Lakes are active processors and collectors of carbon (C) and thus recognized as quantitatively important within the terrestrial C cycle. Better integration of palaeolimnology (lake sediment core analyses) with limnological C budgeting approaches has the potential to enhance understanding of lacustrine C processing and sequestration. Palaeolimnology simultaneously assimilates materials from across lake habitats, terrestrial watersheds, and airsheds to provide a uniquely broad overview of the terrestrial-atmospheric-aquatic linkages across different spatial scales. The examination of past changes over decadal–millennial timescales via palaeolimnology can inform understanding and prediction of future changes in C cycling. With a particular, but not exclusive, focus on northern latitudes we examine the methodological approaches of palaeolimnology, focusing on how relatively standard and well-tested techniques might be applied to address questions of relevance to the C cycle. We consider how palaeolimnology, limnology, and sedimentation studies might be linked to provide more quantitative and holistic estimates of lake C cycling and budgets. Finally, we use palaeolimnological examples to consider how changes such as terrestrial vegetation shifts, permafrost thaw, the formation of new lakes and reservoirs, hydrological modification of inorganic C processing, land use change, soil erosion and disruption to global nitrogen and phosphorus cycles might influence lake C cycling. WIREs Water 2016, 3:211–234. doi: 10.1002/wat2.1130. This article is categorized under: Water and Life > Nature of Freshwater Ecosystems Science of Water > Water and Environmental Change Science of Water > Water Quality.
|Number of pages||24|
|Journal||Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|