The Carbon Stock of Alpine Peatlands on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau During the Holocene and Their Future Fate (2014)

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Most studies about carbon dynamics of peatlands have been focused on boreal, subarctic and tropical peatlands. However, there is limited data about carbon dynamics of alpine peatlands, like Zoige peatlands on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP), which are sensitive to climate change and human disturbance. We studied the role of these peat deposits on the Zoige as a C reserve and sink by measuring peat depth, radiocarbon age and peat and C accumulation rates at 7 sites. The peat depths of the sample sites ranged from 0.20 to 6.0m; the basal age on the plateau varied from 1635 to 14095calyr BP; the peataccumulation rates ranged from 0.12 to 0.85mmyr-1, and the C accumulation rates from 5 to 48 g m-2 yr-1. Based on data of field studies and remote sensing, we regarded that with 3179km2 of intact peatlands, about 1426km2 of degraded peatlands, and the total area of Zoige peatlands was 4605km2. The current peat C stock of Zoige peatlands was0.477Pg (ranging from 0.206 to 0.672Pg). We also estimated that peatlands covered an area of about 5091 km2on the QTP and sequestered 0.543PgC, 88% in Zoige and the rest in other parts of the plateau. Human activities, together with the ubiquitous warming on the plateau (temperature increased by 0.2°C per decade over the past 50 years) not only shrank the area of intact peatlands, but also caused substantial carbon releasing from peatlands.
Year: 2014
Language: English
In: Quaternary Science Reviews, 95 : 151-158 p.

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 Record created 2014-09-17, last modified 2014-09-17