Peatland carbon stocks and accumulation rates in the Ecuadorian páramo
College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science
The páramo is a high altitude tropical Andean ecosystem that contains peatlands with thick horizons of carbon (C) dense soils. Soil C data are sparse for most of the páramo, especially in peatlands, which limits our ability to provide accurate regional and country wide estimates of C storage. Therefore, the objective of our research was to quantify belowground C stocks and accumulation rates in páramo peatland soils in two regions of northeastern Ecuador. Peatland soil cores were collected from Antisana Ecological Reserve and Cayambe-Coca National Park. We measured soil C densities and 14C dates to estimate soil accumulation rates. The mean peatland soil depth across both regions was 3.8 m and contained an estimated mean C storage of 1282 Mg ha−1. Peatlands older than 3000 cal. year BP had a mean long-term C accumulation rate of 26 g m−2 year−1, with peatlands younger than 500 cal. year BP displaying mean recent rates of C accumulation of 134 g m−2 year−1. These peatlands also receive large inputs of mineral material, predominantly from volcanic deposition, that has created many interbedded non-peat mineral soil horizons that contained 48 % of the soil C. Because of large C stocks in Ecuadorian mountain peatlands and the potential disturbance from land use and climate change, additional studies are need to provide essential baseline assessments and estimates of C storage in the Andes.
Wetlands Ecology and Management
Hribljan, J. A.,
Heckman, K. A.,
Lilleskov, E. A.,
Peatland carbon stocks and accumulation rates in the Ecuadorian páramo.
Wetlands Ecology and Management,
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