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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2017-423
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2017-423
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 30 Nov 2017

Submitted as: research article | 30 Nov 2017

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This preprint was under review for the journal BG. A revision for further review has not been submitted.

CO2 and CH4 budgets and global warming potential modifications in Sphagnum-dominated peat mesocosms invaded by Molinia caerulea

Fabien Leroy1,2,3, Sébastien Gogo1,2,3, Christophe Guimbaud4,5, Léonard Bernard-Jannin1,2,3, Xiaole Yin6, Guillaume Belot4,5, Wang Shuguang6, and Fatima Laggoun-Défarge1,2,3 Fabien Leroy et al.
  • 1Université d’Orléans, ISTO, UMR 7327, 45071, Orléans, France
  • 2CNRS, ISTO, UMR 7327, 45071 Orléans, France
  • 3BRGM, ISTO, UMR 7327, BP 36009, 45060 Orléans, France
  • 4Université d’Orléans, LPC2E, UMR 7328, 45071, Orléans, France
  • 5CNRS, LPC2E, UMR 7328, 45071, Orléans, France
  • 6School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Shandong University, Jinan, China

Abstract. Plant communities play a key role in regulating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in peatland ecosystems and therefore in their ability to act as carbon (C) sinks. However, in response to global change, a shift from Sphagnum to vascular plant-dominated peatlands may occur, with a potential alteration in their C-sink function. To investigate how the main GHG fluxes (CO2 and CH4) are affected by a plant community change (shift from dominance of Sphagnum mosses to vascular plants, i.e. Molinia caerulea), a mesocosm experiment was set up. Gross primary production (GPP), ecosystem respiration (ER) and CH4 emission models were used to estimate the annual C balance and global warming potential under both vegetation covers. While the ER and CH4 emission models estimated an output of, respectively, 376 and 7 gC m−2 y−1 in Sphagnum mesocosms, this reached 1018 and 33 gC m−2 y−1 in mesocosms with Sphagnum rubellum and Molinia caerulea. Annual modelled GPP was estimated at −414 and −1273 gC m−2 y−1 in Sphagnum and Sphagnum + Molinia plots, respectively, leading to an annual CO2 and CH4 budget of −30 gC m−2 y−1 in Sphagnum plots and of −223 gC m−2 y−1 in Sphagnum + Molinia ones (i.e., a C-sink). Even if, CH4 emissions accounted for a small part of the gaseous C efflux (ca. 3 %), their global warming potential value makes both plant communities have a climate warming effect. The shift of vegetation from Sphagnum mosses to Molinia caerulea seems beneficial for C sequestration at a gaseous level. However, roots and litters of Molinia caerulea could provide substrates for C emissions that were not taken into account in the short measurement period studied here.

Fabien Leroy et al.

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Fabien Leroy et al.

Fabien Leroy et al.

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