Abstract

The Maximum Power Principle (MPP) — a theoretical construct that argues that systems develop to maximize energy throughput, or power — is the subject of few empirical studies. We used the MPP to explore the thermodynamic basis for microbial processes and greenhouse gas fluxes in high latitude peat soils. Increasing temperatures cause extensive areas of permafrost degradation, which can lead to wetland formation, though permafrost degradation and aggradation can be cyclical under the right conditions. Differential ecosystem responses to permafrost degradation offer an opportunity to use the unifying approach of thermodynamics. We used adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production in peat soils as a soil-relevant proxy for power to test the MPP along a chronosequence of wetlands with time following permafrost degradation. We conducted soil incubation experiments and measured production rates of CO2, methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and ATP. ATP production was significantly lower (p < 0.05) in the young bog soils compared to the undisturbed permafrost bog soils; rates in the older bog soils were not different from either site. Our results suggest that power output increased following recovery from permafrost thaw. A unifying vantage point provided by thermodynamics may be useful in other investigations of wetland ecosystems with unpredictable responses to disturbance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalWetlands
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Oct 8 2016

Fingerprint

soil ecosystem
Wetlands
Permafrost
permafrost
Ecosystems
thermodynamics
wetland
Thermodynamics
Soils
bog
degradation
peat soil
Degradation
Peat
Adenosine Triphosphate
soil
ecosystem response
chronosequence
aggradation
nitrous oxide

Keywords

  • ATP
  • Ecosystem development
  • Greenhouse gases
  • High latitude wetlands
  • Maximum power principle
  • Second law of thermodynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Science(all)

Cite this

A Thermodynamic Analysis of Soil Ecosystem Development in Northern Wetlands. / Chapman, Eric J.; Childers, Daniel; Shock, Everett; Turetsky, Merritt R.

In: Wetlands, 08.10.2016, p. 1-11.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{d048697d868042f0b0dd581f0776e778,
title = "A Thermodynamic Analysis of Soil Ecosystem Development in Northern Wetlands",
abstract = "The Maximum Power Principle (MPP) — a theoretical construct that argues that systems develop to maximize energy throughput, or power — is the subject of few empirical studies. We used the MPP to explore the thermodynamic basis for microbial processes and greenhouse gas fluxes in high latitude peat soils. Increasing temperatures cause extensive areas of permafrost degradation, which can lead to wetland formation, though permafrost degradation and aggradation can be cyclical under the right conditions. Differential ecosystem responses to permafrost degradation offer an opportunity to use the unifying approach of thermodynamics. We used adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production in peat soils as a soil-relevant proxy for power to test the MPP along a chronosequence of wetlands with time following permafrost degradation. We conducted soil incubation experiments and measured production rates of CO2, methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and ATP. ATP production was significantly lower (p < 0.05) in the young bog soils compared to the undisturbed permafrost bog soils; rates in the older bog soils were not different from either site. Our results suggest that power output increased following recovery from permafrost thaw. A unifying vantage point provided by thermodynamics may be useful in other investigations of wetland ecosystems with unpredictable responses to disturbance.",
keywords = "ATP, Ecosystem development, Greenhouse gases, High latitude wetlands, Maximum power principle, Second law of thermodynamics",
author = "Chapman, {Eric J.} and Daniel Childers and Everett Shock and Turetsky, {Merritt R.}",
year = "2016",
month = "10",
day = "8",
doi = "10.1007/s13157-016-0833-9",
language = "English (US)",
pages = "1--11",
journal = "Wetlands",
issn = "0277-5212",
publisher = "Springer Netherlands",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - A Thermodynamic Analysis of Soil Ecosystem Development in Northern Wetlands

AU - Chapman, Eric J.

AU - Childers, Daniel

AU - Shock, Everett

AU - Turetsky, Merritt R.

PY - 2016/10/8

Y1 - 2016/10/8

N2 - The Maximum Power Principle (MPP) — a theoretical construct that argues that systems develop to maximize energy throughput, or power — is the subject of few empirical studies. We used the MPP to explore the thermodynamic basis for microbial processes and greenhouse gas fluxes in high latitude peat soils. Increasing temperatures cause extensive areas of permafrost degradation, which can lead to wetland formation, though permafrost degradation and aggradation can be cyclical under the right conditions. Differential ecosystem responses to permafrost degradation offer an opportunity to use the unifying approach of thermodynamics. We used adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production in peat soils as a soil-relevant proxy for power to test the MPP along a chronosequence of wetlands with time following permafrost degradation. We conducted soil incubation experiments and measured production rates of CO2, methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and ATP. ATP production was significantly lower (p < 0.05) in the young bog soils compared to the undisturbed permafrost bog soils; rates in the older bog soils were not different from either site. Our results suggest that power output increased following recovery from permafrost thaw. A unifying vantage point provided by thermodynamics may be useful in other investigations of wetland ecosystems with unpredictable responses to disturbance.

AB - The Maximum Power Principle (MPP) — a theoretical construct that argues that systems develop to maximize energy throughput, or power — is the subject of few empirical studies. We used the MPP to explore the thermodynamic basis for microbial processes and greenhouse gas fluxes in high latitude peat soils. Increasing temperatures cause extensive areas of permafrost degradation, which can lead to wetland formation, though permafrost degradation and aggradation can be cyclical under the right conditions. Differential ecosystem responses to permafrost degradation offer an opportunity to use the unifying approach of thermodynamics. We used adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production in peat soils as a soil-relevant proxy for power to test the MPP along a chronosequence of wetlands with time following permafrost degradation. We conducted soil incubation experiments and measured production rates of CO2, methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and ATP. ATP production was significantly lower (p < 0.05) in the young bog soils compared to the undisturbed permafrost bog soils; rates in the older bog soils were not different from either site. Our results suggest that power output increased following recovery from permafrost thaw. A unifying vantage point provided by thermodynamics may be useful in other investigations of wetland ecosystems with unpredictable responses to disturbance.

KW - ATP

KW - Ecosystem development

KW - Greenhouse gases

KW - High latitude wetlands

KW - Maximum power principle

KW - Second law of thermodynamics

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84990928851&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84990928851&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s13157-016-0833-9

DO - 10.1007/s13157-016-0833-9

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84990928851

SP - 1

EP - 11

JO - Wetlands

JF - Wetlands

SN - 0277-5212

ER -