Methane and Plants
Name: Theresa M.
I had a natural gas leak outside my house. The leak as fixed, however, there were
pockets of gas stuck underground. The gas traveled up around my foundation and my landscaping.
Now that spring has sprung some of my plants are dead. I was wondering if there are any studies
done on how natural gas affects plants? I had contacted my local arboretum and they sent me
elsewhere. Now I am trying the web looking for answers. Thank you.
I do not think that natural gas in the soil would directly kill vegetation. Plants take in oxygen through the stomates on their leaves, and respire carbon dioxide from their leaves also. The roots main function is the uptake of water and nutrients. Perhaps the mechanical effects of fixing the gas line, i.e., digging around your home actually severed the plant
Anthony Brach, Ph.D
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Update: June 2012