Effect of various anionic species on net methane production in flooded rice soils

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In a laboratory incubation study, effect of various anions on net methane production in two rice soils (alluvial and acid sulphate) under flooded conditions was examined. Methane production was considerable in alluvial soil and almost negligible in acid sulphate soil, albeit with a higher density of viable methanogens, during 30-day incubation without salts. Sodium salts of hydroxide and phosphate further stimulated methane production in alluvial soil and marginally in acid sulphate soil. But, addition of sodium molybdate, a selective inhibitor of sulphate-reducing bacteria, increased the production of methane in acid sulphate soil. In contrast, nitrite, nitrate, sulphite and sulphate suppressed the production of methane in both soils. Acetate served as an excellent substrate for methanogenesis in alluvial soil, but not in acid sulphate soil. Succinate and citrate also stimulated methane production especially in alluvial soil, but after a longer lag. In acid sulphate soil, most of the added carbon in the form of sodium salts of carboxylic acids was converted to CO2 and not methane, which is consistent with their preferential use by the sulphate-reducing bacteria. In general, none of the amendments could increase production of methane in acid sulphate soil to the same level as in alluvial soil.

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