Navigation Links
Clemson scientists: Kudzu can release soil carbon, accelerate global warming
Date:7/1/2014

CLEMSON, S.C. Clemson University scientists are shedding new light on how invasion by exotic plant species affects the ability of soil to store greenhouse gases. The research could have far-reaching implications for how we manage agricultural land and native ecosystems.

In a paper published in the scientific journal New Phytologist, plant ecologist Nishanth Tharayil and graduate student Mioko Tamura show that invasive plants can accelerate the greenhouse effect by releasing carbon stored in soil into the atmosphere.

Since soil stores more carbon than both the atmosphere and terrestrial vegetation combined, the repercussions for how we manage agricultural land and ecosystems to facilitate the storage of carbon could be dramatic.

In their study, Tamura and Tharayil examined the impact of encroachment of Japanese knotweed and kudzu, two of North America's most widespread invasive plants, on the soil carbon storage in native ecosystems.

They found that kudzu invasion released carbon that was stored in native soils, while the carbon amassed in soils invaded by knotweed is more prone to oxidation and is subsequently lost to the atmosphere.

The key seems to be how plant litter chemistry regulates the soil biological activity that facilitates the buildup, composition and stability of carbon-trapping organic matter in soil.

"Our findings highlight the capacity of invasive plants to effect climate change by destabilizing the carbon pool in soil and shows that invasive plants can have profound influence on our understanding to manage land in a way that mitigates carbon emissions," Tharayil said.

Tharayil estimates that kudzu invasion results in the release of 4.8 metric tons of carbon annually, equal to the amount of carbon stored in 11.8 million acres of U.S. forest.

This is the same amount of carbon emitted annually by consuming 540 million gallons of gasoline or burning 5.1 billion pounds of coal.

"Climate change is causing massive range expansion of many exotic and invasive plant species. As the climate warms, kudzu will continue to invade northern ecosystems, and its impact on carbon emissions will grow," Tharayil said.

The findings provide particular insight into agricultural land-management strategies and suggest that it is the chemistry of plant biomass added to soil rather than the total amount of biomass that has the greatest influence on the ability of soil to harbor stable carbon.

"Our study indicates that incorporating legumes such as beans, peas, soybeans, peanuts and lentils that have a higher proportion of nitrogen in its biomass can accelerate the storage of carbon in soils," Tharayil said.

Thrarayil's lab is following up this research to gain a deeper understanding of soil carbon storage and invasion.

Tharayil leads a laboratory and research team at Clemson that studies how the chemical and biological interactions that take place in the plant-soil interface shape plant communities. He is also the director of Clemson's Multi-User Analytical Laboratory, which provides researchers with access to highly specialized laboratory instruments.


'/>"/>

Contact: Nishanth Tharayil
ntharay@clemson.edu
864-656-4453
Clemson University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Clemson, Greenwood Genetic Center research into autism, cancer funded by Self Healthcare
2. Clemson researchers help track mysterious, endangered little devil
3. White House honors Clemson professor as Champion of Change for solar deployment
4. Clemson researcher touts surgical safety checklist to save lives
5. Clemson professor receives Menzie Environmental Education Award
6. Clemson research finds chickens offer clues to human birth defects
7. Grant supports Clemson study of coastal biodiversity
8. Clemson hosting biomaterials symposium
9. Clemson hosting scientists who study devastating diseases
10. Clemson University study points to possible treatment for brain disorders
11. Clemson researchers: Different forage affects beef cattle weight, taste
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/29/2016)... 29, 2016   Neurotechnology , a ... recognition technologies, today released FingerCell 3.0, a ... solutions that run on low-power, low-memory microcontrollers. ... less than 128KB of memory, enabling it ... have limited on-board resources, such as: mobile ...
(Date:11/22/2016)... Minn. , Nov. 22, 2016   MedNet ... supports the entire spectrum of clinical research, is pleased ... Medical LiveWire Healthcare and Life Sciences Awards ... award caps off an unprecedented year of recognition and ... trials for over 15 years. iMedNet ...
(Date:11/16/2016)... 2016 Sensory Inc ., a ... for consumer electronics, and VeriTran , a ... industry, today announced a global partnership that will ... authenticate users of mobile banking and mobile payments ... software which requires no specialized biometric scanners, yet ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... N.J. , Dec. 8, 2016 Soligenix, ... biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing products to ... need, announced today that it will be hosting an ... am ET on the origins of innate defense regulators ... a review of oral mucositis and the recently announced ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , Dec. 8, 2016 Eutilex Co. Ltd. ... KRW (US $18.9M) Series A financing. This financing round ... Tech Venture and SNU Bio Angel. This new funding ... billion KRW (US $27.7M) since its founding in 2015. ... bolster the development and commercialization of its immuno-oncology programs, ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... , ... December 07, 2016 , ... ... its phase I/II dose escalation and expansion clinical trial for its lead drug ... Austria. The purpose of the trial was to determine the safety, antitumor activity, ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... Dec. 7, 2016 Neogen Corporation (NASDAQ: ... Dan Kephart as its chief science officer ... assume his responsibilities at Neogen effective Jan. 1. ... for the agribusiness unit of Thermo Fisher Scientific, as ... Life Technologies. His extensive industry experience also includes the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: