Louisiana State University

Seminar: "Tropical peatland carbon storage linked to global latitudinal trends in peat recalcitrance"

CEGO Seminar: "Tropical peatland carbon storage linked to global latitudinal trends in peat recalcitrance"

  • Speaker: Dr. Jeff Chanton, Florida State University
  • April 5, 2019, 11:30 a.m.
  • Dalton J. Woods Auditorium, ECE

Peatlands represent large terrestrial carbon banks. Given that most peat accumulates in boreal regions, where low temperatures and water saturation preserve organic matter, the existence of peat in (sub)tropical regions remains enigmatic. Here we examined peat and plant chemistry across a latitudinal transect from the Arctic to the tropics. Near-surface low-latitude peat has lower carbohydrate and greater aromatic content than near-surface high-latitude peat, creating a reduced oxidation state and resulting recalcitrance. This recalcitrance allows peat to persist in the (sub)tropics despite warm temperatures. Because we observed similar declines in carbohydrate content with depth in high-latitude peat, our data explain recent field-scale deep peat warming experiments in which catotelm (deeper) peat remained stable despite temperature increases up to 9 °C. We suggest that high-latitude deep peat reservoirs may be stabilized in the face of climate change by their ultimately lower carbohydrate and higher aromatic composition, similar to tropical peats.

Friday, April 5, 2019 at 11:30am to 12:30pm

Energy, Coast & Environment Building, Dalton J. Woods Auditorium

Event Type

Lectures & Presentations

Target Audience

Students, Faculty, General Public, Staff

Cost

Free

Department
College of the Coast & Environment
Hashtag

#CEGO

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