Methane, a potent greenhouse gas (25 times more potent than carbon dioxide), is a well-known by-product of rice cultivation . It is estimated that global warming potential of greenhouse gas emissions from rice paddies is four times higher than either maize or wheat. Approximately 70% of the global methane budget is biogenic i.e. produced by methanogenic archaea due to degradation of organic matter under anaerobic conditions. In rice paddies, it has been well established that methanogens produce methane from carbon supplied by the plants. Whilst aerobic methane-oxidizing bacteria (MOB) present in the oxic-anoxic interface consume CH4 to limit emissions into the atmosphere rice paddies still contribute 20% of total agricultural methane emissions.
We use an inter-disciplinary approach to study how interaction of soil chemistry and microbial functional diversity impacts methane cycling in rice paddies.
Prof Wenxue Wei
Chinese Academy of Sciences - Institute for Subtropical Agriculture, Changsha, China.