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Regulation of decomposition and methane dynamics across natural, commercially mined, and restored northern peatlands

Basiliko, Nathan; Blodau, Christian; Roehm, Charlotte; Bengtson, Per LU and Moore, Tim R (2007) In Ecosystems 10(7). p.1148-1165
Abstract
We examined aerobic and anaerobic microbial carbon dioxide (C02) and methane (CH4) exchange in peat samples representing different profiles at natural, mined, mined-abandoned, and restored northern peatlands and characterized the nutrient and substrate chemistry and microbial biomass of these soils. Mining and abandonment led to reduced nutrient and substrate availability and occasionally drier conditions in surface peat resulting in a drastic reduction in C02 and CH4 production, in agreement with previous studies. Owing mainly to wetter conditions, CH4 production and oxidation were faster in restored block-cut than natural sites, whereas in one restored site, increased substrate and nutrient availability led tom uch more rapid rates... (More)
We examined aerobic and anaerobic microbial carbon dioxide (C02) and methane (CH4) exchange in peat samples representing different profiles at natural, mined, mined-abandoned, and restored northern peatlands and characterized the nutrient and substrate chemistry and microbial biomass of these soils. Mining and abandonment led to reduced nutrient and substrate availability and occasionally drier conditions in surface peat resulting in a drastic reduction in C02 and CH4 production, in agreement with previous studies. Owing mainly to wetter conditions, CH4 production and oxidation were faster in restored block-cut than natural sites, whereas in one restored site, increased substrate and nutrient availability led tom uch more rapid rates of

C02 production. Our work in restored block-cut sites compliments that in vacuum-harvested peatlands undergoing more recent active restoration attempts.

The sites we examined covered a large range of soil C substrate quality, nutrient availability, microbial biomass, and microbial activities, allowing us to draw general conclusions about controls on microbial C02 and CH4 dynamics using stepwise regression analysis among all sites and soil depths. Aerobic and anaerobic decomposition of peat was constrained by organic matter quality, particularly phosphorus (P) and carbon (C) chemistry, and clo

sely linked to the size of the microbial biomass supported by these limiting resources. Methane production was more dominantly controlled by field

moisture content (a proxy for anaerobism), even after 20 days of anaerobic laboratory incubation, and to a lesser extent by C substrate availability. As

methanogens likely represented only a small proportion of the total microbial biomass, there were no links between total microbial biomass and CH4 production. Methane oxidation was controlled by the same factors influencing CH4 production, leading to the conclusion that CH4 oxidation is primarily controlled by substrate (that is, CH4) availability. Although restoring hydrology similar to natural sites may re-establish CH4 dynamics, there is geographic or site-specific variability in the ability to restore peat decomposition dynamics. (Less)
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author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
carbon dioxide, FTTR spectroscopy, lipids, methane oxidation, microbial biomass, nitrogen, nutrients, peat, phosphorus, roots.
in
Ecosystems
volume
10
issue
7
pages
1148 - 1165
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • scopus:36549009613
ISSN
1432-9840
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
9bd173a6-73f0-492e-8156-aa3a540b5cd1 (old id 2339698)
alternative location
http://www.jstor.org/stable/27823751
date added to LUP
2012-02-13 12:46:03
date last changed
2017-07-30 03:43:37
@article{9bd173a6-73f0-492e-8156-aa3a540b5cd1,
  abstract     = {We examined aerobic and anaerobic microbial carbon dioxide (C02) and methane (CH4) exchange in peat samples representing different profiles at natural, mined, mined-abandoned, and restored northern peatlands and characterized the nutrient and substrate chemistry and microbial biomass of these soils. Mining and abandonment led to reduced nutrient and substrate availability and occasionally drier conditions in surface peat resulting in a drastic reduction in C02 and CH4 production, in agreement with previous studies. Owing mainly to wetter conditions, CH4 production and oxidation were faster in restored block-cut than natural sites, whereas in one restored site, increased substrate and nutrient availability led tom uch more rapid rates of<br/><br>
C02 production. Our work in restored block-cut sites compliments that in vacuum-harvested peatlands undergoing more recent active restoration attempts.<br/><br>
The sites we examined covered a large range of soil C substrate quality, nutrient availability, microbial biomass, and microbial activities, allowing us to draw general conclusions about controls on microbial C02 and CH4 dynamics using stepwise regression analysis among all sites and soil depths. Aerobic and anaerobic decomposition of peat was constrained by organic matter quality, particularly phosphorus (P) and carbon (C) chemistry, and clo<br/><br>
sely linked to the size of the microbial biomass supported by these limiting resources. Methane production was more dominantly controlled by field<br/><br>
moisture content (a proxy for anaerobism), even after 20 days of anaerobic laboratory incubation, and to a lesser extent by C substrate availability. As<br/><br>
methanogens likely represented only a small proportion of the total microbial biomass, there were no links between total microbial biomass and CH4 production. Methane oxidation was controlled by the same factors influencing CH4 production, leading to the conclusion that CH4 oxidation is primarily controlled by substrate (that is, CH4) availability. Although restoring hydrology similar to natural sites may re-establish CH4 dynamics, there is geographic or site-specific variability in the ability to restore peat decomposition dynamics.},
  author       = {Basiliko, Nathan and Blodau, Christian and Roehm, Charlotte and Bengtson, Per and Moore, Tim  R},
  issn         = {1432-9840},
  keyword      = {carbon dioxide,FTTR spectroscopy,lipids,methane oxidation,microbial biomass,nitrogen,nutrients,peat,phosphorus,roots.},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {7},
  pages        = {1148--1165},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Ecosystems},
  title        = {Regulation of decomposition and methane dynamics across natural, commercially mined, and restored northern peatlands},
  volume       = {10},
  year         = {2007},
}