Geographers at Göttingen University are coordinating a large-scale project for studying the Amazon basin. The research focuses on the analysis and development of methods for improving carbon storage in the soil, reducing greenhouse gases and preserving important ecosystem functions like soil fertility and water quality.
The collaborative project – dubbed Carbiocial – is being funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) for five years for an overall amount of 6.15 million euros. Besides the University of Göttingen, nine other German universities, two Helmholtz centres and numerous Brazilian partners are involved.
Among other objectives, the researchers aim to develop a model that shows farmers, environmental authori-ties and scientific research institutions how different land use scenarios impact the Amazon basin in terms of climate protection. This model can also illustrate the sustainability of various interventions. The researchers are mainly conducting their studies in the Brazilian states of Mato Grosso and Pará.
Researchers from the Department of Landscape Ecology at the Institute of Geography, Göttingen Univer-sity, are concentrating their analysis on the topics of soil degradation (where the soil quality worsens), hy-drologic balance in watershed areas in juxtaposition to changes in land utilisation and climate change. In addition, they will be creating models on greenhouse gas emissions and carrying out measurements. The grant money the Göttingen subprojects receive from the BMBF totals around 1.9 million euro.Notes to editorial teams:
Dr. Bernd Ebeling | Uni Göttingen
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Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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