Methane emissions from tree stems: a new frontier in the global carbon cycle

Josep Barba, Mark A Bradford, Paul E Brewer, Dan Bruhn, Kristofer Covey, Joost van Haren, J Patrick Megonigal, Teis Nørgaard Mikkelsen, Sunitha R Pangala, Mari Pihlatie, Ben Poulter, Albert Rivas-Ubach, Christopher W Schadt, Kazuhiko Terazawa, Daniel L Warner, Zhen Zhang, Rodrigo Vargas*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Tree stems from wetland, floodplain and upland forests can produce and emit methane (CH4 ). Tree CH4 stem emissions have high spatial and temporal variability, but there is no consensus on the biophysical mechanisms that drive stem CH4 production and emissions. Here, we summarize up to 30 opportunities and challenges for stem CH4 emissions research, which when addressed will improve estimates of magnitudes, patterns, drivers and trace the potential origin of CH4 emissions. We identified the need (i) for both long-term high frequency measurements of stem CH4 emissions to understand the fine scale processes, alongside rapid large-scale measurements designed to understand variability across individuals, species and ecosystems; (ii) to identify microorganisms and biogeochemical pathways associated with CH4 production; and (iii) to develop a mechanistic model including passive and active transport of CH4 from the soil-tree-atmosphere continuum. Addressing these challenges would help to constrain magnitudes and patterns of CH4 emissions, and would allow for the integration of pathways and mechanisms of CH4 production and emissions into process-based models. These advances will facilitate upscaling of stem CH4 emissions to the ecosystem level and quantify the role of stem CH4 emissions for the local-to-global CH4 budget. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNew Phytologist
Volume222
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)18-28
ISSN0028-646X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Methane emissions
  • CH4 transport
  • Tree stems
  • Upland forests
  • Wetland forests
  • Methanogenesis
  • Spatial variability
  • Temporal variability

Cite this

Barba, J., Bradford, M. A., Brewer, P. E., Bruhn, D., Covey, K., van Haren, J., ... Vargas, R. (2019). Methane emissions from tree stems: a new frontier in the global carbon cycle. New Phytologist, 222(1), 18-28. https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.15582
Barba, Josep ; Bradford, Mark A ; Brewer, Paul E ; Bruhn, Dan ; Covey, Kristofer ; van Haren, Joost ; Megonigal, J Patrick ; Mikkelsen, Teis Nørgaard ; Pangala, Sunitha R ; Pihlatie, Mari ; Poulter, Ben ; Rivas-Ubach, Albert ; Schadt, Christopher W ; Terazawa, Kazuhiko ; Warner, Daniel L ; Zhang, Zhen ; Vargas, Rodrigo. / Methane emissions from tree stems: a new frontier in the global carbon cycle. In: New Phytologist. 2019 ; Vol. 222, No. 1. pp. 18-28.
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title = "Methane emissions from tree stems: a new frontier in the global carbon cycle",
abstract = "Tree stems from wetland, floodplain and upland forests can produce and emit methane (CH4 ). Tree CH4 stem emissions have high spatial and temporal variability, but there is no consensus on the biophysical mechanisms that drive stem CH4 production and emissions. Here, we summarize up to 30 opportunities and challenges for stem CH4 emissions research, which when addressed will improve estimates of magnitudes, patterns, drivers and trace the potential origin of CH4 emissions. We identified the need (i) for both long-term high frequency measurements of stem CH4 emissions to understand the fine scale processes, alongside rapid large-scale measurements designed to understand variability across individuals, species and ecosystems; (ii) to identify microorganisms and biogeochemical pathways associated with CH4 production; and (iii) to develop a mechanistic model including passive and active transport of CH4 from the soil-tree-atmosphere continuum. Addressing these challenges would help to constrain magnitudes and patterns of CH4 emissions, and would allow for the integration of pathways and mechanisms of CH4 production and emissions into process-based models. These advances will facilitate upscaling of stem CH4 emissions to the ecosystem level and quantify the role of stem CH4 emissions for the local-to-global CH4 budget. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.",
keywords = "Methane emissions, CH4 transport, Tree stems, Upland forests, Wetland forests, Methanogenesis, Spatial variability, Temporal variability",
author = "Josep Barba and Bradford, {Mark A} and Brewer, {Paul E} and Dan Bruhn and Kristofer Covey and {van Haren}, Joost and Megonigal, {J Patrick} and Mikkelsen, {Teis N{\o}rgaard} and Pangala, {Sunitha R} and Mari Pihlatie and Ben Poulter and Albert Rivas-Ubach and Schadt, {Christopher W} and Kazuhiko Terazawa and Warner, {Daniel L} and Zhen Zhang and Rodrigo Vargas",
note = "This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.",
year = "2019",
doi = "10.1111/nph.15582",
language = "English",
volume = "222",
pages = "18--28",
journal = "New Phytologist",
issn = "0028-646X",
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Barba, J, Bradford, MA, Brewer, PE, Bruhn, D, Covey, K, van Haren, J, Megonigal, JP, Mikkelsen, TN, Pangala, SR, Pihlatie, M, Poulter, B, Rivas-Ubach, A, Schadt, CW, Terazawa, K, Warner, DL, Zhang, Z & Vargas, R 2019, 'Methane emissions from tree stems: a new frontier in the global carbon cycle', New Phytologist, vol. 222, no. 1, pp. 18-28. https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.15582

