A paper published in Nature (Frank Keppler et.al., Vol 439, pgs. 187-191) some weeks ago indicating that tree emit methane, generated lots of media for a couple of days, and then nothing.
I received the following email in response:
It was with interest that I read your recent article on the effect of trees on the atmosphere. In my youth I worked in the timber industry as a faller and later as a dozer operator, here in this higher rainfall area the amount of termite activity in mature and maturing trees is amazing, almost every tree you would fall would have a nest in the butt and almost all stressed trees with a bit of dead wood in them will be ant infested, this does include quite small trees at times.
I noticed that the CSIRO tested methane in a young pinus radiata plantation I think they should be challenged to do their trials in a mature eucalypt forest, an old growth forest would be ideal, I’m sure the result would be a damn site different there.
Thanks Bruce. I would also like to see some figures for mature tropical forests in Australia. And I was fascinated to read that termites emit 20 million tonnes of methane per year (Nature, Vol 439, pg. 148).