Physiological Limitations of Methanotrophic Activity in situ

  • Gary M. King
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 39)


Methanotrophic bacteria play an important role in the atmospheric methane budget that at present includes a biospheric flux of about 400 Tg yr-1 (e.g. Cicerone and Oremland, 1988). The role of methanotrophs is primarily a function of two processes: 1) consumption of atmospheric methane by soils, accounting for about 40 Tg yr-1 (see King, 1992; Reeburgh et a1., 1993), and 2) oxidation of methane that diffuses to oxic surfaces in wetlands, especially the sediment-water (or air) interface and the rhizosphere of rooted aquatic vegetation (e.g. King. 1990a; King et al. , 1990b; Chanton and Dacey, 1991; Schütz et al., 1991; King, 1994) . The magnitude of methane consumption by the latter process is uncertain. However, it may be approximated by making several assumptions: 1) 90% of the total wetland emission term results from methane transport through plants (Chanton and Dacey, 1991 and references therein); 2) 25% of the methane that diffuses into plants and 80% of the methane diffusing to the sediment-water (or air) interface is oxidized (King, 1990b; Epp and Chanton, 1993; King, in prep.).


Methane Oxidation Methane Concentration Appl Environ Methanotrophic Bacterium Atmospheric Methane 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary M. King
    • 1
  1. 1.Darling Marine CenterUniversity of MaineWalpoleUSA

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