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Methane fluxes from tropical coastal lagoons surrounded bymangroves, Yucatán, Mexico

May 21, 2017

Methane concentrations in the water column and emissions to the atmosphere were determined for three tropical coastal lagoons surrounded by mangrove forests on the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. Surface water dissolved methane was sampled at different seasons over a period of 2 years in areas representing a wide range of salinities and anthropogenic impacts. The highest surface water methane concentrations (up to 8378 nM) were measured in a polluted canal associated with Terminos Lagoon. In Chelem Lagoon, methane concentrations were typically lower, except in the polluted harbor area (1796 nM). In the relatively pristine Celestún Lagoon, surface water methane concentrations ranged from 41 to 2551 nM. Methane concentrations were negatively correlated with salinity in Celestún, while in Chelem and Terminos high methane concentrations were associated with areas of known pollution inputs, irrespective of salinity. The diffusive methane flux from surface lagoon water to the atmosphere ranged from 0.0023 to 15 mmol CH4 m−2 d−1. Flux chamber measurements revealed that direct methane release as ebullition was up to 3 orders of magnitude greater than measured diffusive flux. Coastal mangrove lagoons may therefore be an important natural source of methane to the atmosphere despite their relatively high salinity. Pollution inputs are likely to substantially enhance this flux. Additional statistically rigorous data collected globally are needed to better consider methane fluxes from mangrove-surrounded coastal areas in response to sea level changes and anthropogenic pollution in order to refine projections of future atmospheric methane budgets.

Publication Year 2017
Title Methane fluxes from tropical coastal lagoons surrounded bymangroves, Yucatán, Mexico
DOI 10.1002/2017JG003761
Authors Pei-Chuan Chuang, Megan B. Young, Andrew W. Dale, Laurence G. Miller, Jorge A Herrera-Silveira, Adina Paytan
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences
Index ID 70188608
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization National Research Program - Western Branch