Greenhouse Gas Dynamics of Peatland Pastures

cows delta California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

Peatlands play a significant role in the Earth’s terrestrial carbon (C) cycle, accounting for approximately one-third of the global soil C reservoir. In addition, peatland soils are a significant source of methane (CH4) to the atmosphere, a potent greenhouse gas with 25 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide (CO2).

We are working in managed peatlands of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta of California to understand how methanogens and methanotrophs affect the production and consumption of methane as it diffuses through the soil profile (Silver et al., 1999; Teh et al., 2005). These studies will be supplemented with measurements of soil oxygen and the isotopic content of the methane and CO2. We are also conducting incubation studies to quantify carbon turnover times and sensitivity of CO2 and methane emission rates to temperature and soil moisture.


Dennis Baldocchi, Maggi Kelly

bay delta samplingPostdoctoral Students

Tana Wood, Yit Arn Teh

PhD Students

Wendy Yang

Institutions/Funding Sources

NSF, University of California-Berkeley