Contact: Rolf Siegwolf, or Gregory Goldsmith
Scope of project
ISOLAS: Rapid measurements of isotope fractionations during plant metabolic processes as response to environmental changes
Drs. Rolf Siegwolf and Greg Goldsmith (Paul Scherrer Institute) in collaboration with Drs. Matthias Arend, Pierre Vollenweider and Arthur Gessler (Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research)
The stable isotopes of organic materials integrate, record and trace environmental processes. As a result, they have now become one of our most important tools for understanding spatial and temporal patterns of change in nature. In particular, variations in the stable isotopes of water and carbon are now regularly used for diverse applications, including the measurement of plant drought stress, the reconstruction of climate and growth response from tree rings, and the quantification of biogeochemical cycles.
A collaborative and interdisciplinary project led by the Ecosystem Fluxes Group at the Paul Scherrer Institute and the Ecophysiology Group at the Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) is focused on how climate factors (such as light, temperature, humidity, and CO2) are affecting water and carbon stable isotope signatures resulting from changes in plant photosynthesis, transpiration and respiration. The project is made possible by the development of new laser-based approaches for making measurements of stable isotope signatures of plants in real time and is key to the application of such approaches to carbon and water cycling at ecosystem and landscape scales.
More Information about the Stable isotope lab at PSI: Stable Isotope Lab.