Project

Back to overview

Root-derived organic matter in the deep subsoil > 2 m depth - what are the consequences for terrestrial carbon cycling and paleoenvironmental records?

Applicant Wiesenberg Guido
Number 153631
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 01.06.2014 - 31.03.2017
Approved amount 269'400.00
Show all

All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Pedology
Geochemistry

Keywords (7)

Rhizosphere; Roots; Biomarkers; Deep subsoil; Compound-specific isotopes; Terrestrial archives; Radiocarbon dating

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Unter der prognostizierten steigenden CO2-Konzentration der Atmosphäre wird vermutet, dass Böden als Kohlenstoff (C)-Senke agieren. Es wird postuliert, dass Wurzeln zu verstärktem C-Eintrag und -Speicherung beitragen, wobei der tiefe Unterboden (> 2 m) hinsichtlich der Stabilität der eingebrachten Organik unzureichend erforscht ist. In dem Projekt wird der Einfluss von Wurzeln und mit ihnen assoziierten Mikroorganismen auf Eintrag und langfristige Stabilisierung von organischer Substanz im tiefen Unterboden untersucht.
Lay summary

Das primäre Ziel des Projektes ist ein verbessertes Verständnis des Kohlenstoffkreislaufs im tiefen Unterboden und welche Rolle Wurzeln und mikrobielle Prozesse des Wurzelraums dort spielen. Aufgrund von z.T. großen Durchwurzelungstiefen kann hiervon auch das Ausgangsmaterial der Bodenbildung, z.B. unverfestigte terrestrische Sedimente, bis mehrere Meter Tiefe betroffen sein. In der Organik dieser Sedimente sind außerdem Informationen zu früheren Umwelt- und Klimabedingungen gespeichert. Anhand von mehreren typischen Wurzelmerkmalen (Bioporen, Rhizolithe [verkalkte Wurzeln], lebende und fossile Wurzeln) sowie Biomarkern pflanzlicher und mikrobieller Herkunft, die z.T. mit Isotopenuntersuchungen und Altersbestimmung kombiniert werden, wird untersucht, (i) inwieweit Wurzeln und assoziierte Mikroorganismen zu langfristiger C-Speicherung oder -Verlust im tiefen Unterboden beitragen, (ii) wie das Paläoumweltsignal durch postsedimentär wurzelnde Pflanzen überprägt wird, (iii) welche Pflanzen hierfür relevant sind und (iv) ob Sedimenteigenschaften dies beeinflussen.

Die hieraus gewonnenen Erkenntnisse sind einerseits wichtig für das Verständnis des Kohlenstoffkreislaufs und die damit verbundenen Konsequenzen für das Klima, und tragen andererseits dazu bei, Paläoumweltsignale in Sedimenten besser interpretieren zu können.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 14.04.2014

