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The uncertain climate footprint of wetlands under human pressure

Petrescu, Ana Maria Roxana; Lohila, Annalea; Tuovinen, Juha-Pekka; Baldocchi, Dennis D; Desai, Ankur R; Roulet, Nigel T; Vesala, Timo; Dolman, Albertus Johannes; Oechel, Walter C and Marcolla, Barbara, et al. (2015) In Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112(15). p.4594-4599
Abstract
Significant climate risks are associated with a positive carbon-temperature feedback in northern latitude carbon-rich ecosystems, making an accurate analysis of human impacts on the net greenhouse gas balance of wetlands a priority. Here, we provide a coherent assessment of the climate footprint of a network of wetland sites based on simultaneous and quasi-continuous ecosystem observations of CO2 and CH4 fluxes. Experimental areas are located both in natural and in managed wetlands and cover a wide range of climatic regions, ecosystem types, and management practices. Based on direct observations we predict that sustained CH4 emissions in natural ecosystems are in the long term (i.e., several centuries) typically offset by CO2 uptake,... (More)
Significant climate risks are associated with a positive carbon-temperature feedback in northern latitude carbon-rich ecosystems, making an accurate analysis of human impacts on the net greenhouse gas balance of wetlands a priority. Here, we provide a coherent assessment of the climate footprint of a network of wetland sites based on simultaneous and quasi-continuous ecosystem observations of CO2 and CH4 fluxes. Experimental areas are located both in natural and in managed wetlands and cover a wide range of climatic regions, ecosystem types, and management practices. Based on direct observations we predict that sustained CH4 emissions in natural ecosystems are in the long term (i.e., several centuries) typically offset by CO2 uptake, although with large spatiotemporal variability. Using a space-for-time analogy across ecological and climatic gradients, we represent the chronosequence from natural to managed conditions to quantify the "cost" of CH4 emissions for the benefit of net carbon sequestration. With a sustained pulse-response radiative forcing model, we found a significant increase in atmospheric forcing due to land management, in particular for wetland converted to cropland. Our results quantify the role of human activities on the climate footprint of northern wetlands and call for development of active mitigation strategies for managed wetlands and new guidelines of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) accounting for both sustained CH4 emissions and cumulative CO2 exchange. (Less)
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published
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Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
volume
112
issue
15
pages
4594 - 4599
publisher
National Acad Sciences
external identifiers
  • pmid:25831506
  • wos:000352856800039
  • scopus:84928137369
ISSN
1091-6490
DOI
10.1073/pnas.1416267112
language
English
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yes
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8eccaa66-0a63-4c04-8c88-21ebf4571343 (old id 5360320)
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2015-04-30 09:22:32
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@article{8eccaa66-0a63-4c04-8c88-21ebf4571343,
  abstract     = {Significant climate risks are associated with a positive carbon-temperature feedback in northern latitude carbon-rich ecosystems, making an accurate analysis of human impacts on the net greenhouse gas balance of wetlands a priority. Here, we provide a coherent assessment of the climate footprint of a network of wetland sites based on simultaneous and quasi-continuous ecosystem observations of CO2 and CH4 fluxes. Experimental areas are located both in natural and in managed wetlands and cover a wide range of climatic regions, ecosystem types, and management practices. Based on direct observations we predict that sustained CH4 emissions in natural ecosystems are in the long term (i.e., several centuries) typically offset by CO2 uptake, although with large spatiotemporal variability. Using a space-for-time analogy across ecological and climatic gradients, we represent the chronosequence from natural to managed conditions to quantify the "cost" of CH4 emissions for the benefit of net carbon sequestration. With a sustained pulse-response radiative forcing model, we found a significant increase in atmospheric forcing due to land management, in particular for wetland converted to cropland. Our results quantify the role of human activities on the climate footprint of northern wetlands and call for development of active mitigation strategies for managed wetlands and new guidelines of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) accounting for both sustained CH4 emissions and cumulative CO2 exchange.},
  author       = {Petrescu, Ana Maria Roxana and Lohila, Annalea and Tuovinen, Juha-Pekka and Baldocchi, Dennis D and Desai, Ankur R and Roulet, Nigel T and Vesala, Timo and Dolman, Albertus Johannes and Oechel, Walter C and Marcolla, Barbara and Friborg, Thomas and Rinne, Janne and Matthes, Jaclyn Hatala and Merbold, Lutz and Meijide, Ana and Kiely, Gerard and Sottocornola, Matteo and Sachs, Torsten and Zona, Donatella and Varlagin, Andrej and Lai, Derrick Y F and Veenendaal, Elmar and Parmentier, Frans-Jan and Skiba, Ute and Lund, Magnus and Hensen, Arjan and van Huissteden, Jacobus and Flanagan, Lawrence B and Shurpali, Narasinha J and Grünwald, Thomas and Humphreys, Elyn R and Jackowicz-Korczynski, Marcin and Aurela, Mika A and Laurila, Tuomas and Grüning, Carsten and Corradi, Chiara A R and Schrier-Uijl, Arina P and Christensen, Torben and Tamstorf, Mikkel P and Mastepanov, Mikhail and Martikainen, Pertti J and Verma, Shashi B and Bernhofer, Christian and Cescatti, Alessandro},
  issn         = {1091-6490},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {15},
  pages        = {4594--4599},
  publisher    = {National Acad Sciences},
  series       = {Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences},
  title        = {The uncertain climate footprint of wetlands under human pressure},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1416267112},
  volume       = {112},
  year         = {2015},
}