SoilSystems in a nutshell:
Living microbes need energy delivered by oxidation or organic substrates coupled to reduction of electron acceptors. Soil Systems, their biodiversity and ecosystem services are underpinned by energy flows and storage in form of SOM, bio- and necromass that are subject to the laws of thermodynamics. Yet, energy-based descriptions are largely missing. For the first time, the DFG joint research program SoilSystems aims to integrate a thermodynamic description of the soil system in order to gain a systemic view on energy and matter fluxes and their interactions with living and non-living soil components. This will enable to elucidate dynamic biogeochemical processes, boundary constraints and performance limits, and to identify optimally approaches allowing to describe the complex energy-driven soil systems in much simpler terms. Advanced reliable prediction of soil system reactions, e.g. to human impact on global climate and land use will benefit from this research.