Methanotrophic bacteria and the impact of soil physical conditions on their activity
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Department of Environmental Protection Engineering, Technical University of Lublin, Nadbystrzycka 40, 20-618 Lublin, Poland
Acceptance date: 1999-04-14
Int. Agrophys. 2000, 14(1): 135–139
Occurrence of methane in the soil is accompanied by the development of methanotrophic microorganisms with structural and functional adaptation to its oxidation. Methanotrophs, microaerophilic organisms which are widely spread in aerobic soils and sediments, oxidise methane to derive energy and carbon for biomass production. Thus, they play an important role in reducing methane emission from the soil to atmosphere. Several physico-chemical factors influence the rate of methane oxidation in the soil, including soil diffusivity, water potential and levels of oxygen, methane, ammonium, nitrate, and copper. Methane-oxidising organisms inhabit the aerobic portion of the soils. The depth of the aerobic zone of the soil and gaseous composition of the soil air, which are primarily governed by gas diffusivity, are important parameters in determining population density and growth rate of aerobic methane-oxidising bacteria. Consequently, identification of the factors influencing methane flux into atmosphere is becoming increasingly important. In this paper, the effects of the above mentioned parameters on the methanotrophic activity in the soil are discussed on the basis of the pertinent literature.