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Research article2021Peer reviewed

Spatiotemporal patterns and drivers of methane uptake across a climate transect in Inner Mongolia Steppe

Liu, Wei; Yuan, Wenping; Xu, Sutie; Shao, Changliang; Hou, Longyu; Xu, Wenfang; Shi, Huiqiu; Pan, Qingmin; Li, Linghao; Kardol, Paul


Steppe soils are important biological sinks for atmospheric methane (CH4), but the strength of CH4 uptake remains uncertain due to large spatiotemporal variation and the lack of in situ measurements at regional scale. Here, we report the seasonal and spatial patterns of CH4 uptake across a 1200 km transect in arid and semi-arid steppe ecosystems in Inner Mongolia, ranging from meadow steppe in the east plain to typical and desert steppes on the west plateau. In general, seasonal patterns of CH4 uptake were site specific, with unimodal seasonal curves in meadow and typical steppes and a decreasing seasonal trend in desert steppe. Soil moisture was the dominant factor explaining the seasonal patterns of CH4 uptake, and CH4 uptake rate decreased with an increase in soil moisture. Across the transect, CH4 uptake showed a skewed unimodal spatial pattern, with the peak rate observed in the typical steppe sites and with generally higher uptake rates in the west plateau than in the east plain. Soil moisture, together with soil temperature, soil total carbon, and aboveground plant biomass, were the main drivers of the regional patterns of CH4 uptake rate. These findings are important for model development to more precisely estimate the soil CH4 sink capacity in arid and semi-arid regions. (C) 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Carbon cycle; Global warming; Precipitation gradient; Regional scale; Soil moisture; Steppe type

Published in

Science of the Total Environment
2021, Volume: 757, article number: 143768
Publisher: ELSEVIER

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG13 Climate action

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Soil Science
    Climate Research

    More information

    Correction in: Science of the Total Environment, 2022, Volume: 837, article number: 155834, DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.155834

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