skip to main content


Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Palmer, Margaret A."

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Abstract

    Wetland soils are a key global sink for organic carbon (C) and a focal point for C management and accounting efforts. The ongoing push for wetland restoration presents an opportunity for climate mitigation, but C storage expectations are poorly defined due to a lack of reference information and an incomplete understanding of what drives natural variability among wetlands. We sought to address these shortcomings by (1) quantifying the range of variability in wetland soil organic C (SOC) stocks on a depressional landscape (Delmarva Peninsula, USA) and (2) investigating the role of hydrology and relative topography in explaining variability among wetlands. We found a high degree of variability within individual wetlands and among wetlands with similar vegetation and hydrogeomorphic characteristics. This suggests that uncertainty should be presented explicitly when inferring ecosystem processes from wetland types or land cover classes. Differences in hydrologic regimes, particularly the rate of water level recession, explained some of the variability among wetlands, but relationships between SOC stocks and some hydrologic metrics were eclipsed by factors associated with separate study sites. Relative topography accounted for a similar portion of SOC stock variability as hydrology, indicating that it could be an effective substitute in large-scale analyses. As wetlands worldwide are restored and focus increases on quantifying C benefits, the importance of appropriately defining and assessing reference systems is paramount. Our results highlight the current uncertainty in this process, but suggest that incorporating landscape heterogeneity and drivers of natural variability into reference information may improve how wetland restoration is implemented and evaluated.

     
    more » « less
  2. Abstract

    Methane (CH4) dynamics in wetlands are spatially variable and difficult to estimate at ecosystem scales. Patches with different plant functional types (PFT) represent discrete units within wetlands that may help characterize patterns in CH4variability. We investigate dissolved porewater CH4concentrations, a representation of net CH4production and potential source of atmospheric flux, in five wetland patches characterized by a dominant PFT or lack of plants. Using soil, porewater, and plant variables we hypothesized to influence CH4, we used three modeling approaches—Classification and regression tree, AIC model selection, and Structural Equation Modeling—to identify direct and indirect influences on porewater CH4dynamics. Across all three models, dissolved porewater CO2concentration was the dominant driver of CH4concentrations, partly through the influence of PFT patches. Plants in each patch type likely had variable influence on CH4via root exudates (a substrate for methanogens), capacity to transport gas (both O2from and CH4to the atmosphere), and plant litter quality which impacted soil respiration and production of CO2in the porewater. We attribute the importance of CO2to the dominant methanogenic pathway we identified, which uses CO2as a terminal electron acceptor. We propose a mechanistic relationship between PFT patches and porewater CH4dynamics which, when combined with sources of CH4loss including methanotrophy, oxidation, or plant‐mediated transport, can provide patch‐scale estimates of CH4flux. Combining these estimates with the distribution of PFTs can improve ecosystem CH4flux estimates in heterogenous wetlands and improve global CH4budgets.

     
    more » « less
  3. null (Ed.)
  4. Abstract

    A major source of uncertainty in the global methane budget arises from quantifying the area of wetlands and other inland waters. This study addresses how the dynamics of surface water extent in forested wetlands affect the calculation of methane emissions. We used fine resolution satellite imagery acquired at sub‐weekly intervals together with a semiempirical methane emissions model to estimate daily surface water extent and diffusive methane fluxes for a low‐relief wetland‐rich watershed. Comparisons of surface water model predictions to field measurements showed agreement with the magnitude of changes in water extent, including for wetlands with surface area less than 1,000 m2. Results of methane emission models showed that wetlands smaller than 1 hectare (10,000 m2) were responsible for a majority of emissions, and that considering dynamic inundation of forested wetlands resulted in 49%–62% lower emission totals compared to models using a single estimate for each wetland’s size.

     
    more » « less