A team of researchers say they have pinpointed the source – methane-producing microorganisms – for large amounts of methane emitted from rainforest-turned-cattle-pasture in Brazil’s Amazon region.
A team of researchers led by microbiologists Klaus Nüsslein and Marie Kroeger at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in a new report say they have pinpointed the source – methane-producing microorganisms – for large amounts of methane emitted from rainforest-turned-cattle-pasture in Brazil’s Amazon region.
Deforested areas there are most often converted to cattle grazing, the authors point out, which for decades were known to be large methane sources, but until now the reason was not clear.
Writing in the International Society of Microbial Ecology Journal, Kroeger, Nüsslein and colleagues state that “a signiﬁcant increase in the abundance and activity of methanogens in pasture soils could drive increased soil methane emissions. Furthermore, we found that secondary rainforests had decreased methanogenic activity similar to primary rainforests, and thus a potential to recover as methane sinks, making it conceivable for forest restoration to offset greenhouse gas emissions in the tropics. These ﬁndings are critical for informing land management practices and global tropical rainforest conservation.”
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