Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service
  
Treesearch

Research & Development Treesearch

 
Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Northern
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help
 

GeoTreesearch


Science.gov - We Participate


USA.gov  Government Made Easy


Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.
20090-6090

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

(2.70 MB bytes)

Title: The carbon balance of North American wetlands

Author: Bridgham, Scott D.; Megonigal, J. Patrick; Keller, Jason K.; Bliss, Norman b.; Trettin, Carl

Date: 2006

Source: Wetlands, Vol. 26(4): 889-916

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: We examine the carbon balance of North American wetlands by reviewing and synthesizing the published literature and soil databases. North American wetlands contain about 220 Pg C, most of which is in peat. They are a small to moderate carbon sink of about 49 Tg C yr-l, although the uncertainty around this estimate is greater than 100%, with the largest unknown being the role of carbon sequestration by sedimentation in freshwater mineral-soil wetlands. We estimate that North American wetlands emit 9 Tg methane (Ch4) yr-l; however, the uncertainty of this estimate is also greater than 100%. With the exception of estuarine wetlands, CH4 emissions from wetlands may largely offset any positive benefits of carbon sequestration in soils and plants in terms of climate forcing. Historically, the destruction of wetlands through land-use changes has had the largest effects on the carbon fluxes and consequent radiative forcing of North American wetlands. The primary effects have been a reduction in their ability to sequester carbon (a small to moderate increase in radiative forcing), oxidation of their soil carbon reserves upon drainage (a small increase in radiative forcing), and reduction in CH4 emissions (a small to large decrease in radiative forcing). It is uncertain how global changes will affect the carbon pools and fluxes of North American wetlands. We will not be able to predict accurately the role of wetlands as potential positive or negative feedbacks to anthropogenic global change without knowing the integrative effects of changes in temperature, precipitation, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, and atmospheric deposition of nitrogen and sulfur on the carbon balance of North American wetlands.

Keywords: carbon, methane, North American, plants, sedimentation, soil, wetlands

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • You may send email to pubrequest@fs.fed.us to request a hard copy of this publication. (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)

XML: View XML

Citation:


Bridgham, Scott D.; Megonigal, J. Patrick; Keller, Jason K.; Bliss, Norman b.; Trettin, Carl 2006. The carbon balance of North American wetlands. Wetlands, Vol. 26(4): 889-916

 


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.