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Stimulation by ammonium-based fertilizers of methane oxidation in soil around rice roots

Bodelier, P.L.E. and Roslev, P. and Henckel, T. and Frenzel, P. (2000) Stimulation by ammonium-based fertilizers of methane oxidation in soil around rice roots. Nature, 403, 421-424. ISSN 0028-0836.

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Methane is involved in a number of chemical and physical processes in the Earths atmosphere, including global warming(1), Atmospheric methane originates mainly from biogenic sources, such as rice paddies and natural wetlands; the former account for at least 30% of the global annual emission of methane to the atmosphere(2). As an increase of rice production by 60% is the most appropriate way to sustain the estimated increase of the human population during the next three decades(3), intensified global fertilizer application will be necessary(3): but it is known that an increase of the commonly used ammonium-based fertilizers can enhance methane emission from rice agriculture. Approximately 10-30% of the methane produced by methanogens in rice paddies is consumed by methane- oxidizing bacteria associated with the roots of rice(4,5); these bacteria are generally thought to be inhibited by ammonium-based fertilizers, as tvas demonstrated for soils(6-8) and sediments(9,10). In contrast, we show here that the activity and growth of such bacteria in the root zone of rice plants are stimulated after fertilization. Using a combination of radioactive fingerprinting(11) and molecular biology(12) techniques, we identify the bacteria responsible for this effect. We expect that our results will make necessary a re- evaluation of the link between fertilizer use and methane emissions, with effects on global warming studies. [KEYWORDS: Methanotrophic bacteria; oryza-sativa; forest soils inhibition; consumption; kinetics; plants]

Item Type:Article
Institutes:Nederlands Instituut voor Ecologie (NIOO)
ID Code:10838
Deposited On:24 Nov 2011 01:00
Last Modified:31 Mar 2014 10:30

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