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Analysis of Lipids and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons as Indicators of Past and Present (Micro)Biological Activity
Wiesenberg Guido L.B., Gocke Martina I. (2017), Analysis of Lipids and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons as Indicators of Past and Present (Micro)Biological Activity, Springer Nature, Berlin, Heidelberg, 61-91.
Disentangling interactions between microbial communities and roots in deep subsoil
Gocke Martina I., Huguet Arnaud, Derenne Sylvie, Kolb Steffen, Dippold Michaela A., Wiesenberg Guido L.B. (2017), Disentangling interactions between microbial communities and roots in deep subsoil, in Science of The Total Environment, 575, 135-145.
Paleosols can promote root growth of the recent vegetation – a case study from the sandy soilsediment sequence Rakt, Netherlands
Gocke Martina I., Kessler Fabian, van Mourik Jan M., Jansen Boris, Wiesenberg Guido L.B. (2016), Paleosols can promote root growth of the recent vegetation – a case study from the sandy soilsediment sequence Rakt, Netherlands, in Soil, 2, 537-549.
Two possible source regions for Central Greenald last glacial dust
Újvári Gábor, Stevens Thomas, Svensson Anders, Klötzli Urs S., Manning Christina, Németh Tibor, Sweeney Mark R., Gocke Martina, Wiesenberg Guido L.B., Markovic Slobodan B., Zech Michael (2015), Two possible source regions for Central Greenald last glacial dust, in Geophysical Research Letters, 42, 10399-10408.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Dhr. Dr. Boris Jansen, Earth Surface Science Research Group, University of Amsterdam Netherlands (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Prof. Dr. Timothy I. Eglinton, Biogeoscience Group, ETH Zurich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Prof. Dr. Sylvie Derenne and Dr. Arnaud Huguet, UPMC Paris France (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
AGU Fall Meeting Talk given at a conference Long-term Stabilization of Deep Soil Carbon revisited: The Meaning of Deep Roots 12.12.2016 San Francisco, United States of America Wiesenberg Guido; Gocke Martina;
AGU Fall Meeting Poster How do roots alter signals of molecular proxies in terrestrial archives? 12.12.2016 San Francisco, United States of America Gocke Martina; Wiesenberg Guido;
DBG/IUSS Workshop Interactions of soil biological and soil physical processes Poster Deep subsoil biopores reveal considerable root contribution to macroporosity and give new insights into rhizolith formation 01.09.2016 Braunschweig, Germany Wiesenberg Guido; Gocke Martina;
International Meeting on Organic Geochemistry Poster Assessment of different phases of soil formation in terrestrial sediments: An interdisciplinary approach combining root abundances and geochemical methods 13.09.2015 Prag, Czech Republic Wiesenberg Guido; Gocke Martina;
International Meeting on Organic Geochemistry Poster Disentangling interactions between microbial communities and roots in terrestrial archives 13.09.2015 Prag, Czech Republic Wiesenberg Guido; Gocke Martina;
International Meeting on Organic Geochemistry Poster Changes in quality and quantity of deep subsoil organic matter assessed by a molecular approach 13.09.2015 Prag, Czech Republic Gocke Martina; Wiesenberg Guido;
International Meeting on Organic Geochemistry Poster Formation mechanism of calcified roots in terrestrial sediments: insights from a multitechnique and multiscale characterization strategy 13.09.2015 Prag, Czech Republic Gocke Martina; Wiesenberg Guido;
Jahrestagung der Deutschen Bodenkundlichen Gesellschaft Talk given at a conference Durch Wurzeln geförderte Bodenbildung im tiefen Unterboden entschlüsselt mit einem interdisziplinären Ansatz 05.09.2015 München, Germany Wiesenberg Guido; Gocke Martina;
Jahrestagung der Deutschen Bodenkundlichen Gesellschaft Talk given at a conference Tief wurzelnde Pflanzen erschliessen fruchtbare begrabene Böden und nutzen diese als Nährstoffquelle in ehemaligen Plaggen-Esch-Standorten 05.09.2015 München, Germany Gocke Martina; Wiesenberg Guido;
Plant Wax 2015 Talk given at a conference Application of free lipids and suberin monomers for improved interpretation of paleoenvironmental records 16.06.2015 Ascona, Switzerland Wiesenberg Guido; Gocke Martina;
SUBSOM-Symposium 2015 Talk given at a conference Deep-rooting plants influence quantity and quality of subsurface (> 2 m) OM in the long-term. 28.04.2015 Raesfeld, Germany Gocke Martina;
EGU General Assembly Poster Formation mechanism of calcified roots in terrestrial sediments: insights from a multitechnique and multiscale characterization strategy 12.04.2015 Wien, Austria Gocke Martina; Wiesenberg Guido;
EGU General Assembly Poster Exploitation of nutrient- and C-rich paleosols by deep rooting plants in Dutch drift- and coversands. 12.04.2015 Wien, Austria Gocke Martina; Wiesenberg Guido;
EGU General Assembly Talk given at a conference Change of soil organic matter quality and quantity by deep-rooting plants – a molecular approach. 12.04.2015 Wien, Austria Gocke Martina; Wiesenberg Guido;
EGU General Assembly Talk given at a conference An interdisciplinary approach to decipher different phases of soil formation using root abundances and geochemical methods. 12.04.2015 Wien, Austria Gocke Martina; Wiesenberg Guido;
AGU Fall Meeting Talk given at a conference The fate of molecular markers in soils and their implications for soil carbon cycling. 15.12.2014 San Francisco, United States of America Wiesenberg Guido;
AGU Fall Meeting Poster Long-term fate of carbon in deeply rooted terrestrial sediment assessed by molecular proxies: sequestration vs. mineralization. 15.12.2014 San Francisco, United States of America Wiesenberg Guido;
Biogeomon Talk given at a conference Which role plays rhizomicrobial alteration of root-derived carbon in the deep subsoil for long-term carbon stabilization? 13.07.2014 Bayreuth, Germany Gocke Martina; Wiesenberg Guido;
Biogeomon Talk given at a conference The deep rhizosphere: an underestimated component of long-term organic matter dynamics. 13.07.2014 Bayreuth, Germany Gocke Martina; Wiesenberg Guido;
Goldschmidt Conference Poster Plant root encrustation processes: Insights from a mutitechnique characterization strategy. 08.06.2014 Sacramento, United States of America Wiesenberg Guido; Gocke Martina;
Goldschmidt Conference Talk given at a conference Ancient calcified roots reveal long-term rhizomicrobial activity in the deep subsoil. 08.06.2014 Sacramento, United States of America Gocke Martina; Wiesenberg Guido;
Goldschmidt Conference Poster Root-associated branched GDGTs in terrestrial archives: potential bias on temperature estimates. 08.06.2014 Sacramento, United States of America Gocke Martina; Wiesenberg Guido;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
International Meeting on Organic Geochemistry 13.09.2015 Prag, Czech Republic
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

