The greenhouse gas flux and potential global warming feedbacks of a northern macrotidal and microtidal salt marsh

Environmental Research Letters
By: , and 

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Abstract

Conversion of wetlands by drainage for agriculture or other anthropogenic activities could have a negative or positive feedback to global warming (GWF). We suggest that a major predictor of the GWF is salinity of the wetland soil (a proxy for available sulfate), a factor often ignored in other studies. We assess the radiative balance of two northern salt marshes with average soil salinities > 20 ppt, but with high (macro-) and low (micro-) tidal amplitudes. The flux of greenhouse gases from soils at the end of the growing season averaged 485 ± 253 mg m-2 h-1, 13 ± 30 μg m-2 h-1, and 19 ± 58 μg m-2 h-1 in the microtidal marsh and 398 ± 201 mg m-2 h-1, 2 ± 26 μg m-2 h-1, and 35 ± 77 μg m-2 h-1 in the macrotidal marsh for CO2, N2O, and CH4, respectively. High rates of C sequestration mean that loss of these marshes would have a radiative balance of - 981 CO2_eq. m-2 yr-1 in the microtidal and - 567 CO2_eq. m-2 yr-1 in the macrotidal marsh.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title The greenhouse gas flux and potential global warming feedbacks of a northern macrotidal and microtidal salt marsh
Series title Environmental Research Letters
DOI 10.1088/1748-9326/6/4/044016
Volume 6
Issue 4
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher IOP Publishing
Publisher location Philadelphia, PA
Contributing office(s) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description 7 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Environmental Research Letters
First page 044016