Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Greenhouse gases: New group of soil micro-organisms can contribute to their elimination

Date:
August 27, 2014
Source:
INRA-France
Summary:
The ability of soils to eliminate N2O can mainly be explained by the diversity and abundance of a new group of micro-organisms that are capable of transforming it into atmospheric nitrogen (N2).

INRA research scientists in Dijon have shown that the ability of soils to eliminate N2O can mainly be explained by the diversity and abundance of a new group of micro-organisms that are capable of transforming it into atmospheric nitrogen (N2).

Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a potent greenhouse gas that is also responsible for destroying the ozone layer. INRA research scientists in Dijon have shown that the ability of soils to eliminate N2O can mainly be explained by the diversity and abundance of a new group of micro-organisms that are capable of transforming it into atmospheric nitrogen (N2). These results, published in Nature Climate Change in september 2014, underline the importance of microbial diversity to the functioning of soils and the services they deliver.

Nitrous oxide (N2O) is one of the principal greenhouse gases, alongside carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4); it is also responsible for destruction of the ozone layer. Terrestrial ecosystems contribute to about 70% of N2O emissions, at least 45% being linked to the nitrogen-containing products found in agricultural soils (fertilisers, slurry, manure, crop residues, etc.). "In order to lower emissions of N2O and develop more environmentally-friendly agriculture, it is important to understand the processes involved not only in its production but in its elimination," explain the scientists. This elimination can be achieved by micro-organisms living in the soil that are able to reduce N2O into nitrogen (N2), the gas that makes up around four-fifths of the air we breathe and which has no impact on the environment.

INRA scientists, working in collaboration with Swedish and Irish colleagues, have analysed 47 soil samples collected throughout Europe and demonstrated very considerable differences between these soils in terms of their capacities to eliminate N2O. Unlike other greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) or methane (CH4), the ability of soils to eliminate N2O and thus act as a sink for this greenhouse gas has been very little studied hitherto.

Their work has shown that this variability is linked to a new group of N2O-consuming micro-organisms. These organisms had been identified by the same research teams in 2013, but had never previously been taken into account in studies aiming at understanding N2O emissions. "We have discovered that it is both the diversity and the abundance of this new group of N2O-consuming micro-organisms that are important to the ability of soils to eliminate N2O," explains Laurent Philippot, an INRA researcher in Dijon.

This study has also helped to clarify the influence of the physicochemical properties of soils on the development of these micro-organisms. Thanks to a metagenomic approach and the analysis of several hundreds of thousands of DNA sequences, the scientists were also able to identify several groups of micro-organisms that could act as bioindicators for the capacity of European soils to transform N2O into N2. The team is currently working on identifying farming practices that could stimulate this new group of N2O-consuming micro-organisms, in order to ensure sustainable agricultural production.

All these findings underline the importance of the biodiversity of soil micro-organisms to the functioning of soils and the services they deliver.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Christopher M. Jones, Ayme Spor, Fiona P. Brennan, Marie-Christine Breuil, David Bru, Philippe Lemanceau, Bryan Griffiths, Sara Hallin, Laurent Philippot. Recently identified microbial guild mediates soil N2O sink capacity. Nature Climate Change, 2014; 4 (9): 801 DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2301

Cite This Page:

INRA-France. "Greenhouse gases: New group of soil micro-organisms can contribute to their elimination." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140827111858.htm>.
INRA-France. (2014, August 27). Greenhouse gases: New group of soil micro-organisms can contribute to their elimination. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140827111858.htm
INRA-France. "Greenhouse gases: New group of soil micro-organisms can contribute to their elimination." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140827111858.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) The study weighs in on a debate over whether chimps are naturally violent or become that way due to human interference in the environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) 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