Grazing and topography control nutrient pools in low Arctic soils of Southwest Greenland

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Van Soest, M. A. J, Anderson, N. J., Bol, R., Dixon, E. R. and Haygarth, P. M. 2022. Grazing and topography control nutrient pools in low Arctic soils of Southwest Greenland. European Journal of Soil Science. 73 (4), p. e13278. https://doi.org/10.1111/ejss.13278

AuthorsVan Soest, M. A. J, Anderson, N. J., Bol, R., Dixon, E. R. and Haygarth, P. M.
Abstract

Soil nutrient pools in the dry low Arctic are likely to be released under climatic change and this bioavailability has the potential to increase both terrestrial and aquatic productions. As well as the direct effect of warming, external disturbances such as nutrient deposition and grazing can also drive ecosystem change. This study in the low Arctic Kangerlussuaq area of southwest Greenland compared soil nutrient pools in terms of both topographic position on a catena and by soil depth in two small catchments with contrasting muskox abundance. We tested the hypotheses that there were differences between soil carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) across a soil catena (ridge - slope - valley) and by soil depth (litter - 0–5 cm - 25–30 cm) for the two sites (SS17b, muskox present, versus - SS85, no muskox). Total C and N concentrations of soils were on average lower at SS17b compared to SS85. Moreover, the soil N concentration increased downslope in the catena with higher amounts in the valleys compared to the slopes and ridges. Soil P concentration (0.70 g P kg1) was similar between catchments; however, litter P content was substantially different. The difference in soil nutrients between the two catchments was most likely due to the presence of muskox at SS17b, and hence grazing associated processes (defecation, altered microbiology and nutrient cycling). This study emphasises the heterogeneity of arctic landscapes and need for ecosystem specific research

KeywordsCarbon; Muskox; Nitrogen; Nutrients; Phosphorus
Year of Publication2022
JournalEuropean Journal of Soil Science
Journal citation73 (4), p. e13278
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/ejss.13278
Web address (URL)https://bsssjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/ejss.13278
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderDepartment of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeProject: PE 0118
Project: WQ 0109
BB/C504919/1
SoilCIP
Publisher's version
Accepted author manuscript
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online03 Jul 2022
Publication process dates
Accepted29 Jun 2022
PublisherWiley
ISSN1351-0754

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