Transitional slopes act as hotspots of both soil CO 2 emission and CH 4 uptake in a temperate forest landscape Article First Online: 14 March 2018 Received: 30 October 2017 Accepted: 05 March 2018 Abstract
Forest soils are an important component of CO
2 and CH 4 fluxes at the global scale, but the magnitude of these fluxes varies greatly in space and time within a landscape. Understanding the spatial and temporal distributions of these fluxes across complex landscapes remains a major challenge for researchers and land managers alike. We investigated the spatiotemporal variability of soil-atmosphere CO 2 and CH 4 fluxes and the relationships of these fluxes to chemical and physical soil properties distributed across a topographically-heterogeneous landscape. Soil CO 2 and CH 4 fluxes were measured along with soil temperature, moisture, bulk density, texture, carbon, sorption capacity, and dissolved organic matter quality over 2 years along hillslope transects spanning valley bottom, transition zone, and upland landscape positions in a temperate forest watershed. Transition zone soil CO 2 efflux was 54–160% higher than low-lying valley bottoms, and 15–54% higher than uplands. Net seasonal CH 4 uptake was 58–150% higher in transition zone soils than in uplands, while valley bottoms were occasionally large net sources (up to 19 nmol CH 4 m −2 s −1). Soil CO 2 efflux and net CH 4 uptake were both positively associated with seasonal temperature, and were highest in soils with relatively high carbon and clay content, and relatively low bulk density, moisture, and sorption capacity. We concluded that: (1) transition zone soils act as landscape hotspots for net CH 4 uptake in addition to CO 2 efflux, and (2) that this spatial distribution is more consistent across seasons for net CH 4 uptake than for CO 2 efflux. Keywords Landscape Carbon dioxide Methane Flux Forest Soils
Responsible Editor: James Sickman.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (
) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10533-018-0435-0 Notes Acknowledgements
This research was funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA-AFRI Grant 2013-02758), and we would like to acknowledge the University of Delaware Soil Testing Facility, Shawn Del Percio, Catherine Winters, and Samuel Villarreal for their help in the field and laboratory.
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