Biogeosciences Discuss., 10, 10021-10053, 2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Review Status
This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Biogeosciences (BG). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in BG.
Different regulation of CO2 emission from streams and lakes
S. Halbedel and M. Koschorreck
Department Lake Research, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Brückstrasse 3a, 39114 Magdeburg, Germany

Abstract. It has become more and more evident that CO2 emission (FCO2) from freshwater systems is an important part in the global carbon cycle. Only few studies addressed the different mechanisms regulating FCO2 from lotic and lentic systems. In a comparative study we investigated how different biogeochemical and physical factors can affect FCO2 from streams and reservoirs. We examined the seasonal variability in CO2 concentrations and emissions from four streams and two pre-dams of a large drinking water reservoir located in the same catchment, and compared them with parallel measured environmental factors. All streams generally were supersaturated with CO2 over the whole year, while both reservoirs where CO2 sinks during summer stratification and sources after circulation. FCO2 from streams ranged from 23 to 355 mmol m–2 d–1 and exceeded the fluxes from the reservoirs (–24 to 97 mmol m–2 d–1). Both the generally high piston velocity (k) and CO2 oversaturation were responsible for the higher FCO2 from streams in comparison to lakes. In both, streams and reservoirs FCO2 was mainly controlled by the CO2 concentration (r = 0.86 for dams, r = 0.90 for streams), which was clearly affected by metabolism and nutrients in both systems. Besides CO2 concentration, also physical factors control FCO2 in lakes and streams. During stratification FCO2 in both pre-dams was controlled by primary production in the epilimnion, which led to a decrease of FCO2. During circulation when CO2 from the hypolimnion was mixed with the epilimnion and the organic matter mineralisation was more relevant, FCO2 increased. FCO2 from streams was physically controlled especially by geomorphological and hydrological factors regulating k, which is less relevant in low wind lakes. We developed a schematic model describing the role of the different regulation mechanism on FCO2 from streams and lakes.

Taken together, FCO2 is generally mostly controlled by CO2 concentration in the surface water. Lake stratification is a very important factor regulating FCO2 from lakes via controlling CO2 concentration and metabolism. But FCO2 in heterotrophic streams is generally higher. The higher k values are responsible for the comparable high FCO2. On a Central European landscape scale CO2 emission from streams was more relevant than the CO2 flux from standing waters.

Citation: Halbedel, S. and Koschorreck, M.: Different regulation of CO2 emission from streams and lakes, Biogeosciences Discuss., 10, 10021-10053, doi:10.5194/bgd-10-10021-2013, 2013.
Search BGD
Discussion Paper
    Final Revised Paper