Soil gas profiles in Danish ecosystems

Main area:Ecology
Target group:Biology
Educational level:Masters, Bachelor
Project description:

Volatile organic compounds (VOC) are climate-relevant gases, which also participate in many biological interactions. In soil environment they have been shown to inhibit several microbial processes related to nitrogen and carbon cycle, e.g. nitrification and methane oxidation. Still, we currently have very limited understanding of VOC concentrations in soil. In this project, we will determine VOC concentrations in soil profiles down to several meters' depth in differen ecosystem types from beech forest to heath. It is possible to couple the soil air measurements to analyses of soil characteristics and microbiology and to vegetation composition. The field work and measurements are done nearby Copenhagen in permanent installations of the Geological Survey of Denmark ans Greenland (GEUS). We will also measure CO2 concentrations while sampling VOCs. VOCs are analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry at Department of Terrestrial Ecology.
Read more about the activities of the BVOC group at

Methods used:Field work, air sampling, CO2 measurement, GC-MS, pin point analysis of vegetation cover, soil extractions
Keywords:Soil environment, Plant species composition, Volatile organic compounds, Soil microbes
Supervisor(s):  Riikka Rinnan (BIO) and Christian Albers (GEUS)