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  1. Abstract

    Headwater stream networks contribute substantially to the global carbon dioxide terrestrial flux because of high turbulence and coupling with terrestrial environments. Heterogeneity within headwater stream networks, both spatially and temporally, makes measuring and upscaling these emissions challenging because measurements of carbon dioxide in streams are often limited to a few monitoring points. We modified a stream network model to reflect real measurements made under base flow and high flow conditions at Martha Creek in Stabler, WA in the US Pacific Northwest. We found that under high flow conditions, the stream network had much greater total carbon emissions than during low flow conditions (1.22 Mg C day−1vs. 0.034 Mg C day−1). We attribute this increase to a larger overall stream network area (0.04 vs. 0.01 km2) and discharge (1.9 m3 s−1vs. 0.005 m3 s−1) in November versus August. Our results demonstrate the need to understand the nonperennial stream reaches when calculating carbon emissions. We compared the stream network emissions with the terrestrial net ecosystem exchange (NEE) estimated by local eddy covariance measurements per watershed area (−5.5 Mg C day−1in August and −2.2 Mg C day−1in November). Daily stream emissions in November accounted for a much larger percentage of NEE than in August (54% vs. 0.62%). We concluded that the stream network can emit a large percentage ofmore »the forest NEE in the winter months, and annual estimates of stream network emissions must consider the flow regime throughout the year.

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  2. The magnitude of stream and river carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) emission is affected by seasonal changes in watershed biogeochemistry and hydrology. Global estimates of this flux are, however, uncertain, relying on calculated values for CO 2 and lacking spatial accuracy or seasonal variations critical for understanding macroecosystem controls of the flux. Here, we compiled 5,910 direct measurements of fluvial CO 2 partial pressure and modeled them against watershed properties to resolve reach-scale monthly variations of the flux. The direct measurements were then combined with seasonally resolved gas transfer velocity and river surface area estimates from a recent global hydrography dataset to constrain the flux at the monthly scale. Globally, fluvial CO 2 emission varies between 112 and 209 Tg of carbon per month. The monthly flux varies much more in Arctic and northern temperate rivers than in tropical and southern temperate rivers (coefficient of variation: 46 to 95 vs. 6 to 12%). Annual fluvial CO 2 emission to terrestrial gross primary production (GPP) ratio is highly variable across regions, ranging from negligible (<0.2%) to 18%. Nonlinear regressions suggest a saturating increase in GPP and a nonsaturating, steeper increase in fluvial CO 2 emission with discharge across regions, which leadsmore »to higher percentages of GPP being shunted into rivers for evasion in wetter regions. This highlights the importance of hydrology, in particular water throughput, in routing terrestrial carbon to the atmosphere via the global drainage networks. Our results suggest the need to account for the differential hydrological responses of terrestrial–atmospheric vs. fluvial–atmospheric carbon exchanges in plumbing the terrestrial carbon budget.« less
  3. Abstract Dissolved organic matter (DOM) is recognized for its importance in freshwater ecosystems, but historical reliance on DOM quantity rather than indicators of DOM composition has led to an incomplete understanding of DOM and an underestimation of its role and importance in biogeochemical processes. A single sample of DOM can be composed of tens of thousands of distinct molecules. Each of these unique DOM molecules has their own chemical properties and reactivity or role in the environment. Human activities can modify DOM composition and recent research has uncovered distinct DOM pools laced with human markers and footprints. Here we review how land use change, climate change, nutrient pollution, browning, wildfires, and dams can change DOM composition which in turn will affect internal processing of freshwater DOM. We then describe how human-modified DOM can affect biogeochemical processes. Drought, wildfires, cultivated land use, eutrophication, climate change driven permafrost thaw, and other human stressors can shift the composition of DOM in freshwater ecosystems increasing the relative contribution of microbial-like and aliphatic components. In contrast, increases in precipitation may shift DOM towards more relatively humic-rich, allochthonous forms of DOM. These shifts in DOM pools will likely have highly contrasting effects on carbon outgassing andmore »burial, nutrient cycles, ecosystem metabolism, metal toxicity, and the treatments needed to produce clean drinking water. A deeper understanding of the links between the chemical properties of DOM and biogeochemical dynamics can help to address important future environmental issues, such as the transfer of organic contaminants through food webs, alterations to nitrogen cycling, impacts on drinking water quality, and biogeochemical effects of global climate change.« less
  4. ABSTRACT Coastal margins are important areas of materials flux that link terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Consequently, climate-mediated changes to coastal terrestrial ecosystems and hydrologic regimes have high potential to influence nearshore ocean chemistry and food web dynamics. Research from tightly coupled, high-flux coastal ecosystems can advance understanding of terrestrial–marine links and climate sensitivities more generally. In the present article, we use the northeast Pacific coastal temperate rainforest as a model system to evaluate such links. We focus on key above- and belowground production and hydrological transport processes that control the land-to-ocean flow of materials and their influence on nearshore marine ecosystems. We evaluate how these connections may be altered by global climate change and we identify knowledge gaps in our understanding of the source, transport, and fate of terrestrial materials along this coastal margin. Finally, we propose five priority research themes in this region that are relevant for understanding coastal ecosystem links more broadly.
  5. Abstract

    Northern high‐latitude lakes are undergoing climate‐induced changes including shifts in their hydrologic connectivity with terrestrial ecosystems. How this will impact dissolved organic matter (DOM) biogeochemistry remains uncertain. We examined the drivers of DOM composition for lakes in the Yukon Flats Basin in Alaska, an arid region of low relief that is characteristic of over one‐quarter of circumpolar lake area. Utilizing the vascular plant biomarker lignin, chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM), and ultrahigh‐resolution mass spectrometry, we interpreted DOM compositional changes using lake‐water stable isotope (δ18O‐H2O) composition as a proxy for lake hydrologic connectivity with the landscape. We observed a relative decrease in CDOM in more hydrologically isolated lakes (enriched δ18O‐H2O) without a corresponding decrease in dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentration. Although DOC and CDOM were weakly correlated, a significant positive relationship between lignin and CDOM (r2= 0.67) demonstrates that optical parameters are useful for estimating lignin concentration and thus vascular plant contribution to lake DOM. Indicators of allochthonous DOM, including lignin carbon normalized yields, CDOM aromaticity proxies, and relative abundances of polyphenolic and condensed aromatic compound classes, were negatively correlated with δ18O‐H2O (r2 > 0.45), suggesting there is little allochthonous DOM supplied to many of these hydrologically isolated lakes. We conclude thatmore »decreased lake hydrologic connectivity, driven by ongoing climate change (i.e., decreased precipitation, warming temperatures), will reduce allochthonous DOM contributions and shift lakes toward lower CDOM systems with ecosystem‐scale ramifications for heat transfer, photochemical reactions, productivity, and ultimately their biogeochemical function.

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