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Phototrophic community succession as driver of mineral weathering and soil formation along chronosequences in maritime Antarctica | SPP 1158 "Antarctic Research"

Leitung:Dr. Jens Boy, Dr. Robert Mikutta, Dr. Olga Shibistova, Prof. Dr. Georg Guggenberger, Prof. Dr. Roberto Godoy
Laufzeit:2013 - 2016

Beteiligte Institutionen der FI:GEO:

Weathering is of utmost importance for the support of life on earth, as it turns bedrock into soil and delivers nutrients to organisms. Vice versa, life itself is heavily engaged in mineral weathering by investment of photosynthates into weathering processes. We aim at investigating the processes and thresholds in biogenic weathering as a function of photoautotrophic community succession from microalgae/cyanobacteria to lichen-dominated stages towards the appearance of higher plants along soil chronosequences built by global-change induced glacier retreat in maritime Antarctica. For this, along the chronosequences weathering agents, organic carbon allocation to the soil, mineral in-situ composition and biogenic weathering on surfaces of introduced and defined, rock forming minerals will be assessed and related to phototrophic community structure. We expect to contribute to the understanding if and how life alters its own habitat in an extreme terrestrial ecosystem, and how this biogeosystem may respond to changes induced by Global Change in an increasingly warmer Antarctica.

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