The dynamics of methane emission and its associated soil microflora in rice ecosystem as a response to elevated CO2 concentrations were studied in open top chamber (OTC) conditions. The treatments consisted of three levels of CO2 (396, 550 and 750 µmol mol-1) and three levels of nitrogen (0, 150 and 200 kg ha-1) and replicated five times in a completely randomized design. The data showed that elevated [CO2] significantly (P ? 0.01) increased the DOC throughout the cropping period with the values ranging from 533 to 722 mg L-1 and 368 to 501 mg L-1 in C750 and Camb, respectively. Methane emission rates were monitored regularly during the experiment period and it was revealed that elevated [CO2] had increased the methane emissions regardless of stages of crop growth. It was observed that methane emissions were significantly higher under [CO2] of 750 µmol mol-1 by 33 to 54 per cent over the ambient [CO2] of 396 µmol mol-1. Consistent with the observed increases in methane flux, the enumeration of methanogens showed a significant (P ? 0.01) increase under elevated [CO2] with the population ranging from 5.7 to 20.1 x 104 CFU g-1 of dry soil and 5.1 to 16.9 x 104 CFU g-1 of dry soil under C750 and Camb concentrations, respectively. Interestingly, even though higher methanotrophs population was recorded under elevated [CO2], it could not circumvent the methane emission. Overall, the results of OTC studies suggest that methane mitigation strategies need to be explored for the future high CO2 environments.
Elevated CO2, Methane, Methanogens, Methanotrophs, Nitrogen
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