Climatic factors influencing fluxes of dissolved organic carbon from the forest floor in a continuous-permafrost Siberian watershed

Academic Article


  • Fluxes of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in forested watersheds underlain by permafrost are likely to vary with changes in climatic regime that increase soil moisture and temperature. We examined the effects of temporal and spatial variations in soil temperature and moisture on DOC fluxes from the forest floor of contrasting north- and south-facing slopes in central Siberia. DOC fluxes increased throughout the growing season (June–September) on both slopes in 2002 and 2003. The most favorable combination of moisture content and temperature (deepest active soil layer) occurred in September, and we believe this was the primary driver of increased DOC concentrations and flux in autumn. Total DOC flux for June–September was 12.6–17.6 g C·m–2 on the south-facing slope and 4.6–8.9 g C·m–2 on the north-facing slope. DOC concentrations in forest floor leachates increased with increasing temperature on the north-facing slope, but were almost unaffected by temperature on the south-facing slope. Our results suggest that water input in midseason from melting of ice or precipitation events is the primary factor limiting DOC production. Significant positive correlations between amounts of precipitation and DOC flux were found on both slopes. Dilution of DOC concentrations by high precipitation volumes was observed only for the forest floor leachates collected from the north-facing slope. Our results suggest that global warming will result in increased DOC production in forest floors of permafrost regions, and that precipitation patterns will play an important role in determining the magnitude of these changes in DOC flux as well as its interannual variability. However, the longer-term response of soils and DOC flux to a warming climate will be driven by changes in vegetation and microbial communities as well as by the direct results of temperature and moisture conditions.
  • Authors

  • Prokushkin, AS
  • Kajimoto, T
  • Prokushkin, SG
  • McDowell, Bill
  • Abaimov, AP
  • Matsuura, Y
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • September 2005
  • Has Subject Area

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 2130
  • End Page

  • 2140
  • Volume

  • 35
  • Issue

  • 9