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Dr. Ryan Sponseller
Department of Ecology and Environmental Science
Land-water interactions and the fate of terrestrial carbon in boreal streams
Abstract: The transport of organic and inorganic carbon (C) across land-water interfaces is important for the C balance of regional landscapes and is central to the ecology and biogeochemistry of recipient aquatic ecosystems. In boreal landscapes, massive stores of organic matter in soils and peatlands can support large lateral fluxes of organic and inorganic C to streams and rivers. Yet, understanding the landscape controls over this supply and predicting the downstream fate of terrestrial C remain important research goals. In this seminar, I will synthesize ongoing research from the Krycklan Catchment in northern Sweden to illustrate how landscape properties regulate patterns of C supply across land-water boundaries, evaluate the degree to which aquatic processes (e.g., respiration) can shape the downstream fate of C, and explore how fine-scale hydrological connections with the surrounding catchment can facilitate such processes. Together, these insights will be used to broadly address the biogeochemical roles of streams and rivers in the boreal landscape and highlight key areas for future work.
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