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Effect of drought on C cycling in the plant-soil system - which roles play lignin and lipids?

Applicant Wiesenberg Guido
Number 146473
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 01.06.2013 - 30.04.2017
Approved amount 245'851.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Pedology
Geochemistry

Keywords (9)

heath; severe drought; alcohols; fatty acids; alkanes; lignin monomers; grassland; soil organic carbon; 13CO2 pulse labeling

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Häufigere und intensivere Trockenphasen werde für die Zukunft für Mitteleuropa prognostiziert. Zum gegenwärtigen Zeitpunkt ist es jedoch ungewiss, wie verschiedene Pflanzen sich daran anpassen werden. Es wird postuliert, dass die Pflanzen mehr in protektive Strategien investieren, wobei dies bislang vielfach hypothetisch ist. In dem Projekt wird der Einflusses von Trockenstress auf die Synthese und Persistenz von Wachsbestandteilen und Lignin in Pflanzen untersucht.
Lay summary
Das übergeordnete Ziel des Projektes ist die Verbesserung des Verständnisses, wie verschiedene Pflanzen der temperierten Klimazone auf den Klimawandel und hier insbesondere ausgeprägtere Trockenphasen reagieren. Im Detail wird dabei untersucht (i) welche Pflanzengemeinschaft (Grasland im Vergleich zu Heidekräutern) auch bei verstärktem Trockenstress noch aktiv Kohlenstoff (C) aus der Atmosphäre aufnehmen kann, (ii) wie sich die C-Aufnahme in einzelnen Pflanzen der genannten Gemeinschaften im Laufe steigernder Trockenheit verändert, (iii) in welche Substanzklassen (Wachskomponenten oder Lignin) die Pflanzen bei intensiverer Trockenheit mehr investieren, und (iv) wie sich der C-Eintrag und -Umsatz im Boden bei intensiverer Trockenheit verändert. Die Erkenntnisse des Forschungsprojekts sind einerseits wichtig, um die Reaktion einheimischer Pflanzen auf den Klimawandel besser verstehen zu können und andererseits, um den Effekt von Trockenheit auf den C-Kreislauf zu erfassen, d.h. ob es durch Trockenheiten zu einer verstärkten Freisetzung von C aus dem Boden kommt.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 13.05.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Name Institute

Publications

Publication
Severe drought-influenced composition and δ13C of plant and soil n-alkanes in model temperate grassland and heathland ecosystems
Srivastava Kavita, Wiesenberg Guido L.B. (2018), Severe drought-influenced composition and δ13C of plant and soil n-alkanes in model temperate grassland and heathland ecosystems, in Organic Geochemistry, 116, 77-89.
Short-term carbon dynamics in a temperate grassland and heathland ecosystem exposed to 104 days of drought followed by irrigation.
Srivastava Kavita, Jentsch Anke, Kreyling Jürgen, Glaser Bruno, Wiesenberg Guido L.B. (2018), Short-term carbon dynamics in a temperate grassland and heathland ecosystem exposed to 104 days of drought followed by irrigation., in Isotopes in Environmental and Health Studies, 54(1), 41-62.
Repeated annual drought has minor long-term influence on δ13 C and alkane composition of plant and soil in model grassland and heathland ecosystems
Srivastava Kavita, Jentsch Anke, Glaser Bruno, Wiesenberg Guido L.B. (2017), Repeated annual drought has minor long-term influence on δ13 C and alkane composition of plant and soil in model grassland and heathland ecosystems, in Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, 180, 516-527.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Prof. Dr. Anke Jentsch, Disturbance Ecology, University of Bayreuth Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Prof. Bruno Glaser, Soil Biogeochemistry, University of Halle-Wittenberg Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Dr. Rolf Siegwolf, PSI, Villigen Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Prof. Dr. Jürgen Kreyling, Experimental Plant Ecology, Unifersity of Greifswald Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
27th International Meeting on Organic Geochemistry Poster How does plant carbon uptake and carbon translocation towards soil is affected by severe drought in a model grassland and heathland? 13.09.2015 Prag, Czech Republic Wiesenberg Guido;
Plant Wax 2015 Poster How is soil lipid composition (n-alkane) affected by severe drought (100 yr extreme) in a model grassland and heathland ecosystem? 16.06.2015 Ascona, Switzerland Wiesenberg Guido; Srivastava Kavita;
European Geosciences Union General Assembly Talk given at a conference Effect of severe drought on C uptake by plants and its translocation towards soil in a model grassland and heathland 12.04.2015 Wien, Austria Srivastava Kavita;
BIOGEOMON Poster Effect of repeated annual drought on plant and soil n-alkane composition in a temperate grassland and heathland of Central Europe 13.07.2014 Bayreuth, Germany Wiesenberg Guido; Srivastava Kavita;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Plant Wax 2015 16.06.2015 Ascona, Switzerland

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Other activities ResearchGate International 2016

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
157778 Next-Iso: Next generation compound-specific isotope analysis of stable and radioactive isotopes of organic components in terrestrial ecosystems 01.02.2015 R'EQUIP

Abstract

Drought events are predicted to occur more frequently and for a longer duration due to climate change. Especially, severe droughts most likely increase in Central Europe during the summer season, when commonly plants actively grow. Due to this drought C uptake by plants and its translocation towards soil can be expected to decrease. Thus, this has a strong influence on the plant driven sequestration of C in soil and also drought might promote C loss in the soil. Furthermore, it remains questionable, if the plant-soil system can adapt to drought to further resist to severe droughts. Strong effects of drought were described for the regulation of lipid formation in plants including fatty acids as part of cell membranes and alkanes as part of the wax layer, whereas so far no information is available, if lipid incorporation into soils and lipid turnover therein is also influenced by drought. For another part of plant tissues like lignin a response on drought cannot be expected as lignin formation is not directly connected to the regulation of the stomata and the wax formation. However, as influences of drought on lignin and lipid cycling in the plant-soil system remain largely unknown, but they are part of intermediate stable C pool in soil, it should be known, whether drought might improve their mineralisation or storage in soils. In this proposal, we will determine CO2 uptake by plants, translocation of C from plants to soil and soil C fluxes of two different plant communities (grass and heath) that are exposed to a severe drought of 14 weeks under field conditions. Additionally, plots are differentiated that were previously exposed to annual drought or control conditions. C cycling is investigated under field conditions by help of a triple 13CO2 pulse labeling experiment and subsequent analyses of the isotope label in plant and soil samples. The whole experiment was performed under rainout shelters installed on the Bayreuth EVENT I experiment in summer 2011. Further, a laboratory experiment will be conducted, where under controlled conditions only soil moisture is regulated to drought and control conditions, respectively and via a continuous 13CO2 labeling C cycling in the plant-soil system is determined. All samples from the EVENT I experiment and the laboratory experiment will be analysed for their d13C isotopic values to trace the bulk C fluxes. In addition to the bulk C, lipids including fatty acids, alkanes and alcohols and lignin monomers will be monitored for the whole sample set to determine the regulation of lipid and lignin formation in plants under drought and especially to investigate the incorporation and mineralisation of bulk C and at a molecular level for lipids and lignin during the drought.This research will serve the following central goals: 1. Determine effect of increasing drought on C uptake by plants and bulk C, lipid and lignin translocation towards soil. 2. Assess the effect of severe drought on bulk C, lipid and lignin storage and mineralisation in soil. Such information is strongly required to understand the effects of severe drought on C cylcing in the plant-soil system as such conditions are predicted to occur more frequently under future climatic conditions.
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