Although there have been numerous studies focusing on plants' roles in methane (CH4) emissions, the influencing mechanism of wetland plants on nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions has rarely been studied. Here, we test whether wetland plants also play an important role in N2O emissions. Gas fluxes were determined using the in situ static flux chamber technique. We also carried out pore-water extractions, sedge removal experiments and tests of N2O transportation. The brackish marsh acted as a net source of both CH4 and N2O. However, sedge plants played the opposite role in CH4 and N2O emissions. The removal of the sedges led to reduced CH4 emissions and increased accumulation of CH4 inside the sediment. Apart from being a conduit for CH4 transport, the sedges made a greater contribution to CH4 oxidation than CH4 production. The sedges exerted inhibitory effects on the release of N2O. The N2O was barely detectable inside the sediment in both vegetated and vegetation-removed plots. The denitrification measurements and nitrogen addition (the addition rates were equal to 0.028, 0.056 and 0.112 g m−2) experiments suggest that denitrification associated with N2O production occurred mainly in the surface sediment layer. The vascular sedge could transport atmospheric N2O downward into the rhizosphere. The rhizospheric sediment, together with the vascular sedge, became an effective sink of atmospheric N2O.
Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science – Elsevier
Published: May 1, 2018
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