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Lagged wetland CH4 flux response in a historically wet year

October 25, 2021

While a stimulating effect of plant primary productivity on soil carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions has been well documented, links between gross primary productivity (GPP) and wetland methane (CH4) emissions are less well investigated. Determination of the influence of primary productivity on wetland CH4 emissions (FCH4) is complicated by confounding influences of water table level and temperature on CH4 production, which also vary seasonally. Here, we evaluate the link between preceding GPP and subsequent FCH4 at two fens in Wisconsin using eddy covariance flux towers, Lost Creek (US-Los) and Allequash Creek (US-ALQ). Both wetlands are mosaics of forested and shrub wetlands, with US-Los being larger in scale and having a more open canopy. Co-located sites with multi-year observations of flux, hydrology, and meteorology provide an opportunity to measure and compare lag effects on FCH4 without interference due to differing climate. Daily average FCH4 from US-Los reached a maximum of 47.7 ηmol CH4 m−2 s−1 during the study period, while US-ALQ was more than double at 117.9 ηmol CH4 m−2 s−1. The lagged influence of GPP on temperature-normalized FCH4 (Tair-FCH4) was weaker and more delayed in a year with anomalously high precipitation than a following drier year at both sites. FCH4 at US-ALQ was lower coincident with higher stream discharge in the wet year (2019), potentially due to soil gas flushing during high precipitation events and lower water temperatures. Better understanding of the lagged influence of GPP on FCH4 due to this study has implications for climate modeling and more accurate carbon budgeting.

Publication Year 2021
Title Lagged wetland CH4 flux response in a historically wet year
DOI 10.1029/2021JG006458
Authors Jessica Turner, Ankur R. Desai, Jonathan Thom, Kimberly Wickland
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences
Index ID 70225695
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization WMA - Earth System Processes Division