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The relationships between termite mound CH4/CO2 emissions and internal concentration ratios are species specific

Jamali, Hizbullah, Livesley, Stephen, Hutley, Lindsay B., Fest, Benedict and Arndt, Stefan (2013). The relationships between termite mound CH4/CO2 emissions and internal concentration ratios are species specific. Biogeosciences,10(4):2229-2240.

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID 82057923xPUB462
NHMRC Grant No. LP0774812
Title The relationships between termite mound CH4/CO2 emissions and internal concentration ratios are species specific
Author Jamali, Hizbullah
Livesley, Stephen
Hutley, Lindsay B.
Fest, Benedict
Arndt, Stefan
Journal Name Biogeosciences
Publication Date 2013
Volume Number 10
Issue Number 4
ISSN 1726-4170   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84886796177
Start Page 2229
End Page 2240
Total Pages 12
Place of Publication Germany
Publisher Copernicus GmbH
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract We investigated the relative importance of CH4 and CO2 fluxes from soil and termite mounds at four different sites in the tropical savannas of northern Australia near Darwin and assessed different methods to indirectly predict CH4 fluxes based on CO2 fluxes and internal gas concentrations. The annual flux from termite mounds and surrounding soil was dominated by CO2 with large variations among sites. On a carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e) basis, annual CH4 flux estimates from termite mounds were 5- to 46-fold smaller than the concurrent annual CO2 flux estimates. Differences between annual soil CO2 and soil CH4 (CO2-e) fluxes were even greater, soil CO2 fluxes being almost three orders of magnitude greater than soil CH4 (CO2-e) fluxes at site. The contribution of CH4 and CO2 emissions from termite mounds to the total CH4 and CO2 emissions from termite mounds and soil in CO2-e was less than 1%. There were significant relationships between mound CH4 flux and mound CO2 flux, enabling the prediction of CH4 flux from measured CO2 flux; however, these relationships were clearly termite species specific. We also observed significant relationships between mound flux and gas concentration inside mound, for both CH4 and CO2, and for all termite species, thereby enabling the prediction of flux from measured mound internal gas concentration. However, these relationships were also termite species specific. Using the relationship between mound internal gas concentration and flux from one species to predict mound fluxes from other termite species (as has been done in the past) would result in errors of more than 5-fold for mound CH4 flux and 3-fold for mound CO2 flux. This study highlights that CO2 fluxes from termite mounds are generally more than one order of magnitude greater than CH4 fluxes. There are species-specific relationships between CH4 and CO2 fluxes from a mound, and between the inside mound concentration of a gas and the mound flux emission of the same gas, but these relationships vary greatly among termite species. Thus, there is no generic relationship that will allow for the accurate prediction of CH4 fluxes from termite mounds of all species, but given the data limitations, the above methods may still be used with caution.

DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/bg-10-2229-2013   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
Additional Notes This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Description for Link Link to CC Attribution 3.0 License
URL https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/au/legalcode


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