Carbon Dioxide And Methane Emissions From A Temperate Salt Marsh Tidal Creek

  • Sites: US-StJ
  • Trifunovic, B., Vázquez‐Lule, A., Capooci, M., Seyfferth, A. L., Moffat, C., Vargas, R. (2020/08) Carbon Dioxide And Methane Emissions From A Temperate Salt Marsh Tidal Creek, Journal Of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 125(8), .
  • Funding Agency: NSF

  • Coastal salt marshes store large amounts of carbon but the magnitude and patterns of greenhouse gas (GHG; i.e., carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4)) fluxes are unclear. Information about GHG fluxes from these ecosystems comes from studies of sediments or at the ecosystem‐scale (eddy covariance) but fluxes from tidal creeks are unknown. We measured GHG concentrations in water, water quality, meteorological parameters, sediment CO2 efflux, ecosystem‐scale GHG fluxes, and plant phenology; all at half‐hour intervals over 1 year. Manual creek GHG flux measurements were used to calculate gas transfer velocity (k) and parameterize a model of water‐to‐atmosphere GHG fluxes. The creek was a source of GHGs to the atmosphere where tidal patterns controlled diel variability. Dissolved oxygen and wind speed were negatively correlated with creek CH4 efflux. Despite lacking a seasonal pattern, creek CO2 efflux was correlated with drivers such as turbidity across phenological phases. Overall, nighttime creek CO2 efflux (3.6 ± 0.63 μmol/m2/s) was at least 2 times higher than nighttime marsh sediment CO2 efflux (1.5 ± 1.23 μmol/m2/s). Creek CH4 efflux (17.5 ± 6.9 nmol/m2/s) was 4 times lower than ecosystem‐scale CH4 fluxes (68.1 ± 52.3 nmol/m2/s) across the year. These results suggest that tidal creeks are potential hotspots for CO2 emissions and could contribute to lateral transport of CH4 to the coastal ocean due to supersaturation of CH4 (>6,000 μmol/mol) in water. This study provides insights for modeling GHG efflux from tidal creeks and suggests that changes in tide stage overshadow water temperature in determining magnitudes of fluxes.