The effects of site preparation practices on carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide fluxes from a peaty gley soil

Witness Mojeremane, Robert M. Rees, Maurizio Mencuccini*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The effects of site preparation practices (drainage, mounding and fertilization) on the fluxes from the soil surface of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) were studied on an organic-rich peaty gley soil at Harwood Forest, north-east England. Drained plots had significantly higher CO2 fluxes but significantly lower CH4 fluxes compared with undrained plots, while N2O emissions were not affected by drainage. Mounding caused significantly higher CH4 emissions, while it significantly reduced N2O emissions. Fertilization caused significant increases in emissions of CO2, CH4 and N2O. In terms of overall greenhouse warming potential, drainage and fertilization increased CO2-equivalent emissions by similar to 18-29 and 7-23 per cent, respectively, while mounding reduced CO2-equivalent emissions by similar to 8 per cent in year 1, but had no effect on emissions in year 2 of study. Soil temperature was the main environmental variable controlling CO2 emissions, while CH4 was controlled primarily by water table depth. Nitrous oxide emissions responded to changes in soil temperature and water table depth. In the short term, drainage and fertilization contributed to accelerating greenhouse gas emissions significantly, although their long-term effects are likely moderated by accelerating carbon accumulation in the tree biomass. Long-term studies are required to assess the cumulative impacts of site preparation practices during the whole rotation cycle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalForestry: An International Journal of Forest Research (Forestry)
Volume85
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012

Keywords

  • ORGANIC-MATTER DECOMPOSITION
  • SPHAGNUM-DOMINATED PEATLAND
  • BONG. CARR. CHRONOSEQUENCE
  • GREENHOUSE-GAS FLUXES
  • PROCESS-BASED MODEL
  • WATER-TABLE
  • TEMPERATE FOREST
  • AGRICULTURAL SOILS
  • ROOT RESPIRATION
  • BOREAL PEATLANDS

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