Tropical forests as drivers of lake carbon burial

Nat Commun. 2022 Jul 13;13(1):4051. doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-31258-8.

ABSTRACT

A significant proportion of carbon (C) captured by terrestrial primary production is buried in lacustrine ecosystems, which have been substantially affected by anthropogenic activities globally. However, there is a scarcity of sedimentary organic carbon (OC) accumulation information for lakes surrounded by highly productive rainforests at warm tropical latitudes, or in response to land cover and climate change. Here, we combine new data from intensive campaigns spanning 13 lakes across remote Amazonian regions with a broad literature compilation, to produce the first spatially-weighted global analysis of recent OC burial in lakes (over ~50-100-years) that integrates both biome type and forest cover. We find that humid tropical forest lake sediments are a disproportionately important global OC sink of ~80 Tg C yr-1 with implications for climate change. Further, we demonstrate that temperature and forest conservation are key factors in maintaining massive organic carbon pools in tropical lacustrine sediments.

PMID:35831284 | DOI:10.1038/s41467-022-31258-8

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