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ARS Home » Midwest Area » St. Paul, Minnesota » Soil and Water Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #384184

Research Project: Increasing the Productivity and Resilience to Climate Variability of Agricultural Production Systems in the Upper Midwest U.S. while Reducing Negative Impact on the Environment

Location: Soil and Water Management Research

Title: Potential greenhouse gases emissions by different plant communities in maritime Antarctica

item FERRARI, FLAVIA - Universidade Federal De Viçosa
item THOMAZINI, ANDRE - Universidade Federal De São João Del-Rei
item PEREIRA, ANTONIO - Universidade Federal Do Pampa
item Spokas, Kurt
item SCHAEFER, CARLOS - Universidade Federal De Viçosa

Submitted to: Annals of the Brazilian Academy of Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/17/2021
Publication Date: 5/30/2022
Citation: Ferrari, F., Thomazini, A., Pereira, A., Spokas, K.A., Schaefer, C. 2022. Potential greenhouse gases emissions by different plant communities in maritime Antarctica. Annals of the Brazilian Academy of Science. 94(4).

Interpretive Summary: The presence of plants on the soil system is known to alter the microbial populations. However, the knowledge of vegetation’s influence on the greenhouse gas production potential of Antarctic soils is lacking. This study investigated the greenhouse gas production potentials of a series of soil samples from Antarctica that were sampled across an elevation gradient, comprising a sequence of soils with varying plant species and ice-free exposure times. Results from this study demonstrate that low temperatures favor the conditions for reducing N2O production, thus leading to increased N-nutrient storage. As well as low temperatures reducing CO2 production, thus increasing C-storage in soils. There was an overall relationship with incubation temperature and the production of all greenhouse gases across the temperatures examined here. These results are significant to assist scientists and engineers as well as supplying guidance for the influence of plants and climatic conditions on soil’s ability to store carbon and nitrogen.

Technical Abstract: Antarctic plant communities show a close relationship with soil types across the landscape, and changes in vegetation cover, biogenic factors, and soil characteristics can affect the dynamics of greenhouse gases potential. Thus, the objective of this study was to evaluate greenhouse gases in lab conditions at ice-free areas along a topographic gradient. We selected 11 sites with distinct vegetation compositions. Greenhouse gases production potentials were assessed through 20 days of laboratory incubations varying temperature at -2, 4, 6, and 22 ºC. The highest N2O production potential was associated with the phanerogamic community under the strong ornithogenic influence. Seven different sites acted as an N2O sink at a temperature of -2 ºC, demonstrating the influence of low-temperature conditions contributing to store N in soils. The mosses carpets recorded the highest production potentials, and the fruticose lichens communities revealed a CH4 sink effect potential. There is an overall trend in CO2 production potential with increasing temperature. The bare soil was the only site considered as a CO2 sink. Moss carpets were low production potential, while the highest values of CO2 production potential were recorded by the fruticose lichens communities. The GHG showed a positive correlation with increasing temperatures along a toposequence.