Gases and trees

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Main Question or Discussion Point

1)How much carbon dioxide does a mature tree use everyday?
2)How much oxygen is used by a mature tree everyday?
 
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Answers and Replies

DrClaude
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3 moles. o_O

That question is way too vague. What kind of a tree? Of what size? In what climate?
 
48
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3 moles. o_O

That question is way too vague. What kind of a tree? Of what size? In what climate?
By a mature average tree.
 
SteamKing
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By a mature average tree.
Well, what is an "average" tree? A California redwood? A Southern Pine? An old-growth oak tree? A Douglas fir?

There's going to be a range of numbers to answer your question.

This link gives the abstract of an article from 1994 describing a respiration study performed on apple trees of various ages:

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0098847294900051

It appears that this paper must be purchased, unless you have access thru an institution of higher learning.
 
jim mcnamara
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What you are asking: What are gas exchange rates in plants. Trees are large plants, only part of which are alive, the inner wood (xylem) is just dead structure, not living. AS a very rough estimate, the living component of a mature Angiosperm tree decreases with age as the tree trunk grows larger, so the mass percentage of living tissues is less than in a sapling.

What you really want to know - how much CO2 is consumed by photosynthesis and O2 is consumed in respiration and how much CO2 is release by respiration. You have two competing processes in a living tree. None of these questions has a simple answer - what everyone is trying to tell you. Mass of living tissue, climate, insolation, species, growth substrate and so on all fudge things up. Not what you want to hear.

Here are some pop science answers to your question in terms like you asked. When you ask scientific people vague questions like yours you usually get questions instead of answers. ... some statisfying but partially-scientific answers:
"A single mature tree can absorb carbon dioxide at a rate of 48 lbs./year and release enough oxygen back into the atmosphere to support 2 human beings."
- McAliney, Mike. Arguments for Land Conservation: Documentation and Information Sources for Land Resources Protection, Trust for Public Land, Sacramento, CA, December, 1993

"One acre of trees annually consumes the amount of carbon dioxide equivalent to that produced by driving an average car for 26,000 miles. That same acre of trees also produces enough oxygen for 18 people to breathe for a year."
- New York Times

" A 100-ft tree, 18" diameter at its base, produces 6,000 pounds of oxygen."
- http://forestmanagement.enr.gov.nt.ca/forest_education/amazing_tree_facts.htm [Broken]
 
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rbelli1
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There's going to be a range of numbers to answer your question.
Considering that a fully mature tree can range from several meters to over 100 meters that range is quite large.

BoB
 

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