The water column of the Yamal tundra lakes as a microbial filter preventing methane emission.

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From: Biogeosciences(Vol. 18, Issue 9)
Publisher: Copernicus GmbH
Document Type: Brief article
Length: 389 words

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Abstract :

Microbiological, molecular ecological, biogeochemical, and isotope geochemical research was carried out in four lakes of the central part of the Yamal Peninsula in the area of continuous permafrost. Two of them were large (73.6 and 118.6 ha) and deep (up to 10.6 and 12.3 m) mature lakes embedded into all geomorphological levels of the peninsula, and two others were smaller (3.2 and 4.2 ha) shallow (2.3 and 1.8 m) lakes which were formed as a result of thermokarst on constitutional (segregated) ground ice. Samples were collected in August 2019. The Yamal tundra lakes were found to exhibit high phytoplankton production (340-1200 mg C m.sup.-2 d.sup.-1) during the short summer season. Allochthonous and autochthonous, particulate and dissolved organic matter was deposited onto the bottom sediments, where methane was the main product of anaerobic degradation, and its content was 33-990 µmol CH.sub.4 dm.sup.-3 . The rates of hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis appeared to be higher in the sediments of deep lakes than in those of the shallow ones. In the sediments of all lakes, Methanoregula and Methanosaeta were predominant components of the archaeal methanogenic community. Methane oxidation (1.4-9.9 µmol dm.sup.-3 d.sup.-1) occurred in the upper sediment layers simultaneously with methanogenesis. Methylobacter tundripaludum (family Methylococcaceae) predominated in the methanotrophic community of the sediments and the water column. The activity of methanotrophic bacteria in deep mature lakes resulted in a decrease in the dissolved methane concentration in lake water from 0.8-4.1 to 0.4 µmol CH.sub.4 L.sup.-1 d.sup.-1, while in shallow thermokarst lakes the geochemical effect of methanotrophs was much less pronounced. Thus, only small, shallow Yamal lakes may contribute significantly to the overall diffusive methane emissions from the water surface during the warm summer season. The water column of large, deep lakes on Yamal acts, however, as a microbial filter preventing methane emission into the atmosphere. It can be assumed that climate warming will lead to an increase in the total area of thermokarst lakes, which will enhance the effect of methane release into the atmosphere.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A660788058