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Webinar: Greenhouse gas exchange of Phragmites and Spartina species in tidal wetlands with different restoration history

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Tuesday, 14 December 2021, 12:00

Tuesday, December 14, 2021. 12:00 PM. Webinar: Greenhouse gas exchange of Phragmites and Spartina species in tidal wetlands with different restoration history. Karina V.R. Schafer, Rajan Tripathee, and Kristen Tomasscicio, Rutgers University, Newark; Tomer Duman, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. Sponsored by NOAA. More information here. Register here. (Requires Adobe Connect)

Abstract: Wetlands occupy only a small fraction of terrestrial ecosystems but have an outsized impact in carbon burial and hence carbon sequestration. Albeit, the flood protection, sea level mitigation, carbon burial, and nutrient filtration are ecosystem services to be cherished, the concern for methane emission has been increasing. Management for maximizing carbon sequestration and at the same time minimizing methane emissions are thus sought after in wetland mitigation projects. Here, we present data from the NJ Meadowlands, an extensive area in the Hudson-Raritan Estuary comparing the CO2and CH4 fluxes of a restored and a natural wetland. The restored wetland with Spartina alterniflora emitted more CO2 than the natural wetland with Phragmites and Spartina patens as measured with the eddy covariance system. Likewise, methane emissions were higher in the former than in the latter wetland. However, by comparison Phragmites and S alterniflora had higher CH4 fluxes than S. patens as measured with chambers. Hence in the overall analysis, Phragmites has not only higher CO2 sequestration but also higher methane emission, and in contrast S. patens had lower CO2 sequestration but also lower CH4 emission. Other studies in the NJ Meadowlands have found that both species communities are able to keep up with sea level rise and thus provide the ecosystem services needed in this estuary.

Bio(s): The presenter, Karina Schafer received her master's in science at the University of Bayreuth and her PhD at Duke University. Her primary research centers around global change and its effects on the carbon cycle in terrestrial ecosystems. The research focuses on refining carbon budgets of forest ecosystems through ecophysiological measurements and modeling. While it is extremely important to assess carbon uptake and storage and changes to uptake capacity that might be expected under rising CO2 conditions, it is also important to investigate climate solutions such as afforestation, reforestation, and forest management that are a new endeavor of the research group. In addition to forests, wetlands are storing and sequester carbon dioxide but also emit methane. Therefore, another aspect of her research centers on methane emissions and associated methane budgets in coastal and freshwater wetlands. With the help of eddy-covariance measurements, sampling of vegetation and modeling, the ecosystem functions of wetlands are explored.

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