasing global temperatures may lead to the migration of the southern limit of taiga to the north, while the core areas of boreal forests would be affected by the changes in their environments. Moreover, fire frequency will likely increase leading to direct biomass and organic matter loss to greenhouse gasses and permafrost thaw. These changes lead to the alteration of all components of the taiga system and in particular affect the carbon budget of wet forests and peatlands. There is large uncertainty about the ability of this ecosystem to continue to provide ecosystem services under climate change. Some data suggest that wetland areas should decrease with progressively warmer climate, but there is no proof that it would be a universal process. Fire frequency is likely to increase and could lead to loss of biodiversity and legacy carbon. A switch in carbon cycling in boreal forests and wetlands from sink to source could be affecting atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations due to its large carbon stocks and would depend on the response of the critical zone to the environmental change. The session invites contributions investigating the changes occurring in biogeochemical cycling of carbon in the plant soil system of boreal forests and wetland areas at different scales. We are particularly interested in mechanistic studies addressing the underlying (soil) processes. Experimental and modelling studies about effects of the changes on a larger scale are also welcome.

Convener: Pavel Krasilnikov | Co-conveners: John Galbraith, Cornelia Rumpel