Variations in dissolved CO2 and CH4 in a first order stream: an investigation of soil-stream linkages

D. Hope, S. M. Palmer, M. F. Billett, Julian James Charles Dawson

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    Abstract

    Spatial and seasonal variations in CO2 and CH4 concentrations in streamwater and adjacent soils were studied at three sites on Brocky Burn, a headwater stream draining a peatland catchment in upland Britain. Concentrations of both gases in the soil atmosphere were significantly higher in peat and riparian soils than in mineral soils. Peat and riparian soil CO2 concentrations varied seasonally, showing a positive correlation with air and soil temperature. Streamwater CO2 concentrations at the upper sampling site, which mostly drained deep peats, varied from 2.8 to 9.8 mg l(-1) (2.5 to 11.9 times atmospheric saturation) and decreased markedly downstream. Temperature-related seasonal variations in peat and riparian soil CO2 were reflected in the stream at the upper site, where 77% of biweekly variation was explained by an autoregressive model based on: (i) a negative log-linear relationship with stream flow; (ii) a positive linear relationship with soil CO2 concentrations in the shallow riparian wells; and (iii) a negative linear relationship With soil CO2 concentrations in the shallow peat wells, with a significant 2-week lag term. These relationships changed markedly downstream, with an apparent decrease in the soil-stream linkage and a switch to a positive relationship between stream flow and stream CO2. Streamwater CH4 concentrations also declined sharply downstream, but were much lower (<0.01 to 0.12 mg l(-1)) than those of CO2 and showed no seasonal variation, nor any relationship with soil atmospheric CH4 concentrations. However, stream CH4 was significantly correlated with stream flow at the upper site, which explained 57% of biweekly variations in dissolved concentrations. We conclude that stream CO2 can be a useful integrative measure of whole catchment respiration, but only at sites where the soil-stream linkage is strong. Copyright (C) 2004 John Wiley Sons, Ltd.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3255-3275
    Number of pages20
    JournalHydrological Processes
    Volume18
    Issue number17
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2004

    Keywords

    • dissolved CO2
    • soil atmosphere
    • stream flow
    • soil-respired inputs
    • downstream changes
    • autoregression modelling
    • land-atmosphere C exchange
    • Brocky Burn
    • HARDWOOD FOREST STREAM
    • CARBON-DIOXIDE
    • ORGANIC-CARBON
    • UPLAND CATCHMENT
    • WATER-TABLE
    • NE SCOTLAND
    • RIVER WATER
    • METHANE
    • PEATLAND
    • ATMOSPHERE

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