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




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About our project

The Russian Ministry of Science and Education awarded to the VN Sukachev one of the Megagrant projects.
The general purposse of the grant are three-fold:

  1. To establish a new laboratory Ecophysiology of Permafrost Systems that will be continued after the termination
  2. To carry out internationally competitive research on important questions for the society
  3. To train young scientists

We are convinced that one of the great challenges in ecology and geosciences at present day, is a quantitative understanding of the processes controllong organic matter cycling in permafrost soils and the response of the carbon stored in these soils on Global Warming. Where, if not in Siberia should one research into this topic, as 65% of the land area of the Russian Federation is underlain by permanently frozen soil. Permafrost soils were significant carbon sinks throughout many periods of the Quaternary, and globally store more than twice as much carbon than is found in the atmosphere as CO2 and about three times as much as is located in terrestrial plants. Any change in soil environmental condititions induced by Global Change bears not only a thread to infrastructure but may also mobilize organic matter that has been removed from cycling for thousands of years as CO2 and dissolved organic matter. This may create a positive feedback effect, thus increasing even further the permafrost thawing.

The overarching goal of the project is, therefore, to quantify the response of Siberian permafrost ecosystems on climate change With respect to carbon emissions from cryogenic soils and to indentify the underlying processes. The project objectives include:

  1. Analysis of spatio-temporal dynamics of vegetation types and biomass with respect to permafrost regime
  2. Quantitatve comparison of organic carbons torage in permafrost soils in different permafrost regions
  3. Assessment of the response of permafrost on climate change
  4. Differentiation of carbon losses as CO2, CH4, and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in diefferent permafrost soils
  5. Identification of the vulnerability of soil organic matter on permafrost degradation

The work is organized in a series of working packages.