Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Trees as net sinks for methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) in the lowland tropical rain forest on volcanic Reunion Island

Abstract : Trees are known to emit methane (CH 4) and nitrous oxide (N 2 O), with tropical wetland trees being considerable CH 4 sources. Little is known about CH 4 and especially N 2 O exchange of trees growing in tropical rain forests under nonflooded conditions. We determined CH 4 and N 2 O exchange of stems of six dominant tree species, cryptogamic stem covers, soils and volcanic surfaces at the start of the rainy season in a 400-yr-old tropical lowland rain forest situated on a basaltic lava flow (R eunion Island). We aimed to understand the unknown role in greenhouse gas fluxes of these atypical tropical rain forests on basaltic lava flows. The stems studied were net sinks for atmospheric CH 4 and N 2 O, as were cryptogams, which seemed to be co-responsible for the stem uptake. In contrast with more commonly studied rain forests, the soil and previously unexplored volcanic surfaces consumed CH 4. Their N 2 O fluxes were negligible. Greenhouse gas uptake potential by trees and cryptogams constitutes a novel and unique finding, thus showing that plants can serve not only as emitters, but also as consumers of CH 4 and N 2 O. The volcanic tropical lowland rain forest appears to be an important CH 4 sink, as well as a possible N 2 O sink.
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadata
Contributor : Réunion Univ <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, December 9, 2020 - 9:16:16 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 21, 2021 - 3:06:26 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, March 10, 2021 - 6:30:48 PM


Publication funded by an institution


Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License




Katerina Machacova, Libor Borak, Thomas Agyei, Thomas Schindler, Kaido Soosaar, et al.. Trees as net sinks for methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) in the lowland tropical rain forest on volcanic Reunion Island. New Phytologist, Wiley, 2020, ⟨10.1111/nph.17002⟩. ⟨hal-03047906⟩



Record views


Files downloads