Variation of energy and carbon fluxes from a restored temperate freshwater wetland and implications for carbon market verification protocols

Frank E. Anderson, Brian Bergamaschi, Cove Sturtevant, Sara Knox, Lauren Hastings, Lisamarie Windham-Myers, Matteo Detto, Erin L. Hestir, Judith Drexler, Robin L. Miller, Jaclyn Hatala Matthes, Joseph Verfaillie, Dennis Baldocchi, Richard L. Snyder, Roger Fujii

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Temperate freshwater wetlands are among the most productive terrestrial ecosystems, stimulating interest in using restored wetlands as biological carbon sequestration projects for greenhouse gas reduction programs. In this study, we used the eddy covariance technique to measure surface energy carbon fluxes from a constructed, impounded freshwater wetland during two annual periods that were 8 years apart: 2002-2003 and 2010-2011. During 2010-2011, we measured methane (CH4) fluxes to quantify the annual atmospheric carbon mass balance and its concomitant influence on global warming potential (GWP). Peak growing season fluxes of latent heat and carbon dioxide (CO2) were greater in 2002-2003 compared to 2010-2011. In 2002, the daily net ecosystem exchange reached as low as -10.6 g C m-2 d-1, which was greater than 3 times the magnitude observed in 2010 (-2.9 g C m-2 d-1). CH4 fluxes during 2010-2011 were positive throughout the year and followed a strong seasonal pattern, ranging from 38.1 mg C m-2 d-1 in the winter to 375.9 mg C m-2 d-1 during the summer. The results of this study suggest that the wetland had reduced gross ecosystem productivity in 2010-2011, likely due to the increase in dead plant biomass (standing litter) that inhibited the generation of new vegetation growth. In 2010-2011, there was a net positive GWP (675.3 g C m-2 yr-1), and when these values are evaluated as a sustained flux, the wetland will not reach radiative balance even after 500 years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)777-795
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Soil Science
  • Forestry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Palaeontology
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology


  • carbon dioxide
  • carbon market
  • eddy covariance
  • global warming potential
  • methane
  • wetlands


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