Navigation Links
Corralling the carbon cycle
Date:11/13/2008

Stanford, CAScientists may have overcome a major hurdle to calculating how much carbon dioxide (CO2) is absorbed and released by plants, vital information for understanding how the biosphere responds to stress and for determining the amount of carbon that can be safely emitted by human activities. The problem is that ecosystems simultaneously take up and release CO2. The key finding is that the compound carbonyl sulfide, which plants consume in tandem with CO2, can be used to quantify gas flow into the plants during photosynthesis. The research is published in the November 14, issue of Science.

"In photosynthesis, plants 'breath' in carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and, with sunlight energy, convert it and water into food and oxygen, which they then 'exhale,'" explained co-author Joe Berry from the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology. "In ecosystems, plants and other organisms respire producing carbon dioxide. We can measure the net change in CO2, but we do not have an accurate way to measure how much is going in or out and how this is affected by climate. Understanding this photosynthesis-climate feedback riddle is key to understanding how climate change may affect the natural processes that are a sink for human-made carbon emissions."

Previous laboratory research showed that carbonyl sulfide is taken up in step with photosynthesis. But unlike CO2, there is no emission of carbonyl sulfide from plants.

The researchers compared atmospheric measurements of carbonyl sulfide over North American during the growing season with two simulations of an atmospheric transport model. The airborne observations, from the Intercontinental Chemical Transport Experiment-North America, also measured CO2. They combined that data with results from laboratory experiments that looked at gas exchange at the leaf level.

"We've always looked at the total change in CO2, but now we can look for the influence of photosynthesis on this total change," remarked lead author Elliott Campbell a former Carnegie postdoctoral researcher, currently at UC Merced. "Our approach, based on the relation of carbonyl sulfide to photosynthesis, gives us this unique ability."

With the new inputs, the researchers ran their simulations, which consider plant uptake, soil and ocean absorption, human-made emissions and how the gases flow through these systems. The simulations showed that the magnitude of the plant uptake was much larger than other sources and sinks at a continental scale during the growing season, which is important for using the compound to trace photosynthesis.

"The intriguing outcome of this study is that an inverse analysis of the atmospheric carbonyl sulfide measurements may be used to quantify the carbon released during plant respiration," remarked Berry. "That key missing piece has been a thorn in the side of carbon-cycle research for years."


'/>"/>

Contact: Joe Berry
joeberry@GlobalEcology.stanford.edu
650-462-1047 x203
Carnegie Institution
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. New study warns limited carbon market puts 20 percent of tropical forest at risk
2. Mice use specialized neurons to detect carbon dioxide in the air
3. Researchers find new taste in fruit flies: carbonated water
4. Studying component parts of living cells with carbon nanotube cellular probes
5. New membrane strips carbon dioxide from natural gas faster and better
6. Green alga genome project catalogs carbon capture machinery
7. Hungry microbes share out the carbon in the roots of plants
8. Decline in uptake of carbon emissions confirmed
9. Study reveals that nitrogen fertilizers deplete soil organic carbon
10. US fires release large amounts of carbon dioxide
11. Wildfire drives carbon levels in northern forests
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/23/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... to 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global Vehicle Anti-Theft System Market ... the next decade to reach approximately $14.21 billion by 2025. ... for all the given segments on global as well as regional ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... -- PMD Healthcare announces the release of its new ... (WMS), a remote, real-time lung health monitoring and management ... a Medical Device, Digital Health, and Chronic Care Management ... solutions that empower people to improve their healthcare and ... the first ever personal spirometer, Spiro PD, which was ...
(Date:3/7/2017)... England , March 7, 2017 Brandwatch , ... chosen by The Prince,s Trust to uncover insights to ... across The Trust. The UK,s leading youth charity will ... social campaign results and get a better understanding of the topics ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/24/2017)... March 24, 2017 Agenus Inc. (NASDAQ: AGEN), ... antibodies and cancer vaccines, today announced participation at the ...  Annual William Blair and Maidstone Life Sciences conference "Cancer ... in New York, NY . Agenus ... 29 at 9:40 am: Robert B. Stein , ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... , Mar 23, 2017 Research and ... Global Markets" report to their offering. ... The Global Market ... Billion in 2016 at a CAGR of 8.9%, ... and non-energetic bioproducts into seven major product segments: bio-derived chemicals, ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... March 23, 2017  GlobeImmune, Inc. today announced it ... sale of 12,835,490 shares of its common stock to ... companies. In connection with the sale of its common stock, ... and issue to GlobeImmune 200,000 shares, an estimated $2.0 ... "We are pleased to enter into this strategic ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... 2017 Kineta, Inc., a biotechnology company ... in immuno-oncology, today announced the discovery and characterization ... that activate interferon response factor 3 (IRF3) via ... tumor regression in a murine colon carcinoma mouse ... complete tumor regression to initial drug treatment were ...
Breaking Biology Technology: