Carbon cycle and the Jura soils

The aim of this study is twofold: First to better understand the organic and inorganic carbon dynamics in the soil by integrating the role of secondary calcium carbonate precipitation, as well as the influence of the underlying carbonate substratum on the general dynamics of the soil carbon. Specifically, we investigate the annual carbon balance of a system by taking into account all the processes in the solum at the same site : lixiviation and weathering (DOC and DIC), biological activity, precise characterization of the organic material storage, and impact of parent material (mineral phases, quantitative and qualitative evolution of calcium released by weathering).
The second goal is to focus on the efflux of CO2 at the soil-atmosphere interface by integrating the main parameters susceptible to influencing the amount of CO2 emissions from the soil to the atmosphere. In the long term, this will allow to understand the effect of climate change on the CO2 emissions from soils in this type of ecosystem.

Exprimental design in Ballens (VD)


From left to right: soil profile in the Marchairuz with an upper horizon enriched in loess deposits and a lower horizon enriched in secondary pedogenic carbonates; close-up views of the secondary carbonates using a binocular; SEM view of subhedral secondary calcite


Participants: Eric Verrecchia, Gladys Pinard
Collaborations: Jorge Spangenberg, Olivier Hasinger, Céline Heimo, Aurélie Rubin, Agroscope of Changins (VD), ECOS Laboratory (EPFL)


For more information

Verrecchia E.P. (in Press): Pedogenic carbonates. Encyclopedia of geobiology, Elsevier.
Sebag D., Disnar J.R., Guillet B., Di Giovanni C., Verrecchia E.P. & Durand A. (2006): Monitoring organic matter dynamics in soil profiles by Rock-Eval pyrolysis : bulk characterization and quantification of degradation. European Journal of Soil Science 57, 344-355