Seasonal patterns of greenhouse gas emissions from a forest-to-bog restored site in northern Scotland: Influence of microtopography and vegetation on carbon dioxide and methane dynamics

Valeria Mazzola* (Corresponding Author), Mike Perks, Jo Smith, Jagadeesh Yeluripati, Georgios Xenakis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Northern peatlands play an important role in the regulation of the atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) balance, functioning as a net carbon sink with low rates of organic decomposition. However, perturbations such as drainage increase peat oxidation, which may lead to enhanced gaseous release of carbon. For this reason, the number of restoration projects that aim to rewet blanket bogs has increased in the last few years, but there is still a lack of understanding of the impact of restoration on emissions of greenhouse gases, such as methane, particularly in sites restored from forestry. In this paper, we investigate the seasonal greenhouse gas dynamics in a forest‐to‐bog restoration site in Scotland. We analyse the effects of restoration on both carbon dioxide and methane fluxes, and investigate which site factors (microtopography, vegetation type, soil moisture and temperature) drive the processes of gaseous exchange between the bog surface and the atmosphere. Our results show that the original surface is near greenhouse gase equilibrium at −0.28 gCO2eq m2·day−1 and that microtopographic features act as a net greenhouse gas sink (ridges = −0.94 gCO2eq m2·day−1 and furrows = −0.86 gCO2eq m2·day−1), whereas the bog pool is a net source of greenhouse gases (0.98 gCO2eq m2·day−1). We found different vegetation species play a key role in greenhouse gas flux dynamics, especially in forestry‐derived microtopographical features, and their presence and influence on greenhouse gas dynamics should be accounted for to provide a more comprehensive understanding of emissions associated with restoration management practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1332-1353
Number of pages22
JournalEuropean Journal of Soil Science
Volume72
Issue number3
Early online date6 Nov 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2021

Keywords

  • Greenhouse gas balance
  • methane
  • micro-topography
  • net ecosystem exchange
  • peatland restoration
  • scotland
  • vascular plants

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