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https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-317
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-317
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  30 Oct 2020

30 Oct 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal BG.

The water column of the Yamal tundra lakes as a microbial filter preventing methane emission

Alexander Savvichev1, Igor Rusanov1, Yury Dvornikov2,3, Vitaly Kadnikov1, Anna Kallistova1, Elena Veslopolova1, Antonina Chetverova4,5, Marina Leibman3,6, Pavel Sigalevich1, Nikolay Pimenov1, Nikolai Ravin1, and Artem Khomutov3,6 Alexander Savvichev et al.
  • 1Winogradsky Institute of Microbiology and Institute of Bioengineering, Research Centre of Biotechnology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 119071, Russia
  • 2Peoples' Friendship University of Russia, Moscow, 117198, Russia
  • 3Earth Cryosphere Institute of Tyumen Scientific Centre, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Tyumen, 625000, Russia
  • 4Institute of Earth Sciences, Saint-Petersburg State University, Saint-Petersburg, 199034, Russia
  • 5Otto-Schmidt Laboratory of Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, Saint-Petersburg, 199397, Russia
  • 6University of Tyumen, International Institute of Cryology and Cryosophy, Tyumen, 625003, Russia

Abstract. Microbiological, molecular ecological, biogeochemical, and isotope geochemical research was carried out in four lakes of the central part of the Yamal Peninsula in the area of continuous permafrost. Two of them were large (73.6 and 118.6 ha) and deep (up to 10.6 and 12.3 m) mature lakes embedded into all geomorphological levels of the peninsula, and two others were smaller (3.2 and 4.2 ha) shallow (up to 2.3 and 1.8 m) lakes which appeared as a result of thermokarst on constitutional (segregated) ground ice. We collected samples in August 2019. The Yamal tundra lakes exhibited high phytoplankton production (340–1200 mg C m−2 day−1) during the short summer season. Allochthonous and autochthonous, both particulate and dissolved organic matter was deposited to the bottom sediments, where methane production occurred due to anaerobic degradation (90–1000 µmol СН4 dm−3). The rates of hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis appeared to be higher in the sediments of deep lakes than in those of the shallow ones. In the sediments of all lakes, Methanoregula and Methanosaeta were predominant components of the archaeal methanogenic community. Methane oxidation (1.4–9.9 µmol dm−3 day−1) occurred in the upper sediment layers simultaneously with methanogenesis. Methylobacter tundripaludum (family Methylococcaceae) predominated in the methanotrophic community of the sediments and the water column. The activity of methanotrophic bacteria in deep mature lakes resulted in a decrease of the dissolved methane concentration in lake water from 0.8–4.1 µmol CH4 L−1 to 0.4 µmol CH4 L−1, while in shallow thermokarst lakes the geochemical effect of methanotrophs was much less pronounced. Thus, only small shallow Yamal lakes may contribute significantly to the overall diffusive methane emissions from the water surface during the warm summer season. The water column of large deep lakes on Yamal acts, however, as a microbial filter preventing methane emission into the atmosphere.

Alexander Savvichev et al.

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Short summary
Microbial processes of the methane cycle were studied in four lakes of the central part of the Yamal Peninsula in the area of continuous permafrost, two large, deep lakes and two small and shallow ones. It was found that only small shallow contributed significantly to the overall diffusive methane emissions from the water surface during the warm summer season. The water column of large deep lakes on Yamal acted as a microbial filter preventing methane emission into the atmosphere.
Microbial processes of the methane cycle were studied in four lakes of the central part of the...
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