Data from: Plant uptake offsets silica release from a large Arctic tundra wildfire
Carey, Joanna C., Babson College
Abbott, Benjamin W., Brigham Young University
Rocha, Adrian V., University of Notre Dame
Published Jan 16, 2020 on Dryad.
Cite this dataset
Carey, Joanna C.; Abbott, Benjamin W.; Rocha, Adrian V. (2020). Data from: Plant uptake offsets silica release from a large Arctic tundra wildfire [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.79q74n7
Rapid climate change at high latitudes is projected to increase wildfire extent in tundra ecosystems by up to five-fold by the end of the century. Tundra wildfire could alter terrestrial silica (SiO2) cycling by restructuring surface vegetation and by deepening the seasonally-thawed active layer. These changes could influence the availability of silica in terrestrial permafrost ecosystems and alter lateral exports to downstream marine waters, where silica is often a limiting nutrient. In this context, we investigated the long-term effects of the largest Arctic tundra fire in recent times on plant and peat amorphous silica content and dissolved silica concentration in streams. Ten-years after the fire, vegetation in burned areas had 73% more silica in aboveground biomass compared to adjacent, unburned areas. This increase in plant silica was attributable to significantly higher plant silica concentration in bryophytes and increased prevalence of silica-rich gramminoids in burned areas. Tundra fire redistributed peat silica, with burned areas containing significantly higher amorphous silica concentrations in the O-layer, but 29% less silica in peat overall due to shallower peat depth post burn. Despite these dramatic differences in terrestrial silica dynamics, dissolved silica concentration in tributaries draining burned catchments did not differ from unburned catchments, potentially due to the increased uptake by terrestrial vegetation. Together, these results suggest that tundra wildfire enhances terrestrial availability of silica via permafrost degradation and associated weathering, but that changes in lateral silica export may depend on vegetation uptake during the first decade of post-wildfire succession.
This file contains annual thaw depths at moderate and severe and unburned plots, along with standard deviations and standard errors for each year
This file contains plant BSi concentrations (as SiO2 by dry weight) for each individual plant sample collected. Treatment data and plant functional type for each sample also indicated.
This file contains DSi concentrations in burned and unburned tributaries from the summer (June, July, August) of 2017.
This datafile contains soil (peat) ASi concentration data for all burn types for the O and A soil horizons