Methane flux in subalpine wetland and unsaturated soils in the southern Rocky Mountains
Article first published online: 21 SEP 2012
Copyright 1999 by the American Geophysical Union.
Global Biogeochemical Cycles
Volume 13, Issue 1, pages 101–113, March 1999
How to Cite
1999), Methane flux in subalpine wetland and unsaturated soils in the southern Rocky Mountains, Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 13(1), 101–113, doi:10.1029/1998GB900003., , , and (
- Issue published online: 21 SEP 2012
- Article first published online: 21 SEP 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 11 SEP 1998
- Manuscript Received: 21 APR 1998
Methane exchange between the atmosphere and subalpine wetland and unsaturated soils was evaluated over a 15-month period during 1995–1996. Four vegetation community types along a moisture gradient (wetland, moist-grassy, moist-mossy, and dry) were included in a 100 m sampling transect situated at 3200 m elevation in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Methane fluxes and soil temperature were measured during snow-free and snow-covered periods, and soil moisture content was measured during snow-free periods. The range of mean measured fluxes through all seasons (a positive value represents CH4 efflux to the atmosphere) were: 0.3 to 29.2 mmol CH4 m−2 d−1 wetland area; 0.1 to 1.8 mmol CH4 m−2 d−1, moist-grassy area; −0.04 to 0.7 mmol CH4 m−2 d−1, moist-mossy area; and −0.6 to 0 mmol CH4m−2 d−1, dry area. Methane efflux was significantly correlated with soil temperature (5 cm) at the continuously saturated wetland area during snow-free periods. Consumption of atmospheric methane was significantly correlated with moisture content in the upper 5 cm of soil at the dry area. A model based on the wetland flux-temperature relationship estimated an annual methane emission of 2.53 mol CH4 m−2 from the wetland. Estimates of annual methane flux based on field measurements at the other sites were 0.12 mol CH4 m−2, moist-grassy area; 0.03 mol CH4 m−2, moist-mossy area; and −0.04 mol CH4 m−2, dry area. Methane fluxes during snow-covered periods were responsible for 25, 73, 23, and 43% of the annual fluxes at the wetland, moist-grassy, moist-mossy, and dry sites, respectively.