Journal Highlights

Variations in atmospheric methane emissions from subtropical lakes

Editor’s Highlight—

 

This paper demonstrates how multiple methods of inferring methane fluxes from a lake could be used to reliably constrain and map the high spatial and temporal variation in methane fluxes in eutrophic lakes. The authors used a three-year dataset based on high resolution measurements of methane concentrations and emissions in Lake Taihu, a large and shallow eutrophic lake in eastern China. One particular strength of this paper is repeated measurements at multiple locations on the same lake. They found that the spatial pattern of methane emissions resulted mostly from spatial variations in algal biomass and in the spatial distribution of submerged aquatic vegetation, but was also correlated with water clarity, the dissolved oxygen concentration, and water depth. Meanwhile, the seasonal pattern of methane flux was regulated mostly by water temperature.