The Pantanal is the largest wetland in the world and yet little is known about the variability in carbon (C) dynamics across its flood seasons. We examined the effect of inundation on the C cycle in the 2013–2015 flood cycles illustrated by dissolved CO2, CH4, organic C (DOC) concentration measurements, and optical properties of dissolved organic matter (DOM) evaluated by absorbance and fluorescence spectroscopy with parallel factor analysis (PARAFAC). During the 2015 flood cycle, pCO2 varied between 5973 and 14,292 μatm, with pCH4 concentrations ranging between 2956 and 51,675 μatm respectively, with high temporal variability for both gases. The supersaturation of CO2 and CH4 in relation to the atmospheric equilibrium caused the system to behave as a net source of CO2 and CH4 to the atmosphere with evasion rates of 320 mg CO2 m−2 d−1 and 20 mg CH4 m−2 d−1, respectively. Mean DOC concentration was 7.0 ± 0.4 mg L−1 and did not differ between flood cycles. Higher concentrations of DOC were measured at the start (rising floodwaters) and at the end (receding floodwaters) of flood cycles, while lower DOC concentrations were observed during the peak flood. The PARAFAC analysis indicated the presence of five DOM components: humic (C1 and C2) and fulvic type material (C3) showed the highest relative abundance (68.5% of the total PARAFAC component fluorescence), as well as protein-like material (C4 and C5) derived from microorganisms. Our measured diffusive flux levels were below the range of emissions found for wetlands and floodplains for CO2, but were slightly higher for CH4 relative to other studies in lakes and seasonally flooded areas of the Pantanal. The large variations in concentrations of CO2, CH4 and DOC and the optical properties of DOM during the course of each flood cycle suggest a close relationship between carbon and water cycles in this tropical wetland.
Biogeochemistry – Springer Journals
Published: May 17, 2018
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