Microbial Ecology of Sediments

Research group of Peter Casper
Plattform mit Eddy-Turm zur Analyse des Gasaustauschs (CO2 und CH4) über Luftgrenzflächen und Probenahme für gelöste Gase in der Wassersäule. | Foto: Armando Sepulveda-Jauregui

Platform with Eddy tower to analyse gas exchange (CO2 and CH4) across air water interfaces and sampling for dissolved gases in the water column. | Photo: Armando Sepulveda-Jauregui

We are interested in sediments of lakes, rivers or reservoirs. These mostly anoxic environments are dominated by microbes. Performing a wide range of metabolic processes, they are able to receive material and energy from dead organic material. In particular, micro-organisms and processes resulting in gas production are in our focus. The most important gases, namely methane (CH4), carbon dioxide (CO2) und laughing gas (N2O) act as greenhouse gases (GHG) when reaching the atmosphere.

We study several aspects:

  • the impact of climate change on sedimentation and the activity of sediment-microbes
  • the role of urban aquatic systems in GHG-budget of a town
  • the impact of climate and land use changes on aquatic GHG-budget
  • the regulation of active microbes
  • the role of sediments for the development of trophic level and GHG-production, -oxidation, and -transport

We could demonstrate the simultaneous stimulation of increasing temperatures on the microbial processes methane production and -oxidation – resulting in reduction of methane emission.

Group members

Peter Casper

Research Group Leader
Working group
Microbial Ecology of Sediments

Sonia Herrero

Doctoral Student
Working group
Microbial Ecology of Sediments
Fluvial Ecosystem Ecology

Gabriele Mohr

Technician/Lab Operator
Working group
Microbial Ecology of Sediments

Ute Beyer

Technician/Lab Operator
Working group
Microbial Ecology of Sediments

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