Jhenkhar Mallikarjun

PhD Student

Project: Fire-Induced Redistribution and Losses of Elements in the Weathering Zone (FIRE)

EarthShape 2nd Phase: The project is an affiliated project to the DFG priority program EarthShape (SPP 1803)

Fire is one of the most important geomorphological factors – an extreme event leading to huge changes of the element speciation and subsequent losses of nutrients and ballast elements from ecosystems during a very short period. Frequent fires in (semi)arid, Mediterranean and forest ecosystems induce dramatic reallocation of all elements that microorganisms mobilized, and vegetation uplifted from the saprolite.

In the 1st phase (steady state) – microbial (mainly fungal) mobilization of elements by root carbon input into the soil and uptake of nutrients by plants from the soil and saprolite were investigated.

In the 2nd phase (fire event) the losses of these elements by and after fires will be investigated in parallel with the effects on microbial communities and functions. Based on available nutrient and ballast element contents in soils (i) after artificial burning and (ii) chronosequences of ecosystems recovering after natural fires, we will conclude about the element losses over short- and medium-term. Considering the worldwide increasing aridization and consequently the fire frequencies, the expected prediction of losses of nutrients and ballast elements from ecosystems and subsequent weathering possess a global relevance.

Project webpage: www.earthshape.net

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Educational background

Since 2019      PhD student at the University of Göttingen.

2016–2019      M.Sc in Forest Science and Forest Ecology, Georg August University, Goettingen, Germany. Area of specialization: Tropical and International Forestry.   Thesis: Localization of microbial hotspots in the forests by in-situ zymography.

2012–2016      B.Sc in Forestry, College of Forestry, Ponnampet, University of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences, Shivamogga, India.