Ecological Research

, Volume 32, Issue 6, pp 861–871 | Cite as

Integrating isotopic, microbial, and modeling approaches to understand methane dynamics in a frequently disturbed deep reservoir in Taiwan

  • Masayuki Itoh
  • Hisaya Kojima
  • Pei-Chi Ho
  • Chun-Wei Chang
  • Tzong-Yueh Chen
  • Silver Sung-Yun Hsiao
  • Yuki Kobayashi
  • Megumu Fujibayashi
  • Shuh-Ji Kao
  • Chih-hao Hsieh
  • Manabu Fukui
  • Noboru Okuda
  • Takeshi Miki
  • Fuh-Kwo Shiah
Special Feature: Original Article Filling the gaps


It has been estimated that more than 48% of global methane emissions from lakes and reservoirs occur at low latitudes (<24°). To improve this estimate, knowledge regarding underexplored ecosystems, particularly deep lakes and reservoirs in Asian monsoon regions, is needed because the magnitude of methane emissions is influenced by lake bathymetry and climatic conditions. We conducted long-term studies beginning in 2004 at Feitsui Reservoir (FTR) in Taiwan, a subtropical monomictic system with a maximum depth of 120 m to monitor seasonal and interannual variations of three key characteristics and to understand the mechanisms underlying these variations. Key characteristics investigated were as follows: (1) the balance of primary production and heterotrophic respiration as a determinant of vertical oxygen distribution, (2) methane production at the bottom of the reservoir, oxidation in the water column, and emissions from the lake surface, and (3) the contribution of methane-originated carbon to the pelagic food web through methane-oxidizing bacteria (MOB). This review highlights major achievements from FTR studies integrating isotopic, microbial, and modeling approaches. Based on our findings, we proposed two conceptual models: (1) a model of methane dynamics, which addresses the differences in methane emission mechanisms between deep and shallow lakes, and (2) a spatially explicit model linking benthic methane production to the pelagic food web, which addresses the diversity of MOB metabolisms and their dependence on oxygen availability. Finally, we address why long-term studies of subtropical lakes and reservoirs are important for better understanding the effects of climate on low- to mid-latitude ecosystems.


Methane production Methane oxidizing bacteria Food web model Isotope ecology Environmental microbiology 



N. O. is supported by a JSPS Grant-in aid (no. 24405007 and 16H05774) and RIHN Project (D-06-14200119). This study was conducted under the Joint Research Program of the Institute of Low Temperature Science, Hokkaido University. T. M. was supported by MOST 103 - 2621 - M - 002 - 015 -.


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Copyright information

© The Ecological Society of Japan 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masayuki Itoh
    • 1
  • Hisaya Kojima
    • 2
  • Pei-Chi Ho
    • 3
    • 4
  • Chun-Wei Chang
    • 3
    • 4
  • Tzong-Yueh Chen
    • 5
  • Silver Sung-Yun Hsiao
    • 6
  • Yuki Kobayashi
    • 7
  • Megumu Fujibayashi
    • 8
  • Shuh-Ji Kao
    • 9
  • Chih-hao Hsieh
    • 10
    • 11
    • 12
    • 13
  • Manabu Fukui
    • 2
  • Noboru Okuda
    • 14
  • Takeshi Miki
    • 10
    • 12
  • Fuh-Kwo Shiah
    • 5
    • 10
    • 12
  1. 1.Center for Southeast Asian StudiesKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  2. 2.The Institute of Low Temperature ScienceHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan
  3. 3.Earth System Sciences Program, Taiwan International Graduate ProgramAcademia SinicaTaipeiTaiwan
  4. 4.Earth System Sciences Program, Taiwan International Graduate ProgramNational Central UniversityTaoyuanTaiwan
  5. 5.Institute of Marine Environment and EcologyNational Taiwan Ocean UniversityKeelungTaiwan
  6. 6.Institute of Earth ScienceAcademia SinicaTaipeiTaiwan
  7. 7.Faculty of Health SciencesYamaguchi University Graduate School of MedicineUbeJapan
  8. 8.Department of Biological EnvironmentAkita Prefectural UniversityAkitaJapan
  9. 9.State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental ScienceXiamen UniversityXiamenPeople’s Republic of China
  10. 10.Institute of OceanographyNational Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  11. 11.Institute of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Department of Life ScienceNational Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  12. 12.Research Center for Environmental ChangesAcademia SinicaTaipeiTaiwan
  13. 13.National Center for Theoretical SciencesTaipeiTaiwan
  14. 14.Research Institute for Humanity and NatureKyotoJapan

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