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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Atmospheric Pollutants and Trace Gases

Effect of Land Use on Methane Flux from Soil


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 30 No. 3, p. 786-797
    Received: June 21, 2000

    * Corresponding author(s): parkin@nstl.gov
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  1. A.S.K. Chana and
  2. T.B. Parkin *b
  1. a Dep. of Microbiology, Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA 50011
    b USDA-ARS, National Soil Tilth Lab., 2150 Pammel Drive, Ames, IA 50011


The precise effects of natural and disturbed terrestrial systems on the atmospheric CH4 pool are uncertain. This study was conducted to quantify and compare CH4 fluxes from a variety of ecosystems in central Iowa. We investigated agricultural systems under different management practices, a hardwood forest site, native and restored prairies, and a municipal landfill. Flux measurements were obtained using a closed-chamber method, and measurements were compiled by sampling over the 1993 and 1994 growing seasons. In 1993, most of the agricultural sites were net CH4 producers with cumulative CH4 fluxes ranging from −0.02 to 3.19 g m−2 over the 258-d sampling season, while the natural ecosystems were net CH4 consumers, with cumulative seasonal fluxes ranging from −0.27 to −0.07 g m−2 258 d−1 In 1994, only the landfill and the agricultural site treated with broadcast liquid swine manure (LSM) were net CH4 producers, while the remainder of the natural and agricultural ecosystems were net CH4 consumers, with mean seasonal flux rates ranging from −0.43 to −0.008 g m−2 271 d−1 We hypothesize that the differences in CH4 fluxes between the two years are due to differences in rainfall. To illustrate the integration between land use and CH4 flux, we computed an area-weighted soil CH4 flux for the state of Iowa. Our calculations yielded a net average soil CH4 flux of 139000 Mg CH4 for 1993 and 1994.

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Copyright © 2001. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyPublished in J. Environ. Qual.30:786–797.