Using Mid-IR Cavity Ring-Down Spectrometry to Simultaneously Measure N2o, CO2, and CH4 Fluxes: Responses to Ammonium Nitrate Additions in Salt Marshes

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Elizabeth Brannon1, Serena Moseman-Valtierra1, Jianwu Tang2, Xuechu Chen2, Rose Martin1 and Melanie Garate1, (1)University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI, United States, (2)The Ecosystems Center, MBL, Woods Hole, MA, United States
Greenhouse gas emissions from salt marshes, especially of nitrous oxide (N2O), are a central interest because anthropogenic nutrient loads may substantially alter net climatic forcing of these globally significant ecosystems. In a series of lab and field experiments, a new cavity ring down spectrometer (CRDS, Picarro G2508) that uses mid-infrared (mid-IR) frequencies to measure N2O was compared to a near-IR gas analyzer (LGR N2O/CO analyzer). The Picarro G2508 reports N2O as well as CO2 and CH4 concentrations roughly every second at the parts per billion level. Responses of N2O fluxes to experimental ammonium nitrate additions in marsh mesocosms and marsh plots in situ were compared among these analyzers, along with minimum detectable N2O fluxes. At fluxes above 150 µmol N2O m-2 d-1, the Picarro G2508 and LGR analyzers performed similarly in both mesocosm and field plots that had been enriched with ammonium nitrate, however there were significantly lower minimum detectable N2O fluxes (about 1 order of magnitude) for the LGR than for the Picarro. A gas chromatograph (Shimadzu GC 2014) was also used to test calibration of the G2508. These experiments suggest that mid-IR CRDS technology offers a new tool for simultaneous analyses of N2O along with CO2 and CH4, which fills an important need for quantifying the net climatic forcing of ecosystems. However based on relatively high minimum N2O detection levels of the CRDS, it may work best in highly eutrophic environments.