No evidence for substantial aerobic methane emission by terrestrial plants: a 13C-labelling approach

T.A. Dueck, Ries de Visser, H. Poorter, S. Persijn, A. Gorissen, W. de Visser, A.H.C.M. Schapendonk, J. Verhagen, J.F.H. Snel, F.J.M. Harren, A.K.Y. Ngai, F.W.A. Verstappen, H.J. Bouwmeester, L.A.C.J. Voesenek, A.K. van der Werf

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The results of a single publication stating that terrestrial plants emit methane has sparked a discussion in several scientific journals, but an independent test has not yet been performed. Here it is shown, with the use of the stable isotope C-13 and a laser-based measuring technique, that there is no evidence for substantial aerobic methane emission by terrestrial plants, maximally 0.3% (0.4 ng g(-1) h(-1)) of the previously published values. Data presented here indicate that the contribution of terrestrial plants to global methane emission is very small at best. Therefore, a revision of carbon sequestration accounting practices based on the earlier reported contribution of methane from terrestrial vegetation is redundant.
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)29-35
JournalNew Phytologist
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • surprise

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