Skip to main content

Oxidation of methane in the rhizosphere of rice plants

Abstract

Oxidation of CH4 in the rhizosphere of rice plants was quantified using (1) methyl fluoride, a specific inhibitor of CH4 oxidation, and (2) measuring changes in plant-mediated CH4 emission after incubation under air, N2, or 40% O2. No significant rhizospheric CH4 oxidation was observed from rice plants in the ripening stage. CH4 emission from rice plants 1 week before panicle initiation increased by 40% if CH4 oxidation in the rhizosphere was blocked. The growth stage of the rice plant is an important factor determining the rhizospheric CH4 oxidation. Fluctuation of rhizospheric CH4 oxidation during the growing season may help to explain the observed seasonal CH4 emission patterns in field studies. Measurements from four rice varieties showed that one variety, Pokkali, had higher rhizospheric CH4 oxidation. This was probably because Pokkali was in an earlier growth stage than the other three varieties. Both in the early and in the late growth stages, incubation under N2 caused a much stronger CH4 flux than inhibition of CH4 oxidation alone. Apparently, N2 incubation not only blocked CH4 oxidation but also stimulated methanogenesis in the rhizosphere. Incubation under a higher O2 atmosphere (40% O2) than ambient air decreased the CH4 flux, suggesting that increasing the oxidation of the rice rhizosphere may help in reducing CH4 fluxes from rice agriculture. The O2 pressure in the rhizosphere is an important factor that reduces the plant-mediated CH4 flux. However, inhibition of methanogenesis in the rhizosphere may contribute more to CH4 flux reduction than rhizospheric CH4 oxidation.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Ando T, Yoshida S, Nishiyama I (1983) Nature of oxidizing power of rice plants. Plant and Soil 72:57–71

    Google Scholar 

  2. Armstrong W (1969) Rhizosphere oxidation in rice: An analysis of intervarietal differences in oxygen flux from the roots. Physiol Plant 22:296–303

    Google Scholar 

  3. Armstrong W (1978) Root aeration in the wetland condition. In: Hook DD, Crawford RMM (eds) Plant life in anaerobic environments. Ann Arbor Science, Ann Arbor, Mich

    Google Scholar 

  4. Bedard C, Knowles R (1989) Physiology, biochemistry and specific inhibitors of CH4, NH4 and CO oxidation by methanotrophs and nitrifiers. Microbial Rev 53:68–84

    Google Scholar 

  5. de Bont JAM, Mulder EG (1976) Invalidity of the acetylene reduction assay in alkane-utilizing, nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Appl Environ Microbiol 31:640–647

    Google Scholar 

  6. de Bont JAM, Lee KK, Bouldin DF (1978) Bacterial oxidation of methane in a rice paddy. Ecol Bull (Stockholm) 26:91–96

    Google Scholar 

  7. Cicerone RJ, Oremland RS (1988) Biogeochemical aspects of atmospheric methane. Global Biogeochem Cycles 2:299–327

    Google Scholar 

  8. Conrad R, Rothfuss E (1991) Methane oxidation in the soil surface layer of a flooded rice field and the effect of ammonium. Biol Fertil Soil 12:28–32

    Google Scholar 

  9. Denier van der Gon HAC, van Breemen N (1993) Diffusion-controlled transport of methane from soil to atmosphere as mediated by rice plants. Biogeochemistry 21:177–190

    Google Scholar 

  10. Denier van der Gon HAC, Neue HU (1994) Impact of gypsum application on the methane emission from a wetland rice field. Global Biogeochem Cycles 8:127–134

    Google Scholar 

  11. Denier van der Gon HAC, Neue HU (1995a) Influence of organic matter incorporation on the methane emission from a wetland rice field. Global Biogeochem Cycles 9:11–22

    Google Scholar 

  12. Denier van der Gon HAC, Neue HU (1995b) Methane emission from a wetland rice field as affected by salinity. Plant and Soil 170:307–313

    Google Scholar 

  13. Epp MA, Chanton JP (1993) Rhizospheric methane oxidation determined via the methyl fluoride inhibition technique. J Geophys Res 98:18413–18422

