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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

Scheduled special issues

The following special issues are scheduled for publication in BG:

Biological soil crusts and their role in biogeochemical processes and cycling
01 Apr 2017–01 Sep 2017 | Guest editors: A. Antoninka, E. Rodriguez-Caballero, B. Weber, and K. J. van Groenigen | Information

Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are complex communities of photoautotrophic cyanobacteria, algae, lichens, and bryophytes growing together with heterotrophic fungi, bacteria, and archaea within the uppermost millimeters of the soil. They cover about 40 % of the open ground surface in hot, cool, and cold arid and semiarid regions around the world. When active, biocrusts provide significant contributions to ecosystem primary productivity, taking up atmospheric CO2 and fixing N2. As result of their physiological activity they secrete some organic compounds that contribute to soil formation rates, modifying key soil surface properties with direct implications for soil fertility, runoff generation, evaporation, and water availability for vascular plants and microorganisms. Moreover, they increase soil cohesion and stability, reducing water and wind erosion and providing stable environments for vascular plants and higher trophic levels. Recent studies also show that they have influenced Earth's ambient conditions for more than 2 billion years by modifying soil surface albedo and solar radiation budgets, and emitting reactive nitrogen species that affect ozone production and self-cleaning capacity of the atmosphere. However, biocrusts are also recognized as being particularly sensitive to climate change and anthropogenic disturbance, with biocrust destruction causing detrimental effects for habitats and the environment. Natural recovery after disturbance has been shown to depend on a variety of environmental factors and tends to be slow. Thus, there have been several attempts to accelerate biocrust recovery after disturbance by means of artificial inoculation, which presents a promising biotechnological tool for dryland restoration after disturbance events.

In this special issue, we seek to understand the functional roles of biocrusts in biogeochemical cycling processes in a changing environment. We present papers investigating biocrust effects on C and N fluxes, soil formation and stabilization, and restoration methods and success within different areas around the world.

Interactions between planktonic organisms and biogeochemical cycles across trophic and N2 fixation gradients in the western tropical South Pacific Ocean: a multidisciplinary approach (OUTPACE experiment)
15 Feb 2017–31 Jul 2017 | Guest editors: T. M. Moutin, S. Bonnet, K. Richards, D. G. Capone, and E. Marañón | Information

The goal of this special issue is to present the knowledge obtained concerning the functioning of the western tropical South Pacific (WTSP) ecosystems and associated biogeochemical cycles based on the datasets acquired during the OUTPACE experiment. The physical variability and the hydrodynamic context of biogeochemical sampling are described, as well as the impacts of mesoscale circulation and forcing on biogeographic gradients, along with the longitudinal contrast in small-scale turbulence along ~20° S. An optimum multi-parameter analysis of the water mass structure is also provided.

The focus on diazotrophs and dinitrogen fixation concerns the distribution and drivers of symbiotic and free-living diazotrophic cyanobacteria, the contribution of particulate and dissolved (N release) fractions to the hotspot of N2 fixation found during the cruise, zonal gradient in N2 fixation rates, the partition of N2 fixation rates between the particulate and dissolved fractions, the diazotroph-derived N transfer to the planktonic food web, the N2 fixation contribution to export production, and finally the N budget at the long-duration stations studied using a Lagrangian adaptative strategy. Aphotic N2 fixation, heterotrophic diazotrophs and their relationship with labile organic matter, as well as programmed cell death in diazotrophs, are also investigated.

The dynamics of phytoplankton, heterotrophic bacterioplankton, and zooplankton along the gradient of diazotroph diversity and activity are described together with the composition and distribution of dissolved organic carbon and the changes in inorganic carbon content along the longitudinal transect. Net community production, the assimilation of organic carbon and nutrient substrates by unicellular cyanobacteria, and microbial response to the N and P compounds excreted by copepods are quantified. A specific focus on siliceous plankton and Si biogeochemical cycling is also presented.

Optical properties of the WTSP waters are presented, with a focus on the cyanobacterial (diazotroph) impact on bio-optical properties, UV–visible light attenuation and Chl a algorithms for WTSP oligotrophic waters. Finally, the main processes controlling the biological carbon pump in the WTSP are investigated using a 1DV biogeochemical–physical coupled model, and the new knowledge gained on the interactions between planktonic organisms and the cycle of biogenic elements is used to propose a new scheme for this functioning and role, at the present time and in the near future, in the oligotrophic Pacific Ocean.

