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Prof. Dr. Klaus Butterbach-Bahl
Head of Division 'Bio-Geo-Chemical Processes' and Working Group 'Regionalization of Trace Gas Fluxes'
Prof. Dr. Klaus Butterbach-Bahl


Division: Bio-Geo-Chemical Processes


The atmospheric composition is largely affected by cycling of C and N compounds in the biosphere-hydrosphere-atmosphere continuum. One of the greatest uncertainties for predicting future environmental conditions is to understand how anthropogenic activities are impacting elemental biogeochemical cycles and how these perturbations affect exchange processes between the atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere.
Main objectives of the Bio-Geo-Chemical Process Research Division of IMK-IFU are:

  • to identifiy and quantify underlying plant physiological, microbial and physico-chemical processes determining the biosphere-atmosphere-hydrosphere exchange processes of N2O, NO, CH4, CO2, DOC, DON and nitrate.
  • to observe and document long-term changes in exchange processes in grassland and temperate forests ecosystems due to changes in environmental conditions.
  • to better understand the impacts of changes in climate, atmospheric deposition of nutrients/pollutants and anthropogenic activities (land use and land management) on bio-geo-chemical cycles of the terrestrial biosphere at various temporal and spatial scales by use of experimental and modeling approaches.

Our aim is to improve our system understanding of the terrestrial biosphere and underlying bio-geo-chemical processes by application of an integrated research approach consisting of process studies, field studies, and process modelling. The data sets gained in the laboratory and at long-term or temporary ecosystem research sites are used to further develop, improve and validate bio-geo-chemical models. These models serve as tools for analyzing impacts of past, present and future changes in environmental conditions on matter fluxes at site and regional scale.