H2. Cold Region Wetlands and Peatlands in a Changing Climate: Science and Management
Global climate warming disproportionately affects cold regions, including northern wetlands and peatlands. These ecosystems are coping with more frequent winter freezing and thawing events, more intense flooding, longer dry periods, changing groundwater-surface water interactions, and altered flow regimes. These changes in hydroclimatic drivers impact landscape hydrological feedbacks, carbon dynamics, biogeochemistry, and greenhouse gas (CO2, CH4, and N2O) emissions to the atmosphere. Therefore, efforts to conserve, restore and manage cold regions’ wetland and peatland ecosystems could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by enhancing the preservation and storage of carbon and nitrogen in soils and sediments. Further research is needed to advance our understanding of how wetlands and peatlands in cold regions respond to shifts in environmental conditions accompanying warmer climate and how this translates in changes in the mobility and biogeochemical cycling of carbon, nutrients, metals, and pollutants in these ecosystems. This session will focus on interdisciplinary research on hydrological feedbacks, biogeochemical soil processes, microbial-plant interactions, elemental cycling, greenhouse gas dynamics, and water quality in wetland and peatland ecosystems of cold regions. We invite presentations that provide new insights into soil microbial activity, hydrogeochemical processes, and biogeochemical connectivity in peatlands and wetlands, including those in permafrost regions, and changes in carbon and nutrient cycling due to climate warming, land use changes and other human disturbances. Field, laboratory, and modeling studies are all welcome. In addition, studies with specific recommendations for the adaptive management, and the restoration of resilient peatland and wetland ecosystems are also encouraged.