Fates of methane from different lake habitats: Connecting whole-lake budgets and CH4 emissions
2008 (English)In: Journal of Geophysical Research - BiogeosciencesArticle in journal (Refereed) Published
Methane (CH4) represents a major product of organic matter decomposition in lakes. Once produced in the sediments, CH4 can be either oxidized or emitted as a greenhouse gas to the atmosphere. Lakes represent an important source of atmospheric CH4, but the relative magnitudes of the internal pathways that lead to CH4 emissions are not yet clear. We quantified internal cycling and methane emissions in three lakes during summer stratification. These methane budgets included: sediment release of CH4 at different depths; water column transport patterns and methane oxidation; methane storage in the water column; and methane emissions to the atmosphere by diffusion and ebullition. The contribution of CH4 carbon, via oxidation by methanotrophic bacteria, to pelagic food webs was also estimated. Despite the very low concentration of CH4 in surface waters, shallow, epilimnetic sediments were major contributors of CH4 to the atmosphere. While 51 - 80% of the CH4 produced in deep sediments was oxidized in the water column, most of the CH4 released from shallow sediment escaped oxidation and reached the atmosphere. Epilimnetic sediments accounted for 100% of CH4 emitted during summer stratification, and 14 - 76% considering the release of CH4 stored in deep water layers during lake circulation after the stratification period; diffusive emission accounted for 26 - 48% and ebullition the remainder. These results indicate that it is important to address transport rates of CH4 from the shallow sediment along with the production-consumption processes when trying to understand methane dynamics and the regulation of lake methane emissions.
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IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-15903ISI: 000256139600002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-15903DiVA: diva2:182423