, Volume 64, Issue 1-2, pp 59-69

Control of microbial methane production in wetland rice fields

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Methane emission rates are a function of production, transport and oxidation of CH4 in the rice field. Production of CH4 is the prerequisite for any flux. The most important variables that control CH4 production include soil type, rice variety, temperature, soil redox potential, water management and fertilization with organic carbon or nitrogen. The effects of these variables have empirically been assessed on a macroscopic scale. However, the actual mechanisms by which these variables affect the microbial CH4 production on a microscopic scale are little understood. The purpose of the present contribution is to review existing knowledge of microbiological data and microscopic processes that are relevant for the control of CH4 production. These include the flow of carbon and electrons during the anaerobic degradation process, thermodynamic constraints of reactions in-situ and changes in the composition of the microbial community.