Jump to Main Content
Carbon dioxide measurement in Irish blanket peatlands: An assessment of pool-soil flux variability
- Radomski, Mariya, Gilmer, Alan, Byers, Vivienne, McGovern, Eugene
- International journal of ecohydrology & hydrobiology 2019
- carbon, carbon cycle, carbon dioxide, climate change, ecosystems, hydrodynamics, landscapes, monitoring, peat, peatlands, soil water, temperature, winter
- Peatlands have been recognised as having a significant role in the mediation of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels with direct implications for global climate change. Longitudinal in situ measurement systems for CO2 concentrations in blanket peatland ecosystems are difficult to implement where the nature of terrestrial–aquatic connectivity and hydrodynamics have a significant effect on the carbon cycle. The need for greater data on CO2 concentrations and flux monitoring in these settings has been well recognised. However, applying the most appropriate monitoring approach presents a special challenge. This paper sets out the development of a direct method for field based longitudinal CO2 concentration measurement. Based on experiential considerations a new approach is presented that addresses the complexity associated with the high diurnal dynamics of CO2 evasion during mid-winter in an Irish blanket peatland soil–water system. The paper outlines the significance of a direct in situ continuous measurement strategy using a non-dispersive infrared (NDIR) sensor to evaluate CO2 concentrations. The CO2 concentrations recorded as part of this study showed significant differences between the pond waters and the peat waters. The overall CO2 concentration trend did not correlate with the temperature patterns. Further monitoring is essential to evaluate the spatial and longitudinal trends in carbon dynamics. Outputs of this study will have a direct bearing on approaches to carbon flux determinations for this landscape type and will provide an important input to future efforts to explore carbon-hydrodynamics in the surface and sub-surface waters of blanket peatlands.