Inland Waters, Vol 5, No 2 (2015)

Inter- and intra-annual variations of pCO2 and pO2 in a freshwater subtropical coastal lake

Maria Luiza Fontes, Humberto Marotta, Sally MacIntyre, Mauricio Mello Petrucio
Pages: 107-116


Inland waters emit significant amounts of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, but tropical and subtropical lakes are underrepresented in current assessments. Here we present results of a 6-year study of the dynamics of surface partial pressures of carbon dioxide and oxygen (pCO2 and pO2) in a subtropical lake, Lake Peri, Brazil, to determine how temperature, rainfall, and wind moderate surface concentrations. Both pCO2 and pO2 tended to increase during the transitions between seasons when rainfall increased, with pCO2 averaging 2.5–3-fold higher than atmospheric values. Occasionally during autumn/winter, pCO2 similarly increased and pO2 decreased. We infer that the increases in both gases during the transition periods resulted from increasing inputs of allochthonous material into the lake. Those in winter resulted from near-bottom intrusions that intermittently reach the depth of measurement. In autumn/winter, pCO2 was 3-fold higher (average 1700 µatm) compared to spring/summer (550 µatm), whereas changes in pO2 did not have a clear seasonal pattern. Overall median net CO2 evasion was 11 mg C m-2 d-1. Variability in the extent of rainfall and the associated high intra- and inter-annual variability in CO2 and CO2 emissions are in part controlled by atmospheric processes related to the South American Monsoon System and to El Niño Southern Oscillation cycles.