Hydrological control of dissolved organic carbon dynamics in a rehabilitated Sphagnum-dominated peatland: a water-table based modelling approach

Abstract : Hydrological disturbances could increase dissolved organic carbon (DOC) exports through runoff and leaching, reducing the potential carbon sink function of peatlands. The objective of this study was to assess the impact of hydrological restoration 15 on hydrological processes and DOC dynamics in a rehabilitated Sphagnum–dominated peatland. A conceptual hydrological model calibrated on the water table and coupled with a biogeochemical module was applied to La Guette peatland (France), which experienced a rewetting action on February 2014. The model (ten calibrated parameters) reproduced water table and pore water DOC concentration time series (01/04/2014 to 15/07/2017) in two contrasted locations (rewetted and control) of the peatland. Hydrological restoration was found to impact the water balance through a decrease in slow deep drainage and 20 an increase in fast superficial runoff. Observed DOC concentrations were higher in summer in the rewetted location compared to the control and were linked with a difference in dissolved organic matter composition analyzed by fluorescence. Hydrological conditions, especially the severity of the water table drawdown, were identified as the major factors controlling DOC concentration dynamics. The results of the simulation suggest that the hydrological restoration did not affect DOC loads, at least on a short-term period (3 years). However, it impacted the temporal dynamics of DOC exports, which were the 25 most episodic and mainly transported through fast surface runoff in the area affected by the restoration while slow deep drainage dominated DOC exports in the control area. In relation with dominant hydrological processes, exported DOC is expected to be derived from more recent organic matter of the top peat layer in the rewetted area than in the control area. Since it is calibrated on water table and DOC concentration, the model presented in this study proved to be a relevant tool to identify the main hydrological processes and factors controlling DOC dynamics in different areas of the same peatland. It is 30 also a suitable alternative to a discharge calibrated catchment model when the outlet is not easily identifiable. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https://doi.
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Léonard Bernard-Jannin, Stéphane Binet, Sébastien Gogo, Fabien Leroy, Christian Défarge, et al.. Hydrological control of dissolved organic carbon dynamics in a rehabilitated Sphagnum-dominated peatland: a water-table based modelling approach. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, European Geosciences Union, 2018, 22, pp.4907-4920. ⟨10.5194/hess-2017-578⟩. ⟨insu-01778100⟩

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