JDJCSET | Earth and Environmental Sciences Poster Session

Title

Does Taxodium distichum “knee” density affect CO2 and CH4 emissions in bottomland hardwood forests?

Presenter Information

Skylar RossFollow

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

Environmental Science

Minor

Wildlife and Conservation Biology

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Dr Jessica Moon

Presentation Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Description

Wetland soils and vegetation are significant sources of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) to the atmosphere. However, little has been done to examine the woody root structures (“knees”) of Taxodium distichum (bald cypress) trees and the effect their densities (e.g., increased surface area for gas movement) have on greenhouse gas fluxes. We are examining how the density of knees affects CO2 and CH4 emissions. Knee density was surveyed in 120 1m2 plots within a 10 m stretch of Dunn Slough in Clarks River Wildlife Refuge, which contained a source population of Taxodium distichum. Densities ranged from no knees to 24 knees per m2 (mean +/- s.d. = 3.3 +/- 3.6 knees per m2). We selected twenty-four plots with varying knee densities to collect gas fluxes over three-hour periods using large framed chambers. Interestingly, an initial test of a seven knee per m2 plot revealed a net uptake of CH4 and net release of CO2; we suggest this result is related to low water table conditions and highlights the dynamic nature of these systems. Results from this study can be upscaled to provide more accurate flux rates in areas with various densities of cypress knees.

Fall Scholars Week 2022 Event

Earth and Environmental Sciences Poster Session

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Does Taxodium distichum “knee” density affect CO2 and CH4 emissions in bottomland hardwood forests?

Wetland soils and vegetation are significant sources of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) to the atmosphere. However, little has been done to examine the woody root structures (“knees”) of Taxodium distichum (bald cypress) trees and the effect their densities (e.g., increased surface area for gas movement) have on greenhouse gas fluxes. We are examining how the density of knees affects CO2 and CH4 emissions. Knee density was surveyed in 120 1m2 plots within a 10 m stretch of Dunn Slough in Clarks River Wildlife Refuge, which contained a source population of Taxodium distichum. Densities ranged from no knees to 24 knees per m2 (mean +/- s.d. = 3.3 +/- 3.6 knees per m2). We selected twenty-four plots with varying knee densities to collect gas fluxes over three-hour periods using large framed chambers. Interestingly, an initial test of a seven knee per m2 plot revealed a net uptake of CH4 and net release of CO2; we suggest this result is related to low water table conditions and highlights the dynamic nature of these systems. Results from this study can be upscaled to provide more accurate flux rates in areas with various densities of cypress knees.