Micrometeorological measurements of methane and nitrous oxide exchange above a boreal aspen forest

I. J. Simpson*, G. C. Edwards, G. W. Thurtell, G. Den Hartog, H. H. Neumann, R. M. Staebler

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

This paper presents tower-based measurements of methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) exchange between a boreal aspen stand and the atmosphere. Boreal ecosystems are a priority trace gas research area, and the work was conducted as part of the Boreal Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study (BOREAS). Methane and nitrous oxide fluxes were measured continuously between April 16 and September 16, 1994, in the Prince Albert National Park, Saskatchewan. The fluxes were determined using a high-resolution tunable diode laser Trace Gas Analysis System (TGAS) together with micrometeorological techniques. Both the CH4 and the N2O fluxes were small and required long averaging times to be resolved. Over the full experiment, small emissions of both CH4 and N2O were measured above the aspen stand. The mean flux of N2O was 1.4 ± 0.7 ng m-2 s-1 or 1.9-2.5 ng m-2 s-1 when an enhancement factor to compensate for the breakdown of similarity theory just above forest canopies is included. Low rates of nitrification and denitrification throughout the growing season may explain the consistently small N2O fluxes. The CH4 flux averaged 15.7 ± 2.8 ng m-2 s-1, or 21-28 ng m-2 s-1, including the similarity theory enhancement factor. The CH4 emissions were highest between late July and mid-September, and there was a strong correlation between the CH4 flux and the soil temperature. Whereas CH4 emission was measured from the above-canopy footprint, uptake was recorded close to the tower base. Overall, it appears that CH4 emissions from anoxic wet patches located throughout the above-canopy footprint overwhelmed uptake from drier areas to produce a net emission of CH4 from the aspen site.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29331-29341
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Volume102
Issue number24
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Dec 1997
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright AGU [1997]. Originally published as [Simpson, I. J., G. C. Edwards, G. W. Thurtell, G. den Hartog, H. H. Neumann, and R. M. Staebler (1997), Micrometeorological measurements of methane and nitrous oxide exchange above a boreal aspen forest, J. Geophys. Res., 102(D24), 29,331–29,341, doi:10.1029/97JD03181]. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

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    Simpson, I. J., Edwards, G. C., Thurtell, G. W., Den Hartog, G., Neumann, H. H., & Staebler, R. M. (1997). Micrometeorological measurements of methane and nitrous oxide exchange above a boreal aspen forest. Journal of Geophysical Research, 102(24), 29331-29341. https://doi.org/10.1029/97JD03181