Nitrous oxide fluxes from tropical peat with different disturbance history and management
1University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Sciences, P. O. Box 27, 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland
2University of Eastern Finland, Department of Environmental Sciences, P. O. Box 1627, Kuopio 70211, Finland
3Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Fougnerbakken 3, 1432 Aas, Norway
4University of Palangka Raya, CIMTROP, Palangka Raya 73112, Indonesia
5CSIRO, Ecosystem Sciences, P. O. Box 284, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia
Abstract. Tropical peatlands are one of the most important terrestrial ecosystems in terms of C stocks, and greenhouse gas emissions following disturbances such as deforestation, drainage or wildfire. Nitrous oxide dynamics in tropical peat systems is still poorly known. We quantified in situ N2O fluxes using closed chamber methods and compared them with CO2 and CH4 fluxes at sites representing differing land uses and land use change intensities, i.e. non-drained and drained selectively logged peat swamp forest, clear-felled drained recovering forest, deforested drained and burned peat, and agriculture on peat.
The mean N2O flux rates (N2O-N ± SD, mg m−2 h−1) varied as follows: drained forest (0.112 ± 0.293) > agricultural peat in Kalampangan site (0.012 ± 0.026) > drained burned peat (0.011 ± 0.018) > agricultural peat in Marang site (0.0072 ± 0.028) > nondrained forest (0.0025 ± 0.053) > clear-felled drained recovering forest (0.0022 ± 0.021). Most N2O fluxes were < 0.05 mg N2O-N m−2 h−1 efflux, but some modest peat N2O influx readings were also detected. Many very high flux rates (deviating markedly from the majority of observations) occurred both spatially and over time, and further studies using continuous flux monitoring methods are needed to better understand the contribution of these to cumulative emissions.
The widest N2O flux amplitude was detected in the drained forest with moderately drained peat (max. 2.312 and min. −0.043 mg N2O-N m−2 h−1. At the other sites the flux amplitude remained about 10 × smaller. Annual cumulative peat surface N2O emissions expressed as CO2 equivalents as a percentage of the total greenhouse gas (N2O, CO2 and CH4) emissions was at the highest 9.2 %, but typically ~1 %.