Measurement and Importance of Dissolved Organic Carbon
The flux of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) from an ecosystem can be a significant component of carbon (C) budgets especially in watersheds containing wetlands. Although internal ecosystem cycling of DOC is generally greater than the fluxes to ground or surface waters, it is the transport out of the system that is a main research focus for carbon accounting. In watersheds containing organic wetland soils or peatlands, the flux from the watershed can be 4–8% of annual net primary production, a significant fraction that should be addressed when performing a carbon mass balance. Recent literature suggests that DOC transport from watersheds is increasing as a result of climate change or changes in sulfur deposition. As changes occur in land use, atmospheric deposition, and climate, response variables such as DOC will become even more critical to document the effect of those changes.
KeywordsDOC forest floor soil carbon TOC analyzer wetlands
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