Effects of preconditioning the rhizosphere of different plant species on biotic methane oxidation kinetics
Ndanga Mbakop, Éliane; Lopera, Carolina; Bradley, Robert L.; Cabral, Alexandre
Abstract: The rhizosphere is known as the most active biogeochemical layer of the soil. Therefore, it could be a beneficial environment for biotic methane oxidation. The aim of this study was to document - by means of batch incubation tests - the kinetics of CH4 oxidation in rhizosphere soils that were previously exposed to methane. Soils from three pre-exposure to CH4 zones were sampled: the never-before pre-exposed (NEX), the moderately pre-exposed (MEX) and the very pre-exposed (VEX). For each pre-exposure zone, the rhizosphere of several plant species was collected, pre-incubated, placed in glass vials and submitted to CH4 concentrations varying from 0.5% to 10%. The time to the beginning of CH4 consumption and the CH4 oxidation rate were recorded. The results showed that the fastest CH4 consumption occurred for the very pre-exposed rhizosphere. Specifically, a statistically significant difference in CH4 oxidation half-life was found between the rhizosphere of the VEX vegetated with a mixture of different plants and the NEX vegetated with ryegrass. This difference was attributed to the combined effect of the preconditioning level and plant species as well as to the organic matter content. Regardless of the preconditioning level, the oxidation rate values obtained in this study were comparable to those reported in the reviewed literature for mature compost.
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