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 July 24, 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 July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Higgins Breaks Record at Mt. Washington

Higgins Breaks Record at Mt. Washington

Driving Sports (July 24, 2014) Subaru Rally Team USA drivers David Higgins and Travis Pastrana face off against a global contingent of racers at the annual Mt. Washington Hillclimb in New Hampshire. Includes exclusive in-car footage from Higgins' record attempt. Video provided by Driving Sports
Powered by NewsLook.com
Storm Kills Three, Injures 20 at Virginia Campground

Storm Kills Three, Injures 20 at Virginia Campground

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) A likely tornado tears through an eastern Virginia campground, killing three and injuring at least 20. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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