Dr. Thomas Pütz
Head of research group "Environmental Monitoring"
Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH
Institut für Bio- und Geowissenschaften (IBG)
Gebäude 16.6 / Raum 3063
The research group Environmental Monitoring investigates water and matter fluxes in agricultural and forest ecosystems at lysimeter, field, and small catchment scales. In addition to studying carbon and nitrogen cycling under the influence of clearcutting/forest loss, these fluxes are also being considered with lysimeters and TERENO infrastructure. In addition, topics related to micro- and nanoplastics, pesticide fate, and radioecology are investigated with the use of stable and radioactive tracers in laboratory, lysimeter, and field experiments. Nitrogen input into groundwater continues to be a problem for drinking water quality in Germany. Here, practical solutions are being developed in cooperation with the North Rhine-Westphalia Chamber of Agriculture and reference farms, which will result in a significant reduction in N emissions with optimum yield and soil protection.
An important aspect is the provision of valid data sets of water and matter flux within TERENO and SOILCan. These data are freely available to scientists and can be downloaded via the data portal TEDOOR. For this purpose, environmental data are collected in an intensive monitoring program at the TERENO Eifel/Lower Rhine Valley Observatory using a variety of measuring instruments and sampling techniques. In the following step, the data are checked and released for further use. Most field or modeling studies are not considering Non-Rainfall Water (NRW) as a supplementary water input to precipitation when simulating ecosystem processes, because those inputs are often unknown or treated as a non-significant component of the water balance. Main issue of including NRWI´s in ecosystem research is that it requires systematic, complex measurements to quantify NRW forms e.g., dew or fog.