Title: Iron and carbon cycling during permafrost thaw in the Arctic
Abstract: Around one third of Earth’s soil carbon is stored in in the northern hemisphere, particularly in Arctic permafrost regions where low temperatures inhibit organic matter decomposition and enable organic carbon to accumulate. However, the Arctic is warming faster than anywhere else on the planet and the thawing of permafrost raises major concerns about the long-term stability of this carbon store. One aspect influencing whether carbon is stored or released in soils is the interaction of organic matter with iron minerals and iron-respiring microbes. In this talk, I will discuss the nature of iron-carbon associations in intact permafrost regions (specifically in thaw lake basins in Alaska), and the changes in microbial cycling of iron and carbon that occur when permafrost thaws.