Mineral dust as a driver of carbon accumulation in northern latitudes
Journal article, 2018

Peatlands in northern latitudes sequester one third of the world's soil organic carbon. Mineral dusts can affect the primary productivity of terrestrial systems through nutrient transport but this process has not yet been documented in these peat-rich regions. Here we analysed organic and inorganic fractions of an 8900-year-old sequence from Store Mosse (the "Great Bog") in southern Sweden. Between 5420 and 4550 cal yr BP, we observe a seven-fold increase in net peat-accumulation rates corresponding to a maximum carbon-burial rate of 150 g C m(-2) yr(-1) -more than six times the global average. This high peat accumulation event occurs in parallel with a distinct change in the character of the dust deposited on the bog, which moves from being dominated by clay minerals to less weathered, phosphate and feldspar minerals. We hypothesize that this shift boosted nutrient input to the bog and stimulated ecosystem productivity. This study shows that diffuse sources and dust dynamics in northern temperate latitudes, often overlooked by the dust community in favour of arid and semi-arid regions, can be important drivers of peatland carbon accumulation and by extension, global climate, warranting further consideration in predictions of future climate variability.


Malin E. Kylander

Stockholm University

A. Martinez-Cortizas

Universidade de Santiagode Compostela

Richard Bindler

Umeå University

Joeri Kaal

Universidade de Santiagode Compostela

Jenny K. Sjostrom

Stockholm University

Sophia V. Hansson

Aarhus University

Noemi Silva-Sanchez

Universidade de Santiagode Compostela

Sarah L. Greenwood

Stockholm University

Kerry Gallagher

University of Rennes 1

Johan Rydberg

Umeå University

Carl-Magnus Mörth

Stockholm University

Sebastien Rauch

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Water Environment Technology

Scientific Reports

2045-2322 (ISSN)

Vol. 8 1 6876

Subject Categories


Physical Geography

Climate Research





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4/5/2022 6