Boreal wetlands are one of the largest pools of organic carbon on Earth. At present, up to 30% of the Earth's organic carbon is thought to be contained in the Boreal peat deposits. This massive storage, however, seems to become more and more unstable as climate change gains pace. Apart from accumulating carbon thanks to plant photosynthesis, natural wetlands affect the global greenhouse gas balance by emitting methane (CH4). They are the largest single CH4 source into the atmosphere. Processes leading to CH4 emissions from wetlands are generally known, but their relative contributions, trends and controls often remain obscure. With the prospects of drastic global changes becoming realistic, it is of capital importance to forecast the dynamics of peatland carbon storage and CH4 emissions in this context. We study peatland - atmosphere interactions with a range of measurements and modelling approaches, the key combination aimed at disentangling the complexity of those ecosystems.
We approach different aspects of the peatland - atmosphere interactions at the biggest South Finnish natural mire of Siikaneva. Two measurement stations are operating currently in the fen and bog areas of the wetland. Both have EC setups for measuring the turbulent fluxes of energy, CO2, H2O and CH4, and a set of meteorological and soil measurements. CH4 fluxes related to belowground processes (production, oxidation and transport) are explored with stable isotope labelling experiment and continuous real-time measurements of the natural abudance of belowground isotopes (see "MIso" project for more information). We closely interact with the University of Eastern Finland, who perform a range of ecological measurements, including e.g. vegetation sampling and monitoring and chamber measurements of the greenhouse gas fluxes.
In January 2013 an intensive measurement campaign was started in Nummela to study the GHG balance using eddy covariance flux measurement of heat, CO2, H2O and CH4, and a set of meteorological measurements.
West Siberia houses some of the vastest wetlands of the world, by scale comparable only with those of Canada. However, a large fraction of the Siberian wetland diversity remains unexplored due to remoteness of many areas and underdeveloped infrastructure. Measurements at the Mukhrino field station were initiated in 2015 jointly with the Yugra State University. The station equipment is similar to that in the Siikaneva stations.