Sophie Zechmeister-Boltenstern's research while affiliated with University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna and other places

Publications (243)

Article
The aim of global carbon (C) neutrality brings soils and their potential for C storage into the spotlight. Improved agricultural management techniques such as minimum or no-tillage are thought to foster soil C sequestration. However, the underlying mechanisms are still not well understood. In this study, we investigated the inter-relations of soil...
Article
Soil fungi, as a major decomposer of organic matter, govern carbon (C) cycle and act as crucial regulators of the soil C and nutrient balance in terrestrial ecosystems. Climate change and parent material alter important environmental conditions that may affect fungal community. However, very little is known about the diversity and community structu...
Preprint
In temperate soil systems, microbial biomass often increases during winter and decreases again in spring. This build-up and release of microbial carbon could potentially lead to a stabilization of soil carbon during winter times. Whether this increase is caused by changes in microbial physiology, in community composition or by changed substrate all...
Preprint
Inclination and spatial variability in soil and litter properties influence soil greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes, but their relationship in forest ecosystems is poorly understood. To elucidate this, we explored the effect of inclination, distance to a stream, soil moisture, soil temperature, and other soil and litter properties on soil-atmosphere fluxe...
Article
Soil organic matter (SOM) is important for soil fertility and climate change mitigation. Agricultural management can improve soil fertility and contribute to climate change mitigation by stabilising carbon in soils. This calls for cost‐effective parameters to assess the influence of management practices on SOM contents. The current study aimed at u...
Article
Predicted increase in climate warming will affect soil organic carbon (SOC) dynamics in vulnerable cold alpine environments. In contrast to freeze and thaw cycles, less is known about the effects of temperature regimes in the range between 2 and 10 °C on SOC availability to soil microorganisms. For this reason, CO2 efflux, extracellular enzyme acti...
Research
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All reports are available on the EJP SOIL homepage: https://ejpsoil.eu/knowledge-sharing-platform/reports-publications/roadmap-reports-publications/ For the advancement of climate-smart sustainable management of agricultural soils, we have to know more about three major topics of soil research, namely 1. Soil carbon stocks, 2. Soil degradation and...
Article
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Using zeolite-rich tuffs for improving soil properties and crop N-use efficiency is becoming popular. However, the mechanistic understanding of their influence on soil N-processes is still poor. This paper aims to shed new light on how natural and NH4+-enriched chabazite zeolites alter short-term N-ammonification and nitrification rates with and wi...
Article
Microbial necromass is an important part of soil organic carbon (SOC), but the changes in its contribution along elevational gradients and soil types are poorly understood. At two sites, the alkaline site Hochschwab and the acidic site Rauris, soil samples from three elevation levels and depths were analysed for amino sugars as microbial necromass...
Article
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Nitrous oxide is a powerful greenhouse gas whose atmospheric growth rate has accelerated over the past decade. Most anthropogenic N2O emissions result from soil N fertilization, which is converted to N2O via oxic nitrification and anoxic denitrification pathways. Drought-affected soils are expected to be well oxygenated; however, using high-resolut...
Preprint
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Invasive species pose a major threat to forest biodiversity, particularly on islands, such as the Galapagos. Here, invasive plants are threatening the remnants of the unique cloud forest and its iconic Darwin's finches. We posit that food web disturbances caused by invasive Rubus niveus (blackberry), but also the management measures used to control...
Article
The parafluvial zone is frequently exposed to drying-rewetting cycles with critical consequences for the biogeochemistry of soil and sediment in river-floodplain landscapes. Upon restoration of the hydrological connectivity, substantial changes in biogeochemical processes are expected. The effects of water fluctuation on the magnitude of GHG emissi...
Article
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With climate change the occurrence of summer droughts is expected to increase in Central Europe. This could lead to increased nitrate (NO3⁻) leaching when water scarcity affects the N-uptake capacity of trees and increases soil N availability due to early leaf senescence and higher litter input. In the present study, we used 16 years of ecological...
Article
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The impact of atmospheric reactive nitrogen (Nr) deposition on carbon (C) sequestration in soils and biomass of unfertilized, natural, semi-natural and forest ecosystems has been much debated. Many previous results of this dC∕dN response were based on changes in carbon stocks from periodical soil and ecosystem inventories, associated with estimates...
Article
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The effects of atmospheric nitrogen deposition (Ndep) on carbon (C) sequestration in forests have often been assessed by relating differences in productivity to spatial variations of Ndep across a large geographic domain. These correlations generally suffer from covariation of other confounding variables related to climate and other growth-limiting...
