Landscape heterogeneity influences carbon dioxide production in a young boreal reservoir

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Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences




NRC Research Press

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Surface carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions exhibit a high degree of spatial heterogeneity in the young boreal Eastmain-1 hydroelectric reservoir, located in northern Quebec, Canada. Estimates of the individual components of net CO2 production within the reservoir (benthic respiration, water column respiration, and primary production) furthermore provide a link between the heterogeneity in surface CO2 emissions and the flooded landscapes below. Specifically, the preflood carbon stock and soil–sediment respiration rates of flooded landscapes were found to influence benthic CO2 production, the rate of decline of hypolimnetic dissolved organic carbon (DOC), and the estimated rate at which flooded landscapes release DOC, further influencing water column respiration rates. Estimates of the individual components of net CO2 production in Eastmain-1 are supported by a positive relationship (t test, r2 = 0.64, P < 0.01) between measured surface CO2 emissions (mean ± SE = 1540 ± 145.4 mg C·m–2·day–1) and independently derived estimates of total net CO2 production (mean ± SE = 1230 ± 162.4 mg C·m–2·day–1). Our findings emphasize the utility of fundamental landscape characterization prior to construction in predicting reservoir greenhouse gas emissions.

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