Controls on microbial production of methane and carbon dioxide in three Sphagnum-dominated peatland ecosystems as revealed by a reciprocal field peat transplant experiment.

We examined controls on mineralization of carbon to methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) in Sphagnum (moss)-dominated peatland ecosystems by transplanting surface (5 cm deep) and subsurface (40 cm deep) pear samples reciprocally among three sites for periods ranging from 4 to 25 months. The sires were Big Run Bog in West Virginia, USA, Bog Lake Bog in Minnesota, USA, and Bog 307 in Ontario, Canada. Immediately upon retrieval, we incubated the peat samples in the laboratory at 12 and 22 degrees C under both anoxic and oxic conditions to estimate rates of carbon mineralization. Transplanting affected surface pear more than subsurface peat. Pear incubated within Bog Lake Bog in Minnesota had the highest rates of CH4 production, regardless of origin, whereas transplanting did not affect rates of CO2 production measured concomitantly Pent that originated in Big Rim Bog in West virginia generally maintained higher rates of CH4 production and CO2 production than peat from the other two Sites after incubation in the field. The temperature dependence (Q(10)) of CH4 production and CO2 production varied among transplant sites, but not among pear origins, suggesting physiological adaptations of microbial communities to local environmental conditions. Differences in organic matter quality of the pear, particularly lignin chemistry, helped explain the results: (a) CH4 production con-elated with fresher lignin derived from Carex sedges, and (b) CO2 production correlated with woody lignin. We concluded that, although both sire conditions (climate, nutrient status, and microbial communities) and organic matter quality influence carbon mineralization in pear, interactive effects occur. and may differ depending on pear temperature. Moreover, CH4 production and CO2 production respond differently to environmental regulators.

Main Author: Yavitt, Joseph.
Other Authors: Williams, Christopher., Wieder, R Kelman.
Format: Villanova Faculty Authorship
Language: English
Published: 1999
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