Linking biodiversity to biogeochemical cycling (C-N cycling) in grasslands by soil structure (BIOSTRUC)

Scientific investigators:

Dr. Monika Joschko

Dr. Katrin Kuka
(ZALF Müncheberg)

Dr. Uwe Franko
(UFZ, Halle)

Dr. Bernhard Illerhaus
(BAM, Berlin)


1.    Assessment of soil structure in differently managed grassland soils by X-ray computed tomography and micro tomography
2.    Analysis of the relationship between soil structure and soil biota distributions
3.    Prediction of C-N turnover in grassland soils by means of simulation models based on soil structure 



H1.     High biodiversity in grassland soils is connected with highly structured soil (macro pores, aggregates) and altered carbon and nitrogen turnover
H2.    The macro pore volume in grassland soils correlates positively with diversity and abundance of non-burrowing soil meso fauna.
H3.     The analysis of soil structure improves the understanding of turnover processes in soil.



-Mechanical extraction of undisturbed soil samples (10 cm and 3 cm diameter) from all grassland EPs
-Assessment of soil structure by X-ray computed tomography and micro tomography (resolution 0,25 mm bzw. 5-30 µm) of all grassland EPs
-Morphometric analysis of soil structure at different scales

Cooperation with AG Schrumpf und Kandeler (Corg, microbial biomass) and AG Wolters (soil fauna)