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Stable Isotope Research Centre SIRC

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We are using stable isotope ratios of the light elements hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen and oxygen as universal tool for studying physical, chemical and biological processes in forests and other ecosystems. Due to natural isotope fractionations, environmental changes leave unique fingerprints in organic matter, like tree-rings. It is therefore possible to detect the influence of ongoing climate changes on plant physiology. By applying isotopically labelled substrate, matter fluxes through plants and soil can be traced and better understood.

We have isotope-Ratio mass-spectrometers and dedicated periphery for the analysis of organic matter, gas samples and water samples. With HPLC and GC we apply compound-specific isotope ratio analysis of sugars and organic acids.

Additional isotope mass-spectrometers are operated by the Zentrallabor WSL.