Max Planck Gesellschaft

Overview

The Department Biogeochemical Processes explores the key processes and organisms that regulate exchanges of energy, water and elements between ecosystems and their surroundings. We use observations, experiments and models to improve understanding of how human activities are altering ecosystem function, and the consequences of those changes for sustainability and regional/global climate.

We explore several aspects of ecosystem function and how it is altered by climate and land use:

- Allocation of the products of photosynthesis among respiration, storage, growth, transfer to the rhizosphere and defense

- Factors determining the age and transit time of carbon in soils

- Links between microbial community function and the diversity of organic compounds and gases found in soils and groundwater

- Landscape scale processes such as windthrow, herbivory, and fire

- Understanding how environmental conditions are recored in the isotopic composition of biomarker molecules

News

October 19, 2018:
We currently have two visiting scientists in our depart. Angelica Resende is a PhD student at the National Institute of Amazonian Research (INPA) in Manaus, Brazil and is here to measure 14C in trees. Renata Jou from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is prepping soil samples for 14C analysis.

September 24, 2018:
Today, Jianbei Huang successfully defended his PhD on "Trade-offs between growth, storage and defense in plants under carbon limitation”. Congratulations!

September 10, 2018:
This week 14Constraint project group is hosting a “hack-a-thon” with colleagues from the Powell Center to work on the International Soil Radiocarbon Database (IsRad) and the publication announcing its official launch.

Latest Publications

1Zhang, H.-Y., Hartmann, H., Gleixner, G., Thoma, M., Schwab, V. F. (2019). Carbon isotope fractionation including photosynthetic and post-photosynthetic processes in C3 plants: Low [CO2] matters. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 245, 1-15. doi:10.1016/j.gca.2018.09.035.
2Lenhart, K., Behrendt, T., Greiner, S., Steinkamp, J., Well, R., Giesemann, A., Keppler, F. (2018). Nitrous oxide effluxes from plants as a potentially important source to the atmosphere. Phytochemical Analysis. doi:10.1111/nph.15455.
3Simon, C., Roth, V.-N., Dittmar, T., Gleixner, G. (2018). Molecular signals of heterogeneous terrestrial environments identified in dissolved organic matter: a comparative analysis of orbitrap and ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometers. Frontiers in Earth Science, 6: 138. doi:10.3389/feart.2018.00138.
4Weiner, T., Gross, A., Moreno, G., Migliavacca, M., Schrumpf, M., Reichstein, M., Hilman, B., Carrara, A., Angert, A. (2018). Following the turnover of soil bioavailable phosphate in mediterranean savanna by oxygen stable isotopes. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 123(6), 1850-1862. doi:10.1029/2017JG004086.
5Salazar, A., Sanchez, A., Villegas, J. C., Salazar, J. F., Carrascal, D. R., Sitch, S., Restrepo, J. D., Poveda, G., Feeley, K. J., Mercado, L. M., Arias, P. A., Sierra, C. A., Uribe, M. d. R., Rendón, A. M., Pérez, J. C., Tortarolo, G. M., Mercado-Bettin, D., Posada, J. A., Zhuang, Q., Dukes, J. S. (2018). The ecology of peace: preparing Colombia for new political and planetary climates. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 16(9), 1-7. doi:10.1002/fee.1950.

>> see all Department Publications

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