In northern peatlands, particularly those that experience seasonal snow-cover, there is a tendency for researchers to only measure greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes during the growing season. However, it has recently been shown that non-growing season CH4 fluxes can be a considerable component of the annual carbon balance (Treat et al., 2018). Thus, ignoring non-growing season fluxes can lead to incorrect assessments of annual emissions. This means that large-scale (national and international) upscalings of GHG emissions will be biased, and the complete role these ecosystems play in climatic warming will be poorly constrained.
Furthermore, forest fires are a pervasive component in boreal ecosystems and are likely to become larger and more frequent with changing climate (Flannigan et al., 2009). In this case study, Dr. Peacock and Dr. Granath wanted to see if there were differences in non-growing season GHG fluxes between burned and unburned mires and to understand if future changes in fire regimes may alter GHG emissions from forest mires.
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