Sphagnum-dominated peatland ecosystems that are structurally and functionally similar to their boreal and subarctic counterparts are found as far south as West Virginia. Completed, ongoing, and preliminary studies conducted at Bog Run Bog, WV, Bog Lake Bog, MN, and Wetland 307 of the Experimental Lakes Area, Ontario have included 1) a reciprocal transplant of dominant hummock and hollowSphagnum species, examining growth in length, 2) a reciprocal transplant of peat, with periodic retrieval of transplanted samples and analysis of CO2 and CH4 production under anoxic and oxic conditions at field temperature and at 22°C, 3)14C-labeling of vegetation in hollow, hummock, and shrub plots, following the fate of a single day’s photosynthetic fixation through aboveground and belowground components over time, and 4) a preliminary analysis of13C ratios in peat and of the CH4 that is produced and emitted. Collectively, these studies provide support for the premise that comparative studies of northern (cooler climate) and southern (warmer climate) peatland sites may provide insights into potential functional changes in boreal peatlands under predicted scenarios of global climate change.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Alperin, M.J., N.E. Blair, D.B. Albert, T.M. Hoehler, and C.S. Martens. 1992. Factors that control the stable carbon isotopic composition of methane produced in an anoxic marine sediment. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 6:271–291.
Arnold, J.R. and W.F. Libby. 1951. Radiocarbon dates. Science 113:111–120.
Baker, R.G.E. and D.J. Boatman. 1989. The relationshipe between some morphological and chemical features ofSphagnum cuspidatum Ehrh. and physical characteristics of the environment. New Phytologist 113:471–480.
Blake, D.T. and F.S. Rowland. 1988. Continuing worldwide increase in tropospheric methane 1978–1987. Science 239:2181–2187.
Bridgham, S.D. and C.J. Richardson. 1992. Mechanisms controlling soil respiration (CO2 and CH4) in southern peatlands. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 24:1089–1099.
Bubier, J.L., T.R. Moore, and N.T. Roulet. 1993. Methane emissions from northern wetlands in the midboreal region of northern Ontario, Canada. Ecology 74:2240–2254.
Cameron, C.C. 1968. Peal. In Mineral Resources of the Appalachian Region, U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 580: 136–145.
Cameron, C.C. 1970. Peat resources of the unglaciated uplands along the Allegheny structural front in West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 700D: D153–D162.
Clymo, R.S. 1970. Growth ofSphagnum: Methods of measurement. Journal of Ecology 58:13–49.
Clymo, R.S. and P.M. Hayward. 1982. The ecology ofSphagnum. p. 229–288.In A.J.E. Smith (ed.) Bryophyte Ecology. Chapman and Hall, New York, NY, USA.
Dise, N. 1993. Methane emission from Minnesota peatlands: Spatial and seasonal variability. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 7:123–142.
Fung, I., J. John, J. Lerner, E. Matthews, M. Prather, L. Steele, and P. Fraser. 1991. Global budgets of atmospheric methane: Results from a three-dimensional global model synthesis. Journal of Geophysical Research 96:13033–13065.
Glenn, S., A. Hayes, and T.R. Moore. 1993. Carbon dioxide and methane fluxes from drained-peat soils, southern Quebec. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 7:247–257.
Gorham, E. 1991. Northern peatlands: Role in the carbon cycle and probable responses to climatic warming. Ecological Applications 1:182–195.
Grotch, S.L. and M.C. MacCracken. 1991 The use of general circulation models to predict regional climatic change. Journal of Climatology 4:286–303.
Heathwaite, A.L. 1993. Disappearing peat—regenerating peat? The impact of climate change on British peatlands. The Geographical Journal 159:203–208.
Hogenbirk, J.C. and R.W. Wein. 1991. Fire and drought experiments in northern wetlands: A climate change analogue. Canadian Journal of Botany 69:1991–1997.
Hogg, E.H., V.J. Lieffers, and R.W. Wein. 1992. Potential carbon losses from peat profiles: Effects of temperature, drought cycles, and fire. Ecological Applications 2:298–306.
Holland, E.A., C. Coxwell, D.S. Schimel, and D. Valentine. 1993. A model of methane production in soils. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America 74:279–280.
Houghton, J.T., G.J. Jenkins, and J.J. Ephraums. 1990. Climate Change: The IPCC Scientific Assessment. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England.
Kelley, C.A., N.B. Dise, and C.S. Martens. 1992. Temporal variations in the stable carbon isotopic composition of methane emitted from Minnesota peatlands. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 6:263–269.
Khalil, M.A.K. and R.A. Rasmussen. 1989. Climate-induced feedbacks for global cycles of methane and nitrous oxide. Tellus 41B: 554–559.
Khalil, M.A.K. and R.A. Rasmussen. 1990. Atmospheric methane: Recent global trends. Environmental Science and Technology 24: 549–553.
Kim, J. and S. Verma. 1992. Soil surface CO2 flux in a Minnesota peatland. Biogeochemistry 18:37–51.
Kooijman, A.M. 1993. On the ecological amplitude of four mire bryophytes: A reciprocal transplant experiment. Lindbergia 18: 19–24.
