Effects of elevated CO2 on fen peat biogeochemistry

Hojeong Kang, Chris Freeman, Trevor W. Ashendon

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70 Citations (Scopus)


Effects of elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration on northern peatland biogeochemistry was studied in a short-term experiment. Eight intact soil cores (11-cm diameter × 40-cm depth) with Juncus and Festuca spp. were collected from a calcareous fen in north Wales. Half of the cores were incubated under 350 ppm CO2 concentration, whilst the other four cores were maintained at 700 ppm CO2. After a 4-month incubation, significantly higher biomass (root + shoot + algal mat) was determined under elevated CO2 conditions. Higher emissions of N2O and CO2, and higher concentration of pore-water DOC (dissolved organic carbon) were also observed under elevated CO2. However, no significant differences were found in CH4 emission or soil enzyme activities (β-glucosidase, phosphatase, and N-acetylglucosaminidase) in the bulk soil. Overall, the results suggest that elevated CO2 would increase the primary productivity of the fen vegetation, and stimulate N2O and CO2 emissions as a consequence of an enhanced DOC supply from the vegetation to the soil microbes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-50
Number of pages6
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 2001 Nov 12

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
H. Kang is grateful to the Society of Wetland Scientists for Student Research Grants. C. Freeman is a Royal Society University Research Fellow.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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