Methane Efflux from Lake Sediments Through Water Lilies

Science  23 Mar 1979:
Vol. 203, Issue 4386, pp. 1253-1255
DOI: 10.1126/science.203.4386.1253


During winter, when water lilies have no surface leaves, the gases in the rhizome lacunae approach equilibrium with the gases of the sediment water. The resulting increase of internal pressure is manifested by the sustained streams of bubbles (up to 37 percent methane and 6 percent carbon dioxide) that escape when emerging leaves are torn in the spring. Methane continues to enter the roots and rhizome during summer, rapidly moves up the petioles, and passes out through the emergent leaves into the atmosphere.