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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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BG | Volume 15, issue 21
Biogeosciences, 15, 6519-6536, 2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Biogeosciences, 15, 6519-6536, 2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 06 Nov 2018

Research article | 06 Nov 2018

Predominance of methanogens over methanotrophs in rewetted fens characterized by high methane emissions

Xi Wen et al.
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Cited articles  
Abdalla, M., Hastings, A., Truu, J., Espenberg, M., Mander, U., and Smith, P.: Emissions of methane from northern peatlands: a review of management impacts and implications for future management options, Ecol. Evol., 6, 7080–7102,, 2016. 
Agethen, S. and Knorr, K.-H.: Juncus effusus mono-stands in restored cutover peat bogs – Analysis of litter quality, controls of anaerobic decomposition, and the risk of secondary carbon loss, Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 117, 139–152,, 2018. 
Augustin, J. and Chojnicki, B.: Austausch von klimarelevanten Spurengasen, Klimawirkung und Kohlenstoffdynamik in den ersten Jahren nach der Wiedervernässung von degradiertem Niedermoorgrünland (Exchange of climate relevant trace gases, climate effect and carbon dynamics in the first years after re-wetting of degraded fen grassland), in: Phosphor- und Kohlenstoff- Dynamik und Vegetationsentwicklung in wiedervernässten Mooren des Peenetals in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Phosphorus and carbon dynamics and vegetation development in re-wetted peatland of the Peene valley in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania), edited by: Gelbrecht, J., Zak, D., and Augustin, J., Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei, Berlin, 50–67, 2008 (in German). 
Augustin, J., Merbach, W., and Rogasik, J.: Factors influencing nitrous oxide and methane emissions from minerotrophic fens in northeast Germany, Biol. Fert. Soils, 28, 1–4,, 1998. 
Blodau, C.: Thermodynamic control on terminal electron transfer and methanogenesis, in: Aquatic Redox Chemistry, ACS Symposium Series, edited by: Tratnyek, P. G., Grundl, T. J., and Haderlein, S. B., American Chemical Society, Oxford University Press Inc., Washington, D.C., 65–82,, 2011. 
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Rewetting drained peatlands may lead to prolonged emission of the greenhouse gas methane, but the underlying factors are not well described. In this study, we found two rewetted fens with known high methane fluxes had a high ratio of microbial methane producers to methane consumers and a low abundance of methane consumers compared to pristine wetlands. We therefore suggest abundances of methane-cycling microbes as potential indicators for prolonged high methane emissions in rewetted peatlands.
Rewetting drained peatlands may lead to prolonged emission of the greenhouse gas methane, but...