Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Carbon Dioxide Findings Raise Biodiversity Concern

Date:
February 2, 1999
Source:
University Of Illinois At Chicago
Summary:
Office and cubicle denizens rely on their Boston ferns or spider plants to help rid the air of so-called indoor pollution. Can utility companies adopt a similar strategy, mitigating their carbon dioxide emissions - which contribute to global climate change -- by planting trees?

Office and cubicle denizens rely on their Boston ferns or spider plants to help rid the air of so-called indoor pollution. Can utility companies adopt a similar strategy, mitigating their carbon dioxide emissions - which contribute to global climate change -- by planting trees?

This is one of the questions that comes to mind when Hormoz BassiriRad, assistant professor of biology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, contemplates practical applications for his research on how plants and ecosystems respond to environmental stresses, such as elevated levels of greenhouse gases.

BassiriRad has some doubts about Illinois' ComEd and other utility companies' hopes for "offset credits," whereby industries can save some of their pollutant allowances in the congressionally mandated emissions trading market by planting trees to remove carbon dioxide from the air. If nothing else, his research shows it's not easy precisely to quantify and verify the amount of carbon sequestered by forest trees.

"Each time we carry out another round of experiments, we solve an additional part of the puzzle," said BassiriRad. "Right now people are really interested in the question of 'sinks,' or systems that take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Naturally, terrestrial ecosystems are a huge sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide. However, it remains to be seen if this capacity will increase, decrease, or remain the same in the future climate. The research we do is part of a nationwide effort to tackle this question."

Among the major ecosystems of the world, temperate forests of conifers and broad-leafed plants such as maples, oaks and birches form the largest terrestrial sink for carbon, and recent studies indicate that temperate forests of North America are a larger carbon sink than previously thought. They may even contain the so-called missing carbon -- accounting for the fact that carbon dioxide levels in the northern hemisphere are lower than models predict.

"The problem is to quantify the effect, species by species," said BassiriRad. "Even if the system's capacity for carbon sequestration increases with higher atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, there are unanswered questions about species diversity. Different species appear to have different responses to elevated levels of carbon dioxide."

"We're still very cautious about concluding anything from our experiments," he said. "But if it is true that different species respond differently, this has tremendous implications for biodiversity. Some species within a community might have a competitive advantage as greenhouse gases rise, and some might die off."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Illinois At Chicago. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Illinois At Chicago. "Carbon Dioxide Findings Raise Biodiversity Concern." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 February 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/02/990202072427.htm>.
University Of Illinois At Chicago. (1999, February 2). Carbon Dioxide Findings Raise Biodiversity Concern. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/02/990202072427.htm
University Of Illinois At Chicago. "Carbon Dioxide Findings Raise Biodiversity Concern." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/02/990202072427.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

3BL Media (Oct. 20, 2014) Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-fuel Impala Video provided by 3BL
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Rhino's Death In Kenya Means Just 6 Are Left

White Rhino's Death In Kenya Means Just 6 Are Left

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) Suni, a rare northern white rhino at Ol Pejeta Conservancy, died Friday. This, as many media have pointed out, leaves people fearing extinction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Beijing Marathon Runners Brave Hazardous Air Pollution

Beijing Marathon Runners Brave Hazardous Air Pollution

AFP (Oct. 19, 2014) Tens of thousands of runners battled thick smog at the Beijing Marathon on Sunday, with some donning masks as the levels of PM2.5 small pollutant particles soared to 16 times the maximum recommended level. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins