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Ecosystem Fluxes Group


Stable isotope analysis for the study of environmental change Stable isotope ratios of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and other elements are built into ecosystems by physical and biological processes. These processes produce distinctive isotope ratio “fingerprints” in different organisms and substances, integrated in time and space. Our main research interest is to assess the effects of environmental changes, like climate, air pollutants and increasing carbon dioxide, on the matter fluxes and the stable isotopes in the ecosystem and the atmosphere. We are investigating C-, N- and H2O-fluxes by analysing the stable isotope ratios 13C/12C, 15N/14N, 18O/16O and D/H.

Our objective is:
  • to develop "isotope tools" to monitor C- and N-fluxes in plants
  • to use isotopes in tree rings as indicators of environmental conditions in the past
  • to study the influence of increased nitrogen deposition and increased CO2 on plants
  • to investigate the sources of secondary organic aerosols
Find out more about our Stable Isotope Lab, which has been recently moved to WSL.