    Google Scholar 

  14. Frenzel P, Rothfuss F, Conrad R (1992) Oxygen profiles, methane turnover in a flooded rice microcosm. Biol Fertil Soils 14:84–89

    Google Scholar 

  15. Holzapfel-Pschorn A, Conrad R, Seiler W (1986) Effects of vegetation on the emission of methane from submerged paddy soil. Plant and Soil 92:223–233

    Google Scholar 

  16. IPCC (1992) Climate change: Supplementary report to the IPCC scientific assessment. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  17. Kimura M, Murakami H, Wada H (1991) CO2, H2, and CH4 production in rice rhizosphere. Soil Sci Plant Nutr 37:55–60

    Google Scholar 

  18. King GM (1990) Dynamics and controls of methane oxidation in a Danish wetland sediment. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 74:309–324

    Google Scholar 

  19. King GM (1992) Ecological aspects of methane oxidation, a key determinant of global methane dynamics. Adv Microbial Ecol 12:431–468

    Google Scholar 

  20. King GM, Roslev P, Skovgaard H (1990) Distribution and rate of methane oxidation in sediments of the Florida Everglades. Appl Environ Microbiol 56:2902–2911

    Google Scholar 

  21. Knowles R (1993) Methane: Processes of production and consumption. In: Agricultural ecosystem effects on trace gases and global climate change. Am Soc Agron Spec Publ 55, pp. 145–155

    Google Scholar 

  22. Lee KK, Holst RW, Watanabe I, App A (1981) Gas transport through rice. Soil Sci Plant Nutr 27:151–168

    Google Scholar 

  23. Nouchi I, Mariko S, Aoki K (1990) Mechanism of methane transport from the rhizosphere to the atmosphere through rice plants. Plant Physiol 94:59–66

    Google Scholar 

  24. Oremland RS, Culbertson CW (1992a) Importance of methane-oxidizing bacteria in the methane budget as revealed by the use of a specific inhibitor. Nature 356:421–423

    Google Scholar 

  25. Oremland RS, Taylor BF (1975) Inhibition of methanogenesis in marine sediments by acetylene and ethylene: Validity of the acetylene reduction assay for anaerobic microcosms. Appl Microbiol 30:707–709

    Google Scholar 

  26. Oremland RS, Culbertson CW (1992b) Evaluation of methyl fluoride and dimethyl ether as inhibitors of aerobic methane oxidation. Appl Environ Microbiol 58:2983–2992

    Google Scholar 

  27. Sass RL, Fisher FM, Harcombe PA, Turner FT (1990) Methane production and emmission in a Texas rice field. Global Biogeochem Cycles 4:47–68

    Google Scholar 

  28. Schütz H, Seiler W, Conrad R (1989) Processes involved in formation and emission of methane in rice paddies. Biogeochemistry 7:33–53

    Google Scholar 

  29. Seiler W, Holzapfel-Pschorn A, Conrad R, Scharffe D (1984) Methane emission from rice paddies. J Atmos Chem 1:241–268

    Google Scholar 

  30. Sprott GD, Jarrell KF, Shaw KM, Knowles R (1982) Acetylene as an inhibitor of methanogenic bacteria. J Gen Microbiol 128:2453–2462

    Google Scholar 

  31. Wang WC, Yung YL, Lacis AA, Mo T, Hansen JE (1976) Green-house effects due to man-made perturbations of trace gases. Science 194:685–690

    Google Scholar 

  32. Wassmann R, Neue HU, Lantin RS, Aduna JP, Alberto MCR, Andales MJ, Tan MJ, Vandergon HAC, Hoffmann H, Papen H (1994) Temporal patterns of methane emissions from wetland rice fields treated by different modes of N-application. J Geophys Res 99:16457–16462

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to H. A. C. Denier van der Gon.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Denier van der Gon, H.A.C., Neue, H.U. Oxidation of methane in the rhizosphere of rice plants. Biol Fertil Soils 22, 359–366 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00334584

Download citation

Key words

  • Methane emission
  • Methane oxidation
  • Methyl fluoride
  • Plant-mediated gas transport
  • Rice