The response of a mid- and high latitude peat bog to predicted climate change: methane production in a 12-month peat incubation

  • Leona BohdalkovaEmail author
  • Martin Novak
  • Frantisek Buzek
  • Jakub Kreisinger
  • Richard Bindler
  • Katerina Pazderu
  • Petra Pacherova


There are fears that global warming will lead to degradation of peatlands, higher emissions of greenhouse gases from peat, and accelerated warming. Anaerobic decomposition of organic soils produces methane (CH4), a potent greenhouse gas. Two peat bogs differing in mean annual temperature, Velke Darko (VD, Czech Republic, 7.2 °C), and Stor Åmyran (SA, Sweden, 4.0 °C), were selected for a comparative study of how organic soils in different climatic zones will respond to warmer and drier conditions. Twenty peat cores from each bog were incubated in growth chambers. Under present-day summer conditions, VD produced 14 times more CH4 than SA. Two different warming scenarios were used. Peat-core replicates were kept at temperatures of 11 versus 16 °C, and 11 versus 22 °C. From 11 to 16 °C, the CH4 production slightly decreased at SA, and slightly increased at VD. From 11 to 22 °C, the CH4 production increased 9 times at SA, but slightly decreased at VD. After an 8-month incubation, peat cores under drying conditions (water table at −14 cm) were compared to samples with original water table (−2 cm). Drying conditions led to a steeper reduction in CH4 production at VD, compared to SA. The CH4 production decreased more than 100 times at VD. Then, the combined effect of simultaneous warming and drying at 11 and 22 °C was studied. We did not find any significant effect of interactions between increasing temperature and decreasing water table level. Overall, the warmer site VD responded more strongly to the simulated climate change than the colder site SA.


Climate change Methane Wetland Sphagnum Greenhouse gas 



This work was supported by the Czech Science Foundation (P504/12/1782), and the CzechGlobe–Centre for Global Climate Change Impacts Studies (CZ.1.05/1.1.00/02.0073).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leona Bohdalkova
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Martin Novak
    • 1
  • Frantisek Buzek
    • 1
  • Jakub Kreisinger
    • 3
  • Richard Bindler
    • 4
  • Katerina Pazderu
    • 5
  • Petra Pacherova
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Geochemistry and BiogeochemistryCzech Geological SurveyPrague 5Czech Republic
  2. 2.Global Change Research Centre, Academy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicBrnoCzech Republic
  3. 3.Department of Zoology, Biodiversity Research GroupCharles University in PraguePrague 2Czech Republic
  4. 4.Department of Ecology & Environmental SciencesUmea UniversityUmeaSweden
  5. 5.Department of Crop Production, Faculty of Agrobiology, Food and Natural ResourcesUniversity of Life Sciences PraguePrague 6Czech Republic

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