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Register Number: ER65390
Title: Sources, Sinks and Processes Regulating Cryptic Methane Emissions from Upland Ecosystems
Principal Investigator: Megonigal, Patrick
Institution Address: Washington, DC 20013-7012
Awarded Amount to Date and B&R Code :
FY 2013$0 k
FY 2012$145 kKP170201
DOE Program Manager: Daniel Stover
BER Division: Climate and Environmental Sciences
Research Area: Terrestrial Ecosystem Science
Project Term: 06/15/2012 - 06/14/2013
Abstract: Most work on methane (CH4) emissions from natural ecosystems has focused on wetlands and wetland soils because they are predictable emitters and relatively simple to quantify. Less attention has been directed toward upland ecosystems that cover far larger areas, but are assumed to be too dry to emit CH4. There is abundant evidence that upland ecosystems emit small amounts of CH4 during hot moments that collectively constitute a significant source in the global budget of this potent greenhouse gas. The PI proposes an exploratory study to quantify CH4 sources in upland forests both soils and trees and investigate key controls on the biogeochemical processes that regulate this cryptic source. The long-term objective of the research is to refine Earth system models by quantifying CH4 emissions from upland ecosystems, and elucidating the biogeochemical processes that govern upland CH4 emissions. The immediate objectives of this exploratory proposal are to: 1) test the emerging paradigm that upland trees transpire CH4, 2) test the basic biogeochemcal assumptions of an existing global model of upland CH4 emissions, and 3) develop the suite of biogeochemical approaches that will be needed to advance research on upland CH4 emissions.