Simultaneous measurements of dissolved CH4 and H2 in wetland soils.Environ Monit Assess 2018; 190(3):176EM
Biogeochemical processes in wetland soils are complex and are driven by a microbiological community that competes for resources and affects the soil chemistry. Depending on the availability of various electron acceptors, the high carbon input to wetland soils can make them important sources of methane production and emissions. There are two significant pathways for methanogenesis: acetoclastic and hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis. The hydrogenotrophic pathway is dependent on the availability of dissolved hydrogen gas (H2), and there is significant competition for available H2. This study presents simultaneous measurements of dissolved methane and H2 over a 2-year period at three tidal marshes in the New Jersey Meadowlands. Methane reservoirs show a significant correlation with dissolved organic carbon, temperature, and methane emissions, whereas the H2 concentrations measured with dialysis samplers do not show significant relationships with these field variables. Data presented in this study show that increased dissolved H2 reservoirs in wetland soils correlate with decreased methane reservoirs, which is consistent with studies that have shown that elevated levels of H2 inhibit methane production by inhibiting propionate fermentation, resulting in less acetate production and hence decreasing the contribution of acetoclastic methanogenesis to the overall production of methane.