Project

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Linking terrestrial and aquatic biogeochemistry of plant and microbial organic matter from various types of land-use in the Himalayan Mountains (Nepal)

Applicant Griepentrog Marco
Number 164632
Funding scheme Advanced Postdoc.Mobility
Research institution Faculty of Bioscience Engineering Ghent University
Institution of higher education Institution abroad - IACH
Main discipline Other disciplines of Earth Sciences
Start/End 01.04.2016 - 30.09.2017
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Other disciplines of Earth Sciences
Other disciplines of Environmental Sciences

Keywords (8)

compound-specific stable-isotope-analysis (d13C); terrestrial biogeochemistry; soil fractionation; land-use; aquatic biogeochemistry; plant biomarker; soil organic matter; microbial biomarker

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
1. LeadBöden haben eine tiefgreifende Bedeutung für menschliches Leben, da sie fundamentale Funktionen in Ökosystemen innehaben und essentiell für die Erzeugung von Nahrungsmitteln sind. Die Menschheit verändert global die Umwelt unter anderem mit grossflächigen Änderungen von Landnutzungen. Ein weitreichendes Problem stellt dabei die Erosion von Böden dar. Dies führt zu einem Verlust von organischer Bodensubstanz in aquatische Ökosysteme (Flüsse). Momentan ist es jedoch nur begrenzt möglich Flusssedimente ihren Quellen nach verschiedenen Landnutzungen zuzuordnen. Dies ist jedoch von Bedeutung um Landnutzungen zu identifizieren die massgeblich zu Bodenerosion beitragen und geeignete Massnahmen zu ergreifen um diese zu minimieren.
Lay summary

2. Ziele des Forschungsprojekts

Das primäre Ziel des Projekts ist den relativen Beitrag verschiedener Landnutzungen zum Transport von organischer Bodensubstanz in Flusssedimenten zu ermitteln. Zudem soll der biogeochemische Ursprung (pflanzlich gegenüber mikrobiell) der organischen Substanz in terrestrischen (Böden) und aquatischen (Flusssedimenten) Ökosystemen untersucht werden.

 

3. Wissenschaftlicher und gesellschaftlicher Kontext des Forschungsprojekts

Das Projekt wird ein umfangreiches Budget von pflanzlichen und mikrobiellen Biomarkern in terrestrischen und aquatischen Ökosystemen innerhalb eines Wassereinzugsgebiets mit verschiedenen Landnutzungen erstellen. Es wird die Quellen von erodierter organischer Bodensubstanz verschiedenen Landnutzungen zuordnen und neuartige Informationen über die Mechanismen liefern welche die Stabilisierung von organischer Substanz in erodierenden Landschaften kontrollieren. Es verbindet terrestrische mit aquatischer Biogeochemie und trägt dazu bei eine Brücke zwischen verschiedenen Forschungsgebieten zu schlagen.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 17.02.2016

