Wintertime Greenhouse Gas Fluxes in Hemiboreal Drained Peatlands

Birgit Viru, Gert Veber, Jaak Jaagus, Ain Kull, Martin Maddison, Mart Muhel, Mikk Espenberg, Alar Teemusk, Ülo Mander*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


The aim of this study is to estimate wintertime emissions of greenhouse gases CO2, N2O and CH4 in two abandoned peat extraction areas (APEA), Ess-soo and Laiuse, and in two Oxalis site-type drained peatland forests (DPF) on nitrogen-rich sapric histosol, a Norway spruce and a Downy birch forest, located in eastern Estonia. According to the long-term study using a closed chamber method, the APEAs emitted less CO2 and N2O, and more CH4 than the DPFs. Across the study sites, CO2 flux correlated positively with soil, ground and air temperatures. Continuous snow depth > 5 cm did not influence CO2, but at no snow or a thin snow layer the fluxes varied on a large scale (from -1.1 to 106 mg C m-2 h-1). In all sites, the highest N2O fluxes were observed at a water table depth of -30 to -40 cm. CH4 was consumed in the DPFs and was always emitted from the APEAs, whereas the highest flux appeared at a water table >20 cm above the surface. Considering the global warming potential (GWP) of the greenhouse gas emissions from the DPFs in the wintertime, the flux of N2O was the main component of warming, showing 3-6 times higher radiative forcing values than that of CO2 flux, while the role of CH4 was unimportant. In the APEAs, CO2 and CH4 made up almost equal parts, whereas the impact of N2O on GWP was minor.

Original languageEnglish
Article number731
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This study was supported by the Estonian Research Council (IUT2-16 and PRG352); the EU through the European Regional Development Fund (Centre of Excellence EcolChange, Estonia) and by the Estonian State Forest Management Centre (projects LLOOM13056 “Carbon and nitrogen cycling in forests with altered water regime “, 2013–2016 and LLTOM17250 “Water level restoration in cut-away peatlands: development of integrated monitoring methods and monitoring”, 2017–2023).


  • Carbon dioxide
  • Drained forests
  • Methane
  • Nitrous oxide
  • Peat extraction areas
  • Peatlands
  • Snow cover


Dive into the research topics of 'Wintertime Greenhouse Gas Fluxes in Hemiboreal Drained Peatlands'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this