Steve pulse labeling trees so we can track the carbon from VOCs during decomposition.

Steve pulse labeling trees so we can track the carbon from VOCs during decomposition.

VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS RELEASED DURING LITTER DECOMPOSITION AND THIER RELEVANCE TO SOIL ECOLOGY

Biotic volatile organic compound production are often thought of as a process carried out by living plants. However, recently it has been shown that VOCs are produced and consumed during leaf litter decomposition. These VOCs could serve as an important component of microbial biomass and potentially carbon sequestration in the soil. I am currently using three of the most common VOCs produced during litter decomposition to determine where the carbon in the VOCs go, using a pulse-chase experiment.

This research is supported by the National Science Foundation under award number 1555931.