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Fate of pyrogenic carbon in the soil under increased atmospheric nitrogen deposition

English title Fate of pyrogenic carbon in the soil under increased atmospheric nitrogen deposition
Applicant Schmidt Michael W. I.
Number 120077
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Geographisches Institut Universität Zürich
Institution of higher education University of Zurich - ZH
Main discipline Pedology
Start/End 01.09.2008 - 31.12.2011
Approved amount 191'725.00
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Keywords (10)

biogeochemistry; carbon sequestration; decomposition; forest ecology; global change; N deposition; soil organic matter; pyrogenic carbon; nitrogen; PyC

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
Understanding soil organic matter (SOM) dynamics is critical to meeting many environmental, agricultural, and forestry challenges relating to productivity and sustainability, including the potential of soils to sequester atmospheric CO2. The amount of C as stored as SOM represents two-thirds of the terrestrial C pool and is the primary energy source driving several critical biogeochemical processes. The mechanisms of C stabilization in soils remain poorly understood. A critical knowledge gap in soil organic C (SOC) cycling concerns the SOC portion known as pyrogenic C (PyC), which is a chemically heterogeneous class of highly reduced compounds produced by the incomplete combustion. In terrestrial ecosystems, C and N dynamics are closely linked due to the activity of organisms. During the last few decades, atmospheric nitrogen deposition in soils has increased as a result of climate changes and human activities. At present, however, it is not clear whether increased nitrogen deposition will accelerate or decelerate soil-organic-matter turnover. Also, because of these global changes, future summers in temperate regions will be warmer and drier than today, and wildfires wil be more frequent, producing more fire-derived (pyrogenic) carbon (PyC), a relatively recalcitrant soil component. Quantitative information on the long-term fate of PyC in soil is still virtually absent.This project aims to establish the first PyC soil budget-for current N deposition levels and for high-N deposition levels that could occur in the future-and second, to highlight the importance of the biological degradation processes of PyC in soil.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Carbon losses from pyrolysed and original wood in a forest soil under natural and increased N deposition
Maestrini B., Abiven S., Singh N., Bird J., Torn M. S., Schmidt M. W. I. (2014), Carbon losses from pyrolysed and original wood in a forest soil under natural and increased N deposition, in Biogeosciences, 11(18), 5199-5213.
Transformation and stabilization of pyrogenic organic matter in a temperate forest field experiment
Singh Nimisha, Abiven Samuel, Maestrini Bernardo, Bird Jeffrey A., Torn Margaret S., Schmidt Michael W. I. (2014), Transformation and stabilization of pyrogenic organic matter in a temperate forest field experiment, in Global Change Biology, 20(5), 1629-1642.
Fire-derived organic carbon in soil turns over on a centennial scale
Singh N., Abiven S., Torn M.S., Schmidt M.W.I. (2012), Fire-derived organic carbon in soil turns over on a centennial scale, in Biogeosciences, 9(8), 2847-2857.
Pyrogenic carbon soluble fraction is larger and more aromatic in aged charcoal than in fresh charcoal
Abiven Samuel, Hengartner Pascal, Schneider Maximilian P. W., Singh Nimisha, Schmidt Michael W. I. (2011), Pyrogenic carbon soluble fraction is larger and more aromatic in aged charcoal than in fresh charcoal, in Soil Biology & Biochemistry, 43(7), 1615-1617.
Stable isotopic analysis of pyrogenic organic matter in soils by liquid chromatography-isotope-ratio mass spectrometry of benzene polycarboxylic acids
Yarnes Christopher, Santos Fernanda, Singh Nimisha, Abiven Samuel, Schmidt Michael W. I., Bird Jeffrey A. (2011), Stable isotopic analysis of pyrogenic organic matter in soils by liquid chromatography-isotope-ratio mass spectrometry of benzene polycarboxylic acids, in Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 25(24), 3723-3731.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
European Geosciences Union Meeting Talk given at a conference The uncertain future of pyrogenic carbon in terrestrial systems 04.04.2011 Vienna, Austria Nimisha Nimisha;


Awards

Title Year
Travel Award of the European Science Foundation MOLTER 2010

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
121770 Physical, molecular and microbial evidence of char degradation 01.12.2008 Ambizione

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