, Volume 822, Issue 1, pp 143–156 | Cite as

Spatial–temporal patterns of methane dynamics in Lake Taihu

  • Lingling Li
  • Bin Xue
  • Shuchun Yao
  • Yuqiang Tao
  • Renhua Yan
Primary Research Paper


Lakes are important source of atmospheric methane (CH4). Especially for large and shallow lakes, accurate CH4 emission budgets must consider the spatial and seasonal heterogeneity which characterize these ecosystems. CH4 concentrations in sediment and lake water and CH4 fluxes from sediment were analysed in selected open water areas of Lake Taihu, the third largest freshwater lake in China, to test the hypothesis that CH4 concentrations and fluxes differ both spatially and temporally in relation to biological and environmental features. The results showed that Lake Taihu was a source of CH4 throughout the year. The observed CH4 concentrations and fluxes were higher in the north-western and south-eastern areas of the lake, and lower in the central area. This spatial heterogeneity in methane emissions was mainly related to local organic matter content, plant characteristics, deposition rate and sediment features. Seasonally, CH4 showed stronger emissions in summer. These results suggest that the analysis of CH4 dynamics in shallow lakes should consider the habitat heterogeneity and the different sources of organic matter. Furthermore, the CH4 emission budget should at least include high and low temperature periods to decrease temporal bias.


Methane in lake sediment Spatial heterogeneity Deposition rate Organic matter Temperature 



The authors are very grateful to Mr. Jingkui Tao and Dr. Longjuan Cheng for their support and help with the fieldwork. Special thanks are given to the reviewers for their constructive comments and suggestions. This research was supported by the Chinese National Science Foundation (41372185), Chinese National Science Foundation (41573129), the National Basic Science and Technology Special Project (2014FY110400), and the UCAS Joint Ph.D. Training Programme.

Supplementary material

10750_2018_3670_MOESM1_ESM.docx (16 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 15 kb)
10750_2018_3670_MOESM2_ESM.xlsx (21 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (XLSX 20 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lingling Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Bin Xue
    • 1
    • 3
  • Shuchun Yao
    • 1
  • Yuqiang Tao
    • 1
  • Renhua Yan
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Lake Science and Environment, Nanjing Institute of Geography and LimnologyChinese Academy of SciencesNanjingChina
  2. 2.University of the Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Nanjing University of Information Science and TechnologyNanjingChina

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