The European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly 2016 in Vienna will shortly be underway (17th-22nd April). Session BG2.10, “forests and the methane cycle” will be convened by MethaneNet’s director, Vincent Gauci of the Open University, UK. Co-conveners are Mari Pihlatie of the University of Helsinki, Katerina Machacova of the Global Change Research Institute in Czech Republic, and Sunitha Pangala and Karen Olsson-Francis, both of the Open University. The session abstract is:
Cycling of methane in terrestrial ecosystems has traditionally focused on exchanges between wetlands with relatively low herbaceous or shrubby canopies and the atmosphere. New findings are now suggesting that forests occupying permanently and seasonally inundated soils may be important conduits of soil-produced methane to the atmosphere, and trees occupying drier soils may also be playing a role in determining net exchanges of this powerful greenhouse gas. Forests are also vulnerable to fire which itself is a poorly quantified source of methane. This session seeks to bring together researchers working on the exchange of methane in forest ecosystems at any relevant scale and from the full climatic and hydrological forest range. We therefore welcome contributions on microbial processes in soils, plant tissues and microtopographic forms, measurement campaigns on the forest floor, on tree stems and at the leaf and canopy level; micrometeorological measurements using flux towers, and satellite, inverse and numerical modelling studies that seek to integrate our understanding of methane exchange in these ecosystems.