vinces99 writes: The Amazon rain forest, the "lungs of the planet," inhales carbon dioxide as it exudes oxygen. Until recently it was believed much of the rain forest’s carbon floated down the Amazon River and ended up deep in the ocean, since tough material like bark and stems were thought to be indigestible by river bacteria. A new University of Washington study shows that, in fact, woody plant matter is almost completely digested by bacteria in the Amazon River, and that plays a major part in fueling the river’s breath. The finding has implications for global carbon models, and for the ecology of the Amazon and others among the world’s rivers.
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