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Top Story

Decomposing leaves are surprising source of greenhouse gases

Scientists have pinpointed tiny bits of decomposing leaves in soil as a new source of nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas that's more potent than carbon dioxide. Nitrous oxide's climate change potential is 300 times greater than carbon dioxide, and emissions are largely driven by agricultural practices. To unlock the secrets of nitrous oxide hotspots, a team of researchers took soil samples at the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Kellogg Biological Station Long-Term Ecological Research site. The finding could help refine nitrous oxide emission predictions and guide future agriculture and soil management practices. Next up, the researchers will study which plant leaves contribute to higher nitrous oxide emissions.

Visit Website | Image credit: Alexandra Kravchenko, Michigan State University