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Influence of Water Table and Atmospheric CO2 Concentration on the Carbon Balance of Arctic Tundra
K. M. Peterson, W. D. Billings and D. N. Reynolds
Arctic and Alpine Research
Vol. 16, No. 3 (Aug., 1984), pp. 331-335
Published by: INSTAAR, University of Colorado
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1550942
Page Count: 5
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Carbon balance of intact arctic tundra microcosms (soil cores with vegetation) has been shown to be sensitive to small changes in water table. The persistence of the effect of water table on CO2 flux in darkness, and the large reduction of such an effect in sand-culture microcosms without peat-degrading microorganisms have led to the conclusion that rates of microbial degradation of peat are most likely responsible for the bulk of previously observed effects of water table on net ecosystem CO2 flux of arctic tundra microcosms. In our experiment using sand cultures, we could not detect any significant effects of changes in water table or of increasing the atmospheric CO2 concentration on the growth of plants of two dominant graminoid species (Dupontia fisheri and Carex aquatilis).