HomeEarthTrees emit methane in wetland areas, even when they are dry

Trees emit methane in wetland areas, even when they are dry

University of Birmingham researchers say that the methane emitted from Amazon rainforest is vented into the atmosphere via tree root systems. This emission happens when the ground is not even flooded.

This research paper has been published in the journal named Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.

Researchers found out that trees growing on floodplains in the Amazon rainforest emit most of the methane than by soil and this occurs in both wet and dry conditions.

Methane is one of the most important greenhouse gases and most of our atmospheric methane is emitted from wetlands. Researchers have done a great deal of research to find out exactly how much methane is emitted in this way. The researchers found out that wetlands only emit methane when the land is completely flooded.

In some wetlands, where there are no trees, methane is consumed by the soil. But in wetland areas where there is tress, trees work as a transport system for methane. The tree transports it into the atmosphere via tree trunks.

Methane is generally produced in soil and water and in several meters below the ground level.

The findings of the new research have undermined the existing models of methane emissions in wetland areas like Amazon.

To test this theory, the researchers performed measurements in three particular spots on the floodplains of the central Amazon basin. Researchers have observed the trees in these three spots for four times in a year to check its response to the changing water levels throughout a year.

Methane emissions were measured by a portable greenhouse gas analyser. The researchers then calculated their findings in the Amazon basin.

The researchers found out from their calculation that nearly half of global tropical wetland methane emission is caused by trees.

Professor Vincent Gauci of University of Birmingham said that researchers now need to develop models and methods to consider the vital role that trees plays in methane emission.


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