Methane emission from flooded forest in central Africa


  • J. P. Tathy,

  • B. Cros,

  • R. A. Delmas,

  • A. Marenco,

  • J. Servant,

  • M. Labat


In this report we give results of methane flux measurement in the flooded forest zone of the Congo River basin in central Africa. Methane fluxes are measured by the static chamber method above three types of soils characterized by various water contents. High methane emission is recorded on flooded soils (4.59 × 1012 molecules/cm2/s) while methane uptake occurs in dry soil (−8.38 × 1010 molecules/cm2/s). Methane flux is also derived from variations of surface concentrations of methane related to the variations of air stability and from vertical profiles in the lower troposphere. The four methods used to determine the average methane emission from this wetland type yield compatible values. The average yearly flux is estimated at 2 to 4 × 1012 molecules/cm2/s or 45 to 90 mg/m2/d The total wetland area being about 105 km2, global methane emission from the flooded forest zone of the Congo River basin would represent 1.6 to 3.2 Tg (CH4) per year.