Project

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Physical, molecular and microbial evidence of char degradation (follow up)

Applicant Abiven Samuel
Number 139422
Funding scheme Ambizione
Research institution Geographisches Institut Universität Zürich
Institution of higher education University of Zurich - ZH
Main discipline Pedology
Start/End 01.12.2011 - 30.11.2012
Approved amount 156'946.00
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Keywords (4)

global change; soil organic matter; pyrogenic carbon; stable carbon isotopes

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. Quantitative information on the long-term fate of PyC in soil as well as it degradation and stabilisation processes are still virtually absent.

 

In the ambizione proposal, we were able to answer most of the questions addressed previously and we produced an unexpected large number of information and data. I now request an extension for this proposal for 2 reasons: 1/ to complete the ongoing publications resulting from this project and 2/ to complete this project with 2 straight forward experiments.

 

The proposed project takes up a number of urgent tasks, as described in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) meeting on terrestrial carbon stocks (IPCC 2003): (1) quantifying changes in  carbon stock; (2) employing high-technology measurements (e.g., isotope tracers and molecular markers) and (3) elucidating soil mechanisms in addition to measuring fluxes. The project will help to clarify our fundamental understanding of the fate of pyrogenic carbon in forest soil under present and future atmospheric nitrogen deposition, and will improve urgently needed field-based and global turnover models.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Fire-derived organic carbon in soil turns over on a centennial scale
Singh N, Abiven S, Torn MS, Schmidt MWI (2012), Fire-derived organic carbon in soil turns over on a centennial scale, in BIOGEOSCIENCES, 9(8), 2847-2857.
Elucidating the chemical structure of pyrogenic organic matter by combining magnetic resonance, mid-infrared spectroscopy and mass spectrometry
Chatterjee S, Santos F, Abiven S, Itin B, Stark RE, Bird JA (2012), Elucidating the chemical structure of pyrogenic organic matter by combining magnetic resonance, mid-infrared spectroscopy and mass spectrometry, in ORGANIC GEOCHEMISTRY, 51, 35-44.
Stable isotopic analysis of pyrogenic organic matter in soils by liquid chromatography-isotope-ratio mass spectrometry of benzene polycarboxylic acids
Yarnes C, Santos F, Singh N, Abiven S, Schmidt MWI, Bird JA (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.
Persistence of soil organic matter as an ecosystem property
Schmidt MWI, Torn MS, Abiven S, Dittmar T, Guggenberger G, Janssens IA, Kleber M, Kogel-Knabner I, Lehmann J, Manning DAC, Nannipieri P, Rasse DP, Weiner S, Trumbore SE (2011), Persistence of soil organic matter as an ecosystem property, in NATURE, 478(7367), 49-56.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
University of Uppsala Sweden (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
University of Florence Italy (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Paul Sherrer Institute Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure

Scientific events



Self-organised

Title Date Place
5th International Workshop on Soil and Sedimentary Organic Matter Stabilization and Destabilization 07.10.2012 Monte Verita, Ascona

Associated projects

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

Abstract

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. Quantitative information on the long-term fate of PyC in soil as well as it degradation and stabilisation processes are still virtually absent. In the ambizione proposal, we were able to answer most of the questions addressed previously and we produced an unexpected large number of information and data. I now request an extension for this proposal for 2 reasons: 1/ to complete the ongoing publications resulting from this project and 2/ to complete this project with 2 straight forward experiments. The proposed project takes up a number of urgent tasks, as described in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) meeting on terrestrial carbon stocks (IPCC 2003): (1) quantifying changes in carbon stock; (2) employing high-technology measurements (e.g., isotope tracers and molecular markers) and (3) elucidating soil mechanisms in addition to measuring fluxes. The project will help to clarify our fundamental understanding of the fate of pyrogenic carbon in forest soil under present and future atmospheric nitrogen deposition, and will improve urgently needed field-based and global turnover models.
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