Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Ecology



DFG Research Unit 918:Carbon Flow Logo

Carbon flow in belowground food webs assessed by isotope tracers.


The overall goal of this project is to understand the flow of carbon through biotic compartments within terrestrial ecosystems. Isotope tracer methods are applied for identification of key biota and quantification of the carbon flux in the trophic cascade. This includes the incorporation of 13C label into biomarkers such as lipids and nucleic acids. In addition, attention is given to the overall carbon balance in the soil system. Experimentally assessed biomass-fluxes and allometric functional responses within food web biota complete the picture. This will result in the implementation of dynamic food web models based on empirical figures.


The study is unique in its aim to:

  1. achieve a high resolution even at low trophic levels such as microorganisms and   microfauna
  2. link microbial and faunal food webs
  3. use the trophic shift of stable isotopes in biomarker molecules to gain quantitative input data for modelling.


The idea behind     Field experiment     Projects and groups

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