Transition period between vegetation growth and senescence controls interannual variability of C fluxes in a Mediterranean reed wetland
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Serrano‐Ortiz, P., Aranda‐Barranco, S., López‐Ballesteros, A., Lopez‐Canfin, C., Sánchez‐Cañete, E. P., Meijide, A., & Kowalski, A. S. (2020). Transition period between vegetation growth and senescence controlling interannual variability of C fluxes in a Mediterranean reed wetland. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 125, e2019JG005169. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019JG005169
Wetlands are crucial ecosystems modulating climate change due to their great potential to capture carbon dioxide (CO2), emit methane (CH4) and regulate local climate through evapotranspiration (ET). Common reed wetlands are particularly interesting given their high productivity, abundance and highly efficient internal gas-transport mechanism. However, little is known about the interannual behavior and dominant controlling factors of Mediterranean reed wetlands, characterized by seasonal flooding and remarkable weather variability. After 6 years of ecosystem carbon and ET flux measurements by eddy covariance (3 years for CH4 fluxes), this study shows the functional vulnerability of such wetlands to climate variability, switching between carbon (CO2+CH4) sink (660 g CO2-eeq m-2 y -1 , in 2014) and source (360 g CO2-eq m-2 y -1 , in 2016) in short periods of time. According to our analyses, the great interannual variability appeared to mainly depend on the behavior of reed growth dynamics during the transition to senescence period, what is confirmed through the Enhanced Vegetation Index as a proxy of photosynthetic activity. Additionally, a similar behavior of seasonal and daily patterns of carbon fluxes and ET was found compared with other wetlands under different climates.