what happens to carbon when a tree dies

When there is enough light and the air temperature is above zero, we can see photosynthesis as a flow of carbon dioxide molecules towards the crown: carbon dioxide enters needles through the pores located at the needle surface (the stomata). If the tree is buried or stays in the ground, it could turn into a fossil fuel such as coal. But I assume that decomposition would take a very long time, and much of the carbon could be absorbed by other plants through the soil. The tree can be utilized in a fashion that does not permit it to rot, or can be treated so that it rots very slowly and in this way it can be used in construction, or in art (carvings). You can sign in to give your opinion on the answer. ALL of the carbon in fossil fuel was in the atmosphere at some time. This should be done so as to slow the release of their stored carbon for as long as possible while these young trees that replaced them soak up tones of carbon as well! Eventually it goes back into the atmosphere through decomposition or combustion. When a plant dies, if it is in a particularly wet environment, decay is inhibited and a buildup of biomass occurs. It depends. These molecules become the building elements for growth and the basic material to maintain existing components of vital functions. It is not likely that it will ever become coal - coal is the result of massive death of vegetation falling into a low oxygen area like a peat bog, with subsequent burial of this bog by sediment. Plant leaves such as needles retain the carbon dioxide by the process of photosynthesis and release it by the process of respiration. Generally, about half of the caught carbon is released in respiration. It also has of a diverse layer of ground vegetation that photosynthesizes, transpires and respires similarly to trees but the volumes are smaller due to the smaller sizes of ground vegetation and diminished light environment at the ground level. Why do you think there's so much oil, coal and other carbon products all over the place? The tree doesn't store all of the CO2 it gets over its lifetime. The remnants that remain from this process can then be utilized in such a way that the release of the carbon is done in a beneficial way such that burning the woodchips, bark, nut shells, etc, can drive steam generators that produce "green" electricity in that it becomes part of the natural carbon cycle. part of the carbon is deposited in the soil as the tree decomposes. When it is dark, the only flow of CO2 comes from respiration and it is thus outwards from the canopy. One great benefit of this process is that these generators are releasing atmospheric carbon in areas of forestry/agroforestry and releasing atmospheric carbon actually increases the growth rates of these trees in these areas. If the tree is burnt, then yes, the CO2 will be released back into the atmosphere. Respiration is the basic cellular process to obtain chemical energy from the oxidation of … In addition to plant roots, a complex soil microbiota lives below ground. Who else besides me eats the watermelon seeds  ;-)? Will the next generation rise up and slaughter the older generation because of what they've done to the environment? "When the tree dies, that carbon flow is shut off, and the release of carbon into the soil and the atmosphere goes down, leading to the observed dampening effect on the carbon cycle: As trees die, less carbon is taken up from the atmosphere, but less is released from the soil as well." This is a common feature of the macadamia industries in Hawaii and Australia as the shells of the macadamia have an extraordinarily high calorific level and a lot of electricity can be created by burning these shells. So the question is not that they should not be cut so as to not risk the release of their carbon stores. They absorbed carbon too, and for most trees that is a considerable fraction of their total mass. No, that's the whole point. Thus, as plants die, some of the carbon becomes locked in the soil. As many has pointed out it it will release CO2 to the air if burnt. At the same time, as carbon-locking processes take place, some of the carbon returns back to the atmosphere as respired carbon dioxide from plants as well as soil microbiota. As garbage it will probably be burnt and then it will release CO2. Join Yahoo Answers and get 100 points today. The carbon will stay locked up as long as the tree exists. They argue that when a tree dies, its carbon is rereleased into the atmosphere. In a twisted sense, your boss is correct in that dead plants are responsible for most carbon emissions. The decay of roots over time leave much of the carbon as part of the soil structure, so that remains fixed for long … The plants that replace the tree recapture that carbon from the air, resulting in a cycle… If it falls and decays, the same thing will happen, only it takes longer. As plants grow, carbon becomes locked as part of the accumulating plant biomass. Boreal forests have a vegetation structure that consists of the trees. Still have questions? Approx. The same happens with the biomass of the whole plant when it dies.

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