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Spatial and seasonal dynamics of the methane cycle in a tropical coastal lagoon and its tributary river

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  • T. Aguirrezabala-Cámpano
  • R. Gonzalez-Valencia
  • V. García-Pérez
  • R. Torres-Alvarado
  • S.R. Pangala
  • F. Thalasso
Article number154074
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>15/06/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>Science of the Total Environment
Number of pages13
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date26/02/22
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Coastal aquatic ecosystems such as estuaries and coastal lagoons are important atmospheric methane sources that must be better constrained. This work presents a detailed characterization of the methane cycle in a tropical coastal lagoon (La Mancha, Veracruz, Mexico) and its tributary river over three distinct seasons, along a transect from the river to the sea connection. In addition to several physicochemical parameters, the dissolved methane, carbon dioxide, and oxygen concentrations were measured with high resolution in the sediments and the water column, combined with production/uptake rates. Methane and carbon dioxide cycles were further constrained by determining atmospheric flux over the entire river and lagoon sections. The results indicate that La Mancha is a highly contrasted ecosystem. The river section is characterized by a strong pycnocline, relatively high methane concentration, and active methanogenesis and methanotrophy, discharging into a relatively homogeneous lagoon section where the methane and carbon cycles are less active. Overall, both the river and the lagoon were a net source of methane and carbon dioxide, with an annual emission of 2.9 metric tons of methane and 2757 metric tons of carbon dioxide. The spatial structure of the main components of the methane, carbon dioxide, and oxygen cycles was established, and it was observed that depthwise heterogeneities predominated in the river section. In contrast, lengthwise heterogeneities dominated in the lagoon section.