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Perspectives on the age and distribution of large wood in riparian carbon pools

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Most knowledge of carbon budgets is derived from the productivity and sequestration of carbon in terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Less is known of carbon stored in riparian areas associated with lakes and rivers. Case studies of the age distribution of carbon in aquatic large wood (Clw) from two different landscapes with different drainage patterns were established using tree-ring and 14C dating. Cumulative negative exponential distributions of the age of Clw ranged over periods from 1000 to 9485 years. Large woody debris had mean residence times of 261 years in small oligotrophic lakes and 350–800 years in a stream reach. Large wood can reside for an order of magnitude longer in freshwater–riparian ecosystems than in comparable above-ground terrestrial ecosystems. Although riparian areas make up only a small fraction of most landscapes, they may account for a relatively larger proportion of aged Clw than is stored above ground in terrestrial ecosystems.

La connaissance des budgets de carbone provient en très grande partie des études sur la productivité et la séquestration de carbone dans les écosystèmes terrestres et marins. On possède moins de données sur le carbone emmagasiné dans les zones ripariennes des lacs et des rivières. Nous avons procédé à deux études de cas de la répartition du carbone dans du bois de grande taille (Clw) en milieu aquatique, dans deux paysages différents à structures de drainage distinctes, à l'aide de datations basées sur les anneaux de croissance et sur le 14C. La distribution cumulative exponentielle négative des âges du Clw s'étend sur des périodes de 1000 à 9485 années. Les débris ligneux de grande taille ont un temps de séjour moyen de 261 ans dans les petits lacs oligotrophes et de 350 à 800 ans dans une section de cours d'eau. Le bois de grande taille peut demeurer 10 fois plus longtemps dans les écosystèmes d'eau douce et les écosystèmes ripariens que dans les écosystèmes terrestres épigées comparables. Bien que les zones ripariennes ne représentent qu'une faible fraction de la plupart des paysages, elles peuvent contribuer une proportion relativement plus importante du Clw que celle qui s'accumule au-dessus du sol dans les écosystèmes terrestres.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2002

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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