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Article

Impact of Forest Harvesting Intensity and Water Table on Biodegradability of Dissolved Organic Carbon in Boreal Peat in an Incubation Experiment

1
Department of Forest Sciences, University of Helsinki, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
2
Faculty of Science and Forestry, University of Eastern Finland, 80101 Joensuu, Finland
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Department of Environmental and Biological Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, 80101 Joensuu, Finland
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Department of Environmental and Biological Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, 70211 Kuopio, Finland
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Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Helsinki, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
6
Bioeconomy and Environment, Natural Resources Institute Finland, 00790 Helsinki, Finland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Matthias Peichl
Forests 2022, 13(4), 599; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13040599
Received: 3 March 2022 / Revised: 5 April 2022 / Accepted: 8 April 2022 / Published: 11 April 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Management, Hydrology and Biogeochemistry Modelling)
Boreal peatlands are vast carbon (C) stores but also major sources of dissolved organic C (DOC) and nutrients to surface waters. Drainage and forest harvesting accelerates DOC leaching. Continuous cover forestry (CCF) is considered to cause fewer adverse environmental effects. Yet, the effects of CCF on DOC processes are unrecognised. We study DOC production and quality in unharvested, CCF, and clear-cut drained peatland forests and in a non-forested alluvial sedge fen. Parallel replicate peat columns with ground vegetation are collected from the uppermost 50 cm at each site, and the water table (WT) is set to −20 or −40 cm depths on the columns. During the eight-month ex situ incubation experiment, the soil water samples are extracted monthly or bi-monthly. The samples are incubated at 15 °C for multiple 72 h incubation cycles to study pore water quality and biodegradation of DOC. The CO2 production occurs during the first three days. The DOC concentrations and the CO2 release per volume of water are significantly lower in the sedge fen than in the drained peatland forests. The WT has a negligible effect on DOC concentrations and no effect on DOC quality, but the higher WT has generally higher CO2 production per DOC than the lower WT. The results suggest that peat in the drained peatlands is not vulnerable to changes per se but that forest management alters biotic and abiotic factors that control the production, transport, and biodegradation of DOC. View Full-Text
Keywords: peatland forestry; continuous cover forestry; clear-cutting; dissolved organic carbon (DOC); biodegradability; water quality; drainage peatland forestry; continuous cover forestry; clear-cutting; dissolved organic carbon (DOC); biodegradability; water quality; drainage
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MDPI and ACS Style

Peltomaa, E.; Könönen, M.; Palviainen, M.; Laurén, A.; Zhu, X.; Kinnunen, N.; Aaltonen, H.; Ojala, A.; Pumpanen, J. Impact of Forest Harvesting Intensity and Water Table on Biodegradability of Dissolved Organic Carbon in Boreal Peat in an Incubation Experiment. Forests 2022, 13, 599. https://doi.org/10.3390/f13040599

AMA Style

Peltomaa E, Könönen M, Palviainen M, Laurén A, Zhu X, Kinnunen N, Aaltonen H, Ojala A, Pumpanen J. Impact of Forest Harvesting Intensity and Water Table on Biodegradability of Dissolved Organic Carbon in Boreal Peat in an Incubation Experiment. Forests. 2022; 13(4):599. https://doi.org/10.3390/f13040599

Chicago/Turabian Style

Peltomaa, Elina, Mari Könönen, Marjo Palviainen, Annamari Laurén, Xudan Zhu, Niko Kinnunen, Heidi Aaltonen, Anne Ojala, and Jukka Pumpanen. 2022. "Impact of Forest Harvesting Intensity and Water Table on Biodegradability of Dissolved Organic Carbon in Boreal Peat in an Incubation Experiment" Forests 13, no. 4: 599. https://doi.org/10.3390/f13040599

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