Vegetation development and carbon storage on a glacier foreland in the High Arctic, Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard

Shimpei Yoshitake, Masaki Uchida, Toshiyuki Ohtsuka, Hiroshi Kanda, Hiroshi Koizumi, Takayuki Nakatsubo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

The distribution of organic carbon and its relationship to vegetation development were examined on a glacier foreland near Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard (79°N). In a 0.72-km2 area, we established 43 study plots on three line transects along primary succession from recently deglaciated area to old well-vegetated area. At each plot, we measured the type and percent coverage of vegetation types. The organic carbon content of vegetation, organic soil, and mineral soil samples was determined based on their organic carbon concentration and bulk density. Cluster analysis based on vegetation coverage revealed five types of ground surfaces representing variations in the amounts and allocation patterns of organic carbon. In the later stages of succession, 7%-24% and 31%-40% of organic carbon was contained in the organic and deeper soil layers, respectively. Organic carbon storage in the later stages of succession ranged from 1.1 - 7.9 kg C m-2. A larger amount of organic carbon, including ancient carbon in a raised beach deposit, was expected to be contained in much deeper soil layers. These results suggest that both vegetation development and geological history affect ecosystem carbon storage and that a non-negligible amount of organic carbon is distributed in this High Arctic glacier foreland.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-397
Number of pages7
JournalPolar Science
Volume5
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Sep

Fingerprint

glaciers
carbon sequestration
Arctic region
glacier
organic carbon
vegetation
carbon
raised beach
primary succession
line transect
organic soils
organic soil
mineral soils
vegetation types
vegetation type
beaches
bulk density
cluster analysis
soil
soil sampling

Keywords

  • Carbon storage
  • High arctic glacier foreland
  • Succession
  • Svalbard
  • Vegetation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology

Cite this

Vegetation development and carbon storage on a glacier foreland in the High Arctic, Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard. / Yoshitake, Shimpei; Uchida, Masaki; Ohtsuka, Toshiyuki; Kanda, Hiroshi; Koizumi, Hiroshi; Nakatsubo, Takayuki.

In: Polar Science, Vol. 5, No. 3, 09.2011, p. 391-397.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Yoshitake, Shimpei ; Uchida, Masaki ; Ohtsuka, Toshiyuki ; Kanda, Hiroshi ; Koizumi, Hiroshi ; Nakatsubo, Takayuki. / Vegetation development and carbon storage on a glacier foreland in the High Arctic, Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard. In: Polar Science. 2011 ; Vol. 5, No. 3. pp. 391-397.
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