The Open UniversitySkip to content

Controls on suppression of methane flux from a peat bog subjected to simulated acid rain sulfate deposition

Gauci, Vincent; Dise, Nancy and Fowler, David (2002). Controls on suppression of methane flux from a peat bog subjected to simulated acid rain sulfate deposition. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 16(1: 1004)

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


The effect of acid rain SO42− deposition on peatland CH4 emissions was examined by manipulating SO42− inputs to a pristine raised peat bog in northern Scotland. Weekly pulses of dissolved Na2SO4 were applied to the bog over two years in doses of 25, 50, and 100 kg S ha−1 yr−1, reflecting the range of pollutant S deposition loads experienced in acid rain-impacted regions of the world. CH4 fluxes were measured at regular intervals using a static chamber/gas chromatographic flame ionization detector method. Total emissions of CH4 were reduced by between 21 and 42% relative to controls, although no significant differences were observed between treatments. Estimated total annual fluxes during the second year of the experiment were 16.6 g m−2 from the controls and (in order of increasing SO42− dose size) 10.7, 13.2, and 9.8 g m−2 from the three SO42− treatments, respectively. The relative extent of CH4 flux suppression varied with changes in both peat temperature and peat water table with the largest suppression during cool periods and episodes of falling water table. Our findings suggest that low doses of SO42− at deposition rates commonly experienced in areas impacted by acid rain, may significantly affect CH4 emissions from wetlands in affected areas. We propose that SO42− from acid rain can stimulate sulfate-reducing bacteria into a population capable of outcompeting methanogens for substrates. We further propose that this microbially mediated interaction may have a significant current and future effect on the contribution of northern peatlands to the global methane budget.

Item Type: Journal Item
ISSN: 0886-6236
Extra Information: Some of the symbols may not have transferred correctly into this bibliographic record and/or abstract.
Keywords: methane; acid rain; sulfate; methanogenesis; peat; sulfate reduction
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Environment, Earth and Ecosystem Sciences
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Research Group: OpenSpace Research Centre (OSRC)
Item ID: 5896
Depositing User: Vincent Gauci
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2006
Last Modified: 01 May 2019 13:23
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU