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Calcium carbonate cycle in soils and surficial sediments: a multidisciplinary approach to the role of fungi and bacteria

English title Calcium carbonate cycle in soils and surficial sediments: a multidisciplinary approach to the role of fungi and bacteria
Applicant Verrecchia Eric
Number 122171
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution Décanat Géosciences et de l'Environnement Université de Lausanne Bâtiment Amphipôle
Institution of higher education University of Lausanne - LA
Main discipline Geology
Start/End 01.10.2008 - 30.11.2010
Approved amount 253'213.00
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Keywords (8)

Biomineralization; Calcium carbonate cycle; Calcium oxalate; Carbon pools; Fungi; Pedogenic and surficial carbonates; Calcium carbonate; Carbon pools and sequestration

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
The problem we would like to resolve deals with the processes leading to calcium carbonate accumulation in soils and surficial sediments, in relationship with the plants and associated microorganisms. Because Fungi represent one of the most widespread Kingdoms in terrestrial environments, the project emphasizes their role in calcium carbonate precipitation, accumulation, and early diagenesis as well as carbon sequestration in terrestrial environments. Pluri-disciplinary by definition, this proposal uses microbiological and petrological - biogeochemical techniques to understand, evaluate, and measure the potential role of fungi in carbonate formations on the surface of continents. In contrast to organic matter decomposition by fungi, little attention has been paid to the fate of the many minerals released by fungi (mycorrhizal or saprophytic). These minerals (calcite and Ca-oxalate after its oxidation) are assumed to contribute significantly to an inorganic carbon pool which has geologically long soil residence times. This pool constitutes a potentially very significant carbon sink. The study of fungal biomineralization involved in the complex relationships between plants, fungi, and bacteria in long term carbon sequestration is the main aim of this proposal. One of the major challenges of this project is to reproduce needle fiber calcite (NFC), a ubiquitous habit of terrestrial calcite, in the laboratory with identified fungal strains. This experiment will be carried out in order to control various external parameters such as element concentrations (in particular calcium) and nutrients, pH, temperature, and water supply. Our own research and observations of naturally occurring NFC emphasize their fungal nature: they form inside microtubules of fungal strands. In order to evaluate the potential fungal biomineralization, both field and laboratory experiments in microcosms will be performed. Crystals obtained will be studied using molecular tools (in order to understand the fungal biosynthesis of minerals), biogeochemistry (including REE elements, fatty acids, and isotopes as tracers), and high performance electronic microscopy (Cryo-SEM, TEM, AFM, EELS probes) and nanoSIMS. In terms of geomicrobiology, this project is an opportunity to study the relationships between fungi and lithogenesis. The results will facilitate our understanding of the formation of particular terrestrial limestones such as calcretes and carbonate paleosols, which are used as proxies for paleo-atmospheric pCO2. In conclusion, this project deals with the carbon cycle on continents through deposition of calcium carbonate by the rhizosphere and should help to document the involvement of some ecosystems to act as carbon sinks. It also puts into question the conventional concept of CaCO3 leaching in carbonate soils by emphasizing the possible consequences of in situ biodiagenesis. Therefore, it will contribute to our knowledge of carbonate soil genesis and its use in paleoenvironmental reconstruction.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Role of fungi in the biomineralization of calcite
Bindschedler Saskia, Cailleau Guillaume, Verrecchia Eric (2016), Role of fungi in the biomineralization of calcite, in Minerals, 6(41), 1-19.
Carbon dioxide in scree slope deposits: A pathway from atmosphere to pedogenic carbonate
Hasinger Olivier, Spangenberg Jorge, Millière Laure, Bindschedler Saskia, Cailleau Guillaume, Verrecchia Eric (2015), Carbon dioxide in scree slope deposits: A pathway from atmosphere to pedogenic carbonate, in Geoderma, 247-248, 129-139.
Unravelling the enigmatic origin of calcitic nanofibres in soils and caves: purely physicochemical or biogenic processes?
Bindschedler Saskia, Cailleau Guillaume, Braissant Olivier, Millière Laure, Job Daniel, Verrecchia Eric (2014), Unravelling the enigmatic origin of calcitic nanofibres in soils and caves: purely physicochemical or biogenic processes?, in Biogeosciences, 11, 2809-2825.
An ultrastructural approach to analogies between fungal structures and needle fibre calcite
Bindschedler Saskia, Millière Laure, Cailleau Guillaume, Job Daniel, Verrecchia Eric (2012), An ultrastructural approach to analogies between fungal structures and needle fibre calcite, in Geomicrobiology Journal, 29, 301-313.
Microbiological activities in moonmilk monitored using isothermal microcalorimetry (Cave of ”Vers chez le Brandt”, Neuchatel, Switzerland)
Braissant Olivier, Bindschedler Saskia, Daniels A.U., Verrecchia Eric, Cailleau Guillaume (2012), Microbiological activities in moonmilk monitored using isothermal microcalorimetry (Cave of ”Vers chez le Brandt”, Neuchatel, Switzerland), in Journal of Cave and Karst Studies, 74, 116-126.
Pedogenic carbonates
Verrecchia Eric (2011), Pedogenic carbonates, in Reitner Joachim and Thiel Volker (ed.), Springer Verlag, Berlin, 721-725.
Stable carbon and oxygen isotope signature of pedogenic needle fibre calcite: further insight into its origin and relationship with soil conditions
Millière Laure, Hasinger Olivier, Bindschedler Saskia, Cailleau Guillaume, Spangenberg Jorge, Verrecchia Eric (2011), Stable carbon and oxygen isotope signature of pedogenic needle fibre calcite: further insight into its origin and relationship with soil conditions, in Geoderma, 161, 74-87.
Stable carbon and oxygen isotopes of pedogenic needle fibre calcite in selected sites in Western Europe
Millière Laure, Spangenberg Jorge, Bindschedler Saskia, Cailleau Guillaume, Verrecchia Eric (2011), Stable carbon and oxygen isotopes of pedogenic needle fibre calcite in selected sites in Western Europe, in Isotopes in Environmental and Health Studies, 47(3), 1-18.
Calcitic nanofibers in soils and caves: a putative fungal contribution to carbonatogenesis
Bindschedler Saskia, Millière Laure, Job Daniel, Cailleau Guillaume, Verrecchia Eric (2010), Calcitic nanofibers in soils and caves: a putative fungal contribution to carbonatogenesis, Ther Geological Society, London.

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Golschmidt Conference 2009 Talk given at a conference Tracing Soil Carbon Cycle and the Origin of Needle Fibre Calcite 21.06.2009 Davos, Switzerland Bindschedler Saskia; Millière Laure; Verrecchia Eric;
Golschmidt Conference 2009 Talk given at a conference Fungal Implication in Secondary Calcium Carbonate Accumulation in Soils and Caves 21.06.2009 Davos, Switzerland Verrecchia Eric; Bindschedler Saskia; Millière Laure;


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
109497 Calcium carbonate cycle in soils and surficial sediments: a multidisciplinary approach to the role of fungi and bacteria 01.07.2006 Project funding

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