Among the natural sources, the contribution of vegetation to the global CH4 budget is the least well understood. Role of trees to the CH4 budget of forest ecosystems has long been overlooked while Methanogenic Archaea were long considered as the sole CH4 producing organisms. New findings of aerobic CH4 production in terrestrial vegetation and in fungi show our incomplete understanding of the CH4 cycling processes.
The main aim of MEMETRE project is to raise the process-based understanding of CH4 exchange in boreal and temperate forests to the level where we can construct a sound process model for the soil-tree-atmosphere CH4 exchange. We will achieve this by novel laboratory and field experiment focusing on newly identified processes, quantifying CH4 fluxes, seasonal and daily variability and drivers of CH4 at leaf-level, tree and ecosystem level. We synthesize the experimental work to build a process model including CH4 exchange processes within trees and the soil, transport of CH4 between the soil and the trees, and transport of CH4 within the trees.