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Sulphur constraints on the carbon cycle of a blanket bog peatland [dataset] Open Access

The reduction of sulphate (SO42-) represents an alternative terminal electron acceptor for the oxidation of organic matter in peat soils. The greenhouse gas budget in peatlands will be constrained by how much a peatland can utilise SO42- reduction as an alternative to methanogenesis. Using records of atmospheric deposition and stream chemistry coupled with elemental analysis of peat soil, vegetation, particulate organic matter (POM) and dissolved organic matter (DOM), this study estimated a 23-year long sulphur (S) budget for a blanket bog-covered catchment in the North Pennines, England. The study showed that: 1) Atmospheric deposition of total S significantly declined over the study period from 2.4 to 0.5 t S/km2/yr. 2) Long term accumulation of S into deep peat at 1 m depth averaged 127 kg S/km2/yr. 3) Total S fluvial flux peaked as 4.5 t S/km2/yr with an average of 0.7 t S/km2/yr. 4) On average, over 23 years, 0.25 t S/km2/yr were reduced to either mineral sulphides or hydrogen sulphide; however, in 8 out of the 23 years the catchment was a net producer of S to the streams of the catchment. At maximum observed S reduction capacity the peatland was capable of a net removal of 71% of atmospheric S deposition. Allowing for the efficiency of energy transfer in the redox process and the oxidation state of peat organic matter means that for every mole of SO42- reduced, 1.69 moles of CO2 were produced and an average of 0.47 t C/km2/yr are diverted from methanogenesis.


Resource type
Creator: Worrall, Fred 1
Boothroyd, I.M. 1
Moody, C.S. 2
Clay, G.D. 3
Abbott, G.D. 4
Rose, R. 5
1 Durham University, UK
2 Leeds University, UK
3 University of Manchester, UK
4 Newcastle University, UK
5 Lancaster University, UK
Research methods
See manuscript
Other description
Data for JGR Biogeosciences manuscript
Carbon budget
Sulphur constraints on the carbon cycling of a blanket bog
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Open Data Commons - Open Database (ODC-ODbL)

Durham University
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J.S.J. Worrall
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