Effects of episodic flooding on the net ecosystem CO2 exchange of a supratidal wetland in the Yellow River Delta

Guangxuan Han, Xiaojing Chu, Qinghui Xing, Dejun Li, Junbao Yu, Yiqi Luo, Guangmei Wang, Peili Mao, Rashad Rafique

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


Episodic flooding due to intense rainfall events is characteristic in many wetlands, which may modify wetland-atmosphere exchange of CO2. However, the degree to which episodic flooding affects net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) is poorly documented in supratidal wetlands of coastal zone, where rainfall-driven episodic flooding often occurs. To address this issue, the ecosystem CO2 fluxes were continuously measured using the eddy covariance technique for 4 years (2010-2013) in a supratidal wetland in the Yellow River Delta. Our results showed that over the growing season, the daily average uptake in the supratidal wetland was -1.4, -1.3, -1.0, and -1.3 g C m-2 d-1 for 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013, respectively. On the annual scale, the supratidal wetland functioned as a strong sink for atmospheric CO2, with the annual NEE of -223, -164, and -247 g C m-2 yr-1 for 2011, 2012, and 2013, respectively. The mean diurnal pattern of NEE exhibited a smaller range of variation before episodic flooding than after it. Episodic flooding reduced the average daytime net CO2 uptake and the maximum rates of photosynthesis. In addition, flooding clearly suppressed the nighttime CO2 release from the wetland but increased its temperature sensitivity. Therefore, effects of episodic flooding on the direction and magnitude of NEE should be considered when predicting the ecosystem responses to future climate change in supratidal wetlands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1506-1520
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • eddy covariance
  • episodic flooding
  • light and temperature responses
  • net ecosystem CO exchange
  • seasonal and interannual variability
  • supratidal wetland

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science
  • Forestry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Palaeontology
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology


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