Effects of nutrient level on methane production in soil from phragmites australis and typha spp. dominated stands

Jaymes Dempsey
Eastern Michigan University
Jaymes Dempsey is an undergraduate student, studying biology and history.
Other presenters/researchers: 
Francesco Dinicola is an undergraduate student, majoring in biology. Kristi Judd is an Associate Professor in the department of biology at EMU.

The release of methane from ecosystems, especially wetlands, can have important effects with regard to climate change and natural systems. Production of methane in wetlands is due to the activity of soil methanogens, but the relationship between soil environment and methanogen productivity is not well understood. We investigated the effect of soil nutrient levels on methane production by placing soil from phragmites australis or typha spp. dominated stands in jars with various nitrate levels and measuring methane output. If nitrogen facilitates the growth of denitrifiers that compete with methanogens, then we expected to find that jars with increased nitrate levels would have lower levels of methane production. Because of the prevalence of phragmites australis and typha spp. in wetlands, possible effects on methane production will be useful for understanding the extent of the problem posed by these invasives and the urgency with which the problem must be managed.

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