Annual Greenhouse Gas (CO2, CH4, and N2O) Fluxes Via Ebullition from a Temperate Emergent Wetland
Abstract:Quantifying wetland greenhouse gas exchange is necessary to evaluate their potential for mitigating climate change via carbon sequestration. However measuring greenhouse gas fluxes of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O) in wetlands is difficult due to high spatial and temporal variability, and multiple transport pathways of emission. Transport of biogenic soil gas via highly sporadic ebullition (bubbling) events is often ignored or quantified poorly in wetland greenhouse gas budgets, but can rapidly release large volumes of gas to the atmosphere. To quantify a robust annual ebullition flux we measured rates continuously for a year (2013-2014) using custom-built chambers deployed in a restored emergent wetland located in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, CA. We combined ebullition flux rates with observations of gas concentrations to estimate annual ebullition emissions of CO2, CH4, and N2O and compare flux rates to whole-ecosystem exchange of CO2 and CH4 measured simultaneously by eddy covariance.
Mean ebullition flux rates were 18.3 ± 5.6 L m-2 yr-1. Ebullition CH4 concentrations were very high and ranged from 23-76 % with a mean of 47 ± 2.9 %; CO2 concentrations were lower and ranged from 0.7-6.6 % with a mean of 2.8 ± 0.3 %; N2O concentrations were below atmospheric concentrations and ranged from 130-389 ppb(v) with a mean of 257 ± 13 ppb(v). We calculated well-constrained annual ebullition fluxes of: 6.2 ± 1.9 g CH4 m-2 yr-1, 1.0 ± 0.3 g CO2 m-2 yr-1 and 9.3 ± 2.8 mg N2O m-2 yr-1. Methane emissions via ebullition were very large, representing 15-25 % of total wetland CH4 emissions measured at this site, whereas ebullition released only relatively small quantities of CO2 and N2O. Our results demonstrate that large releases of CH4 via ebullition from open water surfaces can be a significant component of restored wetland greenhouse gas budgets.