The Ocean in a High-CO2 World IV
02 Jan 2017–01 May 2017 | Guest editors: E. H. Shadwick, K. Kroeker, R. Matear, K. G. Schulz, and J.-P. Gattuso | Information

This special issue will be a collection of original research highlighting progress in the field of ocean acidification and presented at the 4th International Symposium on the Ocean in a High-CO2 World in Hobart, 3–6 May 2016. Topics will include changing oceanic carbonate chemistry, biological responses and ecological impacts, and studies will represent advances in both observational and modeling approaches. All symposium participants are invited to submit original research presented in Hobart to this special issue.

Ecosystem processes and functioning across current and future dryness gradients in arid and semi-arid lands
02 Aug 2016–30 Jun 2017 | Guest editors: T. Zha, C. Bourque, Z. Xing, S. Luyssaert, and P. Stoy | Information

Ecosystems in arid and semi-arid regions of the world are frequently affected by periods of extended drought and resource over-exploitation. Dryland ecosystems are particularly sensitive to climate change in terms of plant species associations, plant distribution along environmental gradients, ecosystem functioning, and ecological and economic productivity. Environmental change in these areas may require that new management strategies and field approaches be developed to protect these vulnerable ecosystems. A devoted account of dryland ecosystems and their response to changing environmental conditions can help develop new management strategies and inform policy.

To facilitate the study of arid and semi-arid ecosystems and provide recent research findings in the area, we propose that the special issue address the following:

  • characterizations of vegetation growth patterns and productivity along dryness gradients in China and in other areas of the world,
  • assessments of dryland ecosystems with combating global warming and in contributing to the uptake and storage of greenhouse gases,
  • systematic studies of desertification and related land degradation processes,
  • assessments of resiliency and hydrological responses of dryland ecosystems to climate change, and
  • identification and substantiation of scientifically based management strategies suitable for arid and semi-arid regions of China and other areas of the world.

Progress in quantifying ocean biogeochemistry – in honour of Ernst Maier-Reimer
01 Jul 2016–30 Jun 2017 | Guest editors: C. Heinze, T. Ilyina, A. Winguth, J. Segschneider, and M. Hofmann | Information

Ernst Maier-Reimer was one of the pioneers in global modelling of ocean biogeochemical cycles and especially the carbon cycle. He published – together with Klaus Hasselmann – the first comprehensive paper on anthropogenic carbon uptake by the ocean. He provided extensive models on both the inorganic as well as the organic carbon cycle in the ocean. His models were elegant in their mathematical formulation, efficient, and computationally economic. He was very influential in this field through the sharing of his knowledge. A number of state-of-the-art biogeochemical ocean model components in Earth system models can be traced back to him and his modelling philosophy. His ability to separate important processes from unimportant provided a role model for geoscientific modellers. Ernst implemented numerous different tracers into his ocean models and took advantage of considering all in a synoptic view of constraining the overall biogeochemical action of the world ocean. This special issue is open for submissions from everyone who knew Ernst, learned from him, or collaborate with him. It should be a celebration of classical and new topics in quantitative biogeochemistry with key papers aimed at understanding the ocean as a chemical plant.

NETCARE (Network on Aerosols and Climate: Addressing Key Uncertainties in Remote Canadian Environments)
(ACP/AMT/BG inter-journal SI)

23 Feb 2016–28 Feb 2019 | Guest editors: L. Bopp, K. Carslaw, D. J. Cziczo, and L. M. Russell | Information

NETCARE (Network on Aerosols and Climate: Addressing Key Uncertainties in Remote Canadian Environments) is a large research network focusing on aerosol–cloud–climate interactions. While Canadian-based, it operates with many international collaborations. It is comprised of scientists working in both atmospheric science and marine biogeochemistry, with particular attention given to a suite of intensive field measurements (with both atmospheric and oceanic components) and model evaluation and development. There are three major research directions within the network: 1. Carbonaceous Aerosol, 2. Arctic Clouds, and 3. Ocean–Atmosphere Interactions. A large amount of the research has an Arctic focus, it being a region especially susceptible to anthropogenic input and experiencing a large degree of biogeochemical change. The website for the network is On the website, there is more information on research activities, field campaign details, modeling activities, data products, and personnel.

