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The full carbon balance of a rewetted cropland fen and a conservation-managed fen

Peacock, Michael and Gauci, V and Baird, A.J and Burden, A and Chapman, P.J and Cumming, A and Evans, J.G and Grayson, R.P and Holden, J and Kaduk, J and Morrison, R and Page, S and Pan, G and Ridley, L.M and Williamson, J and Worrall, F and Evans, C.D (2019). The full carbon balance of a rewetted cropland fen and a conservation-managed fen. Agriculture, ecosystems & environment. 269 , 1-12
[Journal article]

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2018.09.020

Abstract

On a global scale, the release of greenhouse gases (GHG) from peatland drainage and cultivation are believed toaccount for ∼5% of estimated anthropogenic GHG emissions. Drainage generally leads to peat subsidence andextensive soil loss, resulting in a diminishing store of soil carbon (C). This is a challenge for maintaining drai-nage-based agriculture, as such practices will eventually lead to the loss of organic soils that arable cultivationdepends on. The conversion of croplands on peat to semi-natural grasslands, alongside raising water tables, isone possible way to reduce the loss of these valuable C stores. Here, we report the net ecosystem carbon balances(NECB) of two lowland peatlands in East Anglia, south-east UK. One site is a relic conservation-managed fen ondeep peat, subject to active hydrological management to maintain water levels, and dominated by Cladium andPhragmites sedge and reed beds, whilst the other is a former cropland that has been converted to seasonally-inundated grazed grassland. Despite occasionally experiencing severe water table drawdown, the conservation-managed fen was a strong C sink of -104 g C m−2yr−1. In contrast, the grassland was a C source of 133 g C m−2yr−1, with gaseous carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions being the main loss pathway, due to low water tables ex-posing the soil profile in summer. At each site, ditch emissions of CO2were moderately large (22 and 37 g C m−2yr−1), whilst ditch methane (CH4) emissions (0.2 and 1.8 g C m−2yr−1) made a negligible contribution to theNECB, but are important when considering the ecosystem GHG balance in terms of CO2equivalents. Excludingdissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), fluvial C losses were 6 g C m−2yr−1for the conservation-managed fen and12 g C m−2yr−1for the former cropland, and were dominated by dissolved organic carbon (DOC). The smallfluvial C loss is the result of both sites being hydrologically isolated from the surrounding agricultural land-scapes. Although the partially re-wetted cropland was still acting as a net C source, our estimates suggest thatseasonal rewetting has reduced net annual C losses to ∼20% of their former cropland values. Maintaining highwater tables year round would potentially further reduce C losses, and shallow inundation might allow thereturn of wetland species such as Phragmites and Typha, perhaps as floating rafts.

Authors/Creators:Peacock, Michael and Gauci, V and Baird, A.J and Burden, A and Chapman, P.J and Cumming, A and Evans, J.G and Grayson, R.P and Holden, J and Kaduk, J and Morrison, R and Page, S and Pan, G and Ridley, L.M and Williamson, J and Worrall, F and Evans, C.D
Title:The full carbon balance of a rewetted cropland fen and a conservation-managed fen
Series/Journal:Agriculture, ecosystems & environment (0167-8809)
Year of publishing :2019
Volume:269
Page range:1-12
Number of Pages:12
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0167-8809
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Refereed:Yes
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Accepted version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 105 Earth and Related Environmental Sciences > Climate Research
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 105 Earth and Related Environmental Sciences > Environmental Sciences (social aspects to be 507)
Keywords:Peatland, Net ecosystem carbon balance, Greenhouse gas, Dissolved organic carbon, Restoration, Drainage
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-5096
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-5096
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1016/j.agee.2018.09.020
ID Code:15733
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:06 Nov 2018 09:49
Metadata Last Modified:25 Sep 2020 23:15

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