Biogeosciences Discuss., 4, 277-316, 2007
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The full greenhouse gas balance of an abandoned peat meadow
D. M. D. Hendriks, J. van Huissteden, A. J. Dolman, and M. K. van der Molen
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, Department of Hydrology and Geo-environmental Sciences, De Boelelaan 1085, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Abstract. Globally, peat lands are considered to be a sink of CO2, but a source when drained. Additionally, wet peat lands are thought to emit considerable amounts of CH4 and N2O. Hitherto, reliable and integrated estimates of emissions and emission factors for this type of area have been lacking and the effects of wetland restoration on methane emissions have been poorly quantified. In this paper we estimate the full GHG balance of a restored natural peat land by determining the fluxes of CO2, CH4 and N2O through atmosphere and water, while accounting for the different GWP's.

This site is an abandoned agricultural peat meadow, which has been converted into a wetland nature reserve ten years ago by raising the water level. GHG fluxes were measured continuously with an eddy-correlation system (CO2) and flux chamber measurements (CH4 and N2O). Meteorological and hydrological measurements were done as well. With growing seasons of respectively 192 and 155 days, the net annual CO2 uptake was 276±61 g C m−2 for 2004 and 311±58 g C m−2 for 2005. Ecosystem respiration was estimated as 887±668 g C m−2 for 2004 and 866±666 g C m−2 for 2005. CH4 fluxes from water, saturated land and relatively dry land varied: total annual CH4 fluxes are 10.4±19.2 g C m−2 yr−1, 101 g C m−2 yr−1±30 and 37.3±10.9 g C m−2 yr−1, respectively, and a annual weighed total CH4 emission of 31.27±20.44 g C m−2 yr−1. N2O fluxes were too low to be of significance. The carbon-balance consists for the largest part of CO2 uptake, CO2 respiration and CH4 emission from wet land and water. CO2 emission has decreased significantly as result of the raised water table, while CH4 fluxes have increased. In global warming potentials the area is a very small sink of 71 g CO2-equiv m−2 (over a 100-year period).

Citation: Hendriks, D. M. D., van Huissteden, J., Dolman, A. J., and van der Molen, M. K.: The full greenhouse gas balance of an abandoned peat meadow, Biogeosciences Discuss., 4, 277-316, doi:10.5194/bgd-4-277-2007, 2007.
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