Carole Helfter


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Warming response of peatland CO2 sink is sensitive to seasonality in warming trends
Manuel Helbig, T. Živković, Pavel Alekseychik, Mika Aurela, Tarek S. El-Madany, Eugénie Euskirchen, Lawrence B. Flanagan, T. J. Griffis, Paul J. Hanson, J. Hattakka, Carole Helfter, Takashi Hirano, Elyn Humphreys, Gérard Kiely, Randall K. Kolka, Tuomas Laurila, Paul Leahy, Annalea Lohila, Ivan Mammarella, Mats Nilsson, А. В. Панов, Frans‐Jan W. Parmentier, Matthias Peichl, Janne Rinne, Daniel T. Roman, Oliver Sonnentag, Eeva‐Stiina Tuittila, Masahito Ueyama, Timo Vesala, Patrik Vestin, Simon Weldon, Per Weslien, Sönke Zaehle
Nature Climate Change, Volume 12, Issue 8

Peatlands have acted as net CO2 sinks over millennia, exerting a global climate cooling effect. Rapid warming at northern latitudes, where peatlands are abundant, can disturb their CO2 sink function. Here we show that sensitivity of peatland net CO2 exchange to warming changes in sign and magnitude across seasons, resulting in complex net CO2 sink responses. We use multiannual net CO2 exchange observations from 20 northern peatlands to show that warmer early summers are linked to increased net CO2 uptake, while warmer late summers lead to decreased net CO2 uptake. Thus, net CO2 sinks of peatlands in regions experiencing early summer warming, such as central Siberia, are more likely to persist under warmer climate conditions than are those in other regions. Our results will be useful to improve the design of future warming experiments and to better interpret large-scale trends in peatland net CO2 uptake over the coming few decades.


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FLUXNET-CH<sub>4</sub>: a global, multi-ecosystem dataset and analysis of methane seasonality from freshwater wetlands
Kyle Delwiche, Sara Knox, Avni Malhotra, Etienne Fluet‐Chouinard, Gavin McNicol, Sarah Féron, Zutao Ouyang, Dario Papale, Carlo Trotta, E. Canfora, You Wei Cheah, Danielle Christianson, Ma. Carmelita R. Alberto, Pavel Alekseychik, Mika Aurela, Dennis Baldocchi, Sheel Bansal, David P. Billesbach, Gil Bohrer, Rosvel Bracho, Nina Buchmann, David I. Campbell, Gerardo Celis, Jiquan Chen, Weinan Chen, Housen Chu, Higo J. Dalmagro, Sigrid Dengel, Ankur R. Desai, Matteo Detto, A. J. Dolman, Elke Eichelmann, Eugénie Euskirchen, D. Famulari, Kathrin Fuchs, Mathias Goeckede, Sébastien Gogo, Mangaliso J. Gondwe, Jordan P. Goodrich, Pia Gottschalk, Scott L. Graham, Martin Heimann, Manuel Helbig, Carole Helfter, Kyle S. Hemes, Takashi Hirano, David Y. Hollinger, Lukas Hörtnagl, Hiroyasu Iwata, Adrien Jacotot, Gerald Jurasinski, Minseok Kang, Kuno Kasak, John S. King, Janina Klatt, Franziska Koebsch, Ken W. Krauss, Derrick Y.F. Lai, Annalea Lohila, Ivan Mammarella, Luca Belelli Marchesini, Giovanni Manca, Jaclyn Hatala Matthes, Trofim C. Maximov, Lutz Merbold, Bhaskar Mitra, Timothy H. Morin, Eiko Nemitz, Mats Nilsson, Shuli Niu, Walter C. Oechel, Patricia Y. Oikawa, Kaori Ono, Matthias Peichl, Olli Peltola, M. L. Reba, Andrew D. Richardson, William J. Riley, Benjamin R. K. Runkle, Youngryel Ryu, Torsten Sachs, Ayaka Sakabe, Camilo Rey‐Sánchez, Edward A. G. Schuur, Karina V. R. Schäfer, Oliver Sonnentag, Jed P. Sparks, Ellen Stuart-Haëntjens, Cove Sturtevant, Ryan C. Sullivan, Daphne Szutu, Jonathan E. Thom, M. S. Torn, Eeva‐Stiina Tuittila, J. Turner, Masahito Ueyama, Alex Valach, Rodrigo Vargas, Andrej Varlagin, Alma Vázquez‐Lule, Joseph Verfaillie, Timo Vesala, George L. Vourlitis, Eric J. Ward, Christian Wille, Georg Wohlfahrt, Guan Xhuan Wong, Zhen Zhang, Donatella Zona, Lisamarie Windham‐Myers, Benjamin Poulter, Robert B. Jackson
Earth System Science Data, Volume 13, Issue 7

