Scientists have discovered an unexpected source of greenhouse gases

Scientists have discovered an unexpected source of greenhouse gases

Researchers from the University of Delaware (USA) has shown that fallen trees in the forest are a source of methane — a greenhouse gas. Scientists presented the results of their work in the journal Ecosystems.

Methane is considered more dangerous greenhouse emission than carbon dioxide. To find potential sources of harmful emissions is an important task in the fight against global warming.

Previous studies have shown that forest soils consume methane at the expense of the content of soil bacteria. Now U.S. researchers have found that this gas could again be released into the atmosphere from the still fresh wood mortality.

Scientists have studied the forest County of Cecil (Maryland) area of over 120 thousand square meters. A team of researchers studied the trees, soil and tree mortality at different stages of decomposition trees. To measure levels of methane and carbon dioxide, the researchers used a spectral analyzer.

It turned out that recently fallen trunks of trees, like live trees emit methane. While the older wood waste, methane-consuming as it does the soil. When the tree falls, it continues to give off methane. Over time the fallen trunks to get the soil bacteria that consume methane and, thus, tree mortality from the source turns into a sink of this gas.

According to the researchers, ecosystem models must now take into account the methane emissions from the fallen trunks of trees. A team of scientists plans to continue their research in different forests.