Net primary production and seasonal CO2 and CH4 fluxes in a Trapa natans L. meadow

Submitted: 6 December 2011
Accepted: 6 December 2011
Published: 1 August 2010
Abstract Views: 2449
PDF: 1048
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The main hypothesis of this work is that Trapa natans L. and similar floating leaved macrophytes are only temporary sinks of atmospheric carbon dioxide and that they favour water hypoxia and large methane efflux from sediment to the atmosphere, due to their shading effect and scarce ability to transfer oxygen to submerged tissues. For this purpose, from April to August 2005, T. natans production, dissolved O2, CO2 and CH4 concentrations in the water column and CO2 and CH4 fluxes across the wateratmosphere interface were measured in an oxbow lake (Lanca di Po, Northern Italy) where a monospecific floating mat of water chestnut develops. Net primary production by T. natans was determined via biomass harvesting while gas fluxes were determined via short-term incubations of light and dark floating chambers. From July onwards, when the water surface of the oxbow lake was entirely colonized by the plant, the dense canopy resulted in a physical barrier for light and water reareation. As a consequence of sediment and plant respiration, persistent hypoxia and often anoxia, and CO2 and CH4 supersaturation occurred in the water column. Net primary production of T. natans, calculated at peak biomass, was 13.05 ± 0.32 mol CO2 m-2. The T. natans mat was a net sink for atmospheric CO2 from mid June to mid August, with an uptake peak measured at the beginning of July (229 mmol m-2 d-1); estimated net ecosystem metabolism was ≤10.09 ± 1.90 mol CO2 m-2. Contextually, during the vegetative period of T. natans, the oxbow lake was a net source of methane (9.52 ± 2.10 mol m-2), and the resulting CH4 to CO2 flux ratio across the water-atmosphere interface was ≥0.94. The large methane release was probably due to the persistent hypoxia and anoxia induced by the T. natans meadow, which uncoupled methane production from methane oxidation.

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PIEROBON, Enrica, Rossano BOLPAGNI, Marco BARTOLI, and Pierluigi VIAROLI. 2010. “Net Primary Production and Seasonal CO2 and CH4 Fluxes in a Trapa Natans L. Meadow”. Journal of Limnology 69 (2):225-34. https://doi.org/10.4081/jlimnol.2010.225.

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