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Keywords:

  • 13C-labelling;
  • climate change;
  • methane emission.

Summary

  • • 
    The results of a single publication stating that terrestrial plants emit methane has sparked a discussion in several scientific journals, but an independent test has not yet been performed.
  • • 
    Here it is shown, with the use of the stable isotope 13C and a laser-based measuring technique, that there is no evidence for substantial aerobic methane emission by terrestrial plants, maximally 0.3% (0.4 ng g−1 h−1) of the previously published values.
  • • 
    Data presented here indicate that the contribution of terrestrial plants to global methane emission is very small at best.
  • • 
    Therefore, a revision of carbon sequestration accounting practices based on the earlier reported contribution of methane from terrestrial vegetation is redundant.