I investigate the mechanisms behind the Rhizosphere Priming Effect (i.e. the effect of the release of labile carbon and nitrogen by plant roots on microbial decomposition of soil organic matter). I developed a model which links carbon and nitrogen input by plants to microbial community composition and function in a spatially structured soil environment, and analyzes how cooperation between microbial functional groups may lead to their coexistence and the emerging of the priming effect.
The model showed that:
Large rainfall events after long dry periods result in a flux of CO2 from soil that is larger than predicted. I examined the biological and physical dynamics leading up to a CO2 pulse after drying-rewetting .
 Kaiser C, Franklin O, Dieckmann U, Richter A (2014). Microbial community dynamics alleviate stoichiometric constraints during litter decay. Ecology Letters 17: 680–690.
 Kaiser C, Richter A, Franklin O & Dieckmann U. Social interactions among microbes at the microscale drive large-scale carbon and nitrogen dynamics in soil (in revision).
 Evans S, Dieckmann U, Franklin O, Kaiser C. The Birch Effect at the microscale: An individual-based, spatially explicit model explains soil CO2 efflux under soil drying and rewetting (in preparation).
Funding: Evolution and Ecology Program & IIASA
Program: Evolution and Ecology Program
Dates: December 2011 – present
Last edited: 15 February 2018
Related research program
Postdoctoral research at IIASA
Evans S, Dieckmann U, Franklin O, & Kaiser C (2016). Synergistic effects of diffusion and microbial physiology reproduce the Birch effect in a micro-scale model. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 93: 28-37. DOI:10.1016/j.soilbio.2015.10.020.
Kaiser C, Franklin O, Richter A, & Dieckmann U (2015). Social dynamics within decomposer communities lead to nitrogen retention and organic matter build-up in soils. Nature Communications 6: no.8960. DOI:10.1038/ncomms9960.
Kaiser C, Franklin O, Dieckmann U, & Richter A (2014). Microbial community dynamics alleviate stoichiometric constraints during litter decay. Ecology Letters 17 (6): 680-690. DOI:10.1111/ele.12269.
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