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Scientists discover methane-eating microbes on wetland trees

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Following a hunch has led scientists to a world-first find of microbes living on wetland trees that eat methane.

Southern Cross University wetland biochemistry researcher Luke Jeffrey was doing experiments on the trees in wetlands when he realised he could test a theory he had been toying with for some time.

Luke Jeffrey takes methane samples from wetland paperbark trees.

Luke Jeffrey takes methane samples from wetland paperbark trees.

“Through discussions with colleagues, we’d realised that paperbark trees would actually be a great home for bacteria, which consume methane,” Dr Jeffrey said.

“The unique bark the trees have would be perfect for the microbes to live in, because it’s dark, it’s moist and there’s an abundance of methane from the wetlands themselves.”

Wetlands around the world…



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