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Spring water table depth mediates within-site variation of soil temperature in groundwater-fed mires

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Rok publikování 2021
Druh Článek v odborném periodiku
Časopis / Zdroj Hydrological Processes
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Přírodovědecká fakulta

Klíčová slova climate change; soil thermal buffering; spring mire; temperature datalogger; water saturation; within-site variation
Popis Groundwater-dependent ecosystems represent globally rare edaphic islands of scattered distribution, often forming areas of regionally unique environmental conditions. A stable groundwater supply is a key parameter defining their ecological specificity, promoting also soil thermal buffering. Still, a limited number of studies dealt with the importance of water temperature in mire ecosystems and virtually no data exist on within-site variation in the temperature buffer effect. Three temperature dataloggers, placed in patches potentially differing in groundwater supply, were installed in each of 19 Western Carpathian spring mire sites from May 2019 to July 2020. Spring source plots statistically differed in water temperature parameters from the plots located towards the spring mire margin, which did not significantly differ from one another. At the majority of sites, the temperature values changed gradually from spring source to mire margins, fitting the pattern expected in the groundwater temperature buffering scenario. Dataloggers placed in the spring sources were the most distinctive from the others in thermal buffering parameters in conditional principal component analysis. The difference between the spring source and its margin was on average 3.25 degrees C for 95th percentile of the recorded water temperature data points (i.e. warm extremes) and 1.91 degrees C for 5th percentile (i.e. cold extremes). This suggests that if the temperature at spring source area is considered, thermal buffering within a site may mitigate mainly warm extremes. Thus, our data may provide an important baseline for predictions of possibly upcoming changes in spring mire hydrology caused by climate change. Both warming and precipitation decrease can give rise to the loss or substantial reduction of buffering effect if the contrasting parameters now recorded at the central part shift to those found towards the margins of groundwater-fed areas.
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