Aquatic plant wax hydrogen and carbon isotopes in Greenland lakes record shifts in methane cycling during past Holocene warming

Jamie M. McFarlin, Yarrow Axford, Stephanie Kusch, Andrew L. Masterson, G. Everett Lasher, Magdalena R. Osburn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Predicting changes to methane cycling in Arctic lakes is of global concern in a warming world but records constraining lake methane dynamics with past warming are rare. Here, we demonstrate that the hydrogen isotopic composition (δ2H) of mid-chain waxes derived from aquatic moss clearly decouples from precipitation during past Holocene warmth and instead records incorporation of methane in plant biomass. Trends in δ2Hmoss and δ13Cmoss values point to widespread Middle Holocene (11,700 to 4200 years ago) shifts in lake methane cycling across Greenland during millennia of elevated summer temperatures, heightened productivity, and lowered hypolimnetic oxygen. These data reveal ongoing warming may lead to increases in methane-derived C in many Arctic lakes, including lakes where methane is not a major component of the C cycle today. This work highlights a previously unrecognized mechanism influencing δ2H values of mid-chain wax and draws attention to the unquantified role of common aquatic mosses as a potentially important sink of lake methane across the Arctic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbereadh9704
JournalScience Advances
Volume9
Issue number39
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2023 The Authors, some rights reserved.

Continental Scientific Drilling Facility tags

  • GREEN
  • NWG14
  • THULE2

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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