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Title: Soil CO 2 Controls Short‐Term Variation but Climate Regulates Long‐Term Mean of Riverine Inorganic Carbon
Abstract

The evasion of CO2from inland waters, a major carbon source to the atmosphere, depends on dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) concentrations. Our understanding of DIC dynamics across gradients of climate, geology, and vegetation conditions however have remained elusive. To understand its large‐scale patterns and drivers, we collated instantaneous and mean (multiyear average) DIC concentrations from about 100 rivers draining minimally‐impacted watersheds in the contiguous United States. Within individual sites, instantaneous concentrations (C) measured at daily to seasonal scales exhibit a near‐universal response to changes in river discharge (Q) in a negative power law form. High concentrations occur at low discharge when DIC‐enriched groundwater dominates river discharge; low concentrations occur under high flow when relatively DIC‐poor shallow soil water predominates river discharge. Such patterns echo the widely observed increase of soil CO2and DIC with depth and the shallow‐and‐deep hypothesis that emphasizes the importance of flow paths and source water chemistry. Across sites, mean concentrations (Cm) decrease with increasing mean discharge (Qm), a long‐term climate measure, and reachs maxima at around 200 mm/yr. A parsimonious model reveals that high mean DIC arises from soil CO2accumulation when rates of DIC‐generating reactions are relatively high compared to its export fluxes in arid climates. Although instantaneous and mean DIC concentrations similarly decrease with increasing discharge, results here highlight their distinct drivers: daily to seasonal‐scale instantaneous concentration variations (C) are controlled by subsurface CO2distribution over depth (from below), whereas long‐term mean concentrations (Cm) are regulated by climate (from above). The results emphasize the significance of land‐river connectivity via subsurface flow paths. They also underscore the importance of characterizing subsurface CO2distribution to illuminate belowground processes in order to project the future of water and carbon cycles in a warming climate.

 
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NSF-PAR ID:
10370555
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  
Publisher / Repository:
DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Global Biogeochemical Cycles
Volume:
36
Issue:
8
ISSN:
0886-6236
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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Spreadsheet: annual precip_drainage Description: Precipitation measured from nearby Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Weather station, over 2009-2016 study period. Data shown in Figure 1; original data source for precipitation (https://lter.kbs.msu.edu/datatables/7). Drainage estimated from SALUS crop model. Note that drainage is percolation out of the root zone (0-125 cm). Annual precipitation and drainage values shown here are calculated for growing and non-growing crop periods. Variate    Description year    year of the observation crop    “corn” “switchgrass” “miscanthus” “nativegrass” “restored prairie” “poplar” precip_G    precipitation during growing period (milliMeter) precip_NG    precipitation during non-growing period (milliMeter) drainage_G    drainage during growing period (milliMeter) drainage_NG    drainage during non-growing period (milliMeter)      2. Spreadsheet: biomass_corn, perennial grasses Description: Maximum aboveground biomass measurements from corn, switchgrass, miscanthus, native grass and restored prairie plots in Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) Biomass Cropping System Experiment (BCSE) during 2009-2015. Data shown in Figure 2.   Variate    Description year    year of the observation date    day of the observation (mm/dd/yyyy) crop    “corn” “switchgrass” “miscanthus” “nativegrass” “restored prairie” “poplar” replicate    each crop has four replicated plots, R1, R2, R3 and R4 station    stations (S1, S2 and S3) of samplings within the plot. For more details, refer to link (https://data.sustainability.glbrc.org/protocols/156) species    plant species that are rooted within the quadrat during the time of maximum biomass harvest. 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Variate    Description crop    “corn” “switchgrass” “miscanthus” “nativegrass” “restored prairie” “poplar” year    year of the observation don    don concentration (milliGrams_N_Per_Liter) no3     no3 concentration (milliGrams_N_Per_Liter) doc    doc concentration (milliGrams_Per_Liter) 
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