Section 4.5: Geomicrobiology
Head of Section: Prof. Dr. Dirk Wagner
Microbiological processes are an important basis for the study of global biogeochemical cycles in soils and sediments, as these are primarily driven by microorganisms. Section 4.5 focuses on the "deep biosphere", which is supposed to be larger than the one in surface near habitats. This indicates that the biomass from the deep biosphere must play a fundamental role within the global biogeochemical cycles over short and long time scales. The aim of our research is to gain a basic understanding of the deep biosphere in terms of material dynamics and the involved microbial communities in order to assess their general importance for the global biogeochemical cycles. Therefore, the structure and function of microbial communities are analyzed and their metabolic processes are quantified. In-situ experiments, simulation studies and modeling provide further insights on the slow process rates occurring in the deep terrestrial ecosystems.