Landscape patterns of soil organic matter quantity and liability in permafrost terrain

Project leader

Funding source

Swedish Research Council - Vetenskapsrådet (VR)

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2006
End date: 31/12/2008
Funding: 1378000 SEK


This project aims at assessing spatial patterns of soil organic matter (SOM) allocation in permafrost terrain of Central Canada and Northeast European Russia. The term soil is used here in its broadest sense to include both upland soils and peat deposits. The study will particularly focus on SOM quantity/lability in Histic Cryosols ('peaty' tundra soils) and Cryic Histosols ('permafrost' peatlands), which contain the bulk of SOM in high latitude terrestrial ecosystems. Although the analyses will concentrate on 'permafrost' soils, comparative studies will also be conducted at non-permafrost sites. Research activities include assessments of 1) present-day soil types (and permafrost conditions), 2) spatial distribution of the soil carbon pool in the landscape, 3) chemistry/lability of the SOM, and 4) upscaling to regional levels. Significant gaps in knowledge exist with regard to total high latitude carbon stock estimates, the proportion of this carbon pool located in permafrost terrain and how permafrost conditions affect soil organic matter (SOM) chemistry and susceptibility for decay. The project will result in a unique insight in SOM properties in two study regions that represent a wide range of ecoclimatic conditions prevailing in high latitude terrestrial ecosystems. Results will contribute to a better understanding of possible feedbacks from northern soils to global warming (and permafrost thawing).

Last updated on 2017-24-03 at 12:16