We determined methane (CH4) emissions in a field enclosure experiment in a littoral freshwater marsh under the influence of experimentally simulated warming and enhanced nitrogen deposition. Methane emissions by ebullition from the marsh composed of Phragmites australis were measured with funnel traps deployed in a series of enclosures for two 3 week periods. Diffusive fluxes were estimated on the basis of measured CH4 concentrations and application of Fick's law. Neither diffusive nor ebullitive fluxes of methane were significantly affected by warming or nitrate enrichment, possibly because variability both within and among replicate experimental enclosures was high. Average emission rates resulted primarily from ebullition (0.2–30.3 mmol CH4 m−2 d−1), which were 4 orders of magnitude higher than estimated diffusive fluxes and were of similar importance as the coarsely estimated advective methane transport through plants. Significant correlations between dissolved oxygen and dissolved methane and ebullition flux suggest that methane release from the sediment might feed back positively on methane production by reducing dissolved oxygen in the water column and oxygen flux into the sediment. Nitrate may have a similar effect. Extrapolation of our limited data indicates that total methane fluxes from vegetated littoral zones of temperate lakes may contribute 0.5%–7% of the global natural CH4 emissions. These results emphasize the importance of freshwater marshes as sources of methane emissions to the atmosphere, even when they occupy only relatively small littoral areas. More detailed investigations are clearly needed to assess whether global warming and nitrogen deposition can have climate feedbacks by altering methane fluxes from these wetlands.
Journal of Geophysical Research, 2010, Vol 115, Issue G01007
ebullition; marsh; lake; Phragmites australis; greenhouse gas