, Volume 60, Issue 3, pp 213–234

Production and export of dissolved C in arctic tundra mesocosms: the roles of vegetation and water flow

  • Kristin E. Judd
  • George W. Kling

DOI: 10.1023/A:1020371412061

Cite this article as:
Judd, K.E. & Kling, G.W. Biogeochemistry (2002) 60: 213. doi:10.1023/A:1020371412061


To better understand carbon (C) cycling in arctic tundra we measureddissolved C production and export rates in mesocosms of three tundra vegetationtypes: tussock, inter-tussock and wet sedge. Three flushing frequencies wereused to simulate storm events and determine potential mass export of dissolved Cunder increased soil water flow scenarios. Dissolved C production and exportrates differed between vegetation types (inter-tussock < tussock < wetsedge). In the absence of flushing, dissolved organic C (DOC) dominatedproduction in tussock and inter-tussock soils but was consumed in wet sedgesoils (8.3, 32.7, and −0.4 μg C g soil−1day−1). Soil water dissolved C concentrations declined over time when flushedat high and medium frequencies but were variable at low flushing frequency.Total yield of dissolved C and DOC increased with increased flushing frequency.The ratio of DOC to dissolved inorganic C exported dropped with increasedflushing under tussock but not inter-tussock or wet sedge vegetation. Massexport per liter of water added declined as flushing frequency increased intussock and inter-tussock mesocosms. Export and production of dissolved C werestrongly correlated with above ground biomass, but not with photosynthetic ratesor below ground biomass. DOC quality was examined by measuring production ofToolik Lake bacteria fed mesocosm soil water. When normalized for DOCconcentration, wet sedge soil water supported significantly higher bacterialproduction. Our results indicate that arctic tundra soils have high potentialsfor dissolved C export, that water flow and vegetation type mainly controldissolved C export, and that responses of aquatic microbes to terrestrial inputsdepend on the vegetation type in the watershed.

Arctic carbon balance Bacterial production Belowground carbon dynamics Carbon export Dissolved organic carbon Land-water interactions Terrestrial inputs Tussock tundra Wetlands 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kristin E. Judd
    • 1
  • George W. Kling
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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