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Earthworms are important members of the soil macrofauna. They modify soil physical properties, soil organic matter decomposition, and thus regulate carbon and nitrogen cycling in soil. However, their interactions with soil microorganisms are still poorly understood, in particular the effect of gut passage on the community structure of ingested(More)
A geostatistical approach using replicated grassland sites (10 m × 10 m) was applied to investigate the influence of grassland management, i.e. unfertilized pastures and fertilized mown meadows representing low and high land-use intensity (LUI), on soil biogeochemical properties and spatial distributions of ammonia-oxidizing and denitrifying microorganisms(More)
Elevated nitrogen (N) inputs into terrestrial ecosystems are causing major changes to the composition and functioning of ecosystems. Understanding these changes is challenging because there are complex interactions between 'direct' effects of N on plant physiology and soil biogeochemistry, and 'indirect' effects caused by changes in plant species(More)
The majority of the Earth's terrestrial carbon is stored in the soil. If anthropogenic warming stimulates the loss of this carbon to the atmosphere, it could drive further planetary warming. Despite evidence that warming enhances carbon fluxes to and from the soil, the net global balance between these responses remains uncertain. Here we present a(More)
Understanding factors driving the ecology of N cycling microbial communities is of central importance for sustainable land use. In this study we report changes of abundance of denitrifiers, nitrifiers and nitrogen-fixing microorganisms (based on qPCR data for selected functional genes) in response to different land use intensity levels and the consequences(More)
Very few principles have been unraveled that explain the relationship between soil properties and soil biota across large spatial scales and different land-use types. Here, we seek these general relationships using data from 52 differently managed grassland and forest soils in three study regions spanning a latitudinal gradient in Germany. We hypothesize(More)
Modern sequencing technologies allow high-resolution analyses of total and potentially active soil microbial communities based on their DNA and RNA, respectively. In the present study, quantitative PCR and 454 pyrosequencing were used to evaluate the effects of different extraction methods on the abundance and diversity of 16S rRNA genes and transcripts(More)
We review recent experimental results on the role of soil biota in stabilizing or destabilizing soil organic matter (SOM). Specifically, we analyze how the differential substrate utilization of the various decomposer organisms contributes to a decorrelation of chemical stability, residence time, and carbon (C) age of organic substrates. Along soil depth(More)
Fine root decomposition contributes significantly to element cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. However, studies on root decomposition rates and on the factors that potentially influence them are fewer than those on leaf litter decomposition. To study the effects of region and land use intensity on fine root decomposition, we established a large scale study(More)
Biochar application to arable soils could be effective for soil C sequestration and mitigation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Soil microorganisms and fauna are the major contributors to GHG emissions from soil, but their interactions with biochar are poorly understood. We investigated the effects of biochar and its interaction with earthworms on soil(More)