Biogeochemistry

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 79–97 | Cite as

Quantification of methane oxidation in the rhizosphere of emergent aquatic macrophytes: defining upper limits

  • Ghislain Gerard
  • Jeffrey Chanton
Article

Abstract

Rates of rhizospheric methane oxidation were evaluated by aerobic incubations of subcores collected in flooded anoxic soils populated by emergent macrophytes, by greenhouse whole plant incubations, and by CH4 stable isotopic analysis. Subcore incubations defined upper limits for rhizospheric methane oxidation on an areal basis which were equal to or greater than emission rates. These rates are considered upper limits because O2 did not limit CH4 uptake as is likely to occur in situ. The ratio of maximum potential methane oxidation (MO) to methane emission (ME) ranged from 0.7 to 1.9 in Louisiana rice (Oryza sativa), from 1.0 to 4.0 in a N. Florida Sagittaria lancifolia marsh, and from 5.6 to 51 in Everglades Typha domingensis and Cladium jamaicense areas. Methane oxidation/methane emission ratios determined in whole plant incubations of Sagittaria lancifolia under oxic and anoxic conditions ranged from 0.5 to 1.6. Methane oxidation activity associated with emergent aquatic macrophytes was found primarily in fine root material. A weak correlation was observed between live root biomass and CH4 uptake in Typha. Rhizomes showed small or zero rates of methane uptake and no uptake was associated with plant stems. Methane stable isotope data from a S. lancifolia marsh were as follows: CH4 emitted from plants: −61.6 ± 0.3%; CH4 within stems: −42.0 ± 0.2%; CH4 within sedimentary bubbles: −51.7 ± 0.3%). The 13C enrichment observed relative to emitted CH4 could be due to preferential mobilization of CH4 containing the lighter isotope and/or the action of methanotrophic bacteria.

