Methane is one of the strongest of the greenhouse gases, being 30-fold more radiatively active than carbon dioxide on a molar basis. In addition, its atmospheric concentrations have increased by 1% per year since the Industrial Revolution. As such, the dynamics of methane is of great importance for the prediction of global climatic changes caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. One of the most important biological sinks for methane is forest soils, where methanotrophic bacteria oxidize methane to carbon dioxide. Based on data mined from a review of the literature, we determined that the mean methane oxidation rate was 1.90 mg CH4 m-2 day-1 and that the main variables controlling this rate were soil water content and inorganic nitrogen in the soils. In contrast, the effects of temperature and pH are minimal. In addition to reviewing the literature, we monitored methane oxidation rates in a temperate forest soil in Korea on a monthly basis for a year, using a static chamber method. The mean oxidation rate was 1.96 mg CH4 m-2 day-1 and was positively correlated with nitrate concentration in the soil.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics