Methane dynamics in vernal pools.
Climate change models predict precipitation patterns will shift to periods of long droughts with sparse, high intensity precipitation events in between. It is important to understand how these changes will affect wetlands, one of the largest sources of greenhouse gases. This study investigated the potential production of methane and carbon dioxide from temporary wetland bodies, known as vernal pools, in order to better understand how wetlands will respond to climate change. Our data suggests that vernal pools that undergo more cycles of wetting and drying have the potential to produce more methane and carbon dioxide than pools with stable hydrological conditions. Therefore, a change in wetland wet-dry cycles could further contribute to the positive feedback loop of warming temperatures and climate change through the release of more greenhouse gases. Future research should continue to investigate the crucial role wetland microbes play in climate change.
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FINAL THESIS DRAFT_Kuhn.pdf