From molecules to organisms (2013-2015)

Theme 2

This theme deals with the finest spatial resolution of mm and cm in samples of permafrost and the overlying active layer from all CENPERM sites and from landscape gradients at our key sites. The spatial resolution also includes manipulated plots (see Themes 3 and 4), where we investigate the effects of specific parameters like experimental warming or additional snow cover.

During experiments in the laboratory we:

  • link well-established methods to quantify microbial activity to the microbial community metatranscriptome (the entire pool of messenger RNA). This provides information about genes expressed by microorganisms under given environmental conditions
  • characterize the microbial community structure, functioning and processes controlling the decomposition of organic matter, element cycling, and production and consumption of greenhouse gases
  • characterize changes in the microbial functioning and processes in permafrost samples subjected to manipulations - including initial thawing, freeze-thaw cycling, shifts in redox conditions, changes in nutrient availability, and temperature dependency at near-zero temperature