Navigation Links
Diseased trees new source of climate gas
Date:8/7/2012

Diseased trees in forests may be a significant new source of methane that causes climate change, according to researchers at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies in Geophysical Research Letters.

Sixty trees sampled at Yale Myers Forest in northeastern Connecticut contained concentrations of methane that were as high as 80,000 times ambient levels. Normal air concentrations are less than 2 parts per million, but the Yale researchers found average levels of 15,000 parts per million inside trees.

"These are flammable concentrations," said Kristofer Covey, the study's lead author and a Ph.D. candidate at Yale. "Because the conditions thought to be driving this process are common throughout the world's forests, we believe we have found a globally significant new source of this potent greenhouse gas."

The estimated emission rate from an upland site at the Yale forest is roughly equivalent to burning 40 gallons of gasoline per hectare of forest per year. It also has a global warming potential equivalent to 18 percent of the carbon being sequestered by these forests, reducing their climate benefit of carbon sequestration by nearly one-fifth.

"If we extrapolate these findings to forests globally, the methane produced in trees represents 10 percent of global emissions," said Xuhui Lee, a co-author of the study and Sara Shallenberger Brown Professor of Meteorology at Yale. "We didn't know this pathway existed."

The trees producing methane are olderbetween 80 and 100 years oldand diseased. Although outwardly healthy, they are being hollowed out by a common fungal infection that slowly eats through the trunk, creating conditions favorable to methane-producing microorganisms called methanogens.

"No one until now has linked the idea that fungal rot of timber trees, a production problem in commercial forestry, might also present a problem for greenhouse gas and climate change mitigation," said Mark Bradford, a co-author and Assistant Professor of Terrestrial Ecosystem Ecology at F&ES.

Red maple, an abundant species in North America, had the highest methane concentrations, but other common species, including oak, birch and pine were also producers of the gas. The rate of methane emissions was 3.1 times higher in the summer, suggesting that higher temperatures may lead to increasing levels of forest methane that, in turn, lead to ever-higher temperatures.

"These findings suggest decay in living trees is important to biogeochemists and atmospheric scientists seeking to understand global greenhouse gas budgets and associated climate change," said Covey.


'/>"/>

Contact: David DeFusco
david.defusco@yale.edu
203-436-4842
Yale University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Protecting living fossil trees
2. Mesquite trees displacing Southwestern grasslands
3. Chimpanzee ground nests offer new insight into our ancestors descent from the trees
4. Handful of heavyweight trees per acre are forest champs
5. Beetle-fungus disease threatens crops and landscape trees in Southern California
6. The millennium-old olive trees of the Iberian Peninsula are younger than expected
7. Beetle-infested pine trees contribute more to air pollution and haze in forests
8. New report examines effects of trees killed by bark beetles on wildfire
9. Dying trees in Southwest set stage for erosion, water loss in Colorado River
10. Rodent robbers good for tropical trees
11. Have thieving rodents saved tropical trees?
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/31/2016)... PROVIDENCE, R.I. , March 31, 2016  Genomics ... leadership of founding CEO, Barrett Bready , M.D., ... addition, members of the original technical leadership team, including ... Vice President of Product Development, Steve Nurnberg and Vice ... have returned to the company. Dr. Bready ...
(Date:3/23/2016)... 2016 Einzigartige ... und Stimmerkennung mit Passwörtern     ... MESG ), ein führender Anbieter digitaler Kommunikationsdienste, ... SpeechPro zusammenarbeitet, um erstmals dessen Biometrietechnologie einzusetzen. ... Möglichkeit angeboten, im Rahmen mobiler Apps neben ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... PROVO and SANDY, Utah ... (NSO), which operates the highest sample volume laboratory in ... Tute Genomics and UNIConnect, leaders in clinical sequencing informatics ... the launch of a project to establish the informatics ... NSO has been contracted by the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... SILVER SPRING, Md. and RESEARCH ... -- United Therapeutics Corporation (NASDAQ: UTHR ) announced ... Co-Chief Executive Officer, of United Therapeutics will provide an ... Deutsche Bank 41 st Annual Health Care Conference. ... May 5, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time, and ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... April 27, 2016 , ... ... that Jon Clark has joined the company as an Expert Consultant. Mr. ... for industry collaborations and managing the development of small molecule monographs based on ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... ... PET (Positron Emission Tomography) and MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) in existing third-party MRI ... testing novel treatments in small animal subjects. Simultaneous PET/MRI imaging offers a solution ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... ... Global Stem Cells Group and the University of Santiago Biotechnology Lab have ... for potential stem cell protocol management for 2016 – 2020. , In 2015, ... establish a working agenda and foster initiatives to promote stem cell research and development ...
Breaking Biology Technology: