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Variation of energy and carbon fluxes from a restored temperate freshwater wetland and implications for carbon market verification protocols

March 7, 2016

Temperate freshwater wetlands are among the most productive terrestrial ecosystems, stimulating interest in using restored wetlands as biological carbon sequestration projects for greenhouse gas reduction programs. In this study, we used the eddy covariance technique to measure surface energy carbon fluxes from a constructed, impounded freshwater wetland during two annual periods that were 8 years apart: 2002–2003 and 2010–2011. During 2010–2011, we measured methane (CH4) fluxes to quantify the annual atmospheric carbon mass balance and its concomitant influence on global warming potential (GWP). Peak growing season fluxes of latent heat and carbon dioxide (CO2) were greater in 2002–2003 compared to 2010–2011. In 2002, the daily net ecosystem exchange reached as low as −10.6 g C m−2 d−1, which was greater than 3 times the magnitude observed in 2010 (−2.9 g C m−2 d−1). CH4 fluxes during 2010–2011 were positive throughout the year and followed a strong seasonal pattern, ranging from 38.1 mg C m−2 d−1 in the winter to 375.9 mg C m−2 d−1 during the summer. The results of this study suggest that the wetland had reduced gross ecosystem productivity in 2010–2011, likely due to the increase in dead plant biomass (standing litter) that inhibited the generation of new vegetation growth. In 2010–2011, there was a net positive GWP (675.3 g C m−2 yr−1), and when these values are evaluated as a sustained flux, the wetland will not reach radiative balance even after 500 years.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2016
Title Variation of energy and carbon fluxes from a restored temperate freshwater wetland and implications for carbon market verification protocols
DOI 10.1002/2015JG003083
Authors Frank Anderson, Brian Bergamaschi, Cove Sturtevant, Sarah Knox, Lauren Hastings, Lisamarie Windham-Myers, Matteo Detto, Erin L. Hestir, Judith Z. Drexler, Robin L. Miller, Jaclyn Matthes, Joseph Verfaillie, Dennis Baldocchi, Richard L. Snyder, Roger Fujii
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences
Series Number
Index ID 70169006
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization California Water Science Center