skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Rising plant-mediated methane emissions from arctic wetlands

Abstract

Plant-mediated CH 4 flux is an important pathway for land–atmosphere CH 4 emissions, but the magnitude, timing, and environmental controls, spanning scales of space and time, remain poorly understood in arctic tundra wetlands, particularly under the long-term effects of climate change. CH 4 fluxes were measured in situ during peak growing season for the dominant aquatic emergent plants in the Alaskan arctic coastal plain, Carex aquatilis and Arctophila fulva, to assess the magnitude and species-specific controls on CH 4 flux. Plant biomass was a strong predictor of A. fulva CH 4 flux while water depth and thaw depth were copredictors for C. aquatilis CH 4 flux. Here, we used plant and environmental data from 1971 to 1972 from the historic International Biological Program (IBP) research site near Barrow, Alaska, which we resampled in 2010–2013, to quantify changes in plant biomass and thaw depth, and used these to estimate species-specific decadal-scale changes in CH 4 fluxes. A ~60% increase in CH 4 flux was estimated from the observed plant biomass and thaw depth increases in tundra ponds over the past 40 years. In spite of our covering only ~5% of the landscape, we estimate that aquatic C. aquatilis and A. fulvamore » account for two-thirds of the total regional CH 4 flux of the Barrow Peninsula. The regionally observed increases in plant biomass and active layer thickening over the past 40 years not only have major implications for energy and water balance, but also have significantly altered land–atmosphere CH 4 emissions for this region, potentially acting as a positive feedback to climate warming.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [3]
  1. Univ. of Texas, El Paso, TX (United States). Dept. of Biological Sciences; Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States). Earth and Environmental Science Division
  2. Univ. of Texas, El Paso, TX (United States). Dept. of Biological Sciences; Univ. of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK (United States). Inst. of Arctic Biology
  3. Univ. of Texas, El Paso, TX (United States). Dept. of Biological Sciences
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC). Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23); National Science Foundation (NSF)
OSTI Identifier:
1357118
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-16-26106
Journal ID: ISSN 1354-1013
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC52-06NA25396
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Global Change Biology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 23; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 1354-1013
Publisher:
Wiley
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Earth Sciences; Methane, Arctic, Wetlands, Macrophytes

Citation Formats

Andresen, Christian G., Lara, Mark J., Tweedie, Craig E., and Lougheed, Vanessa L. Rising plant-mediated methane emissions from arctic wetlands. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1111/gcb.13469.
Andresen, Christian G., Lara, Mark J., Tweedie, Craig E., & Lougheed, Vanessa L. Rising plant-mediated methane emissions from arctic wetlands. United States. doi:10.1111/gcb.13469.
Andresen, Christian G., Lara, Mark J., Tweedie, Craig E., and Lougheed, Vanessa L. Wed . "Rising plant-mediated methane emissions from arctic wetlands". United States. doi:10.1111/gcb.13469. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1357118.
@article{osti_1357118,
title = {Rising plant-mediated methane emissions from arctic wetlands},
author = {Andresen, Christian G. and Lara, Mark J. and Tweedie, Craig E. and Lougheed, Vanessa L.},
abstractNote = {Plant-mediated CH4 flux is an important pathway for land–atmosphere CH4 emissions, but the magnitude, timing, and environmental controls, spanning scales of space and time, remain poorly understood in arctic tundra wetlands, particularly under the long-term effects of climate change. CH4 fluxes were measured in situ during peak growing season for the dominant aquatic emergent plants in the Alaskan arctic coastal plain, Carex aquatilis and Arctophila fulva, to assess the magnitude and species-specific controls on CH4 flux. Plant biomass was a strong predictor of A. fulva CH4 flux while water depth and thaw depth were copredictors for C. aquatilis CH4 flux. Here, we used plant and environmental data from 1971 to 1972 from the historic International Biological Program (IBP) research site near Barrow, Alaska, which we resampled in 2010–2013, to quantify changes in plant biomass and thaw depth, and used these to estimate species-specific decadal-scale changes in CH4 fluxes. A ~60% increase in CH4 flux was estimated from the observed plant biomass and thaw depth increases in tundra ponds over the past 40 years. In spite of our covering only ~5% of the landscape, we estimate that aquatic C. aquatilis and A. fulva account for two-thirds of the total regional CH4 flux of the Barrow Peninsula. The regionally observed increases in plant biomass and active layer thickening over the past 40 years not only have major implications for energy and water balance, but also have significantly altered land–atmosphere CH4 emissions for this region, potentially acting as a positive feedback to climate warming.},
doi = {10.1111/gcb.13469},
journal = {Global Change Biology},
number = 3,
volume = 23,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Sep 14 00:00:00 EDT 2016},
month = {Wed Sep 14 00:00:00 EDT 2016}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 4 works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Save / Share: