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Anthropogenic alteration of nutrient supply increases the global freshwater carbon sink

Anderson, J; Heathcote, A; Engstrom, D; Ryves, D; Mills, K; Prairie, Y; del Giorgio, P; ... Myrbo, A; + view all (2020) Anthropogenic alteration of nutrient supply increases the global freshwater carbon sink. Science Advances , 6 (16) , Article eaaw2145. 10.1126/sciadv.aaw2145. Green open access

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Abstract

Lakes have a disproportionate effect on the global carbon (C) cycle relative to their area, mediating C transfer from land to atmosphere, and burying organic-C in their sediments. The magnitude and temporal variability of C burial is, however, poorly constrained, and the degree to which humans have influenced lake C cycling through landscape alteration has not been systematically assessed. Here, we report global and biome specific trajectories of lake C sequestration based on 516 lakes and show that some lake C burial rates (i.e., those in tropical forest and grassland biomes) have quadrupled over the last 100 years. Global lake C-sequestration (~0.12 Pg year−1) has increased by ~72 Tg year−1 since 1900, offsetting 20% of annual CO2 freshwater emissions rising to ~30% if reservoirs are included and contributing to the residual continental C sink. Nutrient availability explains ~70% of the observed increase, while rising temperatures have a minimal effect.

Type: Article
Title: Anthropogenic alteration of nutrient supply increases the global freshwater carbon sink
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw2145
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aaw2145
Language: English
Additional information: © 2020 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works. Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial License 4.0 (CC BY-NC). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10091588
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