A process-based model has been developed in order to calculate methane emissions from natural wetlands as a function of the hydrologic and thermal conditions in the soil. The considered processes in the model are methane production, methane consumption and transport of methane by diffusion, ebullition and through plants. The model has been tested against data from a three-year field study from a Michigan peatland. The interannual and seasonal variations of the modelled methane emissions and methane concentration profiles are in good agreement with the observations. During the growing season the main emission pathway proceeds through plants. Ebullition occurs whenever the water table is above the soil surface, while diffusion is only significant in the first 15 days after a drop of the water table below the peat surface.