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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


Regionalization of Biogenic Trace Gas Fluxes

Research scope
field impressions

Environmental conditions such as soil and vegetation properties or soil moisture and temperature affect in various ways biogenic processes involved in the production, consumption and release of environmentally important trace substances (N2O, CH4, CO2, NOX, NO3). In consequence, the biosphere-atmosphere-hydrosphere exchange of trace substances is highly variable on temporal and spatial scales. This also limits the reliability of simplified approaches and measurements only for precise estimating of biosphere-atmosphere-hydrosphere exchange of environmentally important trace substances.
In order to provide information on the exchange of trace substances between the biosphere, the atmosphere and the hydrosphere, and to improve existing estimates on regional and global scales for past, present and future environmental conditions – as needed e.g. for UNFCCC reporting – bio-geo-chemical models, capable of simulating the complex interactions of the involved biogenic and physico-chemical processes, are further developed and applied on site to continental scale. The model development is based on detailed field and laboratory measurements in various ecosystems, and regionalization is obtained by linking these models to detailed GIS databases. Typical outputs are greenhouse gas emission or nitrate leaching inventories on various temporal and spatial scales, for documenting current or analyzing future effects of changes in land use, land management and climate on regional trace gas exchange and for developing regional specific greenhouse gas mitigation and climate change adaptation strategies.