Abstract. Methane (CH4) emissions from natural landscapes constitute roughly half of global CH4 contributions to the atmosphere, yet large uncertainties remain in the absolute magnitude and the seasonality of emission quantities and drivers. Eddy covariance (EC) measurements of CH4 flux are ideal for constraining ecosystem-scale CH4 emissions due to quasi-continuous and high-temporal-resolution CH4 flux measurements, coincident carbon dioxide, water, and energy flux measurements, lack of ecosystem disturbance, and increased availability of datasets over the last decade. Here, we (1) describe the newly published dataset, FLUXNET-CH4 Version 1.0, the first open-source global dataset of CH4 EC measurements (available at, last access: 7 April 2021). FLUXNET-CH4 includes half-hourly and daily gap-filled and non-gap-filled aggregated CH4 fluxes and meteorological data from 79 sites globally: 42 freshwater wetlands, 6 brackish and saline wetlands, 7 formerly drained ecosystems, 7 rice paddy sites, 2 lakes, and 15 uplands. Then, we (2) evaluate FLUXNET-CH4 representativeness for freshwater wetland coverage globally because the majority of sites in FLUXNET-CH4 Version 1.0 are freshwater wetlands which are a substantial source of total atmospheric CH4 emissions; and (3) we provide the first global estimates of the seasonal variability and seasonality predictors of freshwater wetland CH4 fluxes. Our representativeness analysis suggests that the freshwater wetland sites in the dataset cover global wetland bioclimatic attributes (encompassing energy, moisture, and vegetation-related parameters) in arctic, boreal, and temperate regions but only sparsely cover humid tropical regions. Seasonality metrics of wetland CH4 emissions vary considerably across latitudinal bands. In freshwater wetlands (except those between 20∘ S to 20∘ N) the spring onset of elevated CH4 emissions starts 3 d earlier, and the CH4 emission season lasts 4 d longer, for each degree Celsius increase in mean annual air temperature. On average, the spring onset of increasing CH4 emissions lags behind soil warming by 1 month, with very few sites experiencing increased CH4 emissions prior to the onset of soil warming. In contrast, roughly half of these sites experience the spring onset of rising CH4 emissions prior to the spring increase in gross primary productivity (GPP). The timing of peak summer CH4 emissions does not correlate with the timing for either peak summer temperature or peak GPP. Our results provide seasonality parameters for CH4 modeling and highlight seasonality metrics that cannot be predicted by temperature or GPP (i.e., seasonality of CH4 peak). FLUXNET-CH4 is a powerful new resource for diagnosing and understanding the role of terrestrial ecosystems and climate drivers in the global CH4 cycle, and future additions of sites in tropical ecosystems and site years of data collection will provide added value to this database. All seasonality parameters are available at (Delwiche et al., 2021). Additionally, raw FLUXNET-CH4 data used to extract seasonality parameters can be downloaded from (last access: 7 April 2021), and a complete list of the 79 individual site data DOIs is provided in Table 2 of this paper.

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Gap-filling eddy covariance methane fluxes: Comparison of machine learning model predictions and uncertainties at FLUXNET-CH4 wetlands
Jeremy Irvin, Sharon Zhou, Gavin McNicol, Fred Lu, Vincent Liu, Etienne Fluet‐Chouinard, Zutao Ouyang, Sara Knox, Antje Lucas-Moffat, Carlo Trotta, Dario Papale, Domenico Vitale, Ivan Mammarella, Pavel Alekseychik, Mika Aurela, Anand Avati, Dennis Baldocchi, Sheel Bansal, Gil Bohrer, David I. Campbell, Jiquan Chen, Housen Chu, Higo J. Dalmagro, Kyle Delwiche, Ankur R. Desai, Eugénie Euskirchen, Sarah Féron, Mathias Goeckede, Martin Heimann, Manuel Helbig, Carole Helfter, Kyle S. Hemes, Takashi Hirano, Hiroyasu Iwata, Gerald Jurasinski, Aram Kalhori, Andrew Kondrich, Derrick Y.F. Lai, Annalea Lohila, Avni Malhotra, Lutz Merbold, Bhaskar Mitra, Andrew Y. Ng, Mats Nilsson, Asko Noormets, Matthias Peichl, Camilo Rey‐Sánchez, Andrew D. Richardson, Benjamin R. K. Runkle, Karina V. R. Schäfer, Oliver Sonnentag, Ellen Stuart-Haëntjens, Cove Sturtevant, Masahito Ueyama, Alex Valach, Rodrigo Vargas, George L. Vourlitis, Eric J. Ward, Guan Xhuan Wong, Donatella Zona, Ma. Carmelita R. Alberto, David P. Billesbach, Gerardo Celis, A. J. Dolman, Thomas Friborg, Kathrin Fuchs, Sébastien Gogo, Mangaliso J. Gondwe, Jordan P. Goodrich, Pia Gottschalk, Lukas Hörtnagl, Adrien Jacotot, Franziska Koebsch, Kuno Kasak, Regine Maier, Timothy H. Morin, Eiko Nemitz, Walter C. Oechel, Patricia Y. Oikawa, Kaori Ono, Torsten Sachs, Ayaka Sakabe, Edward A. G. Schuur, Robert Shortt, Ryan C. Sullivan, Daphne Szutu, Eeva‐Stiina Tuittila, Andrej Varlagin, Joeseph G. Verfaillie, Christian Wille, Lisamarie Windham‐Myers, Benjamin Poulter, Robert B. Jackson
Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, Volume 308-309

