Gruppenfoto im Schilfgürtel

Dissertation projects

 Carbon and water vapor fluxes of the reed belt at Lake Neusiedl

As part of her dissertation, Pamela Baur, BSc MSc from the University of Vienna (Geoecology Working Group at the Institute of Geography and Regional Research) is working on quantifying and improving the process understanding of methane, carbon dioxide and water vapor fluxes in the reed belt of Lake Neusiedl. For this purpose, temporally high-resolution data have been collected since the end of 2018 by means of a continuously measuring eddy covariance tower and these are now being evaluated for the first time. The influence of dry periods and other biomet parameters on the carbon and water balance of the reed belt will also be investigated.

Another focus of her dissertation, is the qualification and quantification of the different transport pathways of methane fluxes in the reed belt as well as the investigation of the diurnal cycle of methane fluxes in the different seasons. For this purpose, 24-hour measuring campaigns with different measuring chambers will be carried out quarterly over a period of 2 years in order to be able to infer the processes also by means of carbon isotopes.

The research work in the reed belt takes place in cooperation with the Biological Station IIlmitz.

Reports from the research work:




 Kohlenstoffspeicher – Torfbildung im Schilfgürtel am Neusiedler See

Die Bildung von Torf kann als eine Ansammlung von abgestorbenen Pflanzenmaterial beschrieben werden. Diese kohlenstoffhaltige Biomasse wird unter nassen Bedingungen nur langsam durch unterschiedliche Mikroorganismen abgebaut und ist somit längerfristig in den torfigen (organischen) Schichten gespeichert.

Im Rahmen einer Dissertation beschäftigt sich Raphael Müller, BSc MSc von der Universität Wien (Arbeitsgruppe Geoökologie, Institut für Geographie und Regionalforschung) mit dem Abbau von organischer Substanz durch Bodenmikroorganismen unter den speziellen Rahmenbedingungen des salzhaltigen Neusiedler Sees. Hauptaugenmerk liegt dabei auf den Umweltbedingungen verschiedener Standorte entlang von Land-See-Transekten, die Untersuchung von Sedimentkernen auf deren mikrobielle Biomasse und unterschiedliche Enzymaktivitäten, aber auch auf der Inkubation von Sedimenten für Studien der Dekomposition unter Laborbedingungen.  Dadurch sollen Mechanismen der Torfbildung im Schilfgürtel beschrieben und Prozesse des Abbaus von Schilfbiomasse besser quantifiziert werden.




Sedimentkern aus dem Schilfgürtel

Sedimentkern aus dem Schilfgürtel (c) Raphael Müller und AG Geoökologie

 Peat decomposition at Puergschachen Moor

Undisturbed peatlands play a crucial role as carbon sinks over thousands of years. However, with ongoing climate change and increasing anthropogenic activity, the peatlands’ carbon balance was shifting from a sink to a source.

As part of a dissertation, Yujing Deng, BSc MSc from the University of Vienna (working group Geoecology, Institute of Geography and Regional Research) is working on the decomposition of peat by soil microorganisms under warming, oxygenation, N deposition and agricultural use.

For this purpose, peat samples from various agricultural intensification levels (pristine bog, extensive and intensive meadow) will be incubated at varied temperatures, both aerobic and anaerobic conditions, and with increasing amounts of N addition. Along with regularly collecting and analyzing greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4, and N2O) over the incubation period, this study will also investigate the microbial biomass, different enzyme activities, and variations in the concentrations of inorganic N and P before and after incubation.

The aim is to explain the mechanisms of peat decomposition in alpine bogs and to better predict the effects of environmental change on peat decomposition.

Sampling at Puergschachen Moor (c) Yujing Deng

Sampling at Puergschachen Moor (c) Yujing Deng