US Long-Term Ecological Research Network
Fluxes project at North Temperate Lakes LTER: Predicting Peat Depth in a North Temperate Lake District 2008

Abstract

Peat deposits contain on the order of 1/6 of the Earth's terrestrial fixed carbon (C), but uncertainty in peat depth precludes precise estimates of peat C storage. To assess peat C in the Northern Highlands Lake District (NHLD), a approximately 7000 square km region in northern Wisconsin, United States, with 20 percent peatland by area, we sampled 21 peatlands. In each peatland, peat depth (including basal organic lake sediment, where present) was measured on a grid and interpolated to calculate mean depth. Our study addressed three questions: (1) How spatially variable is peat depth? (2) To what degree can mean peat depth be predicted from other field measurements (water chemistry, water table depth, vegetation cover, slope) and/or remotely sensed spatial data? (3) How much C is stored in NHLD peatlands? Site mean peat depth ranged from 0.1 to 5.1 m. Most of the peatlands had been formed by the in-filling of small lake basins (terrestrialization), and depths up to 15 m were observed. Mean peat depth for small peat basins could be best predicted from basin edge slope at the peatland/upland interface, either measured in the field or calculated from digital elevation (DEM) data (Adj. R2 = 0.70). Upscaling using the DEM-based regression gave a regional mean peat depth of 2.1 plus or minus 0.2 m (including approximately 0.1 to 0.4 m of organic lake sediment) and 144 plus or minus 21 Tg-C in total. As DEM data are widely available, this technique has the potential to improve C storage estimates in regions with peatlands formed primarily by terrestrialization. Number of sites: 21 Sampling Frequency: once for each site
Dataset ID
265

Data Citation Suggestion

Buffam, I., S. Carpenter, P. Hanson, and M. Turner. 2013. Fluxes project at North Temperate Lakes LTER: Predicting Peat Depth in a North Temperate Lake District 2008 ver 2. Environmental Data Initiative. https://doi.org/10.6073/pasta/6b036396a3908f5f9cb4b91f9ee44a3f. Accessed 2021-10-27.

Data Download

Peat Chemistry Absorbance values
Data on barcodes identifying all chemistry samples preserved for analysis.
Data for calculated analytical chemistry values of peat porewater samples, where the source data values were run by analytical lab at CFL/Water Chemistry, UW-Madison.
<p>Data for analytical chemistry analyses of peat porewater samples, run by analytical lab at CFL/Water Chemistry, UW-Madison.</p>
<p>Identification of time and location of pH and Conductivity measurements of peat porewaters, made in the field in newly dug pits and in the lab.</p>
pH and Conductivity measurements of peat porewaters, made in the field in newly dug pits and in the lab.
<p>Data identifying time, location, and water table depth of field sampling for peat porewaters.</p>
<p>Individual peat depth measurements taken with peat depth probe (PDP) at 21 discrete peatlands in the NHLD.</p>
<p>Summary of peat depth data measurements by site, raw data.</p>
<p>Edge slope measurements, raw data.</p>
<p>Edge slope measurement location information.</p>
<p>Peat core location information.</p>
<p>Peat core sample information from field and from lab analysis of peat.</p>
<p>Locational and ID information about every plot in the peat study, including all vegetation, core and chemistry plots, as well as start and finish locations along the main transect of each site.</p>
<p>Locational and ID information about every site in the peat study, as well as summary vegetation information.</p>
<p>Summary information about each site, extracted from GIS/map files using the site shapefile in ArcGIS 9.1.</p>
<p>Summary information about peat depth and volume for each site, calculated within SURFER 8.0 program from the grid of depth measurements.</p>
Coarse woody debris data from vegetation plots.
<p>Herbaceous layer data from quadrats in vegetation plots.</p>
Tree species and size data from peat plots.
<p>Tree species and size data from peat plots</p>
<p>Summary information about peat depth and volume for each site, calculated within SURFER 8.0 program from the grid of depth measurements.</p>
Shrub size and type data from vegetation transects in peat plots.