4 - Terrestrial ecosystem and biodiversity

4 - Terrestrial ecosystem and biodiversityMultidisciplinary approaches, including biogeochemical studies, ecology, plant physiology, soil microbiology and chemistry and modelling, are combined with litter and air isotope composition analysis and gas/vapour flux measurements. Litter manipulation experimental plots allow to create variability in the microclimatic conditions, plant species and plant biomass inputs to study variations in the active layer depth. Gas exchange measurements (water and CO2), phenology surveys and biogeochemical and isotopic analyses of above- and below-ground components allow to characterize the carbon cycle in the Arctic environment, predicting its potential variations with the changing climate. In addition, the capacity of the biological soil crusts (BCS) to promote primary colonization in fragile habitats as those subjected to extreme climates are studied. The BCS are important reservoirs of carbon and nutrients and mediate flows of energy and matter through the transition between pedosphere and atmosphere. A full Critical Zone observatory is being built in the area around the Bayelva catchment, with the goal of characterizing the response of the rock-soil-vegetation-atmosphere continuum to changes in climatic and environmental conditions.

List of the Research activities


Processes in the low atmosphere

Soil, permafrost and geology

Glaciology, snow and ice

Terrestrial ecosystem and biodiversity

Oceanographic and marine research

Marine biology and biodiversity

ICT and technological innovation

Sun-Earth relations and high atmosphere

CNR - National Research Council - Department of Earth System Science and Environmental Technologies - Piazzale Aldo Moro, 7 - 00185 Rome - ITALY - E-Mail: angelopietro.viola AT cnr.it

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