Methane flux measurements along a floodplain soil moisture gradient in the Okavango Delta, Botswana

Gondwe, M.J.; Helfter, C. ORCID:; Murray-Hudson, M.; Levy, P.E. ORCID:; Mosimanyana, E.; Makati, A.; Mfundisi, K.B.; Skiba, U.M. ORCID: 2021 Methane flux measurements along a floodplain soil moisture gradient in the Okavango Delta, Botswana [in special issue: Rising methane: is warming feeding warming? (Part 1)] Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 379 (2210), 20200448. 19, pp.

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Data-poor tropical wetlands constitute an important source of atmospheric CH4 in the world. We studied CH4 fluxes using closed chambers along a soil moisture gradient in a tropical seasonal swamp in the Okavango Delta, Botswana, the sixth largest tropical wetland in the world. The objective of the study was to assess net CH4 fluxes and controlling environmental factors in the Delta's seasonal floodplains. Net CH4 emissions from seasonal floodplains in the wetland were estimated at 0.072 ± 0.016 Tg a−1. Microbial CH4 oxidation of approximately 2.817 × 10−3 ± 0.307 × 10−3 Tg a−1 in adjacent dry soils of the occasional floodplains accounted for the sink of 4% of the total soil CH4 emissions from seasonal floodplains. The observed microbial CH4 sink in the Delta's dry soils is, therefore, comparable to the global average sink of 4–6%. Soil water content (SWC) and soil organic matter were the main environmental factors controlling CH4 fluxes in both the seasonal and occasional floodplains. The optimum SWC for soil CH4 emissions and oxidation in the Delta were estimated at 50% and 15%, respectively. Electrical conductivity and pH were poorly correlated (r2 ≤ 0.11, p < 0.05) with CH4 fluxes in the seasonal floodplain at Nxaraga.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Atmospheric Chemistry and Effects (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 1364-503X
Additional Keywords: seasonal floodplains, methane emissions, methane oxidation, occasional floodplains, tropical wetland
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Agriculture and Soil Science
Date made live: 01 Nov 2021 12:17 +0 (UTC)

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