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Publications

Publication
Community managed forests dominate the catchment sediment cascade in the mid-hills of Nepal: A compound-specific stable isotope analysis
Upadhayay H.R., Smith H.G., Griepentrog M., Bodé S., Bajracharya R.M., Blake W., Cornelis W., Boeckx P. (2018), Community managed forests dominate the catchment sediment cascade in the mid-hills of Nepal: A compound-specific stable isotope analysis, in Science of the Total Environment, 637-638, 306-317.
Isotope mixing models require individual isotopic tracer content for correct quantification of sediment source contributions
Upadhayay H.R., Bodé S., Griepentrog M., Bajracharya R.M., Blake W., Cornelis W., Boeckx P. (2018), Isotope mixing models require individual isotopic tracer content for correct quantification of sediment source contributions, in Hydrological Processes, 32, 981-989.
Methodological perspectives on the application of compound-specific stable isotope fingerprinting for sediment source apportionment
Upadhayay H.R., Bodé S., Griepentrog M., Huygens D., Bajracharya R.M., Blake W.H., Dercon G., Mabit L., Gibbs M., Semmens B.X., Stock B.C., Cornelis W., Boeckx P. (2017), Methodological perspectives on the application of compound-specific stable isotope fingerprinting for sediment source apportionment, in Journal of Soils and Sediments, 17, 1537-1553.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego, San Diego United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Department of Applied Biosciences, Ghent University, Ghent Belgium (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Joint FAO/IAEA Soil and Water Management & Crop Nutrition Laboratory, IAEA, Vienna Austria (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu China (Asia)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Plymouth University, Plymouth Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Water and Soil Resources, Department of Geography, University of Augsburg, Augsburg Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Department of Microbiology and Ecosystem Science, University of Vienna, Vienna Austria (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Institute of Climate-Smart Agriculture, Thünen Institute, Braunschweig Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Department of Biochemical and Microbial Technology, Ghent University, Ghent Belgium (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST), Arusha Tanzania (Africa)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA), Brussels Belgium (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Thermochemical Conversion of Biomass, Department of Biosystems Engineering, Ghent University, Ghent Belgium (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Department of Soil Management, Ghent University, Ghent Belgium (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Tanzania Atomic Energy Commission (TAEC), Arusha Tanzania (Africa)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
Aquatic Ecology Center (AEC), School of Science, Kathmandu University, Dhulikhel Nepal (Asia)
- 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
6th International Symposium on Soil Organic Matter (SOM2017) Talk given at a conference Which is the best method to isolate soil organic carbon fractions with differing turnover times? 04.09.2017 Rothamsted, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Griepentrog Marco;
Goldschmidt Conference Poster Climatic versus geochemical control on soil organic matter stabilization and greenhouse gas emissions along altitudinal transects in different mountain regions 14.08.2017 Paris, France Griepentrog Marco;
Annual Meeting of the Benelux Association of Stable Isotope Scientists (BASIS) Talk given at a conference Climatic versus geochemical control on soil organic matter stabilization and greenhouse gas emissions along altitudinal transects in different mountain regions 04.05.2017 Utrecht, Netherlands Griepentrog Marco;
General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) Talk given at a conference Effects of climate and geochemistry on soil organic matter stabilization and greenhouse gas emissions along altitudinal transects in different mountain regions 26.04.2017 Vienna, Austria Griepentrog Marco;
General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) Talk given at a conference What can we learn from soil organic carbon fractions? - analytical options and limitations 24.04.2017 Vienna, Austria Griepentrog Marco;
General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) Talk given at a conference Improved estimation of sediment source contributions by concentration-dependent Bayesian isotopic mixing model 24.04.2017 Vienna, Austria Griepentrog Marco;
General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) Poster Framework for integrating sediment sources information with paying for environmental services to soil and energy security in Kulekhani catchment, Nepal 24.04.2017 Vienna, Austria Griepentrog Marco;
Joint European Stable Isotope User Meeting (JESIUM) Talk given at a conference Compound specific stable isotope for sediment fingerprinting in Chitlang catchment (Nepal): From biotracer isotopic proportion to source soil contribution 05.09.2016 Ghent, Belgium Griepentrog Marco;
European Society for Soil Conservation Conference (ESSC 2016) Talk given at a conference Fatty acid specific carbon isotope tracer for sediment source discrimination and apportionment: application in Chitlang watershed of Nepal. 15.06.2016 Cluj-Napoca, Romania Griepentrog Marco;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Print (books, brochures, leaflets) Article in: Soils Newsletter Vol.40 No.1, June 2017 International 2017

Awards

Title Year
Return CH Advanced Postdoc.Mobility Fellowship 2017

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
174300 Sources and proportions of modern and aged organic carbon eroded from soils under different land-use within catchments in Nepal - Insights from compound-specific 13C & 14C analysis and novel mixing models 01.11.2017 Return CH Advanced Postdoc.Mobility
155163 The fate of plant waxes in a forest ecosystem under elevated CO2 concentrations and increased nitrogen deposition 01.10.2014 Early Postdoc.Mobility

Abstract

Soils have a profound importance for human life, as they are essential to sustain food security and provide fundamental ecosystem functions. Humans are globally changing the environment with widespread changes in land-use, but it is however not clear how organic matter (OM) in soils reacts to the current change in environmental conditions. There is growing evidence that the stabilization of soil OM is not mainly controlled by its molecular structure, as previously thought, but by the environmental conditions. Furthermore recent evidence shows that soil OM is largely derived from microbial OM and does not mainly consist of plant-derived OM. These paradigm shifts in soil OM research also affect interpretations of aquatic biogeochemistry and there is a strong demand to transcend the boundaries of terrestrial and aquatic research communities. The sole application of plant biomarkers to quantify the transport of terrestrial OM into aquatic ecosystems is questioned by the fact that soil OM consists in large parts of microbial OM. However, microbial biomarkers have been rarely characterized in aquatic ecosystems and the transport of terrestrial OM in aquatic ecosystems might be greatly underestimated due to the over-reliance on plant-derived biomarkers as proxies for terrestrial OM inputs. The proposed project aims (1) to study the biogeochemical origin (plant versus microbial) of OM in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and (2) to investigate how different types of land-use relatively contribute to the transport of OM from terrestrial to aquatic ecosystems. Therefore, particle-size fractions of soils and river sediments from various land-use types will be analyzed for plant (n-alkanes) and microbial (amino sugars) biomarkers using state-of-the-art molecular and stable isotope (d13C) analysis of specific biomarkers. The combined isotope analysis of plant- and microbial-derived biomarkers in both soils and river sediments offers a unique tool to study the biogeochemical origin and composition of OM that gets transported from terrestrial to aquatic ecosystems. Furthermore, physical fractionation of soils and sediments will localize OM within the soil matrix and emphasize OM fractions that are most relevant for erosion and sedimentation processes. The proposed project will generate a comprehensive budget of plant and microbial biomarkers in the terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems of a watershed with different types of land-use. It will constrain the sources of soil OM eroded from different land-use types and provide novel information on the mechanisms that control the stabilization and destabilization of OM in eroding landscapes. It will furthermore help to clarify the relative contribution of microbial-derived OM to the transport of terrestrial OM into aquatic ecosystems. The proposed project links terrestrial and aquatic biogeochemistry and therefore helps to bridge knowledge across the boundaries of research communities.
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