Journal Highlights

Why Mountainous Upland Forests Emit So Much Methane

Research Spotlight—

New research suggests that moist tree heartwood produces methane and emits the greenhouse gas to the atmosphere.

Methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gases, has increased in the atmosphere by roughly 150% since the preindustrial era. Although much methane comes from wetlands and agriculture activities, it also arises from mountainous upland forests, which are traditionally thought to be a net sink for atmospheric methane. Here Wang et al. present one of the first mechanistic explanations for why some tree species in mountain forests can produce and emit methane at varying rates: The amount of gas a tree produces depends on the water in its core, or heartwood....more

-- Emily Underwood, Freelance Writer,