Greenhouse gas fluxes from boreal forest soils during the snow-free period in Quebec, Canada

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Abstract:

This paper presents soil fluxes of methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and carbon dioxide (CO2) from 12 sites located in four major forest types, black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) BSP), jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.), aspen (Populus spp.), and alder (Alnus spp.) stands, in the Eastmain and Chibougamau regions of Quebec. Fluxes were determined with closed chambers during the snow-free period from May to October 2007. Well-drained black spruce, jack pine, and aspen forest soils were net sinks of atmospheric CH4 (–0.33± 0.11mg·m–2·day–1), while alder-dominated wetland soils were sources of CH4 (0.45± 0.12mg·m–2·day–1). The cut-over alder wetland soil produced 131 times more CH4 than the undisturbed wetland soil. Soil moisture and temperature mainly regulated CH4 fluxes. N2O fluxes from these forest soils were highly variable and smaller (1.6± 0.33g N·m–2·h–1) than those from deciduous forest soils. N2O emission from the cut-over black spruce forest soil was 2.7 times greater than that from the mature black spruce forest soil. Large C/N ratios (27 to 78) and slow soil N mineralization and nitrification rates in these forest soils may have led to small N2O fluxes. CO2 emissions from these forest soils, ranging from 0.20 to 2.7g·m–2·day–1, were mainly controlled by soil temperature.

Cet article porte sur les flux de méthane (CH4), d’oxyde nitreux (N2O) et de dioxyde de carbone (CO2) dans les sols de 12 stations situées dans quatre grands types de forêt: peuplements d’épinette noire (Picea mariana (Mill.) BSP), de pin gris (Pinus banksiana Lamb.), de peuplier (Populus spp.) et d’aulne (Alnus spp.), dans les régions d’Eastmain et de Chibougamau au Québec. Les flux ont été mesurés à l’aide de chambres fermées pendant la période exempte de neige, de mai à octobre 2007. Les sols bien drainés des forêts d’épinette noire , de pin gris et de peuplier étaient des puits nets de CH4 atmosphérique (–0,33 ± 0,11 mgm–2·j–1) tandis que les sols des milieux humides dominés par l’aulne étaient des sources de CH4 (0,45 ± 0,12 mg·m–2·j–1). Un sol en milieux humides où l’aulne avait été coupé produisait 131 fois plus de CH4 qu’un sol en milieux humides non perturbé. La température et l’humidité du sol régulaient le flux de CH4. Le flux de N2O dans ces sols forestiers était très variable et plus faible (1,6 ± 0,33 gN·m–2·h–1) que dans les dans le sol de la forêt feuillue. Les émissions de N2O provenant du sol d’une forêt d’épinette noire coupée étaient 2,7 fois plus élevées que celles provenant du sol d’une forêt mature d’épinette noire. Un rapport C:N élevé (27 à 78) et de faibles taux de minéralisation et de nitrification dans le sol de ces forêts pourrait avoir limité le flux de N2O. Les émissions de CO2, qui variaient de 0,20 à 2,7 gC·m–2·j–1 dans ces sols forestiers, étaient surtout fonction de la température du sol.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2009

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  • Published since 1971, this monthly journal features articles, reviews, notes and commentaries on all aspects of forest science, including biometrics and mensuration, conservation, disturbance, ecology, economics, entomology, fire, genetics, management, operations, pathology, physiology, policy, remote sensing, social science, soil, silviculture, wildlife and wood science, contributed by internationally respected scientists. It also publishes special issues dedicated to a topic of current interest.
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