, Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 163-186

Winter CO2, CH4 and N2O fluxes on some natural and drained boreal peatlands

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CO2 and CH4 fluxes during the winter were measured at natural and drained bog and fen sites in eastern Finland using both the closed chamber method and calculations of gas diffusion along a concentration gradient through the snowpack. The snow diffusion results were compared with those obtained by chamber, but the winter flux estimates were derived from chamber data only. CH4 emissions from a poor bog were lower than those from an oligotrophic fen, while both CO2 and CH4 fluxes were higher in theCarex rostrata- occupied marginal (lagg) area of the fen than in the slightly less fertile centre. Average estimated winter CO2-C losses from virgin and drained forested peatlands were 41 and 68 g CO2-C m−2, respectively, accounting for 23 and 21% of the annual total CO2 release from the peat. The mean release of CH4-C was 1.0 g in natural bogs and 3.4 g m−2 in fens, giving rise to winter emissions averaging to 22% of the annual emission from the bogs and 10% of that from the fens. These wintertime carbon gas losses in Finnish natural peatlands were even greater than reported average long-term annual C accumulation values (less than 25g C m−2). The narrow range of 10–30% of the proportion of winter CO2 and CH4 emissions from annual emissions found in Finnish peatlands suggest that a wider generalization in the boreal zone is possible. Drained forested bogs emitted 0.3 g CH4-C m−2 on the average, while the effectively drained fens consumed an average of 0.01 g CH4-C m−2. Reason for the low CH4. efflux or net oxidation in drained peatlands probably lies in low substrate supply and thus low CH4 production in the anoxic deep peat layers. N2O release from a fertilized grassland site in November–May was 0.7 g N2O m−2, accounting for 38% of the total annual emission, while a forested bog released none and two efficiently drained forested fens 0.09 (28% of annual release) and 0.04 g N2O m−2 (27%) during the winter, respectively.