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Cold-season nitrous oxide dynamics in a drained boreal peatland differ depending on land-use practice

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Abstract:

Drained peat soils are important sources of greenhouse gases such as nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4), and carbon dioxide (CO2). These gases are produced in soil and they can be emitted year-round. We measured N2O and CH4 flux rates and total respiration (RTOT) over a year from a drained peatland with one subsite as a grass field and another forested. The field acted annually as a small source (0.36± 0.73kg C·ha–1) and the forest as a sink (–1.93± 0.50kg C·ha–1) for CH4. Mean annual RTOT rates were 660 and 297mg·m–2·h–1 in the field and in the forest, respectively. Annual N2O emission rates were 34.8± 2.4kg N·ha–1 from the field and 25.5± 5.5kg N·ha–1 from the forest. More than 80% of the annual N2O emissions took place during winter. In the field, high emissions were detected during thawing in April when N2O accumulated in soil during the winter was released. In the forest, N2O emissions peaked when the top soil was freezing in January and accumulation of N2O in soil was less than in the field. The timing of the episodic high N2O emissions thus differed depending on the land use.

Les sols tourbeux drainés sont une importante source de gaz à effet de serre tels que l’oxyde nitreux (N2O), le méthane (CH4) et le dioxyde de carbone (CO2). Ces gaz sont produits dans le sol et peuvent être émis pendant toute l’année. Nous avons mesuré les taux d’émision de N2O et de CH4 ainsi que la respiration totale (RTOT) pendant un an dans une tourbière drainée occupée en partie par un terrain herbeux et en partie par une forêt. Sur une base annuelle, le terrain herbeux se comportait comme une faible source (0,36± 0,73kg C·ha–1) et la forêt comme un puits (–1,93± 0,50kg C·ha–1) de CH4. Le taux annuel moyen de RTOT était respectivement de 660 et 297mg·m–2·h–1 dans le terrain herbeux et la forêt. Le taux annuel d’émission de N2O était de 34,8± 2,4kg N·ha–1 dans le terrain herbeux et de 25,5± 5,5kg N·ha–1 dans la forêt. Plus de 80% des émissions annuelles de N2O sont survenues pendant l’hiver. Dans le terrain herbeux, de fortes émissions ont été détectées durant le dégel en avril lorsque le N2O accumulé dans le sol durant l’hiver était relâché. Dans la forêt, les émissions de N2O ont culminé lorsque la couche superficielle du sol était gelée en janvier et l’accumulation de N2O dans le sol était plus faible que dans le terrain herbeux. Le moment où surviennent les fortes émissions épisodiques de N2O était donc différent selon l’occupation des sols.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-03-01

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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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