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|Title:||Wood decomposition in Amazonian hydropower reservoirs: An additional source of greenhouse gases|
Pérez, Marcela Andrea P.
Filizola, Naziano Pantoja
Hydroelectric Power Plant
Petit Saut Reservoir
|metadata.dc.publisher.journal:||Journal of South American Earth Sciences|
|metadata.dc.relation.ispartof:||Volume 44, Pags. 104-107|
|Abstract:||Amazonian hydroelectric reservoirs produce abundant carbon dioxide and methane from large quantities of flooded biomass that decompose anaerobically underwater. Emissions are extreme the first years after impounding and progressively decrease with time. To date, only water-to-air fluxes have been considered in these estimates. Here, we investigate in two Amazonian reservoirs (Balbina and Petit Saut) the fate of above water standing dead trees, by combining a qualitative analysis of wood state and density through time and a quantitative analysis of the biomass initially flooded. Dead wood was much more decomposed in the Balbina reservoir 23 years after flooding than in the Petit Saut reservoir 10 years after flooding. Termites apparently played a major role in wood decomposition, occurring mainly above water, and resulting in a complete conversion of this carbon biomass into CO2 and CH4 at a timescale much shorter than reservoir operation. The analysis of pre-impounding wood biomass reveals that above-water decomposition in Amazonian reservoirs is a large, previously unrecognized source of carbon emissions to the atmosphere, representing 26-45% of the total reservoir flux integrated over 100 years. Accounting for both below- and above-water fluxes, we could estimate that each km2 of Amazonian forest converted to reservoir would emit over 140 Gg CO2-eq in 100 years. Hydropower plants in the Amazon should thus generate 0.25-0.4 MW h per km2 flooded area to produce lower greenhouse gas emissions than gas power plants. They also have the disadvantage to emit most of their greenhouse gases the earliest years of operation. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.|
|Appears in Collections:||Artigos|
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