Inland Waters, Vol 6, No 4 (2016)

Consequences of gas flux model choice on the interpretation of metabolic balance across 15 lakes

Hilary Dugan, R. Iestyn Woolway, Arianto Santoso, Jessica Corman, Aline Jaimes, Emily Nodine, Vijay Patil, Jacob Zwart, Jennifer Brentrup, Amy Hetherington, Samantha Oliver, Jordan Read, Kirsten Winters, Paul Hanson, Emily Read, Luke Winslow, Kathleen Weathers
Pages: 581-592


Ecosystem metabolism and the contribution of carbon dioxide from lakes to the atmosphere can be estimated from free-water gas measurements through the use of mass balance models, which rely on a gas transfer coefficient (k) to model gas exchange with the atmosphere. Theoretical and empirically based models of k range in complexity from wind-driven power functions to complex surface renewal models; however, model choice is rarely considered in most studies of lake metabolism. This study used high-frequency data from 15 lakes provided by the Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON) to study how model choice of k influenced estimates of lake metabolism and gas exchange with the atmosphere. We tested 6 models of k on lakes chosen to span broad gradients in surface area and trophic states; a metabolism model was then fit to all 6 outputs of k data. We found that hourly values for k were substantially different between models and, at an annual scale, resulted in significantly different estimates of lake metabolism and gas exchange with the atmosphere.
Full Text: Full text PDF