It has recently been hypothesised that ethylene, released into soil by stressed plants, reduces the oxidation of methane by methanotroph. To test this, a field trial was established in which maize plants were grown with and without soil moisture stress, and the effects of addition aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG; an ethylene biosynthesis inhibitor), and biochar (increases soil water holding capacity and reduces plant stress) were determined following the static incubation of soil samples. AVG increased methane oxidation rates by 50&thinsp;% (<i>P</i>&thinsp;=&thinsp;0.039), but only in the absence of irrigation. No other treatment effects were observed. This result provides evidence for a positive feedback system between plant stress, ethylene production, and impacts on methanotrophic activity.
Zhou, X., Xu, C. Y., Bai, S. H., Xu, Z., Smaill, S. J., Clinton, P. W., & Chen, C. (2018). Technical note: Manipulating interactions between plant stress responses and soil methane oxidation rates. Biogeosciences, 15(13), 4125–4129. https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-15-4125-2018