Welcome to the Ecohydrology and Biogeochemistry Research Group!

The research group focuses on interactions between hydrological processes and elemental cycling and transformations in wetlands and surface waters. To this end we quantify elemental fluxes and identify and characterize biogeochemical and geochemical processes with chemical-analytical techniques. Mathematical Simulation models and statistical tools are applied in a supportive way to characterize system dynamics and to analyze the interaction of physical, chemical and biological processes. The derived knowledge is used to elucidate the effect of environmental change on wetlands and surface waters on different spatial and temporal scales.

Currently we investigate:

  • the impact of drought, flooding and water transport on carbon, sulphur and iron transformations and carbon fluxes in Canadian and German peatlands
  • the effects of long-term nitrogen deposition and raised temperatures on the sequestration and mobility of carbon and nitrogen in European peatlands
  • the impact of groundwater inflow on biogeochemical processes and the surface water quality of acidic mine lakes in Eastern Germany
  • carbon sequestration, trace gas fluxes, and their physical and biochemical controls in small lakes
  • the role of redox transformations of humic substances for anaerobic electron flow and trace gas emissions in peatlands

News from the Research Group:

© Katharina Blaurock und Lisa Kaule

Podcast 'Moorminuten' (in German)

the Bayreuth Center for Ecology and Environmental Research (BayCEER) at the University of Bayreuth has published a Podcast Series about peatlands and their relevance in the context of climatic changes, Moorminuten (in German), funded by AQUAKlif / bayclif (Bayerisches Netzwerk für Klimaforschung)

Klaus-Holger Knorr recording the podcast
© Sophie Pieoer

WWU Podcast with Klaus-Holger Knorr

In a WWU Podcast [de] in the series "Sustainability", Klaus-Holger Knorr talks about the relevance of peatlands in the discussion on climate change, how they are threatened, their value, and possibilities for protecting and restoring peatlands.

Prof. Dr. Klaus-Holger Knorr with peat and a gouge auger in his hands
© Uni MS-MünsterView

The relevance of peatlands for the climate

In the Ecohydrology and Biogeochemistry Research Group we study the relevance of peatlands and wetlands for greenhouse gas fluxes and carbon storage. We also assess efforts for restoration of in Germany often strongly degraded and drained peatlands, and the effects of permafrost thaw on peatlands in high latitutes. In the context of the climate change discussion, this has now been picked up by the WWU press office with an article [de]. We are glad to see that peatlands are now getting more attention in ongoing discussions.

Manual for the propagation of hummock peat mosses

Manual for the propagation of hummock peat mosses for restoration purposes
© DBU/Hölzel et al

Hummock peat mosses are of great importance for the functioning of bog ecosystems. Research on restoration success showed that hummock peat mosses often do not establish even after more than 30 years of successful rewetting. The reason for this is obviously dispersal limitation as a result of man-made habitat fragmentation, as well as a generally minor importance of the generative propagation in hummock peat mosses.
In a joint project with the Stiftung Lebensraum Moor and the substrate manufacturer Gramoflor GmbH & Co. KG, the Institute of Landscape Ecology has produced a  manual for the propagation of hummock peat mosses for restoration purposes [de] (in German) as a guideline for restoration. In this project, funded by the German Federal Environment Foundation (DBU), various propagation methods were tested on irrigated greenhouse tables as well as in field trials. Results of this research have now been published in a manual written by Norbert Hölzel, Till Kleinebecker, Klaus-Holger Knorr, Peter Raabe and Gabriela Gramann. This manual is addressed to stakeholders and practitioners in conservation and bog restoration.

Related Links:
 Stiftung Lebensraum Moor [de]