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Plant litter quality and water availability both control decomposition. The interaction of both parameters was never studied. We used a grassland site, where litter of contrasting quality, i.e. green litter (fresh leaves; high quality) and brown litter (dead leaves, which underwent senescence but which are still attached to the plant; low quality), is(More)
Restoration of the nitrogen cycle is an important step in the recovery of an ecosystem after mining. Carbon and nitrogen in rehabilitated lignite containing mine soils can be derived from plant material as well as from lignite inherent to the parent substrate. We assessed the use elemental and stable carbon and nitrogen isotope measurements to trace the(More)
Despite the central role of microbes in soil processes, empirical evidence concerning the effect of their diversity on soil stability remains controversial. Here, we addressed the ecological insurance hypothesis by examining the stability of microbial communities along a gradient of soil microbial diversity in response to mercury pollution and heat stress.(More)
The objective of this work was to determine whether radial oxygen loss (ROL) from roots of Typha domingensis and Cladium jamaicense creates an internal oxygen deficiency or, conversely, indicates adequate internal aeration and leakage of excess oxygen to the rhizosphere. Methylene blue in agar was used to visualize the pattern of ROL from roots, and(More)
Soil DNA extraction has become a critical step in describing microbial biodiversity. Historically, ascertaining overarching microbial ecological theories has been hindered as independent studies have used numerous custom and commercial DNA extraction procedures. For that reason, a standardized soil DNA extraction method (ISO-11063) was previously published.(More)
Mechanisms leading to high mean residence times of organic matter in subsoil horizons are poorly understood. In lower parts of the soil profile root material contributes greatly to soil organic matter (SOM). The objective of this study was to elucidate the decomposition dynamics of root-derived C and N in different soil depths during a 3 year field(More)
The influence of litter quality on plant litter decomposition rates is a crucial aspect of the soils C cycle. In grassland ecosystems, leaf litter, which is not removed either by herbivores or by mowing, returns to soil after the senescence process (brown litter). In grassland managed by mowing, another significant proportion of litter returns to the soil(More)
Bulbous rush (Juncus bulbosus) is a pioneer species in acidic, iron-rich, coal mining lakes in the eastern part of Germany. Juncus roots are coated with iron plaques, and it has been suggested that microbial processes under the iron plaques might be supportive for Juncus plant growth. The objectives of this work were to enumerate the microbes involved in(More)
The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of future warming and drought on (1) the biochemical composition of above-ground biomass of forage plants (Festuca arundinacea and Dactylis glomerata), (2) the potential mineralization of this material in soil, and (3) its priming effect on native soil organic matter. We sampled above-ground plant(More)
Increasing human demands on soil-derived ecosystem services requires reliable data on global soil resources for sustainable development. The soil organic carbon (SOC) pool is a key indicator of soil quality as it affects essential biological, chemical and physical soil functions such as nutrient cycling, pesticide and water retention, and soil structure(More)