Regulation of carbon dioxide emission from Swedish boreal lakes and the Gulf of Bothnia

Detta är en avhandling från Umeå universitet

Sammanfattning: The global carbon cycle is subject to intense research, where sources and sinks for greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide in particular, are estimated for various systems and biomes. Lakes have previously been neglected in carbon balance estimations, but have recently been recognized to be significant net sources of CO2.This thesis estimates emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) from boreal lakes and factors regulating the CO2 saturation from field measurements of CO2 concentration along with a number of chemical, biological and physical parameters. Concentration of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) was found to be the most important factor for CO2 saturation in lake water, whereas climatic parameters such as precipitation, temperature and global radiation were less influential. All lakes were supersaturated with and, thus, sources of CO2. Sediment incubation experiments indicated that in-lake mineralization processes during summer stratification mainly occurred in the pelagial. Approximately 10% of the CO2 emitted from the lake surface was produced in epilimnetic sediments.The mineralization of DOC and emission of CO2 from freshwaters was calculated on a catchment basis for almost 80,000 lakes and 21 major catchments in Sweden, together with rates of sedimentation in lakes and export of organic carbon to the sea. The total export of terrestrial organic carbon to freshwaters could thereby be estimated and consequently also the importance of lakes for the withdrawal of organic carbon export from terrestrial sources to the sea. Lakes removed 30-80% of imported terrestrial organic carbon, and mineralization and CO2 emission were much more important than sedimentation of carbon. The carbon loss was closely related to water retention time, where catchments with short residence times (<1 year) had low carbon retentions, whereas in catchments with long residence times (>3 years) a majority of the imported TOC was removed in the lake systems.The Gulf of Bothnia was also studied in this thesis and found to be a net heterotrophic system, emitting large amounts of CO2 to the atmosphere on an annual basis. The rate of CO2 emission was depending on the balance between primary production and bacterial respiration, and the system was oscillating between being a source and a sink of CO2.