Projects archive

Interaction of microbial diversity with methane turnover and mercury methylation in organic soils
Leader: Zane Lībiete
Start date: 10.7.2018
End date: 9.7.2021

The aim of the research is to gain new knowledge about the microbial diversity in managed and pristine organic soils and to analyse these results in conjunction with methane (CH4) flux from soil, mercury (Hg) levels and methylmercury (MeHg) leaching into the aquatic environment. For this, a multidisciplinary approach will be implemented, combining expertise in soil and CH4 flux analysis with molecular soil microbial diversity and function analyses. This will enable the assessment of the interaction between biodiversity and functionality of soil microbes with soil properties, CH4 emissions and Hg and MeHg levels, and comparison between managed and unmanaged soils. These findings will be directly applicable in a range of ongoing and proposed projects within the scope of knowledge transfer and implementation related programs (e.g. LIFE and and INTERREG). The results will be utilised by researchers, as well as by regional and national authorities responsible for the development and implementation of climate, water and soil policies. The project is directly related to the priority "Climate change, nature protection, environment and sustainable transport", as methane is a significant greenhouse gas, and methylmercury is hazardous to humans and the environment. The project will also contribute to the priority "Research and sustainable use of local natural resources for the development of a knowledge-based bioeconomy", as the results will be utilised to improve forest management practices.

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