Methane emissions from Mexican freshwater bodies: correlations with water pollution
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The literature concerning methane (CH4) emissions from temperate and boreal lakes is extensive, but emissions from tropical and subtropical lakes have been less documented. In particular, methane emissions from Mexican lakes, which are often polluted by anthropogenic carbon and nutrient inputs, have not been reported previously. In this work, methane emissions from six Mexican lakes were measured, covering a broad range of organic inputs, trophic states, and climatic conditions. Methane emissions ranged from 5 to 5,000 mg CH4 m−2 day−1. Water samples from several depths in each lake were analyzed for correlation between water quality indicators and methane emissions. Trophic state and water quality indexes were most strongly correlated with methane fluxes. The global methane flux from Mexican freshwater lakes was estimated to be approximately 1.3 Tg CH4 year−1, which is about 20% of methane and 4.4% of total national greenhouse gas emissions. Data for untreated wastewater releases to the environment gave an emission factor of 0.19 kg CH4 kg−1 of Biochemical Oxygen Demand, which is superior to that previously estimated by the IPCC for lake discharges. Thus, the large volume of untreated wastewater in Mexico implies higher methane emission than previously estimated.
KeywordsEutrophication Methane emission Trophic state index Tropical lakes Water quality
This work was financially supported by the ‘Mexican National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT) and the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) through project grant No. 23661. Authors Rodrigo Gonzalez-Valencia, Armando Sepulveda-Jauregui, Karla Martinez-Cruz, and Jorge Hoyos-Santillan received grant-aided support from CONACYT (scholarship numbers 266244, 203709, 233369, and 203591, respectively). The authors are thankful to Karina Gutierrez and Alejandro Olvera from the Municipality of Cuautitlan Izcalli. The authors also thank J.M. Islas-Maitret and Adrian Barrios from Bioser, for technical assistance in sampling the tropical lakes.
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