Annual cycle of methane emission from a subarctic peatland

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Although much attention in recent years has been devoted to methane (CH4) emissions from northern wetlands, measurement based data sets providing full annual budgets are still limited in number. This study was designed to help fill the gap of year-round measurements of CH4 emissions from subarctic mires. We report continuous eddy correlation CH4 flux measurements made during 2006 and 2007 over the Stordalen mire in subarctic Sweden (68 degrees 20'N, 19 degrees 03'E, altitude 351 m) using a cryocooled tunable diode laser. The landscape-scale CH4 fluxes originated mainly from the permafrost free wet parts of the mire dominated by tall graminoid vegetation. The midseason average CH4 emission mean was 6.2 +/- 2.6 mg m(-2) h(-1). A detailed footprint analysis indicates an additional strong influence on the flux by the nearby shallow Lake Villasjon (0.17 km(2), maximum depth 1.3 m). A stable bimodal distribution of wind flow from either the east or the west allowed separating the lake and mire vegetation signals. The midseason lake emission rates were as high as 12.3 +/- 3.3 mg m(-2) h(-1). Documented CH4 fluxes are similar to results obtained by automatic chamber technique and higher than manual chamber measurements made in the wet minerotrophic section dominated by Eriophorum angustifolium. The high fluxes observed from this vegetation type are significant because the areal distribution of this source in the mire is expanding due to ongoing thawing of the permafrost. A simple peat temperature relationship with CH4 emissions was used to fill data gaps to construct a complete annual budget of CH4 fluxes over the studied area. The calculated annual CH4 emissions in 2006 and 2007 equaled 24.5 and 29.5 g CH4 m(-2) yr(-1), respectively. The summer season CH4 emissions dominated (65%) the annual flux, with the shoulder seasons of spring and autumn significant (25%) and a minor flux from the winter (10%).


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Physical Geography
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Publication categoryResearch