Peatland Processes and Environmental Change: Past, Present, and Future
Thursday, August 8, 2013: 1:30 PM-5:00 PM
101D, Minneapolis Convention Center
J. Megan Steinweg
Jason K. Keller
J. Megan Steinweg
Peatland ecosystems occupy a small percentage of the terrestrial land surface, but contain over 20% of the terrestrial soil carbon and are responsible a significant portion of the global flux of methane (CH4) to the atmosphere. These wetlands play a disproportionately large role in the modern global carbon cycle, and peatland carbon cycling has been an important component of global climate forcing over geological time. Thus, it is crucial to understand the mechanistic controls of peatland carbon cycling to predict and model how these ecosystems will respond to and impact ongoing global change
This session will appeal to a broad range of ecologists. The northern location of ESA this year will likely draw peatland ecologists to the meeting. The topics explored in this session will be of interest to climate change researchers, wetland ecologists, as well as ecosystem ecologist and biogeochemists interested in carbon and nutrient cycling in anaerobic and high carbon systems. Recent investment by the US DOE in a large-scale, multi-factor peatland climate change experiment on the Chippewan National Forest of northern Minnesota, USA will also likely increase interest in this session.
We have selected and invited speakers with a broad range of experience in peatland and ecosystem research studies, from established to early career faculty to post-doctoral researchers. We start the session with speakers addressing the history and research in peatlands, and end the session with a modeling presentation and a speaker to highlight a new large-scale peatland ecosystem manipulation. All other speakers have extensive experience in topics related to plant and microbial processes in peatland ecosystems. The order of the talks will incorporate microbial and plant experiments to landscape and modeling perspectives. The modeling perspective was placed after the presentations containing empirical data to try and highlight how current information is useful for peatland models and indicate what other type of data are necessary.