Environmental Physiology 
and its application in agriculture, ecology and forestry


Gas exchange measurementsStress physiology - application of chlorophyll fluorescenceUsing spectral reflectance sensors to determine NDVI and PRI of biocrustsGreenhouse experimentField work in NamibiaMicroclimate and evapotranspiration measurementsInvestigations of stand strructure - leaf area measurementsAutomatic minirhizotron for investigations of fine-root dynamicsDetermination of chlorophyll content


Environmental Physiology

Ecophysiology represents the study of short-term acclimation and long-term adaptation of plants to changing environmental conditions. Understanding of these basic physiological processes and their response to biotic and abiotic stress is crutical for plant production. These includes photosynthesis, respiration, transpiration, water and mineral uptake. The analyses is based on measurements of ecophysiological parameters like leaf gas exchange, chlorophyll fluorescence, water-use efficiency, plant water status, and chemical analysis of plants and soils in controlled greenhouse experiments and field trials. The research range from physiological processes inside the plants to studies on soil-plant interactions within natural and agricultural ecosystems. There is considerable research effort in investigating plant growth and the fundamental ecophysiological mechanisms that plants use to cope with environmental stresses. Comprehensive field and controlled greenhouse experiments on photosynthesis, plant growth, water use efficiency, nutrient requirements, and effects on ecosystems processes are carried out. A key question is the integration of plant ecophysiology into ecosystem functioning.  

The research is grouped in five main topics:

 (i): plant ecophysiology and abiotic stress, 

(ii): linking plant ecophysiology and ecosystem processes,

(iii): soil-plant-atmosphere processes, 

(iv) soil-plant feedbacks

(v): transpiration and water fluxes in agrosystems 


Research projects (ongoing)

  • 2017-2018  "ANFOREK - Applied research for reclamation of post-mining sites in the Lusatian lignite mining district“ (funded by LEAG AG, Cottbus)
  • 2014 - 2018  "AgroSolarSystems - An integrated Agro-Forestry-Energy approach to land use“ with University of Stellenbosch, Department of Forestry and Wood Science (PI), DLC - Dr. Littmann Consulting (funded by NRF -  National Research Foundation South Africa)
  • 2016 - 2018  "AgriWaterSystems  - Optimization of irrigation and evapotranspiration in agriculture in the Western Cape, South Africa“ in cooperation with University of Stellenbosch, Department of Forestry and Wood Science, South Africa (funded by BMEL - BLE)
  • 2016 - 2017  "Development of biocrusts on temperate sand dunes and post-mining sites and their application in restoration ecology“ with University of Hohenheim, Institute of Botany, Prof. Küppers) (funded by Geschwister-Staude-Stiftung, Universität Hohenheim)


Finished projects

  • 2016   "Ecophysiology of Robinia pseudoacacia on reclaimed post-mining sites“ 
    (with Prof Freese, BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg, ANFOREK VI - Vattenfall)
  • 2013-2017  "Modelling photosynthesis and carbon fluxes of poplar and black locust in an agroforestry system in Brandenburg“ (with Prof. Küppers, University of Hohenheim)
  • 2014   DAAD Research Fellowship "Ecophysiology of fast-growing trees" (with University of Stellenbosch, Department of Forestry and Wood Science, South Africa, Dr. B. du Troit)
  • 2012  "Development of an automatic minirhizotron system“ (in cooperation with Umweltanalystische Produkte GmbH, Cottbus, funded by Ministerium für Wirtschaft, Land Brandenburg) 
  • 2011-2013  "BioSida - Cultivation of Sida as a new crop for bioenergy and recultivation of degraded landscapes." (funded by AiF - Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Technologie) (with Prof Freese, BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg)
  • 2010-2013  "ELKE - Development of extensive land use systems for the production of renewable resources as a possible mitigation and compensation measure“, WP Plant water relations and water use efficiency. 
    (with Anna Ślązak, Christian Böhm, Dirk Freese, BTU Cottbus, funded by FNR) 
  • 2010-2013  "Production ecology and ecophysiology of Igniscum - a new bioenergy plant"(Conpower Rohstoffe GmbH, Oldenburg)
  • 2013  "Salt tolerance and ecophysiology of the Giant reed and its use for bioenergy production", (in cooperation with University of Coimbra, Portugal, funded by EU COST Action FA0901) 
  • 2010-2013  COST Action FA 0901 "Putting Halophytes to Work . From Genes to Ecosystems." (funded by 7.FP EU)
  • more...
© Maik Veste 2017 - Update 07Dec2017                                          Impressum