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Carbon in permafrost : production, transformation and release TP5 : Microbial carbon transformation in permafrost soils and sediments of northeastern Siberia

Carbon transformation (decomposition, humification, release) in the permafrost is largely determined by the involved microbial communities and their activity. The active microorganisms are characterized by special adaptations to the extreme conditions of permafrost (e.g. low in situ temperature , limited water supply). Research is needed on the extent and importance of the activity of relevant groups of microorganisms for the transformation of organic carbon and their response to changing environmental conditions in permafrost in the wake of global warming. The overall objective of the project is a better understanding of microbially controlled transformation of soil organic matter and the associated release of greenhouse gases in recent permafrost and older permafrost deposits. Therefore, the underlying microbial communities, their role in the mineralization of organic matter and their response to changing environmental conditions are examined by means of a combined research approach from microbial process studies, DNA-based diversity studies and lipidbiomarker studies. The data for the current carbon dynamics are interpreted in the light of the results with previous climate cycles (glacial - interglacial) and used to understand the future development of permafrost landscapes as a sink or source of climate-relevant trace gases.

Nadja Torres Reyes (PhD student)

Dr. Svetlana Evgrafova, Sukachev Forest-Institute, RAS-SB, Krasnoyarsk
Dr. Irina Grodnitzkaya, Sukachev Forest-Institute, RAS-SB, Krasnoyarsk  

Prof. Dr. Hans-Wolfgang Hubberten, Alfred-Wegener Institut, Helmholtz Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresfoschung, Potsdam
Prof. Dr. Eva-Maria Pfeiffer, Dr. Christian Knoblauch, Institut für Bodenkunde, Universität Hamburg
Dr. Kai Mangelsdorf, GeoForschungsZentrum, Sektion 4.3, Potsdam

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