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Bannière Sciences BiCÉAB-CarBBAS

Nitrous oxide (N2O) fluxes from boreal freshwater ecosystems - Soued (Dec 2011)

Nitrous oxide (N2O) fluxes from boreal freshwater ecosystems (lakes, rivers, and beaver ponds)

Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a trace gas in the atmosphere with a warming potential 310 times higher than CO2. Exchange of N2O between the atmosphere and freshwater has been the subject of only a few studies, leading to potential inaccuracies when calculating regional freshwater N2O budgets. The main objective of my study is to calculate a freshwater N2O budget for the boreal region of Quebec and compare it to global budgets reported in the literature.

I started my masters in summer 2011, during which I went to the Saguenay region near Chicoutimi to collect gas samples from three types of ecosystems: lakes, rivers, and beaver dams. My project will eventually include samples from two more boreal regions (Abitibi and Schefferville).

I am currently searching the literature for freshwater N2O values from various areas to see how the range of fluxes seen in boreal regions compares with other regions. I am also integrating the results of my own N2O analyses from this past summer into a database of other physical and chemical variables in order to look for:

-        Differences in N2O fluxes among the three types of ecosystems studied

-        Temporal variation in N2O fluxes throughout the year for each type of ecosystem

-        Factors controlling N2O fluxes in each type of ecosystem

Because I will be sampling over large spatial and temporal scales, I will be able to quantify the spatial and temporal variability in N2O fluxes, as well as the drivers of this variability, which will allow me to build a more precise boreal freshwater N2O fluxes budget.
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