Investigation of Wetland Biogeochemical Similitudes and Scaling for Robust Predictions of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Carbon Sequestration Grant

Investigation of Wetland Biogeochemical Similitudes and Scaling for Robust Predictions of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Carbon Sequestration .


  • 1336911 (Abdul-Aziz). The objectives of this research are to (i) investigate and unravel similitudes (parametric reductions), spatiotemporal scaling patterns, and different environmental regimes of wetland greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and carbon sequestrations; and (ii) formulate spatiotemporally robust models for predicting wetland GHG emissions and carbon sequestration across different climatic, hydrologic, biological, ecological, and biogeochemical gradients. A fundamental hypothesis of wetland GHG emissions and carbon sequestration following distinct biogeochemical similitudes and robust scaling relationships will be tested by conducting dimensional analysis and empirical modeling, which has successfully been applied in fluid mechanics, hydraulic engineering, and stream biogeochemistry/ecology. Robustness of the scaling relationships will first be determined by deriving analytical, truly dynamic sensitivity coefficients and uncertainty measures and quantifying them with field data. Scaling robustness will also be evaluated by comparing scaling parameters (coefficients and exponents) estimated with data from different seasons and locations representing a gradient of hydro-climatic, biogeochemical, and ecological processes. This research primarily leverages the PI's field data collections for major wetland GHGs (CO2, CH4, and N2O) and environmental parameters, model developments, and knowledge formation underway in a collaborative project funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). It also utilizes wetland biogeochemistry and GHG flux data collected by other collaborators through chamber-based field campaigns across the U.S. East Coast. The research targets to generate a fundamental body of knowledge and insights into the wetland biogeochemical emergence (similarity) patterns, identifying different environmental regimes and associated transition thresholds of GHG emissions and carbon sequestrations. Modeling of wetland GHG emissions has been an extremely challenging undertaking. Available models are mostly mechanistic and site-specific in nature, often failing to provide predictions that are relatively robust in time and space. To address this challenge, wetland biogeochemical similitudes and scaling laws will be investigated by employing analytical and empirical methods successfully applied in other branches of earth sciences and engineering. Improved understanding of similitudes and scaling is expected to lead to robust, parsimonious modeling and predictions of GHG emissions and carbon sequestration from diverse wetland ecosystems under a changing climate, sea level, and land use. The research on biogeochemical similitudes and scaling is anticipated to provide new insights into overall ecosystem carbon dynamics. The idea is potentially applicable to identify, understand, and predict robust patterns of carbon sequestration and GHG emissions from the terrestrial and marine ecosystems. The research should aid carbon management in wetland ecosystems around the world by unraveling fundamental scientific information and providing scale-independent engineering tools. Research outcomes will be broadly disseminated through peer-reviewed publications, presentations, workshops, reports, public meetings, open media (e.g., YouTube); and transferred to the coastal decision makers by leveraging the PI's current NOAA collaborative project-team of wetland scientists, engineers, economists, reserve managers, stakeholders, and NGOs. The research findings will be incorporated into education by designing inductive learning-based graduate and undergraduate courses at FIU (a large minority institution with around 59% Hispanic/Latino and 13% African-American students) and involving high school teachers and students. The research provides complementary funding for a current doctoral student at FIU and a potential undergraduate summer intern from the minority students.

date/time interval

  • September 1, 2013 - August 31, 2016

sponsor award ID

  • 1336911