• Global Warming:

    the threat of a permafrost Carbon – climate feedback

  • We develop and improve

    stable isotopes techniques for ecological applications

  • Plants, fungi and bacteria interact

    at the root-soil interface

  • Probing the future:

    Climate Change experiments

  • Soil is fundamental to human life

  • Tropical rainforests

    hold the key to global net primary productivity

TER News

  • Congratulations - Msc Stefan Gorka

    22.12.17
    People

    Congratulations to Stefan Gorka, who successfully defended his Master thesis "Carbon and nitrogen exchange between plant roots, ectomycorrhizal fungi and soil bacteria in the mycorrhizosphere of Fagus sylvatica“ on Thursday 21 December 2017! Excellent, Stefan. ...

  • SEACUE: New FWF Project for Jörg Schnecker

    07.12.17
    News

    Jörg Schnecker has recently received funding for a new project called "SEACUE - Seasonal dynamics of soil microbial carbon sequestration" from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF). 

    Congratulations Jörg! ...

  • SINA 2017

    13.11.17
    News

    SINA 15th Stable Isotope Network Austria Meeting - 24th-25th of Nov, 2017

    The 15th Stable Isotope Network Austria (SINA) Meeting is organized by the Department of Microbiology and Ecosystem Science and ...

  • New Paper in Ecology Letters: Optimal metabolic regulation along resource stoichiometry gradients

    25.08.17
    Publication

    Most heterotrophic organisms feed on substrates that are poor in nutrients compared to their
    demand, leading to elemental imbalances that may constrain their growth and function. Flexible
    carbon ...

Latest publications

In situ observation of localized, sub-mm scale changes of phosphorus biogeochemistry in the rhizosphere

Aims We imaged the sub-mm distribution of labile P and pH in the rhizosphere of three plant species to localize zones and hot spots of P depletion and accumulation along individual root axes and to relate our findings to nutrient acquisition / root exudation strategies in P-limited conditions at different soil pH, and to mobilization pattern of other elements (Al, Fe, Ca, Mg, Mn) in the rhizosphere. Methods Sub-mm distributions of labile elemental patterns were sampled using diffusive gradients in thin films and analysed using laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. pH images were taken using planar optodes. Results We found distinct patterns of highly localized labile P depletion and accumulation reflecting the complex interaction of plant P acquisition strategies with soil pH, fertilizer treatment, root age, and elements (Al, Fe, Ca) that are involved in P biogeochemistry in soil. We show that the plants respond to P deficiency either by acidification or alkalization, depending on initial bulk soil pH and other factors of P solubility. Conclusions P solubilization activities of roots are highly localized, typically around root apices, but may also extend towards the extension / root hair zone.

Kreuzeder A, Santner J, Scharsching V, Oburger E, Hoefer C, Hann S, Wenzel WW
2018 - Plant and soil, 1-17

Mineral-Associated Soil Carbon is Resistant to Drought but Sensitive to Legumes and Microbial Biomass in an Australian Grassland

Drought is predicted to increase in many areas of the world with consequences for soil carbon (C) dynamics. Plant litter, root exudates and microbial biomass can be used as C substrates to form organo-mineral complexes. Drought effects on plants and microbes could potentially compromise these relative stable soil C pools, by reducing plant C inputs and/or microbial activity. We conducted a 2-year drought experiment using rainout shelters in a semi-natural grassland. We measured aboveground biomass and C and nitrogen (N) in particulate organic matter (Pom), the organo-mineral fraction (Omin), and microbial biomass within the first 15 cm of soil. Aboveground plant biomass was reduced by 50% under drought in both years, but only the dominant C4 grasses were significantly affected. Soil C pools were not affected by drought, but were significantly higher in the relatively wet second year compared to the first year. Omin-C was positively related to microbial C during the first year, and positively related to clay and silt content in the second year. Increases in Omin-C in the second year were explained by increases in legume biomass and its effect on Pom-N and microbial biomass N (MBN) through structural equation modeling. In conclusion, soil C pools were unaffected by the drought treatment. Drought resistant legumes enhanced formation of organo-mineral complexes through increasing Pom-N and MBN. Our findings also indicate the importance of microbes for the formation of Omin-C as long as soil minerals have not reached their maximum capacity to bind with C (that is, saturation).

Canarini A, Mariotte P, Ingram L, Merchant A, Dijkstra FA
2017 - Ecosystems, 1-15

Lecture series

Microbial function in relation to plant productivity and root exudation in contrasting tundra communities

Konstantin GAVAZOV
Climate Impacts Research Centre (CIRC), Umeå University, Abisko, Sweden
20.03.2017
14:00 h
Seminar Room 'Konferenzraum Ökologie' UZA 1, Althanstr. 14, 1090 Wien

LC-MS Approaches in Metabolomics

Gunda Köllensperger, Prof.
University of Vienna, Department of Analytical Chemistry
12.01.2017
11:15 h
Seminar Room Microbial Ecology, UZA 1, room no 2.309

Arbuscular mycorrhizas and organic nitrogen in soil – and the other microbes involved

Jan Jasna
Institute of Microbiology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
11.10.2016
16:00 h
Friedrich-Becke Seminar Room, UZA 2 (Geozentrum), Althanstr. 14, 1090 Wien