Project Type

URC Presentation


Natural Resources

College or School


Class Year



Environmental Science

Faculty Research Advisor

Ruth Varner


Wetlands are the largest natural source of methane to the atmosphere, yet there are still large uncertainties in the magnitude of these emissions due to the spatial and temporal heterogeneity of methane production and transport processes. One process by which methane can be emitted to the atmosphere is through plant-mediated transport - the diffusion of methane through plant aerenchyma. The objective of my project was to determine how methane emissions vary depending on the plant species composition at Sallie’s Fen in Barrington, NH. Static flux chambers were used to measure methane emissions at six locations across the fen. Quadrat sampling was used to determine species composition. Aerial photography and a geographic information system in combination with transect quadrat sampling was used to create a vegetation map of the entire site. The combination of methane emission data and species composition allowed for scaling of emissions across the entirety of the fen. Overall, this project furthers our understanding of complex wetland ecosystems and its relation to methane, a radiatively important greenhouse gas.