Chapter

Biogeochemistry of Global Change

pp 221-244

Methane Production and Uptake in Some Terrestrial Ecosystems of the Former USSR

  • N. S. PanikovAffiliated withInstitute of Microbiology, Russian Academy of Sciences
  • , A. S. BelyaevAffiliated withInstitute of Microbiology, Russian Academy of Sciences
  • , A. M. SemenovAffiliated withInstitute of Microbiology, Russian Academy of Sciences
  • , V. V. ZelenevAffiliated withInstitute of Microbiology, Russian Academy of Sciences

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Abstract

The production, emission, and uptake of methane was studied in different terrestrial ecosystems of the European plain of the USSR: hypersaline marshes of the Crimea, arable soils of the Moscow region, wetlands and dry forest soils of the Tver (Kalinin) and Syktyvkar regions, as well as tundra soils of the Polar Ural. Two main approaches were used: (1) CH4-exchange rates between the soil and atmosphere were used by chamber techniques and (2) the estimation of CH4, production and uptake in soil cores incubated under aerobic as well as anaerobic conditions. The highest rates of both CH4, production and utilization occurred in the acid ombrotrophic bogs of the boreal forests. The wetlands were both sources and sinks for CH4,. The methane cycle in most studied soils was found to be a closed one: The processes of methanogenesis in the lower horizons were balanced by methane oxidation in the upper horizons. The only exceptions were hypersaline marshes and the waterlogged depressions of the ombrotrophic bogs where the activity of methanotrophs was absent or poorly expressed. In this case, significant CH4, emission from soils to the atmosphere occurred (up to 50–120 mg CH4-C m-2 h-1). Kinetic approaches have been used for estimation of biomass and in situ activity of both methanogenic and methanotrophic bacteria.