Wood is to a large extend, CO2 stored by trees through years of hard work. When trees die and become subject for decomposition, low oxygen concentrations in side the wood likely protects C from release but what controls oxygen levels and thus the potentially the life-time of wood C?
We have a unique possibility to perform a range of experiments investigating oxygen levels in wood.
During microbial turnover of wood, oxygen is consumed and likely limit decomposition. At the same time, decomposers inside the wood could have an evolutionary advantage if they can function under low oxygen conditions. Temperature and moisture conditions in the wood vary in natural habitats and are likely to affect oxygen conditions. However, the influence of temperature and moisture on decomposition rates is not straight forward. Temperature is likely to increase decomposition and reduce oxygen levels. Moisture is a prerequisite for microbial activity but is also limits the diffusion of oxygen. Help us find out how oxygen levels in decomposing wood depend on temperature and moisture?