Dynamics of soil aggregation as affected by land use in grasslands and forests

Scientific investigators:

Prof. Dr. Matthias Rillig

Dr. Erik Verbruggen

(Freie Universität Berlin)


1. Determine how land use and fungal type/diversity affect soil aggregation dynamics in the field

2. Isolate contributions of fungi (mycorrhiza/saprobe) and bacteria to aggregation dynamics in the greenhouse



1a. Quantify aggregate and fungal (AMF, ecto/saprobe) abundance in all 300 EPs
Bury HIGCs containing de-aggregated soil in each plot, recover after several months

1b. Quantify aggregate turnover rates in all 57 VIPs
Bury HIGCs containing REE labeled soil, then harvest after several weeks
Also measure fungal (AMF, ecto/saprobe) hyphal lengths

2. Isolate contributions of soil microbes to soil aggregate turnover (REEs)
Fully factorial greenhouse experiment
AMF, saprobic fungi, and bacteria in sterile soils