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Research article2019Peer reviewedOpen access

A Novel Approach for High-Frequency in-situ Quantification of Methane Oxidation in Peatlands

Nielsen, Cecilie Skov; Hasselquist, Niles J.; Nilsson, Mats B.; Oquist, Mats; Jarveoja, Jarvi; Peichl, Matthias


Methane (CH4) oxidation is an important process for regulating CH4 emissions from peatlands as it oxidizes CH4 to carbon dioxide (CO2). Our current knowledge about its temporal dynamics and contribution to ecosystem CO2 fluxes is, however, limited due to methodological constraints. Here, we present the first results from a novel method for quantifying in-situ CH4 oxidation at high temporal resolution. Using an automated chamber system, we measured the isotopic signature of heterotrophic respiration (CO2 emissions from vegetation-free plots) at a boreal mire in northern Sweden. Based on these data we calculated CH4 oxidation rates using a two-source isotope mixing model. During the measurement campaign, 74% of potential CH4 fluxes from vegetation-free plots were oxidized to CO2, and CH4 oxidation contributed 20 +/- 2.5% to heterotrophic respiration corresponding to 10 +/- 0.5% of ecosystem respiration. Furthermore, the contribution of CH4 oxidation to heterotrophic respiration showed a distinct diurnal cycle being negligible during nighttime while contributing up to 35 +/- 3.0% during the daytime. Our results show that CH4 oxidation may represent an important component of the peatland ecosystem respiration and highlight the value of our method for measuring in-situ CH4 oxidation to better understand carbon dynamics in peatlands.


Methane oxidation; peatland; heterotrophic respiration; carbon; CO2; mire

Published in

Soil systems
2019, Volume: 3, number: 1, article number: 4