Methane formation in aerobic environments

Frank Keppler, Mihaly Boros, Christian Frankenberg, Jos Lelieveld, Andrew McLeod, Anna Maria Pirttila, Thomas Rockmann, Joerg-Peter Schnitzler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Methane (CH4), the second principal anthropogenic greenhouse gas after CO2, is the most abundant reduced organic compound in the atmosphere and plays a central role in atmospheric chemistry. Therefore a comprehensive understanding of its sources and sinks and the parameters that control emissions is prerequisite to simulate past, present and future atmospheric conditions. Until recently biological CH4 formation has been associated exclusively with anoxic environments and methanogenic activity. However, there is growing and convincing evidence of alternative pathways in the aerobic biosphere including terrestrial plants, soils, marine algae and animals. Identifying and describing these sources is essential to complete our understanding of the biogeochemical cycles that control CH4 in the atmospheric environment and its influence as a greenhouse gas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459-465
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Chemistry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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