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Climate Variability Controls on CO2 Consumption Fluxes and Carbon Dynamics for Monsoonal Rivers: Evidence From Xijiang River, Southwest China TEXT SIZE: A A A

The feedbacks of climate variability on CO2 consumption fluxes and carbon dynamics are thought to play an important role in moderating the global carbon cycle. High-frequency sampling campaigns and analyses were conducted in this study to investigate temporal variations of river water chemistry and the impacts of climate variability on CO2 consumption fluxes and carbon dynamics for the Xijiang River, Southwest China. Physical processes modify biogeochemical processes, so major ions display different responses to changing discharge. The annual CO2 consumption rate is (6.8 +/- 0.2) x 10(6) ton/year by carbonate weathering and (2.4 +/- 0.3) x 10(6) ton/year by silicate weathering. The annual CO2 consumption flux is much higher than most world rivers, and strong CO2 consumption capacities are observed in catchments in Southwest China. Lower negative delta C-13(DIC) values are found in the high-flow season which corresponds with high temperatures compared to those in the low-flow season. High discharge will accelerate material transport, and high temperatures will increase primary production in the catchment, both of which can be responsible for the shift of delta C-13(DIC) values in the high-flow season. Increased mineral weathering and biological carbon influx in the catchment are the main factors controlling carbon dynamics. Overall, these findings highlight the sensitivity of CO2 consumption fluxes and carbon dynamics in response to climate variability in the riverine systems.
Plain Language Summary There are feedbacks between climate variability and CO2 consumption fluxes by chemical weathering and carbon dynamics. Significant temporal variations of major ions and delta C-13(DIC) are observed in the Xijiang River. Multiple biogeochemical processes occur under various hydrological conditions, shifting major ions concentrations, and delta C-13(DIC). The annual CO2 consumption rate is (6.8 +/- 0.2) x 10(6) ton/year by carbonate weathering and (2.4 +/- 0.3) x 10(6) ton/year by silicate weathering. The annual CO2 consumption rates in the Xijiang River only account for a small fraction in the global CO2 consumption rates; the CO2 consumption capacity is much higher than the global average, while much lower than its source tributaries (Beipan and Nanpan Rivers). Slow subsurface flow paths with longer transit times switch to rapid near-surface flow paths with shorter transit times, as discharge increases. High temperatures increase reaction rates, and high discharge rates remove transport limitation, both of which would accelerate the chemical weathering rates. In the high-flow season, high discharge accompanying with high temperatures, large amounts of delta C-13-depleted biological carbon, flushes into the river, affecting the carbon dynamics. 

Publication name

 JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-BIOGEOSCIENCES, 123 (8):2553-2567; 10.1029/2018JG004439 AUG 2018

Author(s)

 Zhong, Jun; Li, Si-Liang; Liu, Jing; Ding, Hu; Sun, Xiaole; Xu, Sheng; Wang, Tiejun; Ellam, Rob M.; Liu, Cong-Qiang

Corresponding author(s) 

 LI Siliang 
 siliang.li@tju.edu.cn  
 Tianjin Univ, Inst Surface Earth Syst Sci, Tianjin, Peoples R China.

Author(s) from IGCAS   DING Hu; LIU Congqiang

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