Dr. Neal Scott

image001Arctic ecosystems contain a significant proportion of global soil carbon stocks, and small changes in Arctic carbon stocks could impact global climate. It is unclear, however, how Arctic ecosystems will respond to current changes in climate, and subsequent permafrost thawing. My Arctic research explores key processes that regulate the exchange of carbon (CO2 , CH4) and nitrogen between the land and the atmosphere at scales ranging from one metre to multiple kilometres. Vegetation indices, developed in collaboration with other CBAWO investigators, are then used to model the exchange of these key elements at larger scales. Field research is also investigating how these biogeochemical processes change in response to changes in temperature, precipitation (patterns and quantity) and permafrost thawing and disturbance. My students and I also explore soil biogeochemical cycling of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus, and how these soil processes influence gaseous emissions of these elements from the soil. We are particularly interested in how various feedback loops might influence future cycling rates of these key elements. Our results are integrated with results from other CBAWO investigators to develop comprehensive input/output carbon budgets for entire watersheds, and process-based models of watershed biogeochemistry. These element budgets serve as critical indicators of ecosystem integrity, providing insights into the response of Arctic ecosystems to environmental change at present and in the future.

For more details on my work, see https://www.queensu.ca/geographyandplanning/fabrecc-scott/