ARCTICFIRE - Long term effects of fire on carbon and nitrogen pools and fluxes in the arctic permafrost and subarctic forests

Principal investigator: Prof. Jukka Pumpanen

Funding period: 2015-2018 Academy of Finland

Permafrost thawing threatens to release vast amounts of C to the atmosphere, but exact interactions between ecosystem disturbances, permafrost melting, SOM decomposition and vegetation productivity are not known. The acceleration of biological processes such as decomposition and below ground C input and C allocation of trees and associated priming effects following forest fires in the arctic region may lead to large changes in CO2, CH4 and N2O fluxes.

We are studying how forest fires affect the biologically active layer on top of the permafrost by measuring biogeochemical properties of the soil e.g. soil carbon and nitrogen content, microbial species composition as well as greenhouse gas fluxes. We also measure the changes in soil surface reflectance and the depth of the permafrost layer. Our aim is to develop and parameterize process based ecosystem models to predict the effect of forest fires on forest carbon and nitrogen dynamics in the arctic.


Project members:

University of Eastern Finland: Jukka Pumpanen, Huizhong Zhang-Turpeinen

University of Helsinki: Frank Berninger, Kajar Köster, Egle Köster, Heidi Aaltonen , Marjo Palviainen, Teemu Hölttä, Jussi Heinonsalo, Fred Asiegbu

University of Saskatchewan: Jill Johnstone

Memorial University of Newfoundland: Carissa Brown

Sukachev Institute of Forests: Anatoly Prokushkin, Elena Kukavskaya

Austrian Academy of Sciences: Viktor Bruckman

Kyoto University: Akira OsawaTallenna