Methane emissions from tree stems: a new frontier in the global carbon cycle. / Barba, Josep; Bradford, Mark A; Brewer, Paul E; Bruhn, Dan; Covey, Kristofer; van Haren, Joost; Megonigal, J Patrick; Mikkelsen, Teis Nørgaard; Pangala, Sunitha R; Pihlatie, Mari; Poulter, Ben; Rivas-Ubach, Albert; Schadt, Christopher W; Terazawa, Kazuhiko; Warner, Daniel L; Zhang, Zhen; Vargas, Rodrigo.

In: New Phytologist, Vol. 222, No. 1, 2019, p. 18-28.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Methane emissions from tree stems: a new frontier in the global carbon cycle

AU - Barba, Josep

AU - Bradford, Mark A

AU - Brewer, Paul E

AU - Bruhn, Dan

AU - Covey, Kristofer

AU - van Haren, Joost

AU - Megonigal, J Patrick

AU - Mikkelsen, Teis Nørgaard

AU - Pangala, Sunitha R

AU - Pihlatie, Mari

AU - Poulter, Ben

AU - Rivas-Ubach, Albert

AU - Schadt, Christopher W

AU - Terazawa, Kazuhiko

AU - Warner, Daniel L

AU - Zhang, Zhen

AU - Vargas, Rodrigo

N1 - This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

PY - 2019

Y1 - 2019

N2 - Tree stems from wetland, floodplain and upland forests can produce and emit methane (CH4 ). Tree CH4 stem emissions have high spatial and temporal variability, but there is no consensus on the biophysical mechanisms that drive stem CH4 production and emissions. Here, we summarize up to 30 opportunities and challenges for stem CH4 emissions research, which when addressed will improve estimates of magnitudes, patterns, drivers and trace the potential origin of CH4 emissions. We identified the need (i) for both long-term high frequency measurements of stem CH4 emissions to understand the fine scale processes, alongside rapid large-scale measurements designed to understand variability across individuals, species and ecosystems; (ii) to identify microorganisms and biogeochemical pathways associated with CH4 production; and (iii) to develop a mechanistic model including passive and active transport of CH4 from the soil-tree-atmosphere continuum. Addressing these challenges would help to constrain magnitudes and patterns of CH4 emissions, and would allow for the integration of pathways and mechanisms of CH4 production and emissions into process-based models. These advances will facilitate upscaling of stem CH4 emissions to the ecosystem level and quantify the role of stem CH4 emissions for the local-to-global CH4 budget. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

AB - Tree stems from wetland, floodplain and upland forests can produce and emit methane (CH4 ). Tree CH4 stem emissions have high spatial and temporal variability, but there is no consensus on the biophysical mechanisms that drive stem CH4 production and emissions. Here, we summarize up to 30 opportunities and challenges for stem CH4 emissions research, which when addressed will improve estimates of magnitudes, patterns, drivers and trace the potential origin of CH4 emissions. We identified the need (i) for both long-term high frequency measurements of stem CH4 emissions to understand the fine scale processes, alongside rapid large-scale measurements designed to understand variability across individuals, species and ecosystems; (ii) to identify microorganisms and biogeochemical pathways associated with CH4 production; and (iii) to develop a mechanistic model including passive and active transport of CH4 from the soil-tree-atmosphere continuum. Addressing these challenges would help to constrain magnitudes and patterns of CH4 emissions, and would allow for the integration of pathways and mechanisms of CH4 production and emissions into process-based models. These advances will facilitate upscaling of stem CH4 emissions to the ecosystem level and quantify the role of stem CH4 emissions for the local-to-global CH4 budget. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

KW - Methane emissions

KW - CH4 transport

KW - Tree stems

KW - Upland forests

KW - Wetland forests

KW - Methanogenesis

KW - Spatial variability

KW - Temporal variability

U2 - 10.1111/nph.15582

DO - 10.1111/nph.15582

M3 - Journal article

VL - 222

SP - 18

EP - 28

JO - New Phytologist

JF - New Phytologist

SN - 0028-646X

IS - 1

ER -

Barba J, Bradford MA, Brewer PE, Bruhn D, Covey K, van Haren J et al. Methane emissions from tree stems: a new frontier in the global carbon cycle. New Phytologist. 2019;222(1):18-28. https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.15582