Photo credit: Gail Chmura
23-27th May 2022 - Results of summer 2021 experiments presented at EGU General Assembly
17th May 2022 - Paper based on methane flux experiments in summer 2020 accepted in Environmental Research: Ecology https://doi.org/10.1088/2752-664X/ac706a
16-20th May 2022 - Results of summer 2021 experiments presented at JASM
13-17th December 2021 - Results of summer 2021 experiments presented at AGU Fall meeting
13-14th May 2021 - Results of summer 2020 experiments presented at ACCESS 2021 meeting
3rd May 2021 - Fieldwork for summer 2021 has been approved by McGill!
May 2021 - Our Postcard from the Field was featured in the May edition of Eos! https://eos.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/MAY21.pdf
MarshFlux is a European Union Marie Sklodowska-Curie Global Fellowship funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Grant Agreement 838296 from January 2020 to January 2023. The project is jointly-hosted by the University of Birmingham U.K and McGill University Canada with Dr. Sami Ullah (nitrogenscience.wordpress.com/), Prof. Gail Chmura (chmuralab.weebly.com/) and Prof. Stefan Krause (www.birmingham.ac.uk/staff/profiles/gees/krause-stefan.aspx) as collaborators. The first two years will be based at McGill University and the final year at the University of Birmingham, U.K.
Coastal wetlands are globally important ecosystems providing valuable ecosystem services, such as carbon sequestration over long timescales, affecting global carbon cycling and climate modulation, and nutrient cycling. The amount of carbon sequestered and therefore, the net long-term global cooling potential of coastal marshes, however, is affected by complex biogeochemical reactions in marsh soils, which may produce and/or consume all three of the major greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4, N2O). The magnitude and direction of these fluxes, and whether marsh soils act as a source or sink of greenhouse gases, is affected by a variety of environmental factors which are predicted to vary with projected global change. MarshFlux, therefore, aims to address fundamental gaps in understanding of how the global cooling potential of coastal marshes will be affected by responses of biogeochemical reaction rates and greenhouse gas fluxes to global change. The effect of multiple drivers of global change on the response of greenhouse gas fluxes and key microbial processes for the consumption and production of N2O, will be investigated focussing on temperature and nutrient-loading and vegetation. This research is critical for effective management of coastal wetlands to maintain their blue carbon value under future global change.
- How do salt marsh soil greenhouse gas fluxes vary across a latitudinal gradient subject to predicted future increases in temperature and nutrient loading?
- How do greenhouse gas fluxes vary within a salt marsh under varying pressures including sea level rise, degradation and invasive vegetation?
- How do salt marsh greenhouse gas fluxes vary between vegetation types with differing characteristics subject to changes in temperature, nutrients and flooding?
Fieldsites and lab studies
Salt marshes are distributed throughout the coastline of North America. Objective 1 focusses on a latitudinal gradient from Prince Edward Island, Canada to Louisiana on the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico.
Data to meet objective 2 will be collected in the salt marsh at La Pocatiere, Quebec. This salt marsh has both Spartina alterniflora and Spartina patens with a large mudflat at the seaward edge and invasive Phragmites australis at the landward edge.
Experiments for Objective 3 will be conducted in the mesocosms of the University of Birmingham’s Environmental Change Outdoor Laboratory. This is a state-of-the-art mesocosm facility where high-frequency monitoring and long-term controlled manipulations can be performed.