Temperature sensitivity of anaerobic methane oxidation versus methanogenesis in paddy soil: Implications for the CH4 balance under global warming

The global methane (CH4) budget is based on a sensitive balance between methanogenesis and CH4 oxidation (aerobic and anaerobic). The response of these processes to climate warming, however, is not quantified. This largely reflects our lack of knowledge about the temperature sensitivity (Q(10)) of the anaerobic oxidation of CH4 (AOM)-a ubiquitous process in soils. Based on a (CH4)-C-13 labeling experiment, we determined the rate, Q(10) and activation energy of AOM and of methanogenesis in a paddy soil at three temperatures (5, 20, 35 degrees C). The rates of AOM and of methanogenesis increased exponentially with temperature, whereby the AOM rate was significantly lower than methanogenesis. Both the activation energy and Q(10) of AOM dropped significantly from 5-20 to 20-35 degrees C, indicating that AOM is a highly temperature-dependent microbial process. Nonetheless, the Q(10) of AOM and of methanogenesis were similar at 5-35 degrees C, implying a comparable temperature dependence of AOM and methanogenesis in paddy soil. The continuous increase of AOM Q(10) over the 28-day experiment reflects the successive utilization of electron acceptors according to their thermodynamic efficiency. The basic constant for Q(10) of AOM was calculated to be 0.1 units for each 3.2 kJ mol(-1) increase of activation energy. We estimate the AOM in paddy soils to consume 2.2 similar to 5.5 Tg CH4 per year on a global scale. Considering these results in conjunction with literature data, the terrestrial AOM in total consumes similar to 30% of overall CH4 production. Our data corroborate a similar Q(10) of AOM and methanogenesis. As the rate of AOM in paddy soils is lower than methanogenesis, however, it will not fully compensate for an increased methane production under climate warming.

Fan L.C.1 , Dippold M.A.2, 3 , Thiel V.4 , Ge T.D.5 , Wu J.S.5 , Kuzyakov Y. 1, 6, 7, 8 , Dorodnikov M.1, 2, 8
Blackwell Publishing Ltd
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  • 1 Univ Gottingen, Dept Soil Sci Temperate Ecosyst, Busgenweg 2, D-37077 Gottingen, Germany
  • 2 Univ Gottingen, Dept Biogeochem Agroecosyst, Gottingen, Germany
  • 3 Univ Tubingen, Geobiosphere Interact, Tubingen, Germany
  • 4 Univ Gottingen, Geosci Ctr, Geobiol, Gottingen, Germany
  • 5 Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Subtrop Agr, Key Lab Agroecol Proc Subtrop Reg & Changsha Res, Changsha, Hunan, Peoples R China
  • 6 Univ Gottingen, Dept Agr Soil Sci, Gottingen, Germany
  • 7 RUDN Univ, Agrotechnol Inst, Moscow, Russia
  • 8 Tyumen State Univ, Tyumen, Russia
C-13 labeling; anaerobic oxidation of methane; global warming; methane emission; methanogenesis; paddy soil; temperature sensitivity
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