Science & Technology

Ghost Tree “Flatulence” is a silent contributor to greenhouse gas emissions

Researchers warn that ghost forests can be an invisible source of greenhouse gases.

New studies suggest that these ghost trees are beginning to “flatulence” carbon dioxide and methane as sea level rise along the Atlantic coast of the United States poisons trees.

Technically, every tree is a little flatulent.Living trees are known to release small Amount of methane and other gases It is released from the trunk into the atmosphere, but instead stores a lot of carbon.

Dead trees, also known as snags, were killed by saltwater intrusion. This means that there is no leaf canopy for photosynthesizing and consuming carbon dioxide. As a result, it can increase carbon dioxide emissions in ecosystems by up to 25 percent.

Unlike living trees, traps do not actively move water or nutrients for growth. That is, the gas released by the snags probably comes from rotten wood or diffuses from the soil below along a water gradient.

In other words, the ghost tree may behave like a giant straw stuck in a salt marsh, sucking greenhouse gases out of the ground and releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

“I think they act as straws, but they act as filtered straws.” I will explain Marcelo Ardon, a forestry scientist at North Carolina State University.

“As the gases move through obstacles, they change those gases.”

Researchers used a portable gas analyzer to measure emissions from soil and ghost trees in five regions of North Carolina that are currently experiencing severe saltwater intrusion.

The team found that during the two summers of 2018 and 2019, the soil emits four times more greenhouse gases than dead trees.

“These standing dead trees do not release as much as the soil, but they still release something, so it definitely needs to be explained.” To tell Melinda Martinez, an environmental scientist in North Carolina.

“I count even the smallest flatulence.”

Living trees in tropical wetlands where the soil is flooded Often releases the more important methane onaraHowever, it appears to be the main greenhouse gas that releases carbon dioxide in dead trees standing in saltwater wetlands.

In the current study, wetland water quality and salt levels had a clear effect on soil emissions. However, it was more difficult to say how these conditions affected ghost tree emissions.

Further research is needed so that we can set appropriate numbers for ghost tree emissions and predict what will happen to these dead forests in the future.

There is no doubt that ghost forests will expand as sea levels continue to rise rapidly. We need to know how it will ultimately affect local and global emissions.

“The transition from forests to wetlands from these turmoil is happening rapidly, leaving many dead trees.” To tell Martinez.

“We expect these ghost forests to continue to grow in response to climate change.”

The study was published in Biogeochemistry..

Ghost Tree “Flatulence” is a silent contributor to greenhouse gas emissions

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