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Atmospheric methane removal by boreal plants

  • Elin Sundqvist
  • Patrick Crill
  • Meelis Mölder
  • Patrik Vestin
  • Anders Lindroth
Publishing year: 2012
Language: English
Pages: 21806-21812
Publication/Series: Geophysical Research Letters
Volume: 39
Issue: 21
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: American Geophysical Union

Abstract english

Several studies have proposed aerobic methane (CH4) emissions by plants. If confirmed, these findings would further increase the imbalance in the global CH4 budget which today underestimates CH4 sinks. Oxidation by OH-radicals in the troposphere is the major identified sink followed by smaller contribution from stratospheric loss and oxidation by methano- and methylotrophic bacteria in soils. This study directly investigated CH4 exchange by plants in their natural environment. At a forest site in central Sweden, in situ branch chamber measurements were used to study plant ambient CH4 exchange by spruce (Picea abies), birch (Betula pubescens), rowan (Sorbus aucuparia) and pine (Pinus sylvestris). The results show a net uptake of CH4 by all the studied plants, which might be of importance for the methane budget.


  • Physical Geography
  • trace gases
  • biosphere/atmosphere interactions
  • biogeophysics
  • temperature
  • biogeochemical cycles
  • processes
  • and modeling
  • spruce
  • pine
  • radiation
  • in situ measurements


  • ISSN: 1944-8007
E-mail: meelis [dot] molder [at] nateko [dot] lu [dot] se

Research engineer

Dept of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science

+46 46 222 03 78

+46 72 724 90 06




ICOS Sweden

+46 46 222 03 78

+46 72 724 90 06


Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science
Lund University
Sölvegatan 12
S-223 62 Lund

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