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:4/19/2016)... , UAE, April 20, 2016 ... implemented as a compact web-based "all-in-one" system solution for ... biometric fingerprint reader or the door interface with integration ... modern access control systems. The minimal dimensions of the ... readers into the building installations offer considerable freedom of ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... 15, 2016 Research and ... Biometrics Market 2016-2020,"  report to their offering.  , ... , ,The global gait biometrics market is expected ... the period 2016-2020. Gait analysis generates ... be used to compute factors that are not ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... April 13, 2016  IMPOWER physicians supporting Medicaid patients ... a new clinical standard in telehealth thanks to a ... the higi platform, IMPOWER patients can routinely track key ... body mass index, and, when they opt in, share ... visit to a local retail location at no cost. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... STACS DNA Inc., the ... at the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA as a Field Application ... team,” said Jocelyn Tremblay, President and COO of STACS DNA. “In further expanding our ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ... clinical trials of its complement C3 inhibitor, APL-2. ... multiple ascending dose studies designed to assess the ... subcutaneous injection in healthy adult volunteers. ... as a single dose (ranging from 45 to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Andrew D ... http://doi.org/10.17925/OHR.2016.12.01.22 Published recently in ... from touchONCOLOGY, Andrew D Zelenetz , discusses ... care is placing an increasing burden on healthcare ... therapies. With the patents on many biologics expiring, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ClinCapture, the only free validated ... will showcase its product’s latest features from June 26 to June 30, 2016 ... on Disrupting Clinical Trials in The Cloud during the conference. DIA (Drug ...
Breaking Biology Technology: