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Constraints and Drivers of Dissolved Fluxes of Pyrogenic Carbon in Soil and Freshwater Systems: a Global Review and Meta-analysis
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  • Rebecca Brianne Abney,
  • Morgan Barnes,
  • Ali Moss,
  • Fernanda Santos
Rebecca Brianne Abney
Indiana University

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Morgan Barnes
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
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Ali Moss
Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia
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Fernanda Santos
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
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Pyrogenic carbon (PyC) is a significant component of the global soil carbon pool due to its longer environmental persistence than other soil organic matter components. Despite PyC’s persistence in soil, recent work has indicated that it is susceptible to loss processes such as mineralization and leaching, with the significance and magnitude of these largely unknown at the hillslope and watershed scale. We present a review of the work concerning dissolved PyC transport in soil and freshwater. Our analysis found the primary environmental controls on dissolved PyC (dPyC) transport are the formation conditions and quality of the PyC itself, with longer and higher temperature charring conditions leading to less transport of dPyC. While correlations between dPyC and dissolved organic carbon in rivers and other pools are frequently reported, the slope of these correlations was pool-dependent (i.e., soil-water, precipitation, lakes, streams, rivers), suggesting site-specific environmental controls. However, the lack of consistency in analytical techniques and sample preparation remains a major challenge to quantifying environmental controls on dPyC fluxes. We propose that future research should focus on the following: (1) consistency in methodological approaches, (2) more quantitative measures of dPyC in pools and fluxes from soils to streams, (3) turnover times of dPyC in soils and aquatic systems, and (4) improved understanding of how mechanisms controlling the fate of dPyC in dynamic post-fire landscapes interact. With more refined quantitative information about the controls on dPyC transport at the hillslope and landscape scale, we can increase the accuracy and utility of global carbon models.
06 Jan 2024Submitted to ESS Open Archive
08 Jan 2024Published in ESS Open Archive