• We evaluate methane flux gap-filling methods across 17 boreal-to-tropical wetlands • New methods for generating realistic artificial gaps and uncertainties are proposed • Decision tree algorithms perform slightly better than neural networks on average • Soil temperature and generic seasonality are the most important predictors • Open-source code is released for gap-filling steps and uncertainty evaluation Time series of wetland methane fluxes measured by eddy covariance require gap-filling to estimate daily, seasonal, and annual emissions. Gap-filling methane fluxes is challenging because of high variability and complex responses to multiple drivers. To date, there is no widely established gap-filling standard for wetland methane fluxes, with regards both to the best model algorithms and predictors. This study synthesizes results of different gap-filling methods systematically applied at 17 wetland sites spanning boreal to tropical regions and including all major wetland classes and two rice paddies. Procedures are proposed for: 1) creating realistic artificial gap scenarios, 2) training and evaluating gap-filling models without overstating performance, and 3) predicting half-hourly methane fluxes and annual emissions with realistic uncertainty estimates. Performance is compared between a conventional method (marginal distribution sampling) and four machine learning algorithms. The conventional method achieved similar median performance as the machine learning models but was worse than the best machine learning models and relatively insensitive to predictor choices. Of the machine learning models, decision tree algorithms performed the best in cross-validation experiments, even with a baseline predictor set, and artificial neural networks showed comparable performance when using all predictors. Soil temperature was frequently the most important predictor whilst water table depth was important at sites with substantial water table fluctuations, highlighting the value of data on wetland soil conditions. Raw gap-filling uncertainties from the machine learning models were underestimated and we propose a method to calibrate uncertainties to observations. The python code for model development, evaluation, and uncertainty estimation is publicly available. This study outlines a modular and robust machine learning workflow and makes recommendations for, and evaluates an improved baseline of, methane gap-filling models that can be implemented in multi-site syntheses or standardized products from regional and global flux networks (e.g., FLUXNET).


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Refining the role of phenology in regulating gross ecosystem productivity across European peatlands
Franziska Koebsch, Oliver Sonnentag, Järvi Järveoja, Mikko Peltoniemi, Pavel Alekseychik, Mika Aurela, Ali Arslan, Kerry J. Dinsmore, Damiano Gianelle, Carole Helfter, Marcin Jackowicz-Korczyński, Aino Korrensalo, Fraser Leith, Maiju Linkosalmi, Annalea Lohila, Magnus Lund, Martin Maddison, Ivan Mammarella, Ülo Mander, Kari Minkkinen, Amy Pickard, Johannes Wilhelmus Maria Pullens, Eeva‐Stiina Tuittila, Mats Nilsson, Matthias Peichl
Global Change Biology, Volume 26, Issue 2

The role of plant phenology as a regulator for gross ecosystem productivity (GEP) in peatlands is empirically not well constrained. This is because proxies to track vegetation development with daily coverage at the ecosystem scale have only recently become available and the lack of such data has hampered the disentangling of biotic and abiotic effects. This study aimed at unraveling the mechanisms that regulate the seasonal variation in GEP across a network of eight European peatlands. Therefore, we described phenology with canopy greenness derived from digital repeat photography and disentangled the effects of radiation, temperature and phenology on GEP with commonality analysis and structural equation modeling. The resulting relational network could not only delineate direct effects but also accounted for possible effect combinations such as interdependencies (mediation) and interactions (moderation). We found that peatland GEP was controlled by the same mechanisms across all sites: phenology constituted a key predictor for the seasonal variation in GEP and further acted as a distinct mediator for temperature and radiation effects on GEP. In particular, the effect of air temperature on GEP was fully mediated through phenology, implying that direct temperature effects representing the thermoregulation of photosynthesis were negligible. The tight coupling between temperature, phenology and GEP applied especially to high latitude and high altitude peatlands and during phenological transition phases. Our study highlights the importance of phenological effects when evaluating the future response of peatland GEP to climate change. Climate change will affect peatland GEP especially through changing temperature patterns during plant phenologically sensitive phases in high latitude and high altitude regions.