Bruce. C. submits this odd story from the Dutch Telegraph, which is likely to have some organic farmers is a tizzy. This is a story that was translated from the Dutch newspaper article, so may not be 100% accurate in translation. The paper abstract and introduction follows. – Anthony
Worms guilty of climate problem
WAGENINGEN- Forget the whole debate around global warming. Because it is all the fault of the worm.
Organic farming cause more greenhouse gases, but also what can of worms. Right earthworms, which improve soil fertility, the greenhouse gas emissions from soil to speed up. And not such a bit as well. Note that research teams of four different international universities, including those of Wageningen. The study was made public Sunday.
Earthworms increase emissions of carbon dioxide from soil on average by 33% and that of nitrous oxide by 42%. That’s because of the hustle and bustle of the critters, preventing the gases can more easily escape to the atmosphere.
“The new of this study, therefore, is that they show that in the bottoms the earthworms that cycle speed up”, reacts Guido van der Werf, scientist at the free University in Amsterdam. “What the exact implications of this are I cannot say.”
The researchers from Wageningen thinking an important mechanism in global warming on the track.
According to Meindert Naca of the Association for the preservation of Boer and Environment, however, it is a pretty useless research. “It is not looked at the usefulness of worms and only to the adverse consequences that were found in the 57 literature studies in which one has shopped selectively,” he says. “That in the conversion of plant waste and manure in and at the bottom help the worms to promote conversion is right and that this conversion gases is also correct, but that this subserve at the global warming trying in.”
Agricultural lands are by far the largest source of nitrous oxide, especially by yielding large amounts of manure. The researchers want to dive even further into the file. “We have particularly but experiments needed for we know to what extent global verworming leads to global heating”, concludes PhD student Ingrid Lubbers of Wageningen University.
Source website URL reference: http://www.telegraaf.nl/binnenland/21264007/__Wormen_schuldig_aan_klimaatprobleem__.html
- Earthworms, by burrowing through the soil and making it more porous, make it easier for greenhouse gases in the soil to escape into the atmosphere.
- Earthworms mix organic plant residues in the soil, which may increase decomposition and carbon dioxide emissions.
- The earthworm gut acts as a microbial incubator, boosting the activity of nitrous oxide-producing microbes.
Greenhouse-gas emissions from soils increased by earthworms
Ingrid M. Lubbers, Kees Jan van Groenigen, Steven J. Fonte, Johan Six, Lijbert Brussaard & Jan Willem van Groenigen
Earthworms play an essential part in determining the greenhouse-gas balance of soils worldwide, and their influence is expected to grow over the next decades. They are thought to stimulate carbon sequestration in soil aggregates, but also to increase emissions of the main greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide. Hence, it remains highly controversial whether earthworms predominantly affect soils to act as a net source or sink of greenhouse gases. Here, we provide a quantitative review of the overall effect of earthworms on the soil greenhouse-gas balance. Our results suggest that although earthworms are largely beneficial to soil fertility, they increase net soil greenhouse-gas emissions.
Introduction here: http://www.readcube.com/articles/10.1038/nclimate1692