Changing Permafrost in the Arctic and its Global Effects in the 21st Century (PAGE21) (BG/TC/GMD/ESSD inter-journal SI)
01 Jan 2016–31 Jul 2017 | Guest editors: K. Thonike, V. Brovkin, P. Stoy, S. Natali, I. Laurion, and B. Elberling | Information

Permafrost is defined as ground that remains continuously at or below 0°C for at least two consecutive years; some 24% of the land surface in the Northern Hemisphere is classified as permafrost. In the northern high latitudes, strong warming has been observed over the recent decades, and climate models project strong future warming. A projected decline in the extent of permafrost will have a major impact on the Earth system, affecting global climate through the mobilization of carbon and nitrogen stored in permafrost. This special issue invites results of the large-scale European project PAGE21 with the aim to quantify the vulnerability of permafrost environments to a changing global climate, and to investigate the feedback mechanisms associated with increasing greenhouse gas emissions from permafrost zones. The focus is on (i) the combination of field mapping and measurements of permafrost landforms, ground ice content, processes, pools, and fluxes, with remote sensing data and global climate models at local, regional, and pan-Arctic scales, as well as (ii) advancing our understanding of permafrost processes at multiple scales, resulting in improvements in global numerical permafrost modeling.

Climate–carbon–cryosphere interactions in the East Siberian Arctic Ocean: past, present and future
(TC/BG/CP/OS inter-journal SI)

01 Oct 2015–31 Mar 2017 | Guest editors: Ö. Gustafsson, J. Middelburg, and F. Peterse | Information

This special issue, spanning different Copernicus journals, tallies the current understanding of the cryosphere–carbon–climate (CCC) interactions in the East Siberian Arctic Ocean (ESAO) and related areas.

The ESAO is the largest shelf sea system of the World Ocean. It is perennially ice-covered, receives inflow from large rivers, hosts most of the Arctic subsea permafrost and shallow gas hydrates, and is one of the areas that have been experiencing the largest warming in recent decades. Despite its importance to a wide range of geoscience issues, this system has historically been only sparsely investigated. There has however been a number of major expeditions to the region in recent years, including the 90-day icebreaker-based SWERUS-C3 expedition in summer 2014. The current interest in the past, present and future functioning of this system makes it ripe for a major special issue.

Carbon/methane from this area may be remobilized and interact with large-scale biogeochemical cycles and the climate. The history of the ESAO cryosphere also includes the question of Pleistocene ice sheet extents, and the region has experienced one of the largest summer sea ice reductions in the Arctic Ocean during the last decades, with implications for ocean and atmospheric circulation, air–sea interactions and marine life, as well as erosional release of coastal permafrost carbon and sediment dynamics. Stimulated by recent field campaigns such as SWERUS-C3, submissions will be encouraged from all known programmes, spanning from deep geology, via permafrost carbon release and land–shelf–basin interactions, to palaeoglaciology, as well as a wide range of ocean and atmosphere processes. The aim of the special issues is to provide a well-contained collection of improved understanding of the ESAO-CCC interactions from geological timescales to contemporary processes to projections of future trajectories.

The special issue is open for all submissions within its scope (contingent on the chief editor's decision).

Aerosol-Cloud Coupling And Climate Interactions in the Arctic (ACCACIA) (ACP/BG inter-journal SI)
26 Sep 2014–30 Sep 2017 | Guest editors: W. T. Sturges, L. M. Russell, C. Robinson, L. Bopp, H. Wernli, and M. Krämer

Data assimilation in carbon/biogeochemical cycles: consistent assimilation of multiple data streams
(BG/ACP/GMD inter-journal SI)

01 Jan 2015–30 Apr 2017 | Guest editors: M. Scholze, M. Heimann, V. Brovkin, C. Sierra, and C. Gerbig

Interactions between climate change and the Cryosphere: SVALI, DEFROST, CRAICC (2012–2016) (TC/ACP/BG inter-journal SI)
19 Jun 2012–30 Jun 2017 | Guest editors: J. Bäck, M. Bilde, M. Boy, T. R. Christensen, J. O. Hagen, M. Hansson, H. Järvinen, M. Kulmala, T. Laurila, A. Stohl, H. Skov, A. Massling, M. Glasius, and S. M. Noe

Publications Copernicus