Determining Methane Uptake in Tropical Agroforestry Soils: A Case for Inclusion in REDD+

Authors: Callie Mills*, University of South Florida St. Petersburg, Richard Mbatu, University of South Florida, Yasin Elshorbany, University of South Florida
Topics: Physical Geography, Environmental Science, Coupled Human and Natural Systems
Keywords: REDD+, methane, agroforestry, policy, greenhouse gases, agriculture
Session Type: Virtual Poster
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM
Room: Virtual 51
Presentation File: Download

This study, focused on measurement of possible seasonal methane fluxes in tropical agroforestry soils, assesses the potential for agroforestry as a methane sink within the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) program. The role of methane in the REDD+ program is currently uncertain. Air samples and environmental variables from the soil-atmosphere interface of the Maya Mountain Research Farm in southern Belize were collected three times per week during two key months, April and July, for seasonal rainfall. Samples were analyzed using the static chamber and gas chromatography method. Average methane flux for the dry season was -0.01 mg CH4 m-2 h-1 and -0.03 mg CH4 m-2 h-1 for the wet season, with negative values indicative of uptake. There was a negative correlation between methane flux and rainfall in the dry season and a positive correlation in the wet season, indicating methane uptake occurred during the dry season. Our results show that methane fluxes from agroforestry soils are not significant (at 95% confidence limit) in Belize. Given the large discrepancy in literature regarding methane uptake from agroforestry soils, further investigation of methane fluxes from agroforestry soils is warranted. Understanding methane fluxes in tropical agroforestry soils is of paramount importance for agroforestry utilization as a tool for climate change mitigation through the REDD+ program.

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