Vorlage  BTU Vorlesung.001

Plant Biogeochemistry

Understanding plant-soil interactions and ecologcial element cycles


Plants at the interface between the atmosphere and the soil and geological substrate, acting as key regulator biogeochemical and hydrological cycling pattern and processes in the biosphere. Understanding the interactions between this nutrients and water is crucial for plant productivity and ecosystem functioning. Furthermore, the selective uptake of ions by plants incluence the soil processes. We are particularly interested in the nitrogen cycle of plants and soils and their interactions with soil water and phosphate availability. In many terrestical natural and semi-natural ecosystems, a lack of nitrogen and phosphate often limits plant growth. Futhermore, the root system - the hidden half - contains large amounts of nutrients and acts as sink for photosynthate and nutrient and water absorption network.

We study the interactions between plant metabolic and nutrient cycling processes and structional-functional relationships that are integral to the biogeochemical role of plants in various ecosystems. Field experiments using ecophysiologcial methods are linked with modelling approaches to determine nitrogen, carbon and water fluxes at different scales ranging from individual plants to ecosystems. The research approaches includes

  • carbon fluxes from the leaf to the stands
  • use of stable isotopes
  • plant nutrient uptake and nutrient mineralization
  • salt stress
  • plant-soil interactions 


The goals of our research are to:

  • increase basic understanding of nitrogen-water interactions for biological nitrogen fixation
  • discover how phosphate availability affects plant growth and nutrient cycling
  • determine annual carbon fluxes of trees
  • understanding plant adapations to salt stress


Nitrogen and carbon interactions in nitrogen-fixating black locustInteractionsof nitrogen and phosphate in nutrient-limited ecosystemsRobinia plantation on reclaimed post-mining soils in Welzow SüdInvestigation of biological nitrogen fixation by back locust


Selected publications

  © Maik Veste 2017-2020 Last update: AUG 2020