Journal cover Journal topic
Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Biogeosciences, 10, 6559-6576, 2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
16 Oct 2013
Modeling the large-scale effects of surface moisture heterogeneity on wetland carbon fluxes in the West Siberian Lowland
T. J. Bohn1, E. Podest2, R. Schroeder2,3, N. Pinto2, K. C. McDonald2,3, M. Glagolev4,5,6, I. Filippov6, S. Maksyutov7, M. Heimann8, X. Chen1, and D. P. Lettenmaier1 1Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
2Jet Propulsion Laboratory, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Pasadena, CA, USA
3City College of New York, City University of New York, New York, USA
4Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia
5Institute of Forest Science, Russian Academy of Sciences, Uspenskoe, Russia
6Yugra State University, Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia
7National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, Japan
8Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena, Germany
Abstract. We used a process-based model to examine the role of spatial heterogeneity of surface and sub-surface water on the carbon budget of the wetlands of the West Siberian Lowland over the period 1948–2010. We found that, while surface heterogeneity (fractional saturated area) had little overall effect on estimates of the region's carbon fluxes, sub-surface heterogeneity (spatial variations in water table depth) played an important role in both the overall magnitude and spatial distribution of estimates of the region's carbon fluxes. In particular, to reproduce the spatial pattern of CH4 emissions recorded by intensive in situ observations across the domain, in which very little CH4 is emitted north of 60° N, it was necessary to (a) account for CH4 emissions from unsaturated wetlands and (b) use spatially varying methane model parameters that reduced estimated CH4 emissions in the northern (permafrost) half of the domain (and/or account for lower CH4 emissions under inundated conditions). Our results suggest that previous estimates of the response of these wetlands to thawing permafrost may have overestimated future increases in methane emissions in the permafrost zone.

Citation: Bohn, T. J., Podest, E., Schroeder, R., Pinto, N., McDonald, K. C., Glagolev, M., Filippov, I., Maksyutov, S., Heimann, M., Chen, X., and Lettenmaier, D. P.: Modeling the large-scale effects of surface moisture heterogeneity on wetland carbon fluxes in the West Siberian Lowland, Biogeosciences, 10, 6559-6576, doi:10.5194/bg-10-6559-2013, 2013.
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