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Cross-Correlation Analysis of the Dynamics of Methane Emissions From a Boreal Peatland

By Anu Kettunen, Veijo Kaitala, Jukka Alm, Jouko Silvola, Hannu Nykänen and Pertti J. Martikainen


The effects of temperature, water table, and precipitation on the methane fluxes from a boreal low-sedge Sphagnura papillosura pine fen were analyzed with statistical cross correlations of daily data. The six measurement sites represented different vegetation surfaces of the mire (hurmnocks, lawns, and fiarks) with increasing moisture. The dynamics were analyzed separately for the eaxly summer (May-July) and the late sununer (August-October) periods in addition to the whole summer (May-October) period. Methane emissions increased with increasing peat temperature. During the late sununer period, changes in peat temperatures at depths of 20 and 50 cm were reflected in methane enfissions within 2 days. The persistently high water tables during the measurmnent period probably did not reveal the dynanfics between water table fluctuations and methane emissions very clearly. Methane emission levels correlated negatively with depths of the water tables, that is, high methane emissions were associated with low water tables and vice versa. The suppression of methane enfissions by filling the unsaturated gas space during precipitation and the increased release rate caused by a declining water table could explain the result. Methane emissions correlated positively with changes in water tables, that is, a rise in water table increased methane emissions during the early and whole surmner periods. Precipitation increased enfissions with a lag from zero to several days throughout the sunmer. Generally, the estimated responses of methane fluxes to precipitation and changes in water table indicated similar time lags. Methane flux from the fiark surfaces seemed to respond rapidly to rainfall artd changes in water table with a lag of zero or I day. In the lawn-low h..

Year: 1996
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