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Fluxes of CO2, CH4, and N2O in tundra-covered and Nothofagus forest soils in the Argentinian Patagonia

Sá, Mariana Médice Firme, Schaefer, Carlos Ernesto G.R., Loureiro, Diego C., Simas, Felipe N.B., Alves, Bruno J.R., de Sá Mendonça, Eduardo, de Figueiredo, Eduardo Barretto, La Scala, Newton, Panosso, Alan R.
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.659 pp. 401-409
Nothofagus, carbon dioxide, forest soils, gases, greenhouse gas emissions, greenhouse gases, methane, nitrous oxide, soil temperature, soil water, summer, tundra, Argentina
While most soils in periglacial environments present high fluxes of CO2 (FCO2), CH4 (FCH4), and N2O (FN2O), few of them have a tendency to drain greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. This study aimed to assess greenhouse gas fluxes at different sub-Antarctic sites and time periods (at the beginning of thaw and height of summer). To investigate the time of year effect on greenhouse gas emissions, FCO2, FCH4, and FN2O were measured at two sites tundra-covered (Ti and Th) and Nothofagus forest soil (Nf) on Monte Martial, at the southernmost tip of South America, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. FCO2 ranged from 96.33 to 225.72 μg CO2 m−2 s−1 across all sites and periods, showing a positive correlation with soil temperature (Ts) (4.1 and 8.2 °C, respectively) (r2 > 0.7; p < 0.05). The highest values of FCO2 were found at Ti and Th (728.2 and 662.64 μg CO2 m−2 s−1, respectively), which were related to higher temperatures (8.2 and 8.6 °C, respectively) when compared to those of Nf. For FCH4, the capture (drain) occurred during both periods at Nf (−26 and −79 μg C–CH4 m−2 h−1) as well as Ti and Th (−21 and 12 μg C–CH4 m−2 h−1, respectively). FN2O also presented low values during both periods and showed a tendency to drain N2O from the atmosphere, especially at Nf (−2 μg N–N2O m−2 h−1). In addition, FN2O was slightly positive for Ti and Th (0.3 and 0.55 μg N–N2O m−2 h−1, respectively). Soil moisture did not show a correlation (p > 0.05) with the measured greenhouse gas fluxes. A scenario of increased temperatures might result in changes in the balance between the emissions and drains of these gases from soils, leading to higher emission values of CH4 and N2O, especially for tundra covered soils (Ti and Th), where the highest average fluxes and thermohydric variations were observed over the year.