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Large emissions from floodplain trees close the Amazon methane budget
Open University, England; University of Lancaster, England.
Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Tema Environmental Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. University of Federal Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
IPEN, Brazil.
University of Federal Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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2017 (English)In: Nature, ISSN 0028-0836, E-ISSN 1476-4687, Vol. 552, no 7684, p. 230-+Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Wetlands are the largest global source of atmospheric methane (CH4)(1), a potent greenhouse gas. However, methane emission inventories from the Amazon floodplain(2,3), the largest natural geographic source of CH4 in the tropics, consistently underestimate the atmospheric burden of CH4 determined via remote sensing and inversion modelling(4,5), pointing to a major gap in our understanding of the contribution of these ecosystems to CH4 emissions. Here we report CH4 fluxes from the stems of 2,357 individual Amazonian floodplain trees from 13 locations across the central Amazon basin. We find that escape of soil gas through wetland trees is the dominant source of regional CH4 emissions. Methane fluxes from Amazon tree stems were up to 200 times larger than emissions reported for temperate wet forests(6) and tropical peat swamp forests(7), representing the largest non-ebullitive wetland fluxes observed. Emissions from trees had an average stable carbon isotope value (delta C-13) of -66.2 +/- 6.4 per mil, consistent with a soil biogenic origin. We estimate that floodplain trees emit 15.1 +/- 1.8 to 21.2 +/- 2.5 teragrams of CH4 a year, in addition to the 20.5 +/- 5.3 teragrams a year emitted regionally from other sources. Furthermore, we provide a topdown regional estimate of CH4 emissions of 42.7 +/- 5.6 teragrams of CH4 a year for the Amazon basin, based on regular vertical lower-troposphere CH4 profiles covering the period 2010-2013. We find close agreement between our top-down and combined bottom-up estimates, indicating that large CH4 emissions from trees adapted to permanent or seasonal inundation can account for the emission source that is required to close the Amazon CH4 budget. Our findings demonstrate the importance of tree stem surfaces in mediating approximately half of all wetland CH4 emissions in the Amazon floodplain, a region that represents up to one-third of the global wetland CH4 source when trees are combined with other emission sources.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP , 2017. Vol. 552, no 7684, p. 230-+
National Category
Physical Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-143900DOI: 10.1038/nature24639ISI: 000418029500042PubMedID: 29236687OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-143900DiVA, id: diva2:1170061
Note

Funding Agencies|UK Natural Environment Research Council [NE/J010928/1, NE/J009032/1]; CNPq (Brazil National Council of Research and Development); FAPERJ (Science Foundation from the State of Rio de Janeiro); Swedish Research Council, VR [2012-00048]; Swedish-Brazilian collaboration STINT/CAPES [2012-2085]; NERC consortium AMAZONICA [NE/F005806/1]; FAPESP (State of Sao Paulo Science Foundation) via the Carbon Tracker project; FAPESP-NERC via the ACO project [08/58120-3, 11/51841-0]; EU via the 7th-Framework Programme project GEOCARBON [283080]; CNPq [403241/2012-3]; FAPESP-NERC ACO project; NERC consortium MOYA [NE/N015606/1]; Swedish Research Council (VR); AXA Research Fund

Available from: 2018-01-02 Created: 2018-01-02 Last updated: 2018-01-13

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