Article

Whole-crown 13C-pulse labelling in a sub-arctic woodland to target canopy-specific carbon fluxes

Details

Citation

Friggens NL, Hartley IP, Grant HK, Parker TC, Subke J & Wookey PA (2022) Whole-crown 13C-pulse labelling in a sub-arctic woodland to target canopy-specific carbon fluxes. Trees, 36 (4), pp. 1497-1445. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00468-022-02267-3

Abstract
Climate change-driven increases in plant productivity have been observed at high northern latitudes. These trends are driven, in part, by the increasing abundance of tall shrub and tree species in arctic ecosystems, and the advance of treelines. Higher plant productivity may alter carbon (C) allocation and, hence, ecosystem C cycling and soil C sequestration. It is important to understand the contributions that the newly established canopy forming overstorey species makes to C cycling in these ecosystems. However, the presence of a dense understorey cover makes this challenging, with established partitioning approaches causing disturbance and potentially introducing measurement artefacts. Here, we develop an in situ whole-crown 13C-pulse labelling technique to isolate canopy C fluxes in areas of dense understorey cover. The crowns of five mountain birch (Betula pubescens ssp. czerepanovii) trees were provided with a 13CO2 pulse using portable field equipment, and leaf samples were collected from neighbouring con-specific trees and hetero-specific understorey shrubs on days 1–10 and 377 post-crown labelling. We found effective and long-term enrichment of foliage in labelled trees, but no evidence of the 13C-signal in con- or hetero-specific neighbouring trees or woody shrubs. This method is promising and provides a valuable tool to isolate the role of canopy tree species in ecosystems with dense understorey cover.

Keywords
13C labelling; Betula pubescens; Carbon flux; Treeline forest

Journal
Trees: Volume 36, Issue 4

StatusPublished
FundersNERC Natural Environment Research Council and NERC Natural Environment Research Council
Publication date31/08/2022
Publication date online28/02/2022
Date accepted by journal13/01/2022
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/34005
ISSN0931-1890
eISSN1432-2285

People (3)

People

Dr Tom Parker
Dr Tom Parker

Research Fellow, Biological and Environmental Sciences

Professor Jens-Arne Subke
Professor Jens-Arne Subke

Professor, Biological and Environmental Sciences

Professor Philip Wookey
Professor Philip Wookey

Professor, Biological and Environmental Sciences

Projects (2)