Impacts of drainage, restoration and warming on boreal wetland greenhouse gas fluxes
Northern wetlands with organic soil i.e., mires are significant carbon storages. This key ecosystem service may be threatened by anthropogenic activities and climate change, yet we still lack a consensus on how these major changes affects their carbon sink capacities. We studied how forestry drainage and restoration combined with experimental warming, impacts greenhouse gas fluxes of wetlands with peat. We measured CO2 and CH4 during two and N2O fluxes during one growing season using the chamber method.
Gas fluxes were primarily controlled by water table, leaf area and temperature. Land use had a clear impact of on CO2 exchange. Forestry drainage increased respiration rates and decreased field layer net ecosystem CO2 uptake (NEE) and leaf area index (LAI), while at restoration sites the flux rates and LAI had recovered to the level of undrained sites. CH4 emissions were exceptionally low at all sites during our study years due to natural drought, but still somewhat lower at drained compared to undrained sites. Moderate warming triggered an increase in LAI across all land use types. This was accompanied by an increase in cumulative seasonal NEE. Restoration appeared to be an effective tool to return the ecosystem functions of these wetlands as we found no differences in LAI or any gas flux components (PMAX, Reco, NEE, CH4 or N2O) between restored and undrained sites. We did not find any signs that moderate warming would compromise the return of the ecosystem functions related to C sequestration.
Science of the Total Environment
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Laine A, Mehtatalo L, Tolvanen A, Frolking S, Tuittila E-S. 2019. Impacts of drainage, restoration and warming on boreal wetland greenhouse gas fluxes, Science of Total Environment, 647, 169-181.