The effect of tree (lodgepole pine) planting with and without intensive drainage on soil greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes was assessed after 45 yr at a raised peatbog in West Flanders Moss, central Scotland. Fluxes of CO2, CH4, and N2O from the soil were monitored over a 2-yr period every 2 to 4 weeks using the static opaque chamber method in a randomised experimental block trial with the following treatments: drained and planted (DP), undrained and planted (uDP), undrained and unplanted (uDuP) and for reference also from an adjoining near-pristine area of bog at East Flanders Moss (n-pris). There was a strong seasonal pattern in both CO2 and CH4 effluxes which were significantly higher in late spring and summer months because of warmer temperatures. Effluxes of N2O were low and no significant differences were observed between the treatments. Annual CH4 emissions increased with the proximity of the water table to the soil surface across treatments in the order: DP<uDP<uDuP<n-pris with mean annual effluxes over the 2-yr monitoring period of 0.15, 0.64, 7.70 and 22.63 g CH4 m-2 yr-1, respectively. For CO2, effluxes increased in the order uDP<DP<npris< uDuP, with mean annual effluxes of 1.23, 1.66, 1.82 and 2.55 kg CO2 m-2 yr-1, respectively. CO2 effluxes dominated the total net GHG emission, calculated using the global warming potential (GWP) of the three GHGs for each treatment (76–98 %), and only in the n-pris site was CH4 a substantial contribution (23 %). Based on soil effluxes only, the DP treatment had 33% higher total net emission compared with the uDP because drainage increased CO2 effluxes.
Note: since the publication of our results we’ve notice that the site we call “near-pristine” may not be as pristine as our records originally showed. The data set is particularly large, so only summary data are included here.
See also: S. Yamulki, R. Anderson, A. Peace, and J. I. L. Morison (2013) Soil CO2, CH4, and N2O fluxes from an afforested lowland raised peatbog in Scotland: implications for drainage and restoration. Biogeosciences, 10, 1051–1065.
R. R. E. Artz, S. J. Chapman, M. Saunders, C. D. Evans, and R. B. Matthews (2013) Comment on
“Soil CO2, CH4 and N2O fluxes from an afforested lowland raised peat bog in Scotland: implications for drainage and restoration” by Yamulki et al. (2013). Biogeosciences, 10, 7623–7630. Attribution statement: