V.N. Sukachev Institute of Forest  
Laboratory of Ecophysiology of Permafrost Systems  




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WP 5. Quality and decomposability of organic matter in permafrost soils

WP 5 Team:

  • Olga Shibistova (PhD, Senior Researcher) – PI
  • Lydmila Mukhortova (PhD, Senior Researcher)
  • Dmitry Alexandrov (PhD student)
  • Ekaterina Koryagina (PhD student)

WP 5 Motivation:

  • Quality and bioavailability of organic matter stored in permafrost soils are key factors determining carbon fluxes upon global warming
  • Climatic response of permafrost soils might vary with:
     - Permafrost regime (active layer vs. permafrost)
     - Organic matter quality
     - Involved stabilization mechanisms

WP 5 Research questions:

  • How is soil organic matter (SOM) stabilized in permafrost soils?
  • How vulnerable is SOM in permafrost soils with respect to permafrost degradation?

WP 5 Approaches:

  • Analysis of SOM fractions:
  • Analysis of biomarkers in soils:

     - Phospholipid Fatty Acids (PLFAs) are principle components of viable cellular membrane and provide direct information on the microbial community composition (fingerprint)

     - Lignin composition and decomposability as indicator of SOM origin and degree of microbial transformation

  • To assess vulnerability and stabilization in organo-mineral associations by incubation experiments

     - Long-term incubation experiment of bulk soils and fractions under different temperature and moisture regimes

     - 13C, 15N labeling (primimg)
  • To relate results to abiotic variables and products obtained in WPs 1, 2, and 3