RI SoWa – Infrastructure for Ecosystems Research

RI SoWa  – Infrastructure for Ecosystems Research

Name of project: Research of key soil-water ecosystem interactions at the SoWa Research Infrastructure

Project registration number: CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/16_013/0001782
Operational Programme Research, Development and Education
Priority axis 1 – Strengthening capacity for high-quality research
Call no. 02_16_013 “Research Infrastructures”
This project is co-financed by the European Union

Beneficiary: Biology Centre CAS

Partners institutions :

  • University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice
  • Charles University
  • Czech Geological Survey

Principal investigator: prof. Ing. et Mgr. Jan Frouz, CSc.
Budget: 113 794 000,00 CZK
Implementation time: 05/2017 – 04/2020
Own funding source: 5%

Project annotation:

The project is focused on detailed investigation of biotic and abiotic processes and complex interactions between soil and aquatic ecosystems at various spatiotemporal scales. The SoWa RI, will be improved and upgraded by experimental catchment, aquatic mesocosms, IRMS (isotope ratio mass spectrometry) and several other unique and highly sophisticated facilities. By this project, the Czech Republic gain a new internationally recognized research infrastructure for a comprehensive monitoring of soil and water ecosystems in context of sustainable use of landscape.

Main goals:

The main aim of the project is a detailed investigation of biotic and abiotic processes and complex interactions between soil and aquatic ecosystems at various spatiotemporal scales. For that reason, six research programmes will be established: (RP1) Biological processes and transformations of nutrients in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, (RP2) The role of plant-soil interactions in carbon and nutrient cycles in terrestrial ecosystems, (RP3) The role of soil biota and plant/biota interactions in aggregate formation and soil profile development, (RP4) Biota along redox gradient and the role of this gradient in invertebrate microbial interactions, (RP5) Species traits, nutrients, food web structure and energetics in freshwater ecosystems and (RP6) Nutrient turnover in sediments and the role of methanogenic C in food web. All these research programmes are closely linked to the research sections of the SoWa RI and will improve our basic knowledge and understanding of complex biotic and abiotic interactions affecting the flow of nutrients within and between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

The second main aim of the project is to upgrade, improve and develop the newly established SoWa RI with a set of key and highly advanced facilities for micro-, meso- and macroscale ecosystem manipulations. The SoWa RI will be equipped with an experimental catchment, aquatic mesocosms, IRMS, GC/MS/MS, UHPLC, UV/VIS spectrophotometer, multifrequency echosounder, gasometric system, electrofishing boat, river surveyor, microscopes, RT PCR and several other instruments. These instrumentations will significantly improve sensitivity, selectivity, quality and quantity of all analyses. This will increase the prestige and attractiveness of the SoWa RI for a collaboration with leading international research institutions and universities and the SoWa RI will become involve in new international research projects.