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Title: Studies of methane fluxes reveal that desert soils can mitigate global climate change

Author: McLain, Jean E. T.; Martens, Dean A.;

Date: 2005

Source: Gottfried, Gerald J.; Gebow, Brooke S.; Eskew, Lane G.; Edminster, Carleton B., comps. Connecting mountain islands and desert seas: biodiversity and management of the Madrean Archipelago II. Proc. RMRS-P-36. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station:

Publication Series: Proceedings (P)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: Moisture limitations have led researchers to believe that semiarid soils are not significant consumers or producers of trace gases, and these regions are often overlooked in greenhouse gas inventories. We are studying environmental influences on soil fluxes of methane (CH4) in southeastern Arizona. We found negligible CH4 consumption in the very dry pre-monsoon period, but the first moisture pulses stimulated soil CH4 flux. Thereafter, significant CH4 consumption was found through the summer and winter months. The soil CH4 consumption averaged 471 ± 278 µg CH4 m-2 d-1 throughout the year, confirming the presence of a large, previously unreported CH4 sink, and strongly suggesting that soils of semiarid ecosystems cannot be discounted in potential mitigation of climate change.

Keywords: climate change, semiarid soils, methane consumption, methane fluxes, gases, Arizona

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McLain, Jean E. T.; Martens, Dean A. 2005. Studies of methane fluxes reveal that desert soils can mitigate global climate change. Gottfried, Gerald J.; Gebow, Brooke S.; Eskew, Lane G.; Edminster, Carleton B., comps. Connecting mountain islands and desert seas: biodiversity and management of the Madrean Archipelago II. Proc. RMRS-P-36. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station:

 


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