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Int Microbiol. 2000 Jun;3(2):89-95.

Methane production and release from two New England peatlands.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst 01003-5720, USA.


The rate of methane production and release to the atmosphere was determined for two New England peat bogs. Methane production rates from peat sediments, which were measured down to depths of 150 cm, ranged from 1 to 15 micromoles per liter per hour. The highest rates of methane production occurred at depths of 60-100 cm. Methane release from these same peats was quantified from various habitats on the bog using gas collection chambers. The chambers enclose a two-liter volume and cover an area of 0.02 m2. Methane accumulation in the chambers was measured for periods of up to 18 days. Methane release was related to pH and habitat zone. The lowest rates of methane release were from those portions of the bogs that had pH values below 5.0. Peak methane release occurred during or immediately after ice melt in both wetlands with release rates as high as 34 mmoles/m2/d. The overall estimate of yearly release of methane from these bog systems is 2,900 and 14,900 moles per year for Arcadia and Hawley Bogs respectively. Both of these bogs have pH environments close to the lowest limit for methanogenesis, and small differences in pH values can have a large impact on both the rate of methane production and the rate of methane release to the atmosphere.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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