Separating natural from human enhanced methane emissions in headwater streams

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Zhu, Y., Iwan Jones, J., Collins, A. L., Zhang, Y., Olde, L., Rovelli, L., Murphy, J. F., Heppell, C.M. and Trimmer, M. 2022. Separating natural from human enhanced methane emissions in headwater streams. Nature Communications. 13 (3810 (2022)). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-31559-y

AuthorsZhu, Y., Iwan Jones, J., Collins, A. L., Zhang, Y., Olde, L., Rovelli, L., Murphy, J. F., Heppell, C.M. and Trimmer, M.
Abstract

Headwater streams are natural sources of methane but are suffering severe anthropogenic disturbance, particularly land use change and climate warming. The widespread intensification of agriculture since the 1940s has increased the export of fine sediments from land to streams, but systematic assessment of their effects on stream methane is lacking. Here we show that excess fine sediment delivery is widespread in UK streams (n = 236) and, set against a pre-1940s baseline, has markedly increased streambed organic matter (23 to 100 g m−2), amplified streambed methane production and ultimately tripled methane emissions (0.2 to 0.7 mmol CH4 m−2 d−1, n = 29). While streambed methane production responds strongly to organic matter, we estimate the effect of the approximate 0.7 °C of warming since the 1940s to be comparatively modest. By separating natural from human enhanced methane emissions we highlight how catchment management targeting the delivery of excess fine sediment could mitigate stream methane emissions by some 70%.

Year of Publication2022
JournalNature Communications
Journal citation13 (3810 (2022))
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-31559-y
Web address (URL)https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-022-31559-y
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderNatural Environment Research Council
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Welsh Government
Funder project or codeNE/J012106/I
S2N - Soil to Nutrition - Work package 3 (WP3) - Sustainable intensification - optimisation at multiple scales
Extending the evidence base on the ecological impacts of fine sediment and developing a framework for targeting mitigation of agricultural sediment losses
Contract Lot 3, No. 183/2007/08
Publisher's version
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Print01 Jul 2022
Publication process dates
Accepted22 Jun 2022
Submitted16 Mar 2022
PublisherNature Publishing Group
ISSN2041-1723

Permalink - https://repository.rothamsted.ac.uk/item/9892x/separating-natural-from-human-enhanced-methane-emissions-in-headwater-streams

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