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Climate warming and vegetation change in peatlands: spatial and temporal effects on biogeochemistry (VEGANPEAT)

Applicant Bragazza Luca
Number 144024
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL Research Unit Ecosystem Boundaries Wetlands Research Group
Institution of higher education Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research - WSL
Main discipline Pedology
Start/End 01.02.2014 - 31.01.2015
Approved amount 97'202.00
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Keywords (8)

Bomb-14C; Nitrogen cycling; Peat mesocosm transplantation; Peatlands; Climate warming; Vegetation change; Dissolved organic carbon; Soil enzymes

Lay Summary (Italian)

Lead
Le torbiere rappresentano un efficace serbatoio di carbonio atmosferico attraverso l’accumulo di torba, caratteristica dovuta alle condizioni di anossia (= scarsa ossigenazione) del suolo e alla presenza di peculiari piante (= gli sfagni). A fronte del riscaldamento climatico, sia l’ossigenazione del suolo che la copertura vegetale sono soggette ad alterazione. Il progetto intende chiarire in che modo queste alterazioni possono condizionare la capacità delle torbiere di accumulare torba.
Lay summary

Soggetto ed obiettivi

Il progetto si avvarrà di indagini di campo e di laboratorio. Le prime saranno condotte sia lungo un gradiente altitudinale, sia con il trasferimento di monoliti di torba a quote differenti. Attraverso l’integrazione di dati già disponibili e l’acquisizione di nuove informazioni, si prevede di raccogliere informazioni su: 1) il carbonio organico disciolto nelle acque, la respirazione del suolo (flusso di anidride carbonica), l’attività enzimatica nel suolo in rapporto alla temperatura e al grado di copertura vegetale; 2) verificare, attraverso l’impiego del carbonio 14, il ruolo della copertura vegetale nel favorire la decomposizione della torba piu’ antica; 3)  studiare in che misura il riscaldamento climatico alteri l’acquisizione di nutrienti da parte delle piante vascolari, in particolare dell’azoto.

Contesto socio-scientifico

Il progetto rientra nella ricerca fondamentale. Esso si propone di comprendere in che modo la componente epigea (= piante) e ipogea (= microbi del suolo) interagiscono in risposta ad una modificazione ambientale al fine di valutare quali rischi esistano che questi ecosistemi  si trasformino da accumulatori a produttori di anidride carbonica.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 06.01.2014

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Vascular plant-mediated controls on atmospheric carbon assimilation and peat carbon decomposition under climate change
Gavazov Konstantin, Albrecht Remy, Buttler Alexandre, Dorrepaal Ellen, Garnett Mark H., Gogo Sebastien, Hagedorn Frank, Mills Robert T. E., Robroek Bjorn J. M., Bragazza Luca (2018), Vascular plant-mediated controls on atmospheric carbon assimilation and peat carbon decomposition under climate change, in Global Change Biology, 24(9), 3911-3921.
Persistent high temperature and low precipitation reduce peat carbon accumulation
Bragazza Luca, Buttler Alexandre, Robroek Bjorn J.M., Albrecht Remy, Zaccone Claudio, Jassey Vincent E.J., Signarbieux Constant (2016), Persistent high temperature and low precipitation reduce peat carbon accumulation, in Global Change Biology, 22(12), 4114-4123.
Environmental drivers of carbon and nitrogen isotopic signatures in peatland vascular plants along an altitude gradient
Gavazov Konstantin, Hagedorn Frank, Buttler Alexandre, Siegwolf Rolf, Bragazza Luca (2016), Environmental drivers of carbon and nitrogen isotopic signatures in peatland vascular plants along an altitude gradient, in Oecologia, 180(1), 257-264.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Dept. of Agro-Environmental Sciences, Chemistry and Plant Protection, University of Foggia Italy (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research (SLF), Davos Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
NERC Radiocarbon Facility (Environment), Scottish Enterprise Technology Park, Glasgow Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
Paul Scherrer Institut, Labor für Atmosphärenchemie Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
EPFL-Laboratory of Ecological Systems Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Swiss Soil Science Society, Annual Meeting, University of Basel, Switzerland, 2015, February 5-6. Invited speaker, Luca Bragazza. Talk given at a conference Biogeochemical response of peatlands to climate change: linking aboveground changes to belowground processes 05.02.2015 Basel, Switzerland Bragazza Luca;
109th Congress of Italian Botanical Society, International Plant Science Conference. Florence, 2-5 September Talk given at a conference Persistent extreme climatic events reduce carbon accumulation in peatlands: mechanisms and quantification. 02.09.2014 Firenze, Italy Bragazza Luca;
BIOGEOMON 2014, July 13-17, 8th International Symposium on Ecosystem Behavior, University of Bayreuth, Germany. Individual talk Biogeochemical impacts of climate warming and atmospheric nitrogen deposition in peatlands: an aboveground-belowground perspective 13.07.2014 Bayreuth, Germany Hagedorn Frank; Bragazza Luca;
15th Swiss Global Change Day, 2 April 2014, Bern, Switzerland Poster Climate change, vegetation dynamics and carbon cycling in peatlands: the role of vascular plants in CO2 sequestration 02.04.2014 Bern, Switzerland Gavazov Konstantin;
Meur Bleu Carbon Workshop, 2014, March 3-4, Department of Geography, McGill University, Montreal (Canada) Individual talk Climate warming, vegetation response and carbon cycling in peatlands: preliminary results from ongoing manipulative and descriptive research projects 03.03.2014 Montreal, Canada Bragazza Luca;


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
129981 Effects of climate change on plant-microbe interactions for nutrient acquisition in bogs: implications for carbon and nutrient dynamics (CLIMABOG) 01.04.2010 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

In light of the sensitivity of peatlands to environmental change and their role as atmospheric carbon (C) sinks, the present project will estimate the feedback between climate warming, vegetation change, and biogeochemical processes in peatlands. Here, we propose to study C and nitrogen (N) cycling in peatlands: 1) along an altitudinal gradient (from 550 m to about 1900 m asl), reflecting long-term climatic changes, and 2) in transplanted peat mesocosms from the highest to the lowest altitude, simulating a short-term climate warming. In particular, we aim to: (1) clarify how climate change will affect extracellular soil enzymatic activity, soil respiration, the quantity and the quality of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), and vegetation cover; (2) test if a change in plant cover and soil temperature can enhance the decomposition of old organic matter by evaluating the bomb-14C content in carbon dioxide (CO2) respired from peat soil; (3) estimate if and how climatic warming alters nitrogen cycling by measuring N mineralization and the natural abundance of 15N in leaves of different peatland plant species. On the whole, taking the advantage of some preliminary results derived from a previous scientific project, and by implementing our investigative approach by means of new national and international collaborations, we will interconnect aboveground and belowground processes in order to understand the effect of global change on peatland biogeochemistry and the possible consequence on the C sequestration capacity of these ecosystems.
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