Air-water CO2 exchange in five hypereutrophic lakes in Bangalore, India

Monday, 15 December 2014
Gurjot Singh1, Prosenjit Ghosh1, Govindasamy Bala1 and David Bastviken2, (1)Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India, (2)Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
Inland water bodies play a significant role in terrestrial carbon cycling, rather than being just conduits for the transport of terrestrial carbon to the oceans. Recent syntheses estimate that freshwaters emit substantial amounts of CO2 (1.4 Pg C yr-1) (Tranvik et al. 2009) and CH4 (0.65 Pg C yr-1) (Bastviken et al. 2011), which are similar in magnitude to the global terrestrial carbon sink (2.5 ± 1.7 Pg C yr-1) (IPCC 2013). However, eutrophic waters, which constitute the majority of the global freshwater supply (ILEC/UNEP 1994, Liu et al. 2012, Carpenter et al. 1998), are vastly underrepresented in these estimates. These waters, due to high primary productivity leading to CO2 undersaturation, can act as sinks rather than sources of CO2, thus reversing the role of lakes in the carbon cycle (Balmer and Downing 2011, Pacheco et al. 2013). We are investigating the air-water CO2 exchange of five hypereutrophic lakes in urban Bangalore using a novel Non-Dispersive Infrared (NDIR)-based CO2 sensor installed in flux chambers that can be used to measure CO2 exchange in lakes in situ. This work is a part of a larger study called Bangalore Carbon Mapping Study that aims to track the spatial flows of carbon in an urban area of a developing country.

Preliminary observations reveal that these lakes absorb CO2 during the photosynthetic hours, at an average rate of 3.4 mg C m-2 h-1. The ongoing study will characterize the complete diurnal cycle of CO2 exchange, its variation over different seasons, and its relationships with various limnological and catchment characteristics. The flux estimates thus produced will also be compared with those predicted by the current models for air-water gas exchange based on wind speed.