Shifting environmental controls on CH 4 fluxes in a sub-boreal peatland
We monitored CO 2 and CH 4 fluxes using eddy covariance from 19 May to 27 September 2011 in a poor fen located in northern Michigan. The objectives of this paper are to: (1) quantify the flux of CH 4 from a sub-boreal peatland, and (2) determine which abiotic and biotic factors were the most correlated to the flux of CH 4 over the measurement period. Net daily CH 4 fluxes increased from 70 mg CH 4 m −2 d −1 to 220 mg CH 4 m −2 d −1 from mid May to mid July. After July, CH 4 losses steadily declined to approximately 50 mg CH 4 m −2 d −1 in late September. During the study period, the peatland lost 17.4 g CH 4 m −2. Both abiotic and biotic variables were correlated with CH 4 fluxes. When the different variables were analyzed together, the preferred model included mean daily soil temperature at 20 cm, daily net ecosystem exchange (NEE) and the interaction between mean daily soil temperature at 20 cm and NEE ( R2 = 0.47, p value < 0.001). The interaction was important because the relationship between daily NEE and mean daily soil temperature with CH 4 flux changed when NEE was negative (CO 2 uptake from the atmosphere) or positive (CO 2 losses to the atmosphere). On days when daily NEE was negative, 25% of the CH 4 flux could be explained by correlations with NEE, however on days when daily NEE was positive, there was no correlation between daily NEE and the CH 4 flux. In contrast, daily mean soil temperature at 20 cm was poorly correlated to changes in CH 4 when NEE was negative (17%), but the correlation increased to 34% when NEE was positive. The interaction between daily NEE and mean daily soil temperature at 20 cm indicates shifting environmental controls on the CH 4 flux throughout the growing season.