César Nicolás Cuevas
The interactions between organic matter, microorganisms and soil minerals determine the fate of carbon (C) in terrestrial ecosystems. During my PhD studies I have studied the soil C-stabilization, focused on processes such as physico-chemical protection and biochemical alteration of soil organic matter.
Taking a step forward to understand better the cycle of organic matter in terrestrial ecosystems, I participate at Lund University and in cooperation with Umeå University in a project to study the degradation of soil organic matter by ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi. ECM fungi constitute a significant biomass of microbial communities in boreal and temperate forest ecosystems. However, their role in the degradation of complex organic matter remains unclear and my research aims to provide new insights to understand the pathways of degradation of soil organic matter in these ecosystems. For this purpose, we will use spectroscopic methods based on synchrotron and conventional light sources to characterize the molecular changes occurring when soil organic matter is degraded by ECM fungi.
The project is funded by the Faculty of Science at Lund and by the strategic area BECC (Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services in a Changing Climate) and aims to develop new strategic research areas for the MAX IV Laboratory.
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