Atmospheric phosphine (PH(3)) fluxes from typical types of wetlands and PH(3) concentrations in adjacent atmospheric air were measured. The seasonal distribution of PH(3) in marsh and paddy fields were observed. Positive PH(3) fluxes are significantly related to high air temperature (summer season) and increased vegetation. It is concluded that vegetation speeds up the liberation of PH(3) from soils, while water coverage might function as a diffusion barrier from soils or sediments to the atmosphere. The concentrations of atmospheric PH(3) (ng m(-3)) above different wetlands decrease in the order of paddy fields (51.8 ± 3.1) > marsh (46.5 ± 20.5) > lake (37.0 ± 22.7) > coastal wetland (1.71 ± 0.73). Highest atmospheric PH(3) levels in marsh are found in summer. In paddy fields, atmospheric PH(3) concentrations in flourishing stages are higher than those in slowly growing stages.