Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Tropical Forests Leak Nitrogen Back Into Atmosphere, Say Scientists

Date:
May 23, 2006
Source:
Princeton University
Summary:
In findings that could influence our understanding of climate change, a Princeton research team has learned that tropical forests return to the atmosphere up to half the nitrogen they receive each year, thanks to a particular type of bacteria that lives in those forests.

In findings that could influence our understanding of climate change, a Princeton research team has learned that tropical forests return to the atmosphere up to half the nitrogen they receive each year, thanks to a particular type of bacteria that lives in those forests.

The bacteria, referred to as "denitrifiers," exist in forest soil, where they live by converting the nitrates fed upon by tree roots back into nitrogen gas, which is lost to the atmosphere. The researchers who recently discovered this behavior say the findings are important for our understanding of how tropical forests fit into the earth's climate system.

"Tropical forests play a major role in regulating the planet's climate, and these findings indicate that we are still working on our basic understanding of the nitrogen cycle," said Lars Hedin, a researcher on the team and professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Princeton. "That a group of bacteria can have such a dramatic impact on forest nutrition debunks our previous theories about how nitrogen behaves in forests, and shows us that these microorganisms affect soil nutrients and forest growth."

The team, which also includes first author Benjamin Houlton, a student from Hedin's lab now doing postdoctoral work at Stanford, and Daniel Sigman, a Princeton professor of geosciences, will publish their findings in the May 22 issue of the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Hedin is available for comment at (609) 558-9096.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Princeton University. "Tropical Forests Leak Nitrogen Back Into Atmosphere, Say Scientists." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 May 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/05/060523072520.htm>.
Princeton University. (2006, May 23). Tropical Forests Leak Nitrogen Back Into Atmosphere, Say Scientists. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/05/060523072520.htm
Princeton University. "Tropical Forests Leak Nitrogen Back Into Atmosphere, Say Scientists." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/05/060523072520.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) A new study published by the World Wide Fund for Nature found that more than half of the world's wildlife population has declined since 1970. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Seismic Activity Halts Recovery at Japan Volcano

Seismic Activity Halts Recovery at Japan Volcano

AP (Sep. 30, 2014) Rescuers were forced to suspend plans to recover at least two dozen bodies from near the summit of Mount Ontake in central Japan on Tuesday after increased seismic activity raised concern about the possibility of another eruption. (Sept. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) A study released Monday suggests dolphins might be able to sense the Earth's magnetic field and possibly use it as a means of navigation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How To Battle Stink Bug Season

How To Battle Stink Bug Season

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) Homeowners in 33 states grapple with stink bugs moving indoors at this time of year. Here are a few tips to avoid stink bug infestations. Video provided by Newsy
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