Article
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Future climate change scenarios predict increases in surface temperature as well as atmospheric CO2 concentration. In this study we simultaneously addressed individual and combined effects of these factors on the soil microbial community structure and function. We tested linear as well as non-linear responses in a multifactorial climate manipulatio...
Article
Application of natural zeolitites (ZTs, rock with > 50% of zeolites) as a soil amendment is recognized as a suitable method for increasing substrate quality. ZT is used at natural state or pre-enriched with specific cations (e.g., NH4+) to slow-release nutrients. ZT at natural state has been shown to mitigate gaseous N losses and favor crop yield,...
Conference Paper
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Grünland spielt eine bedeutende Rolle in der Landwirtschaft und bedeckt ein Fünftel der Landmasse Europas. Grünlandböden sind eine wichtige Quelle für gasförmiges Lachgas (N2O) und Senke für Methan (CH4). Der Einfluss kombinierter Faktoren des globalen Klimawandels wie erhöhte CO2 und Temperaturwerte sowie häufigere Dürreperioden ist noch wenig erf...
Article
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Forest soils harbor diverse microbial communities responsible for the cycling of elements including carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P). Conversely, anthropogenic N deposition can negatively feed back on soil microbes and reduce soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition. Mechanistically, this can include reductions of decomposer biomass, esp...
Article
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In times of climate change and increasing societal needs, the pressure on land is unprecedented. Sustainable soil and land use management is only achievable if stakeholders from sectors concerned work together. The aim of the project INSPIRATION (Integrated spatial planning, land use, and soil management esearch action) was the integration of scien...
Article
Full-text available
The impact of atmospheric reactive nitrogen (Nr) deposition on carbon (C) sequestration in soils and biomass of unfertilised, natural, semi-natural and forest ecosystems has been much debated. Many previous results of this dC / dN response were based on changes in carbon stocks from periodical soil and ecosystem inventories, associated with estimat...
Article
Full-text available
The effects of atmospheric nitrogen deposition (Ndep) on carbon (C) sequestration in forests have often been assessed by relating differences in productivity to spatial variations of Ndep across a large geographic domain. These correlations generally suffer from covariation of other confounding variables related to climate and other growth-limiting...
Article
Full-text available
Soil and the human gut contain approximately the same number of active microorganisms, while human gut microbiome diversity is only 10% that of soil biodiversity and has decreased dramatically with the modern lifestyle. We tracked relationships between the soil microbiome and the human intestinal microbiome. We propose a novel environmental microbi...
Article
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Copper-based fungicides have been used for a long time in viticulture and have accumulated in many vineyard soils. In this study, incrementing Cu(OH)2-based fungicide application from 0.05 to 5 g Cu kg⁻¹ on two agricultural soils (an acidic sandy loam (L, pH 4.95) and an alkaline silt loam (D, pH 7.45)) resulted in 5 times more mobile Cu in the aci...
Article
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Global climate change is predicted to alter drought–precipitation patterns, which will likely affect soil microbial communities and their functions, ultimately shifting microbially-mediated biogeochemical cycles. The present study aims to investigate the simultaneous variation of microbial community compositions and functions in response to drought...
Article
Climate projections for the next decades expect a significant increase in air temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentration, particularly in Alpine grassland. Most past experiments focused on individual climate changes parameters, such as warming (eT) and increase in atmospheric CO2 (eCO2). There is still little knowledge about these environmental...
Article
Changes in soil fungal biomass ergosterol, microbial biomass and their role in soil organic carbon (SOC) dynamics along elevation and depth gradients in the Alps are still poorly explored. We investigated changes in stocks of SOC, total N, microbial biomass C (MBC) and N (MBN) and fungal biomass ergosterol at different elevation levels (low, mid an...
Article
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Nitrogen (N) inputs from atmospheric deposition can increase soil organic carbon (SOC) storage in temperate and boreal forests, thereby mitigating the adverse effects of anthropogenic CO2 emissions on global climate. However, direct evidence of N-induced SOC sequestration from low-dose, long-term N addition experiments (that is, addition of < 50 kg...
Article
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In the article by Forstner et al. (2018), the surnames of co-authors Katharina M. Keiblinger and Patrick Schleppi were misspelled. We apologize and ask readers to cite the corrected version of the article as presented here. Further, equation (1) was incorrectly formulated in the original article. The original equation shown is only correct if hi is...
