Gas Emission and Carbon Sink From Wetland Surface Types

Project Lead:     Dr. Francisco Artigas

Status:                  October, 2016

Problem:

Due to climate change and restricted tidal flow from sea walls and dikes planned as part of a resilience project, increased emissions of CH4 and N2O may occur. These factors along with the limited amount of fresh water flowing into the estuary from the upper Hackensack would then offset the reduction in radiative forcing currently attributed to carbon sequestration.

Objective:

To measure the emissions of CH4 and N2O across salinity gradient and marshland surface types. Also, measure the CO2 emissions and sequestration potential of these same surface types.

Strategy:

CO2 flux between three marsh surface types and the atmosphere will be measured using eddy covariance methods and the emissions of CH4 and N20 will be determined using static flux chambers from the same surface types and across a salinity gradient. Pore water samples will be taken to measure SO42-, NO3-, NO2-, NH4+, salinity, pH, and total organic carbon (TOC) in every location where gas emissions are measured. To determine tidal influence on CO2 fluxes, water elevation will be continuously measured near sampling sites.

Activities:

  • Deploy three eddy towers to measure CO2 levels at each marsh surface type
  • Measure the CH4 and N2O fluxes in nine different locations covering three salinity levels and three marsh surface types
  • Measure the pore water chemistry at the sampling locations at low tide
  • Perform statistical data analysis and write up results of the study

Deliverables:

  • Measurement of the seasonal amounts of CH4, N2O emitted from three marsh surface types (i.e. mudflat, low, and high marsh) along a salinity gradient. Measurement of CO2 fluxes from the same surface types at intermediate salinity.
  • A better understanding of natural greenhouse gas emissions from coastal wetlands