Jessica Rush

Ph.D. Candidate, University of Colorado Boulder

Conference Travel Grant Type 2

The Effects of Elevated Temperature and Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide on Redox-Active
Organic Matter Reduction within a Boreal Peatland

“As boreal peatlands face global change, it is critical to investigate the biogeochemical
controls of methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to better understand ecosystem climate feedbacks. Microbially-mediated organic matter reduction regulates greenhouse gas production in peatlands; however, the dynamics and timescales of these processes under longterm global change are complex and poorly understood. We investigated the effects of long-term, whole ecosystem warming and elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations on organic matter reduction and greenhouse gas production at the Spruce and Peatland Responses Under Changing Environments (SPRUCE) experiment in northern Minnesota. We sought to compare our results from 2023 (~10 years after initial experimental treatments) with measurements made at the site in 2016. We employed a new design of ‘peat peepers’—PVC pipes installed in the peatland that allow for equiiibration between the surrounding environment and mesh packets of peat incubated
within the peepers-to approximate rates of reduction. Together, our results will provide insights into processes that may alter greenhouse gas dynamics in peatland ecosystems responding to long-term global change.”