WHY MONITOR CARBON IN HIGH-ALPINE STREAMS?
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1111/geoa.12136
In this short communication, we report on dissolved organic and inorganic carbon concentrations from a summer stream monitoring campaign at the main hydrological catchment of the Tarfala Research Station in northern Sweden. Further, we place these unique high-alpine observations in the context of a relevant subset of Sweden's national monitoring programme. Our analysis shows that while the monitoring programme (at least for total organic carbon) may have relatively good representativeness across a range of forest coverages, alpine/tundra environments are potentially underrepresented. As for dissolved inorganic carbon, there is currently no national monitoring in Sweden. Since the selection of stream water monitoring locations and monitored constituents at the national scale can be motivated by any number of goals (or limitations), monitoring at the Tarfala Research Station along with other research catchment sites across Fennoscandia becomes increasingly important and can offer potential complementary data necessary for improving process understanding. Research catchment sites (typically not included in national monitoring programmes) can help cover small-scale landscape features and thus complement national monitoring thereby improving the ability to capture hot spots and hot moments of biogeochemical export. This provides a valuable baseline of current conditions in high-alpine environments against which to gauge future changes in response to potential climatic and land cover shifts.