Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
College of Science and Mathematics
Marine Biology and Coastal Sciences
Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair
Meiyin S. Wu
Paul A. X. Bologna
William H. Thomas
Methane (CH4) is a highly potent greenhouse gas (GHG) found to contribute to the global problem of atmospheric warming. Wetlands have been documented to possess the ability to impact the earth’s CH4 cycle yet are in a state of global depletion. CH4 flux rates in wetlands have been found to vary within wetlands based on variability in environmental factors. There is a lack o f consensus on the effects of water depth as well as dominant plant type on CH4 flux rates. In this study on Lake Wapalanne, Sussex County, NJ, submerged areas were found to produce CH4 while non-inundated, saturated areas harboring emergent vegetation were found to consume CH4. Shallow submerged areas produced significantly more CH4 (0.0114 mg CH4-C m-2 hr-1) than deeper submerged areas (0.0011 mg CH4-C m-2 hr-1) (p<0.0001) than areas dominated by either Typha latifolia (-0.0805 mg CH4-C m-2 hr-1) or Carex spp. (-0.0334 mg CH4-C m-2 hr-1). However, the effects of dominant emergent vegetation on flux lacked statistical significance. Findings from this study suggest the use of emergent macrophytes during future wetland creation promote oxygenation o f sediments and subsequent CH4 oxidation. Depth maximization of future wetland construction process is also suggested in order to minimize CH4 emission rates.
Finocchiaro, Marco T., "Effects of Dominant Plant Species and Water Depth on Methane Fluxes in a Freshwater Wetland" (2014). Theses, Dissertations and Culminating Projects. 410.