Navigation Links
Complex carbon picture clearer
Date:12/11/2007

Study shows that more plant litter resulting from higher CO2 could boost the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere

A new study looks at a poorly understood process with potentially critical consequences for climate change. Emma Sayer, postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Jennifer Powers, an assistant professor in the University of Minnesotas Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, and Edmund Tanner, researcher at Cambridge University, published the findings of their long-term study on the effects of increased plant litter on soil carbon and nutrient cycling in the December 12 edition of PLoS ONE.

As CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere continue to rise, increases in plant productivity and litterfall are likely. The study considers the impact of an increase in organic matter on the ground on processes belowground. Results suggest that the balance of carbon stored in the soils (thought to be a long-term sink for carbon) can be changed with the addition of fresh leaf litter. The capacity of soils to store carbon might then diminish if global environmental changes such as CO2 increases and nitrogen deposition boost plant productivity.

Over the course of the 5-year experiment, the fluxes of carbon dioxide from the soil surface to the atmosphere in a tropical forest in Panama were measured. These CO2 fluxes (also called soil respiration) come from two main sources: the respiration of roots and the decomposition of litter and soil organic matter by fungi, bacteria, and other microorganisms.

To our surprise, the litter addition plots showed substantially higher amounts of soil respiration than would be predicted by the increase in leaf litter, said Powers. We suspect that this extra CO2 in the litter addition plots was coming from the decomposition of old soil organic matter, which was stimulated by adding large quantities of fresh leaf litter. This effect, the stimulation of the decomposition of old, stored organic carbon by the addition of fresh organic matter is known as the priming effect. There are important links between above-and belowground processes and we need to understand these links in order to assess the impact of global change and human disturbance on natural ecosystems said Sayer.

The study has implications for policy makers considering new approaches to capping carbon emissions such as carbon sequestration. Our results suggest unanticipated feedbacks to the carbon cycle that must be taken into account when estimating the potential for carbon sequestration in the soil, Powers said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Emma Sayer
507-212-1916
Public Library of Science
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Unravelling new complexity in the genome
2. DNA replication behavior in complex organisms may foreshadow leaps in genomic discoveries
3. Upper Midwest forests are losing diversity, complexity, ISU study finds
4. Rebuilding the evolutionary history of HIV-1 unravels a complex loop
5. New study warns limited carbon market puts 20 percent of tropical forest at risk
6. Mice use specialized neurons to detect carbon dioxide in the air
7. Researchers find new taste in fruit flies: carbonated water
8. Studying component parts of living cells with carbon nanotube cellular probes
9. New membrane strips carbon dioxide from natural gas faster and better
10. Green alga genome project catalogs carbon capture machinery
11. Hungry microbes share out the carbon in the roots of plants
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/11/2017)... 2017 No two people are believed ... New York University Tandon School of Engineering and ... that partial similarities between prints are common enough ... phones and other electronic devices can be more ... lies in the fact that fingerprint-based authentication systems ...
(Date:4/6/2017)... -- Forecasts by Product Type (EAC), Biometrics, ... (Transportation & Logistics, Government & Public Sector, Utilities / ... Facility, Nuclear Power), Industrial, Retail, Business Organisation (BFSI), Hospitality ... looking for a definitive report on the $27.9bn Access ... ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 5, 2017 Today HYPR ... that the server component of the HYPR platform is ... providing the end-to-end security architecture that empowers biometric authentication ... HYPR has already secured over 15 million users across ... manufacturers of connected home product suites and physical access ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/24/2017)...  Dante Labs announced today the offer of whole genome ... While American individuals have been able to access WGS at ... WGS below EUR 1,000. The sequencing includes bioinformatics ... to make informed decisions about disease monitoring, prevention, nutrition, exercise, ... ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... April 21, 2017 , ... The University of Connecticut, ... funding to three startups through the UConn Innovation Fund. The $1.5 million UConn ... affiliated with UConn. , The UConn Innovation Fund provides investments of up to ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... , ... Frederick Innovative Technology Center, Inc. (FITCI), a business ... start-ups, is hosting “Celebration Friday” (a festive gathering highlighting client success stories) and ... networking at 3:30 p.m. at FITCI’s 4539 Metropolitan Court location, off English Muffin ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... TX; Ultrecht, Netherlands (PRWEB) , ... April 20, ... ... Qafis Biometrics Technology today announced their strategic partnership to offer a full ... digital identity authentication, a comprehensive suite of biometric products and the ground-breaking proactive ...
Breaking Biology Technology: