Greenhouse gas emissions from a created brackish marsh in eastern North Carolina

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Tidal marsh creation helps remediate global warming because tidal wetlands are especially proficient at sequestering carbon (C) in soils. However, greenhouse gas (GHG) losses can offset the climatic benefits gained from C storage depending on how these tidal marshes are constructed and managed. This study attempts to determine the GHG emissions from a 4–6 year old created brackish marsh, what environmental factors governed these emissions, and how the magnitude of the fluxes relates to other wetland ecosystems. The static flux chamber method was used to measure GHG fluxes across three distinct plant zones segregated by elevation. The major of soil GHG fluxes from the marsh were from CO2 (−48–192 mg C m-2 h-1), although it was near the lower end of values reported from other wetland types having lower salinities, and would mostly be offset by photosynthetic uptake in this created brackish marsh. Methane flux was also low (−0.33–0.86 mg C m-2 h-1), likely inhibited by the high soil SO42−and soil redox potentials poised above −150 mV in this in this created brackish marsh environment. Low N2O flux (−0.11–0.10 mg N m-2 h-1) was due to low soil NO3 and soil redox conditions favoring complete denitrification. GHG fluxes from this created brackish marsh were generally lower than those recorded from natural marshes, suggesting that C sequestration may not be offset by the radiative forcing from soil GHG emissions if projects are designed properly.

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Greenhouse gas emissions from a created brackish marsh in eastern North Carolina
Series title Wetlands
DOI 10.1007/s13157-016-0815-y
Volume 36
Issue 6
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher Springer
Contributing office(s) South Atlantic Water Science Center, Wetland and Aquatic Research Center
Description 16 p.
First page 1009
Last page 1024
Country United States
State North Carolina
County Carteret County
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