Soil is a net source of methane in tropical African forests

Research Highlights: Monitoring of soil CH4 fluxes in African tropical forest conducted run for almost two years, contributing to the scant information on greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes from forests available from this region. Data showed that the forest soil acted as a net yearly source of CH4. Hotspots of CH4 emissions were measured both in upland and lowland areas of the forest, and on an annual basis they overcame the soil CH4 sink during drier periods or in well‐drained areas. Background and Objectives: Atmospheric studies indicate that tropics are a strong CH4 source. Regional budgets attribute the majority of this source to wetland ecosystems and flooded lowland forests, whereas un‐flooded forests are considered net CH4 sinks, although few studies in tropical forests, in particular in Africa, are available. The present work aims to contribute to this knowledge gap. Materials and Methods: Monitoring campaigns were conducted along the year in the tropical forest of the Ankasa National Park, Ghana, in two contrasting environments, uphill and downhill, using close static chambers coupled with gas chromatography. Results: The uphill area was a net weak CH4 sink with mean daily fluxes ranging from −1.29 to 0.44 mg CH4 m−2 d−1. The downhill area was a significant CH4 source with mean daily fluxes ranging from −0.67 to 188.09 mg CH4 m−2 d−1 and with peaks up to 1312 mg CH4 m−2 d−1 in the wet season. Conclusions: The net annual soil CH4 budget for the Ankasa Park, normalizing the proportion of downhill areas over the whole park surface, was a source of about 3.3 kg CH4 ha−1 yr−1. Overlooking such areas might lead to underestimates of the total CH4 source strength of forested areas. © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Castaldi S. 1, 2 , Bertolini T.1 , Nicolini G.3 , Valentini R. 2, 3, 4
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  • 1 Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Ambientali, Biologiche e Farmaceutiche, Università degli Studi della Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, via Vivaldi, 43, Caserta, 81100, Italy
  • 2 Department of Landscape Design and Sustainable Ecosystems, Agrarian‐Technological Institute, RUDN University, Miklukho‐Maklaya Str., 6, Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation
  • 3 CMCC–Centro euro‐Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici, IAFES Division, viale Trieste, 127, Viterbo, 01100, Italy
  • 4 Dipartimento per la Innovazione nei Sistemi Biologici, Agroalimentari e Forestali, Università degli Studi della Tuscia, via san Camillo de Lellis, snc, Viterbo, 01100, Italy
CH4 emissions; CH4 production; CH4 sink; Forest ecosystem; Lowland; Tropical soil
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Petraikin A.V., Belaya Z.E., Kiseleva A.N., Artyukova Z.R., Belyaev M.G., Kondratenko V.A., Pisov M.E., Solovev A.V., Smorchkova A.K., Abuladze L.R., Kieva I.N., Fedanov V.A., Iassin L.R., Semenov D.S., Kudryavtsev N.D., Shchelykalina S.P., Zinchenko V.V., Akhmad E.S., Sergunova K.A., Gombolevsky V.A., Nisovstova L.A., Vladzymyrskyy A.V., Morozov S.P.
Problemy Endokrinologii. Vol. 66. 2020. P. 48-60