Influence of increasing frequency of extreme weather events on soil quality


From 02/2009 to 06/2019

The project studies how increased frequencies of extreme events influence functionality of soil microbial communities under field conditions in different vegetation types. Microbial processes are involved in all soil nutrient cycles and are therefore considered a factor related to sustainability of soil quality. It is therefore of utmost importance to know if and how extreme weather events change nutrient cycles in the long term with respect to different vegetation types. To answer these questions, we apply tools from molecular ecology such as enzyme activity analyses and microarray techniques to follow functional traits of microbial communities and statistical analyses of the data under different extreme event scenarios. These tasks will be achieved in cooperation with other projects on samples from different ecosystems and experimental manipulations (grassland: SP 8, SP 5; heathland: SP 4; forest: SP 3, SP 13). We can build on data from several years of measurements in an earlier phase of the EVENT-Experiment and expand to new data from natural stands in order to give estimates on resistance and resilience of the plant-soil-system. The ultimate goal of the project is to deduce long-term prognoses on how climate change will influence ecosystem services such as soil fertility and carbon storage at natural stands and how land use measures have to be optimised in future to reach sustainable soil quality.

last modified 2018-01-31