State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Co-Authors: T. Morin, and T. Volk
Wetlands promote carbon sequestration through waterlogged and anoxic conditions which reduce decomposition rates and increase peat formation. However, the persistent presence of water (H2O) results in chemically reduced conditions which promotes methane (CH4) production. While wetlands being the dominant natural source of CH4, the ecological drivers of wetland carbon fluxes are still uncertain and may vary at a single site temporally. This study quantifies the temporal changes in the ecological drivers of the carbon fluxes of a constructed inland salt marsh in Camillus, New York with alkaline, infertile soil (pH about 8.5 and total Nitrogen approximately 0.5%) using an empirical model. Continuous measurements of the carbon dioxide (CO2), CH4, and H2O fluxes were collected from June 27, 2019 to November 11, 2019 using the eddy covariance method, resulting in mean seasonal CH4 and CO2 emissions of 0.328 µmol·m-2·s-1 and 0.1954 µmol·m-2·s-1. Although the ecological drivers of CH4, ecosystem respiration (Re), and gross primary production (GPP) changed temporally, latent heat flux was identified as the strongest ecological driver for CH4 and GPP on a monthly and seasonal timescale, while the variation of Re was best explained by air temperature. The findings of this study highlight the dominant ecological drivers of the carbon budget and temporal variation in other key drivers across the observational period for the inland salt marsh.