EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Monitoring greenhouse gas fluxes in an array of Dutch natural peatlands and fen meadows using mobile Eddy covariance. 

Jan Biermann1, Hanne Berghuis1, Reinder Nouta3, Niek Bosma3, Paul Vertegaal4, Wiebe Borren4, Jeroen Veraart1, Wietse Franssen1, Wilma Jans2, Ronald Hutjes1, and Bart Kruijt1
Jan Biermann et al.
  • 1Wageningen UR, Water Systems and Global Change, 6700AA Wageningen, Netherlands (
  • 2Wageningen Environmental Research, 6708PB Wageningen, Netherlands
  • 3Wetterskip Fryslân, 8914BZ Leeuwarden, Netherlands
  • 4Vereniging Natuurmonumenten, 3800CD Amersfoort, Netherlands

Natural peatlands and fen meadows have the potential to sequester CO2 from the atmosphere but can also 
form a major source of CH4 emissions. However, their flux dynamics, showing the diurnal and annual 
variation of GHG exchange depend on site characteristics such as soil/peat type, water dynamics and
management practices. It is thus essential, that carbon fluxes of different locations are individually 
quantified in order to assess if, from a climate perspective, CO2 uptake outweighs CH4 emission for these 

We deployed five movable eddy covariance measurement stations to chart dynamics of CO2 and CH4 fluxes 
in an array of peat soil sites. The fluxes are measured directly, alternating every few weeks between the 
different sites. One aim of the study is to examine the feasibility of these moveable stations, as they may 
reduce the relatively high investment costs of EC measurements per site. We show that moveable stations 
are feasible from a practical point of view, as the stations can be relocated relatively easily within the time 
span of a few hour.

The resulting carbon budgets provide insight into an array of site specific GHG exchanges over typically 
small temporal and spatial scales. Meteorological observations are permanently performed at all selected 
locations as well, along with other supportive measurements such as soil/water temperature, moisture and 
water level.

Since the measurement stations alternate between locations, robust gap filling methods are needed to 
obtain a complete picture of the variability of the flux dynamics over the entire year for each location. The 
main objective of this study is to identify most suitable and robust gap filling methods. As such
measurements from the permanent meteorological stations serve to force several gap-filling methods such 
as interpolation based on observed ecosystem responses, the look up table approach and more established 
methods. We also investigate in the use of more process-based empirical models as the gaps between 
measurement periods are longer. Results show that the mobile eddy covariance approach does allow
identification of significant differences in GHG flux between sites as well as meaningful aggregation to 
annual budgets.

Ultimately, enabling the monitoring at more locations than with static systems may serve as a basis for 
policy makers and land managers to shape nature conservation or agricultural practices that achieve a net 
mitigation of greenhouse warming potential.

How to cite: Biermann, J., Berghuis, H., Nouta, R., Bosma, N., Vertegaal, P., Borren, W., Veraart, J., Franssen, W., Jans, W., Hutjes, R., and Kruijt, B.: Monitoring greenhouse gas fluxes in an array of Dutch natural peatlands and fen meadows using mobile Eddy covariance. , EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-12090,, 2022.