Biogeochemical cycles and processes
Many of the biogeochemical processes that are critical to the functioning of ecosystems and their services to society are mediated by microorganisms. This includes carbon (C) sequestration, greenhouse gas production and mobilization of nutrients (N, P and S). The cluster provides a platform for cross-disciplinary interactions between ecologists analyzing the diversity of microbial communities, geoscientists who measure the release of greenhouse gases, C sequestration, and nutrient cycling, and theoreticians who develop and evaluate models of climate impacts change on ecosystem processes. An overall aim is to assess how the combined effects of land use/management and climate change affect the biogeochemical processes performed by microorganisms.
These are the major research areas within Climate, land use and biogeochemical cycles:
Molecular Interactions Controlling soil Carbon Sequestration (MICCS)
This research is a multidisciplinary effort to gain a mechanistic understanding of the interactions between soil organic matter (SOM), the activity of symbiotic and saprophytic microorganisms and the physicochemical environment that control the stability of SOM. On a global scale this pool stores more carbon than is present in the terrestrial biomass and the atmosphere combined. Whether soils will capture, store or release carbon will be critical for regulating the atmospheric carbon dioxide level and thus the Earth´s climate.
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Linking microbial activity and biogeochemical processes
Soil microorganism provide important ecosystem functioning by mediating biogeochemical cycles. This research aims to improve our understanding on the linkage between microbial communities and biogeochemical cycles.
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The effects of increasing temperature and drought/rewetting on the structure and activities of fungal and bacterial communities
Ecosystems are exposed to more frequent and extreme drought and rainfall events due to current and predicted climatic warming. As soil moisture regulates soil microbes and microbes are important for many ecosystem functions, it is important to understand how soil microbes and microbial driven processes respond to drought and rainfall events.
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Transport and transformation of dissolved organic matter and nutrient from terrestrial to freshwater and brackish water including the Baltic Sea (MULTISTRESSORS)
Aquatic ecosystems undergo some of the biggest and fastest changes of the last thousands of years. Many changes are connected to human-induced loadings of organic matter, inorganic nutrients and trace elements to inland and coastal waters. The natural stream-lake network has been significantly altered by dam constructions, ditching and water diversion for irrigation purposes. This research combines the fields of biogeochemistry, microbiology, analytical chemistry and genetic structure/diversity of bacterial communities.
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Landscape scale investigations of greenhouse gas exchange (LAGGE)
The main objective is to quantify greenhouse gas (GHG) balances at the landscape scale in forested regions that include land-atmosphere, land-water, and water-atmosphere exchange of CO2, CH4 and N2O. This project links related processes on land and in aquatic environments to address GHG exchange and carbon (C) biogeochemistry from a catchment perspective.
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Development of novel high-throughput methods for assessing the functional diversity of microorganisms involved in the terrestrial carbon cycle
Interactions between nutrient and carbon cycling in forest ecosystems