Climate Impacts Research Centre (CIRC)
Phosphorus dynamics and speciation in tundra and taiga
Phosphorus (P) is an important nutrient in tundra and boreal forest ecosystems that co-limits or in some cases limits primary production. The availability of P is largely driven by soil characteristics, e.g., pH, organic carbon, and abundance of P-sorbing elements such as aluminium (Al) or iron (Fe). We are studying P dynamics from a molecular to a landscape level. Studies from tundra environments suggest that variations in soil P across vegetation types are affecting both plant and microbial function although the differences seem to be relatively small between the vegetation types. We do, however, find pronounce differences across elevational gradients independent of vegetation type. For P speciation we use 2-D 31P-NMR to separate between different P species and in our experimental studies we use FT-IR spectroscopy. The research projects include researchers from several different disciplines and departments at Umeå University.