Distinguished Speaker Dr. Rebecca Barnes "Links Land to Water" This Week

  • Feb 9, 2019

This week EES welcomes Distinguished Speaker Dr. Rebecca Barnes, Colorado College.

"Linking Land to Water: How Disturbance Alters Watershed Carbon Dynamics"

The flux of terrestrial carbon to rivers has increased relative to pre-industrial levels and a fraction of this flux is aged dissolved organic carbon (DOC). Once in rivers, carbon is stored in sediments, exported to the ocean, or (bio)chemically processed and released as CO2. Potential sources and processing of DOC shift with disturbance; such as changes land cover or warming temperatures. Drawing from global scale meta-analyses, field campaigns, and laboratory experiments we can glean commonalities about how disturbance alters the way carbon moves through watersheds. In almost all cases, disturbance shifts flow paths – bringing mobile water in-contact with previously immobile carbon, both organic and inorganic – shifting the quantity and quality of the carbon exported. These shifts in flow paths alter the processing of organic matter across the hillslope-stream continuum and in many instances represent positive feedbacks within the ecosystem. Specifically, disturbance often results in an increase in the fraction of watershed carbon exported and this newly mobilized fraction is often bioavailable and/or aged and thus represents a short-circuiting of the carbon cycle.

Come learn more about watershed carbon dynamics on Friday, March 15, 2019 at 12:30 PM in Room 204, Natural Science Building on the East Lansing campus.

 

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