When nano-scale meets biodiversity: retention and recycling mechanisms of organic phosphorus in soil

Break neu

Soil organic matter is considered to become an increasingly important source of bioavailable phosphorus (P) with depletion of inorganic P within primary minerals. Current concepts on P cycling and mobilization of organic P largely ignore the formation of mineral-organic associations. This project aims to link processes occurring at the nanoscale on mineral surfaces with the bioavailability of organic P, with particular focus on the influence of biodiversity and establishment of functional niches by microbial communities on P recycling in soils. Along a soil P availability gradient the proportion of mineral-associated P as well as its composition (31P NMR and X-ray absorption near edge structure spectroscopy) will be determined and related to mineralogical soil properties. Based on adsorption and desorption experiments using both, monomeric and polymeric P sources, the recycling potential of mineral-bound organic P by various biotic communities (plants, mycorrhiza, bacteria) will be determined in mesocosm and field experiments. We expect to assess the relevance of mineral-associated organic P for the P recycling of forest ecosystems and to identify the major controlling abiotic and biotic variables.




Principal investigators:

Prof. Dr. Robert Mikutta
Institut für Agrar- und Ernährungswissenschaften
Von-Seckendorff-Platz 3
06120 Halle
Tel.: (+49)  511 762 3561

Prof. Dr. Georg Guggenberger
Institut für Bodenkunde (IfBk)
Herrenhäuser Str. 2
30419 Hannover
Tel.: (+49)  511 762 2623

Dr. Jens Boy
Institut für Bodenkunde (IfBk)
Herrenhäuser Str. 2
30419 Hannover
Tel.: (+49) 511 762 3561

Post doctoral scientists:

Dr. Marc-Oliver Göbel
Institut für Bodenkunde (IfBk)
Herrenhäuser Str. 2
30419 Hannover
Tel.: (+49) 511 762 19247

Study sites


Bad Brückenau (BBR)

Conventwald (CON)

Lüss (LUE)

Mitterfels (MIT)

Vessertal (VES)


Funded by

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