The SeaCUE project investigates the microbial contribution to soil carbon sequestration. At the Department of Microbiology and Ecosystem Science at the University of Vienna I am looking into the seasonality of microbial carbon use efficiency and if carbon inputs at times of high efficiency lead to more stabilization of carbon in soils.
Microorganisms in Arctic Cryoturbated soils could be main drivers of organic matter transformations of up to 1300 Gigatons of carbon that are currently stored in Arctic permafrost soils.
A big challenge for future agriculture is to adapt management practices to establish systems that are able to deal with changes in precipitation regimes. Increasing the number of crops in rotation might be a way to establish such a system by increasing microbial diversity and very likely functional redundancy.
Soil microbes need to be in close proximity to their substrate to be able to efficiently decompose it. Soil organic carbon content could be a proxy for the average distance between microbes and their substrate in soil.
Soil warming leads to increased microbial respiration, the depleation of soil C and a transfer of carbon from the soil to the atmosphere. To simulate responses of soil systems to Climate Change, we studies a long term soil warming experiment in the Austian alps.