Plumbing the Global Carbon Cycle: Integrating Inland Waters into the Terrestrial Carbon Budget

  title={Plumbing the Global Carbon Cycle: Integrating Inland Waters into the Terrestrial Carbon Budget},
  author={Jonathan J. Cole and Yves T. Prairie and Nina F. Caraco and William H. McDowell and Lars J. Tranvik and Robert G. Striegl and Carlos M. Duarte and Pirkko Kortelainen and John A. Downing and Jack J. Middelburg and John M. Melack},
A BSTRACTBecause freshwater covers such a small fraction of the Earth’s surface area, inland freshwater ecosystems (particularly lakes, rivers, and reservoirs) have rarely been considered as potentially important quantitative components of the carbon cycle at either global or regional scales. By taking published estimates of gas exchange, sediment accumulation, and carbon transport for a variety of aquatic systems, we have constructed a budget for the role of inland water ecosystems in the… 
Aquatic carbon cycling in the conterminous United States and implications for terrestrial carbon accounting
It is shown that aquatic ecosystems in the conterminous United States export over 100 teragrams of carbon (TgC) per year, highlighting the need to attribute the sources of aquatic carbon more accurately, and asserted that inland waters play an important role in carbon accounting.
Amazon River carbon dioxide outgassing fuelled by wetlands
Wetland carbon export is potentially large enough to account for at least the 0.21 petagrams of carbon emitted per year as CO2 from the central Amazon River and its floodplains, suggesting a substantial fraction of CO2 evasion from inland waters.
Where Carbon Goes When Water Flows: Carbon Cycling across the Aquatic Continuum
The purpose of this review is to highlight progress in unraveling carbon cycling dynamics across the continuum of landscapes, inland waters, coastal oceans, and the atmosphere. Earth systems are
Loss of Soil Carbon to the Atmosphere via Inland Surface Waters
Within the global carbon (C) cycle, there is still much debate as to the magnitude, location and turnover of the terrestrial C sinks (and sources). One of the major keys to closing this knowledge gap
Total Aquatic Carbon Emissions Across the Boreal Biome of Québec Driven by Watershed Slope
Inland waters emit large amounts of CO2 and CH4 to the atmosphere, partially offsetting the sequestration of carbon in terrestrial ecosystems. However, the incorporation of inland waters into
Anthropogenic perturbation of the carbon fluxes from land to ocean
A substantial amount of the atmospheric carbon taken up on land through photosynthesis and chemical weathering is transported laterally along the aquatic continuum from upland terrestrial ecosystems
A review of CO2 and associated carbon dynamics in headwater streams: A global perspective
Terrestrial carbon export via inland aquatic systems is a key process in the global carbon cycle. It includes loss of carbon to the atmosphere via outgassing from rivers, lakes, or reservoirs and
Selective decay of terrestrial organic carbon during transport from land to sea
Numerous studies have estimated carbon exchanges at the land–atmosphere interface, more recently also including estimates at the freshwater–atmosphere interface. Less attention has been paid to
Integrating carbon emission, accumulation and transport in inland waters to understand their role in the global carbon cycle
A framework to understand how different C fates in aquatic systems are interlinked and covary under environmental changes is proposed, setting a foundation for understanding the contemporary and future fate of land‐derived C in inland water systems.
Quantifying the relative importance of lake emissions in the carbon budget of a subarctic catchment
Climate change and thawing of permafrost will likely result in increased decomposition of terrestrial organic carbon and subsequent carbon emissions to the atmosphere from terrestrial and aquatic


Storage of terrestrial carbon in boreal lake sediments and evasion to the atmosphere
Carbon mass balance studies of 20 small, forested catchments and seven lakes on the Precambrian Shield in central Ontario during a 12-year period have shown that most carbon in the study lakes is
Outgassing from Amazonian rivers and wetlands as a large tropical source of atmospheric CO2
It is suggested that the overall carbon budget of rainforests, summed across terrestrial and aquatic environments, appears closer to being in balance than would be inferred from studies of uplands alone.
A model of carbon evasion and sedimentation in temperate lakes
Lakes process terrigenous carbon. The carbon load processed by lakes may partially offset estimates made for terrestrial net ecosystem exchange (NEE). The balance within lakes between carbon burial
Carbon in catchments: connecting terrestrial carbon losses with aquatic metabolism
For a majority of aquatic ecosystems, respiration ( R ) exceeds autochthonous gross primary production (GPP). These systems have negative net ecosystem production ((NEP) = (GPP) - R ) and ratios of
Arctic Lakes and Streams as Gas Conduits to the Atmosphere: Implications for Tundra Carbon Budgets
Current estimates of the arctic terrestrial sink for atmospheric CO2 may be 20 percent too high, according to measurements of the partial pressure of CO2 in 29 aquatic ecosystems across arctic Alaska.
Role of lakes for organic carbon cycling in the boreal zone
We calculated the carbon loss (mineralization plus sedimentation) and net CO2 escape to the atmosphere for 79 536 lakes and total running water in 21 major Scandinavian catchments (size range 437–48
Transport of organic carbon in the world’s rivers
Total transport of organic carbon to the world's oceans in dissolved and particulate form in rivers is estimated as 0.37 × 10 15 gC yr -1 by an inventory and extrapolation of data on loss of carbon
A large carbon pool and small sink in boreal Holocene lake sediments
Model‐based estimates suggest that lake sediments may be a significant, long‐term sink for organic carbon (C) at regional to global scales. These models have used various approaches to predict
Terrestrial sedimentation and the carbon cycle: Coupling weathering and erosion to carbon burial
This paper examines the linkages between the carbon cycle and sedimentary processes on land. Available data suggest that sedimentation on land can bury vast quantities of organic carbon, roughly 1015