Article
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National emission inventories for UN FCCC reporting estimate regional soil nitrous oxide (N2O) fluxes by considering the amount of N input as the only influencing factor for N2O emissions. Our aim was to deepen the understanding of N2O fluxes from agricultural soils, including region specific soil and climate properties into the estimation of emiss...
Article
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Global terrestrial nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) cycles are coupled to the global carbon (C) cycle for net primary production (NPP), plant C allocation, and decomposition of soil organic matter, but N and P have distinct pathways of inputs and losses. Current C-nutrient models exhibit large uncertainties in their estimates of pool sizes, fluxes,...
Article
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Fire is a major factor controlling global carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycling. While direct C and N losses caused by combustion have been comparably well established, important knowledge gaps remain on post‐fire N losses. Here we quantified both direct C and N combustion losses as well as post‐fire gaseous losses (N2O, NO and N2) and N leaching aft...
Article
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Global climate change is projected to continue and result in prolonged and more intense droughts, which can increase soil water repellency (SWR). To be able to estimate the consequences of SWR on vadose zone hydrology, it is important to determine soil hydraulic properties (SHP). Sequential modeling using HYDRUS (2D/3D) was performed on an experime...
Article
When biochar (BC) ages in soil, its properties change substantially: cation exchange capacity (CEC), surface area and porosity increase and water repellency decreases, consequently affecting the interactions with soil microorganisms. Activation of BC by organic acids may be regarded as artificial aging. Here, we study the effect of acid-activated B...
Conference Paper
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Climate projections for the next decades predict a significant increase in air temperature, atmospheric CO2 concentrations and frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. While the impact of individual environmental factors on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are relatively well studied, there are only few studies that have investigated the co...
Article
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Zeolitites (ZTs) are rocks containing more than 50% of zeolite minerals and are known to be a suitable material for agricultural purposes by improving soil physicochemical properties and nitrogen (N) use efficiency. However, little is known about their effects on soil microbial biomass. This study aimed to evaluate short-term effects of different c...
Article
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Biochar (BC) application to soils is of growing interest as a strategy to improve soil fertility and mitigate climate change. However, BC-induced alterations in the soil N cycle are currently under debate. BC has recently been shown to accelerate the emissions of N2O via the biotic ammonium oxidation pathway, which results in lower nitrogen use eff...
Article
Full-text available
Global terrestrial nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) cycles are coupled to the global carbon (C) cycle for net primary production (NPP), plant C allocation and decomposition of soil organic matter, but N and P have distinct pathways of inputs and losses. Current C-nutrient models exhibit large uncertainties in their estimates of pool sizes, fluxes an...
Article
Full-text available
Cover cropping is a key agro-environmental measure in Europe. Cover crops may reduce N2O emissions by reducing soil nitrate content, while easily decomposable residues can enhance greenhouse gas losses. In a field study, emissions from the cover cropped fields compared to the fallow at two climatically different sites (semi-arid vs. humid) in Austr...
Article
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Copper (Cu)-based fungicides have been used in viticulture to prevent downy mildew since the end of the 19th century, and are still used today to reduce fungal diseases. Consequently, Cu has built up in many vineyard soils, and it is still unclear how this affects soil functioning. The present study aimed to assess the short and medium-term effects...
Article
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Ultrasonic power is the main variable that forms the basis for many soil disaggregation experiments. Thus, a procedure for the rapid determination of this variable has been developed and is described in this article. Calorimetric experiments serve to measure specific heat capacity and ultrasonic power. Ultrasonic power is determined experimentally...
Article
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Soil microbes play an important role in terrestrial carbon (C) cycling, but their functional response to global warming remains yet unclear. Soil metaproteomics has the potential to contribute to a better understanding of warming effects on soil microbes as proteins specifically represent active microbes and their physiological functioning. To quan...
Article
Reducing the effects of climate change is a key-point to achieve sustainable development. It is known that fertilizer application stimulates soil gaseous N losses, especially immediately after their application. In this short term incubation experiment, the effects of different chabazite zeolite amendments on soil gaseous emissions (CO2, N2O, NOx a...
Article
Nitrogen (N) availability to plants in dry soil is limited by diffusive flux of N compounds through the soil solution towards the root surface. Conventional soil extraction procedures only provide information about bulk soil N concentrations, which can be distorted during soil sampling, transport, storage and extraction, and hence are of limited us...