Roots are currently discussed to store considerable amounts of carbon in the subsoil. Although it is well known that roots can penetrate the subsoil and deep subsoil (> 2 m) several meters deep, it remains unclear, how much carbon they contribute, if they lead to net carbon sequestration in the long-term and under which conditions they lead to carbon accumulation. Rhizoliths and biopores are root-related features that frequently occur in soil and underlying soil parent material. Recent studies in unconsolidated sediments show that they enable investigating the long-term effects of root penetration even after the lifetime of the source plant and thus the assessment of sustainable impacts of roots on subsoil organic matter (OM). While other research groups deal with the subsoil < 2 m, (e.g. German Research Foundation (DFG) Research Group SUBSOM the current project focuses on the deep subsoil (> 2 m), where a significant overprint of OM is expected. In fact, this part of the subsurface is usually not regarded by soil scientists, but of large interest for paleoenvironmental researchers as valid e.g. for loess-paleosol sequences. So far, the effect of roots on subsoil OM was only studied on a single site in SW Germany during a precursor project, DFG (WI2810/10). Based on that project, the current proposal aims at the investigation of the transferability of the results to other sedimentary settings and ecological contexts. At several sites along a NE-SW transect across Europe (from The Netherlands across Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary towards Serbia), unconsolidated material like dune and fluvial sands, as well as loess-paleosol sequences will be investigated with respect to OM quantity and quality as influenced by root penetration. Preliminary investigations of six potential sites in Germany, Hungary and Serbia showed that biopores and other root-related features can reach similar abundances in different settings. Nevertheless, consequences for OM sequestration and turnover may be different, depending not only on the respective source vegetation but also sedimentary properties. The target of the current project is to identify carbon losses or sequestration related to root penetration, which will be assessed by bulk organic and inorganic carbon contents as well as a variety of lipid biomarkers including alkanes, fatty acids, alcohols, glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers and suberin markers. The combination of these biomarkers enables the assessment of root-related overprint, if transects from root features to surrounding material free of them are investigated. The data will be fed into the VERHIB model for source apportionment of sedimentary and root-related OM. Furthermore, d2H and d13C will be determined for alkane biomarkers to estimate the hydrological and temperature differences of sedimentary and root related alkanes, i.e. under which conditions deposition takes place and how they changed towards times of root penetration. Finally, the compound-specific radiocarbon dating of alkanes enables the assessment of the timeframe of root penetration. The combination of several lipid fractions with compound-specific isotopes on root features in the deep subsoil will contribute to our understanding of carbon cycling in the deep subsoil on the one hand and on the other hand will enable improving the interpretation of paleoenvironmental parameters assessed via OM in a variety of unconsolidated subsoil material.
-