"Trees are the Earth’s lungs – it’s well understood they drawdown and lock up
vast amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. But emerging research is
showing trees can also emit methane, and it’s currently unknown just how much.
This could be a major problem, given methane is a greenhouse gas about 45 times
more potent than carbon dioxide at warming our planet.
However, in a world-first discovery published in Nature Communications, we
found unique methane-eating communities of bacteria living within the bark of a
common Australian tree species: paperbark (Melaleuca quinquenervia). These
microbial communities were abundant, thriving, and mitigated about one third of
the substantial methane emissions from paperbark that would have otherwise
ended up in the atmosphere.
Because research on tree methane (“treethane”) is still in its relative
infancy, there are many questions that need to be resolved. Our discovery helps
fill these critical gaps, and will change the way we view the role of trees
within the global methane cycle."
Via Muse, who wrote "Wow!"
Share and enjoy,
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics