, Volume 34, Issue 6, pp 1171–1182 | Cite as

Spatial Variations in Pore-Water Biogeochemistry Greatly Exceed Temporal Changes During Baseflow Conditions in a Boreal River Valley Mire Complex, Northwest Russia

  • Armine AvagyanEmail author
  • Benjamin R.K. Runkle
  • Jens Hartmann
  • Lars Kutzbach
Original Research


Mobilization and release of carbon from mires to the atmospheric and aquatic systems depend on biogeochemical conditions in the peat soils. These conditions can widely vary within the large boreal mire complexes that are typically composed of a variety of mesoscale ecohydrological landscape units. This study aims to characterize spatial and temporal variations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and major base ion concentrations in surface and soil pore waters of a typical boreal river valley mire complex in northwest Russia. Three mesoscale ecohydrological landscape units were identified based on vegetation, topography and water table characteristics and investigated with regard to their hydrochemistry: bog, fen and marginal swamp forest. The highest DOC concentrations were detected in the swamp forest, and the lowest concentrations were observed at the bog (swamp forest: 42–54 mg L−1, fen: 28–38 mg L−1, bog: 20–28 mg L−1). The transitional swamp forest zone was also the primary contributor of the water discharged from the investigated site. Thus, these transitional zones should be investigated in more detail because these previously largely neglected landscape units appear to have a strong effect on biogeochemical properties of the discharged water and are potentially major greenhouse gas emitters.


Dissolved organic matter, Base ions Boreal mire Carbon mobilization Landscape heterogeneity 



This work was supported through the Cluster of Excellence “Integrated Climate System Analysis and Prediction CliSAP” (EXC177), University of Hamburg, funded by the German Research Foundation (Integrated Research Activity 08/2-034). B. Runkle is additionally supported through the University of Hamburg’s Center for a Sustainable University (KNU). Infrastructure at the study site was partially supported by the CARBO-North Project (6th FP of the EU, Contract number 36993 to M. Wilmking). We thank and acknowledge Svetlana Zagirova and other members of the Komi Science Centre for their logistical support and for arranging laboratory space for analyses. We thank Christian Knoblauch, Christian Wille, Tom Jaeppinen, Birgit Schwinge, Susanne Kopelke, Stephanie Langer, Tatiana Pristova, Oleg Michajlov, Michael Miglovec and Norman Rüggen for their support during this project. Last but not least we appreciate support in mapping from Sebastian Zubrzycki.

Supplementary material

13157_2014_576_MOESM1_ESM.doc (64 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 64 kb)


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Copyright information

© Society of Wetland Scientists 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Armine Avagyan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Benjamin R.K. Runkle
    • 1
  • Jens Hartmann
    • 2
  • Lars Kutzbach
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Soil Science, Center for Earth System Research and SustainabilityUniversity of HamburgHamburgGermany
  2. 2.Institute for Biogeochemistry and Marine Chemistry, Center for Earth System Research and SustainabilityUniversity of HamburgHamburgGermany

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