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Anthropogenic alteration of nutrient supply increases the global freshwater carbon sink

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posted on 07.05.2020 by Nicholas John Anderson, AJ Heathcote, DR Engstrom, David Ryves, K Mills, YT Prairie, PA del Giorgio, H Bennion, S Turner, NL Rose, VJ Jones, N Solovieva, A Cook Shinneman, CE Umbanhowar, SC Fritz, D Verschuren, JE Saros, JM Russell, R Bindler, B Valero-Garcés, MB Edlund, RD Dietz, AE Myrbo
Lakes have a disproportionate effect on the global carbon (C) cycle relative to their area, mediating C transfer from land to atmosphere, and burying organic-C in their sediments. The magnitude and temporal variability of C burial is, however, poorly constrained, and the degree to which humans have influenced lake C cycling through landscape alteration has not been systematically assessed. Here, we report global and biome specific trajectories of lake C sequestration based on 516 lakes and show that some lake C burial rates (i.e., those in tropical forest and grassland biomes) have quadrupled over the last 100 years. Global lake C-sequestration (~0.12 Pg year−1) has increased by ~72 Tg year−1 since 1900, offsetting 20% of annual CO2 freshwater emissions rising to ~30% if reservoirs are included and contributing to the residual continental C sink. Nutrient availability explains ~70% of the observed increase, while rising temperatures have a minimal effect.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Geography and Environment

Published in

Science Advances

Volume

6

Issue

16

Publisher

American Association for the Advancement of Science

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.

Publisher statement

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License 4.0 (CC BY-NC), which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

Acceptance date

22/01/2020

Publication date

2020-04-15

Copyright date

2020

eISSN

2375-2548

Language

en

Depositor

Dr Dave Ryves. Deposit date: 6 May 2020

Article number

eaaw2145

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