Nia Perron


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Pan-Arctic soil element bioavailability estimations
Peter Stimmler, Mathias Goeckede, Bo Elberling, Susan M. Natali, Peter Kuhry, Nia Perron, Fabrice Lacroix, Gustaf Hugelius, Oliver Sonnentag, Jens Strauß, C. Minions, Michael Sommer, Jörg Schaller
Earth System Science Data, Volume 15, Issue 3

Abstract. Arctic soils store large amounts of organic carbon and other elements, such as amorphous silicon, silicon, calcium, iron, aluminum, and phosphorous. Global warming is projected to be most pronounced in the Arctic, leading to thawing permafrost which, in turn, changes the soil element availability. To project how biogeochemical cycling in Arctic ecosystems will be affected by climate change, there is a need for data on element availability. Here, we analyzed the amorphous silicon (ASi) content as a solid fraction of the soils as well as Mehlich III extractions for the bioavailability of silicon (Si), calcium (Ca), iron (Fe), phosphorus (P), and aluminum (Al) from 574 soil samples from the circumpolar Arctic region. We show large differences in the ASi fraction and in Si, Ca, Fe, Al, and P availability among different lithologies and Arctic regions. We summarize these data in pan-Arctic maps of the ASi fraction and available Si, Ca, Fe, P, and Al concentrations, focusing on the top 100 cm of Arctic soil. Furthermore, we provide element availability values for the organic and mineral layers of the seasonally thawing active layer as well as for the uppermost permafrost layer. Our spatially explicit data on differences in the availability of elements between the different lithological classes and regions now and in the future will improve Arctic Earth system models for estimating current and future carbon and nutrient feedbacks under climate change (, Schaller and Goeckede, 2022).

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Spatial and temporal variation in forest transpiration across a forested boreal peatland complex
Nia Perron, Jennifer L. Baltzer, Oliver Sonnentag
Hydrological Processes, Volume 37, Issue 2

Abstract Transpiration is a globally important component of evapotranspiration. Careful upscaling of transpiration from point measurements is thus crucial for quantifying water and energy fluxes. In spatially heterogeneous landscapes common across the boreal biome, upscaled transpiration estimates are difficult to determine due to variation in local environmental conditions (e.g., basal area, soil moisture, permafrost). Here, we sought to determine stand‐level attributes that influence transpiration scalars for a forested boreal peatland complex consisting of sparsely treed wetlands and densely treed permafrost plateaus as land cover types. The objectives were to quantify spatial and temporal variability in stand‐level transpiration, and to identify sources of uncertainty when scaling point measurements to the stand‐level. Using heat ratio method sap flow sensors, we determined sap velocity for black spruce and tamarack for 2‐week periods during peak growing season in 2013, 2017 and 2018. We found greater basal area, drier soils, and the presence of permafrost increased daily sap velocity in individual trees, suggesting that local environmental conditions are important in dictating sap velocity. When sap velocity was scaled to stand‐level transpiration using gridded 20 × 20 m resolution data across the ~10 ha Scotty Creek ForestGEO plot, we observed significant differences in daily plot transpiration among years (0.17–0.30 mm), and across land cover types. Daily transpiration was lowest in grid‐cells with sparsely treed wetlands compared to grid‐cells with well‐drained and densely treed permafrost plateaus, where daily transpiration reached 0.80 mm, or 30% of the daily evapotranspiration. When transpiration scalars (i.e., sap velocity) were not specific to the different land cover types (i.e., permafrost plateaus and wetlands), scaled stand‐level transpiration was overestimated by 42%. To quantify the relative contribution of tree transpiration to ecosystem evapotranspiration, we recommend that sampling designs stratify across local environmental conditions to accurately represent variation associated with land cover types, especially with different hydrological functioning as encountered in rapidly thawing boreal peatland complexes.


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Snowmelt Water Use at Transpiration Onset: Phenology, Isotope Tracing, and Tree Water Transit Time
Magali F. Nehemy, Jason Maillet, Nia Perron, Christoforos Pappas, Oliver Sonnentag, Jennifer L. Baltzer, Colin P. Laroque, Jeffrey J. McDonnell
Water Resources Research, Volume 58, Issue 9

Studies of tree water source partitioning have primarily focused on the growing season. However, little is yet known about the source of transpiration before, during, and after snowmelt when trees rehydrate and recommence transpiration in the spring. This study investigates tree water use during spring snowmelt following tree's winter stem shrinkage. We document the source of transpiration of three boreal forest tree species—Pinus banksiana, Picea mariana, and Larix laricina—by combining observations of weekly isotopic signatures (δ18O and δ2H) of xylem, soil water, rainfall and snowmelt with measurements of soil moisture dynamics, snow depth and high-resolution temporal measurements of stem radius changes and sap flow. Our data shows that the onset of stem rehydration and transpiration overlaps with snowmelt for evergreens. During rehydration and transpiration onset, xylem water at the canopy reflected a constant pre-melt isotopic signature likely showing late fall conditions. As snowmelt infiltrates the soil and recharges the soil matrix, soil water shows a rapid isotopic shift to depleted-snowmelt water values. While there was an overlap between snowmelt and transpiration timing, xylem and soil water isotopic values did not overlap during transpiration onset. Our data showed 1–2-week delay in the shift in xylem water from pre-melt to clear snowmelt-depleted water signatures in evergreen species. This delay appears to be controlled by tree water transit time that was in the order of 9–18 days. Our study shows that snowmelt is a key source for stem rehydration and transpiration in the boreal forest during spring onset.

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The importance of calcium and amorphous silica for arctic soil CO2 production
Peter Stimmler, Mathias Göckede, Susan M. Natali, Oliver Sonnentag, Benjamin Gilfedder, Nia Perron, Jörg Schaller
Frontiers in Environmental Science, Volume 10

Future warming of the Arctic not only threatens to destabilize the enormous pool of organic carbon accumulated in permafrost soils but may also mobilize elements such as calcium (Ca) or silicon (Si). While for Greenlandic soils, it was recently shown that both elements may have a strong effect on carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) production with Ca strongly decreasing and Si increasing CO 2 production, little is known about the effects of Si and Ca on carbon cycle processes in soils from Siberia, the Canadian Shield, or Alaska. In this study, we incubated five different soils (rich organic soil from the Canadian Shield and from Siberia (one from the top and one from the deeper soil layer) and one acidic and one non-acidic soil from Alaska) for 6 months under both drained and waterlogged conditions and at different Ca and amorphous Si (ASi) concentrations. Our results show a strong decrease in soil CO 2 production for all soils under both drained and waterlogged conditions with increasing Ca concentrations. The ASi effect was not clear across the different soils used, with soil CO 2 production increasing, decreasing, or not being significantly affected depending on the soil type and if the soils were initially drained or waterlogged. We found no methane production in any of the soils regardless of treatment. Taking into account the predicted change in Si and Ca availability under a future warmer Arctic climate, the associated fertilization effects would imply potentially lower greenhouse gas production from Siberia and slightly increased greenhouse gas emissions from the Canadian Shield. Including Ca as a controlling factor for Arctic soil CO 2 production rates may, therefore, reduces uncertainties in modeling future scenarios on how Arctic regions may respond to climate change.