4
RUDN University soil scientist showed how waterlogging of soils due to climate change increases the greenhouse effect

RUDN University soil scientist showed how waterlogging of soils due to climate change increases the greenhouse effect

RUDN University soil scientist studied the soil samples of the Tibetan plateau. It turned out that the increase in soil moisture, which occurs due to the melting of permafrost and glaciers, will lead to an even greater increase in temperature. The findings suggest that waterlogging needs to be contained to slow global warming.

The main cause of global climate change is the increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide. It accumulates in the atmosphere and retains heat, the planet does not have time to cool down and turns into a “greenhouse” — a greenhouse effect occurs. Carbon dioxide is produced not only by people, even the soil “breathes” — carbon, which is contained in the earth as part of various compounds, comes out in the form of carbon dioxide and increases the temperature. Because of warming, glaciers are melting, permafrost is thawing — as a result, soil moisture increases. Until now, it was not known how increasing humidity would affect the amount of carbon dioxide that is released from the soil. To find out, the soil scientist from RUDN studied soil samples of the Tibetan highlands, where the temperature rises three times faster than the global average.

“Despite the fact that soil drainage accelerates the mineralization of carbon in the soil and the release of carbon dioxide, increasing humidity does not necessarily lead to the opposite effect — to slow down the mineralization and release of carbon dioxide. To find out this, we investigated how these processes take place in wetland and meadow soils with contrasting biochemical properties,” Yakov Kuzyakov, Doctor of Biological Sciences, Head of the Center for Mathematical Modeling and Design of Sustainable Ecosystems of the RUDN University.

Soil scientists took samples of meadow and swamp soil and determined which substances contain carbon-undecayed plant residues or decomposed biomass. Then the meadow soil was saturated with water up to 70% of the amount that it could hold as much as possible. Marsh soil, on the contrary, was drained, withstanding 95 days at 25 ℃. Then the soil scientists from RUDN University again measured the carbon content in the samples and calculated how much the release of carbon dioxide changed with a change in humidity.

It turned out that in both cases, carbon dioxide was released more intensively. The reason for this is considered by soil scientists to be the original composition of carbon in the samples. In swamp soil, carbon is mainly contained in the composition of plant residues that have not yet decomposed. The carbon of meadow soil is mainly in the already decomposed biomass, soil enzymes work more actively in it. As a result, in swamp soil, high humidity inhibits carbon mineralization and the release of carbon dioxide. In meadow soil, the opposite happens — saturation with water further activates mineralization and the release of carbon dioxide.

“We showed that the decomposition of soil carbon in water-filled soil depended on the initial fraction of plant and microbial residues. Our work speaks to the importance of the biochemical nature in regulating the decomposition of carbon. We have come to the conclusion that both drainage of wetlands and waterlogging of meadows increase carbon mineralization (measured as CO2 release),” Yakov Kuzyakov, Head of the Center for Mathematical Modeling and Design of Sustainable Ecosystems RUDN.

The findings prove that protecting meadow soils from waterlogging will help curb the release of carbon dioxide and slow warming. Otherwise, there is a chain reaction-an increase in the greenhouse effect will lead to even greater global warming, increase waterlogging of meadows, and so on.

The results are published in Soil Biology and Biochemistry.

Scientific Conferences View all
03 Nov 2017
RUDN University organized the first 5G Summit R&D Russia on June 19 - 20, 2017
1231
International Projects View all
Similar newsletter View all
30 Dec 2021
Biologists from RUDN University discovered the secret of flaxseed oil with long shelf life

Biologists from RUDN University working together with their colleagues from the Institute of Molecular Biology of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Flax studied the genes that determine the fatty acid composition in flaxseed oil and identified polymorphisms in six of them. The team also found out what gene variations could extend the shelf life of flaxseed oil. This data can be used to improve the genetic selection of new flax breeds. The results were published in the BMC Plant Biology journal.

320
30 Dec 2021
A Chemist from RUDN University Developed a New Method for Combating Antibiotic Resistance in Microbes

Bacteria in biofilms are 1,000 times more resistant to antibiotics, disinfectants, mechanical treatment, and other types of stress. A chemist from RUDN University suggested a method to prevent the formation of biofilms and reduce the resistance of bacteria to antimicrobial medications. This might help increase the efficiency of antibacterial treatment in the food industry, medicine, and agriculture.

35
30 Dec 2021
Chemists from RUDN University used crab shells to improve palladium catalysts

Chemists from RUDN University synthesized soluble biopolymers based on chitin from crab shells. Together with palladium, they form effective catalysts for organic reactions, and their nanoparticles can be re-used over ten times.

18
Similar newsletter View all