Malmer, N.. 1992. Peat accumulation and the global carbon cycle. Catena Suppiement 22:97–110.
Marshall, R.B. and J.N. Whiteway. 1985. Automation of an interface between a nitrogen analyzer and an isotope ratio mass spectrometer. Analyst (London) 110:867–871.
Maxwell, J.A. and M.B. Davis. 1972. Pollen evidence of Pleistocene and Holocene vegetation of the Allegheny Plateau, Maryland. Quaternary Research 2:506–530.
McDonald, B.R. 1985. Wetlands of West Virginia: Location and Classification. West Virginia Heritage Wildlife/Heritage Data Base, West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Elkins, WV, USA.
Moore, T.R. and N.T. Roulet. 1993. Methane flux: Water table relations in northern wetlands. Geophysical Research Letters 20: 587–590.
Nisbet, E.G. 1989. Some northern sources of atmospheric methane: Production, history, and future implications. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 26:1603–1611.
Post, W.M. (ed.) 1990. Report of a Workshop on the Climate Feedbacks and the Role of Peatlands Tundra, and Boreal Ecosystems in the Global Carbon Cycle. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, USA. ORNL/TM-11457.
Roulet, N.T., T. Moore, J. Bubier, and P. Lafleur. 1992a. Northern fens: Methane flux and climatic change. Tellus 44B:100–105.
Roulet, N.T., R. Ash, and T.R. Moore. 1992b. Low boreal wetlands as a source of atmospheric methane. Journal of Geophysical Research 97:3739–3749.
Rydin, H. 1993. Interspecific competition betweenSphagnum mosses on a raised bog. Oikos 66:413–423.
SAS. 1990. SAS Procedures Guide, Version 6, Third edition. SAS Institute, Cary, NC, USA.
Shurpali, N.J., S.B. Verma, R.J. Clement, and D.P. Billesbach. 1993. Seasonal distribution of methane flux in a Minnesota peatland measured by eddy correlation. Journal of Geophysical Research 98:20649–20655.
Spear, R.W. and W.G. Miller. 1976. A radiocarbon dated pollen profile from the Allegheny Plateau of New York State. Journal of the Arnold Arboretum 57:369–403.
Stevens, C.M. and A. Engelkemeir. 1988. Stable carbon isotopic composition of methane from some natural and anthropogenic sources. Journal of Geophysical Research 93:725–733.
Updegraff, K., J. Pastor, S.D. Bridgham, and C.A. Johnston. 1994. Environmental and substrate controls over carbon and nitrogen mineralization in a beaver meadow and a bog. Ecological Applications, in press.
Urban, N.R., S.J. Eisenreich, and D.F. Grigal. 1989. Sulfur cycling in a forestedSphagnum bog in northern Minnesota. Biogeochemistry 7:81–109.
Verry, E.S. 1975. Streamflow chemistry and nutrient yields from upland-peatland watersheds in Minnesota. Ecology 56:1149–1157.
Vitt, D.H. and S.E. Bayley, D.J. 1984. The vegetation and water chemistry of oligotrophic basin mires of northwestern Ontario, Canadian Journal of Botany 62:1385–1400.
Wahlen, M. 1993. The global methane cycle. Annual Reviews of Earth and Planetary Science 21:407–426.
Watts, W.A. 1979. Late Quaternary vegetation of central Appalachia and the New Jersey coastal plain. Ecological Monographs 49:427–469.
Wieder, R.K. 1985. Peat and water chemistry at Big Run Bog, a peatland in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia, U.S.A. Biogeochemistry 1:277–302.
Wieder, R.K. and J.B. Yavitt. 1991. Assessment of site differences in anaerobic carbon mineralization using reciprocal, peat transplants. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 23:1093–1095.
Wieder, R.K., A.M. McCormick, and G.E. Lang. 1981. Vegetational analysis of Big Run Bog, a nonglaciatedSphagnum bog in West Virginia. Castanea 46:16–29.
Wieder, R.K., J.B. Yavitt and G.E. Lang. 1990. Methane production and sulfate reduction in two Appalachian peatlands. Biogeochemistry 10:81–104.
Wieder, R.K., J.B. Yavitt, G.E. Lang, and C.A. Bennett. 1989. Aboveground net primary production at Big Run Bog, West Virginia. Castanea 54:209–216.
Wieder, R.K., M. Novák, W.R. Schell, and T. Rhodes. 1994. Rates of peat accumulation over the past 200 years in fiveSphagnum-dominated peatlands in the United States Journal of Paleolimnology, in press.
Windsor, J., T.R. Moore, and N.T. Roulet. 1992. Episodic fluxes of methane from subarctic fens. Canadian Journal of Soil Science 72:441–452.
Yavitt, J.B., G.E. Lang, and A.J. Sexstone. 1990. Methane fluxes in forest and wetland soils, beaver ponds, and low order streams of a temperate forest ecosystem. Journal of Geophysical Research 95:22463–22474.
About this article
Cite this article
Wieder, R.K., Yavitt, J.B. Peatlands and global climate change: Insights from comparative studies of sites situated along a latitudinal gradient. Wetlands 14, 229–238 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03160660
- global climate change
- latitudinal gradient