Key words

aquatic macrophytes methane methane oxidation plant/microbial interactions rhizosphere stable isotopes 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Armstrong J & Armstrong W (1988) Phragmites australis — A preliminary study of soil oxidizing sites and internal gas transport pathways. New Phytologist 108: 373–382CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barker JF & Fritz P (1981) Carbon isotope fractionation during microbial methane oxidation. Nature 293: 289–291CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bedford BL, Bouldin DR & Beliveau BD (1991) Net oxygen and carbon dioxide balances in solutions bathing roots of wetland plants. Journal of Ecology 79: 943–959CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chanton JP & Dacey JWH (1991) Effects of vegetation on methane flux, reservoirs, and carbon isotopic composition. In: Sharkey T, Holland E & Mooney H (Eds) Trace Gas Emmisions form Plants (pp 65–92). Academic Press, San DiegoGoogle Scholar
  5. Chanton JP, Martens CS & Kelley CA (1989) Gas transport from methane-saturated tidal freshwater and wetland sediments. Limnology and Oceanography, 34, 807–819Google Scholar
  6. Chanton JP, Whiting GJ, Showers WJ & Crill PM (1992a) Methane flux from Peltandra Virginica: stable isotope tracing and chamber effect. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 6: 15–31Google Scholar
  7. Chanton JP, Martens CS, Kelley CA, Crill PM & Showers WJ (1992b) Mechanisms of methane transport and isotope fractionation in macrophytes of Alaskan tundra lakes. J. Geophys. Res. 97: 16681–16688Google Scholar
  8. Coleman DD, Risatte JD & Schoel M (1981) Fractionation of carbon and hydrogen isotopes by methane oxidizing bacteria. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 45: 1033–1037CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dacey JWH (1981a) How aquatic plants ventilate. Oceanus 24: 43–51Google Scholar
  10. Dacey JWH (1981b) Pressurized ventilation in the yellow water lily. Ecology 62: 1137–1147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dacey JWH & Klug MJ (1979) Methane efflux from lake sediments through water lilies. Science 203: 1253–1255CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. De Bont JA, Lee KK & Bouldin DF (1978) Bacterial oxidation of methane in rice paddy soils. Ecol. Bull. 26: 91–96Google Scholar
  13. Epp MA & Chanton JP (1993) Rhizospheric methane oxidation determined by the methyl fluoride technique. J. Geophys. Res. (in press)Google Scholar
  14. Gerard G (1992) Evidence for methanotropic activity in the rhizosphere of aquatic macrophytes. Ms. Thesis, Florida State University, TallahasseeGoogle Scholar
  15. Green MS & Etherington JR (1977) Oxidation of ferrous iron by rice (Oryza sativa L.) roots: a mechanism for waterlogging tolerance? J. Exp. Botany 28: 678–690Google Scholar
  16. Happell JD, Chanton JP, Whiting JG & Showers WJ (1993) Methane dynamics in Cladium jamaicense marshes with and without active populations of methanotrophic bacteria: stable isotopes as tracers. J. Geophys. Res. 98: 14771–14782CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hesslein RH (1976) An in situ sampler for close pore water studies. Limnol. Oceanogr. 21: 912–914CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Holzapfel-Pschorn A, Conrad R & Seiler W (1985) Production oxidation and emission of methane in rice paddies. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 31: 343–351CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. King G, Roslev MP & Skovgaard H (1990) Distribution and rate of methane oxidation in sediments of the Florida Everglades. Appl. Env. Microb. 56: 2902–2911Google Scholar
  20. Macfie SM & Crowder AA (1987) Soil factors influencing ferric hydroxide plaque formation on roots of Typha latifolia L. Plant and Soil 102: 177–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Oremland RS & Capone DG (1988) Use of ‘specific’ inhibitors in biogeochemistry and microbial ecology. Adv. Microb. Ecol. 10: 285–383Google Scholar
  22. Oremland RS & Culbertson CW (1992a) Evaluation of methyl fluoride and dimethyl ether as inhibitors of aerobic methane oxidation. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 58 (9): 2983–2992Google Scholar
  23. Oremland RS & Culbertson CW (1992b) Importance of methane-oxidizing bacteria in the methane budget as revealed by use of a specific inhibitor. Nature 356: 421–423CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Reddy KR, Patrick WH & Lindau CW (1989) Nitrification-denitrification at the plant root-sediment interface in wetlands. Limnol. Oceanog. 34: 1004–1013Google Scholar
  25. Reeburgh WS, Whalen, SC & Alperin MJ (1993) The role of methylotrophy in the global methane budget. In: Murrell JC & Kelly DP (Eds) Microbial Growth on C1 Compounds (pp 1–14). Intercept Ltd., Andover, Hampshire, EnglandGoogle Scholar
  26. Sass RL, Fisher FM & Harcombe PA (1990) Methane production and emission in a Texas rice field, Global Biogeochem. Cycles 4: 47–68Google Scholar
  27. Schutz H, Seiler W & Conrad R (1989) Processes involved in formation and emission of methane in rice paddies. Biogeochemistry 7: 33–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Sebacher DI, Harriss RC & Bartlett KB (1985) Methane emissions to the atmosphere through aquatic plants. J. Environ. Qual. 14: 40–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Smits AJM, Laan P, Thier RH & Van der Velde G (1990) Root aerenchyma, oxygen leaking patterns and alcoholic fermentation ability of the roots of some nymphaeid and isoetid macrophytes in relation to the sediment type of their habitat. Aquatic botany 38: 3–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Whalen SC, Reeburgh WS & Barber V (1992) Oxidation of methane in boreal forest soils: a comparison of seven measures. Biogeochemistry 16: 181–211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Whiticar GJ, Faber G & Schoell M (1986) Biogenic methane formation in marine and freshwater environments: CO2 reduction vs. acetate fermentation — Isotopic evidence. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 50: 693–709CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Whiting GJ & Chanton JP (1993) Primary production control of methane emission from wetlands. Nature 364: 794–795CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Whiting GJ & Chanton JP (1992) Plant-dependent methane emission in a subarctic Canadian fen. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 6: 225–232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Whiting GJ, Chanton JP, Bartlett D & Happell J (1991) Methane flux, net primary productivity and biomass relationships in a tropical grassland community. J. Geophys. Res. 96: 13067–13071Google Scholar
  35. Whiting GJ, Bartlett DS, Fan M, Bakwin P & Wofsy S. (1992) Biosphere/atmosphere CO2 exchange in tundra ecosystems: community characteristics and relationships with multispectral surface reflectance. J. Geophys. Res. 97: 16671–16680Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ghislain Gerard
    • 2
  • Jeffrey Chanton
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of OceanographyFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA
  2. 2.Marine Environmental Sciences ConsortiumDauphin IslandUSA

Personalised recommendations