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Spatial and temporal variability in CH4 and N2O fluxes from a Scottish ombrotrophic peatland: implications for modeling and upscaling

Dinsmore, Kerry J.; Skiba, Ute M.; Billett, Michael F.; Rees, Robert M.; Drewer, Julia. 2009 Spatial and temporal variability in CH4 and N2O fluxes from a Scottish ombrotrophic peatland: implications for modeling and upscaling. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 41 (6). 1315-1323. 10.1016/j.soilbio.2009.03.022

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Abstract/Summary

Peatlands typically exhibit significant spatial heterogeneity which can lead to large uncertainties when catchment scale greenhouse gas fluxes are extrapolated from chamber measurements (generally <1 m2). Here we examined the underlying environmental and vegetation characteristics which led to within-site variability in both CH4 and N2O emissions and the importance of such variability in up-scaling. We also consider within-site variation in the controls of temporal dynamics. Net annual emissions (and coefficients of variation) for CH4 and N2O were 1.06 kg ha−1 y−1 (300%) and 0.02 kg ha−1 y−1 (410%), respectively. The riparian zone was a significant CH4 hotspot contributing 12% of the total catchment emissions whilst covering only 0.5% of the catchment area. In contrast to many other studies we found smaller CH4 emissions and greater uptake in chambers containing either sedges or rushes. We also found clear differences in the drivers of temporal CH4 dynamics across the site, e.g. water table was important only in chambers which did not contain aerenchymous plants. We suggest that depending on the heterogeneity of the site, flux models could be improved by incorporating a number of spatially distinct sub-models, rather than a single model parameterized using whole-catchment averages.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.soilbio.2009.03.022
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Biogeochemistry > BG01 Measuring and modelling trace gas, aerosol and carbon > BG01.3 Nitroeurope NEU advanced flux network, fluxes pools and budgets
CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Biogeochemistry > BG01 Measuring and modelling trace gas, aerosol and carbon > BG01.2 Carbon
CEH Sections: Billett
ISSN: 0038-0717
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: The definitive version of this paper is available from www.elsevier.com
Additional Keywords: Greenhouse gases, Variability, Peatlands, Microtopography, Vegetation
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 26 May 2009 14:45
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/5457

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