Redox properties of organic matter

KN 929/12-1: Solid and dissolved organic matter redox properties as controls of anaerobic respiration in organic soils

Anaerobic decomposition of organic matter is quantitatively important in wetlands, peatlands, sediments, and other water saturated systems. Thereby, based on thermodynamic constraints, presence or absence of alternative electron acceptors for oxidation of organic matter (OM) determines the competitiveness of methanogenesis. As commonly considered inorganic electron acceptors, such as nitrate, iron, and sulfate mostly do not suffice to explain observed production of carbon dioxide (CO2), the role of dissolved (DOM) and solid organic matter (SOM) as electron acceptors is increasingly acknowledged. This proposal addresses these important controls and will provide a substantial contribution to our current understanding of organic carbon mineralization in organic-rich systems and under anaerobic conditions.

Prof. Dr. Klaus-Holger Knorr