A Year in the Life: Annual Patterns of CO2 and CH4 from a Northern Finland Peatland, Including Anaerobic Methane Oxidation and Summer Ebullition Rates
Thursday, 18 December 2014
The major ecological controls on methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes in northern wetland systems are well known, yet estimates of source/sink magnitudes are often incongruous with measured rates. This mismatch persists because holistic flux datasets are rare, preventing ‘whole picture’ determinations of flux controls. To combat this, we measured net CO2 and CH4 fluxes from September 2012-2013 within a peatland in northern Lapland, Finland. In addition, we performed in situ manipulations and in vitro soil incubations to quantify anaerobic methane oxidation and methanogenic rates as they related to alternative electron acceptor availability. Average annual fluxes varied substantially between different depressions within the wetland, a pattern that persisted through all seasons. Season was a strong predictor of both CO2 and CH4 flux rates, yet CH4 rates were not related to melt-season 10cm or 30cm soil temperatures, and only poorly predicted with air temperatures. We found evidence for both autumnal and spring thaw CH4 bursts, collectively accounting for 26% of annual CH4 flux, although the autumnal burst was more than 5 fold larger than the spring burst. CH4 ebullition measured throughout the growing season augmented the CH4 source load by a factor of 1.5, and was linked with fine-scale spatial heterogeneity within the wetland. Surprisingly, CH4 flux rates were insensitive to Fe(III) and humic acid soil amendments, both of which amplified CO2 fluxes. Using in vitro incubations, we determined anaerobic methane oxidation and methanogenesis rates. Measured anaerobic oxidation rates showed potential consumption of between 6-39% of the methane produced, contributing approximately 1% of total carbon dioxide flux. Treatments of nitrate, sulfate and ferric iron showed that nitrate suppressed methanogenesis, but were not associated with anaerobic oxidation rates.