Plant Physiology

Research Group Prof. Dr. Jürgen Kesselmeier

Through its work on botanical, plant physiological, phycological and other biological subjects, our group fits neatly into the biogeochemistry department. For example we are studying the role of terrestrial and marine biota as a source of trace gases of significance to the climate. We are particularly interested in the exchange of trace gases between the soil and vegetation on the one hand and the atmosphere on the other. We are focusing this work on both reactive gases, which are important for chemical processes in the atmosphere, and longer life trace gases, which absorb radiation and thereby influence the greenhouse effect.

We are currently looking into the exchange of non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHC) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs such as monoterpenes, isoprene, oxidized compounds, acids and aldehydes) as well the exchange of reduced sulfur compounds (such as H2S, COS, CH3SH, DMS, CS2) between the biosphere and atmosphere. In this work, we are interested in the role of soil biota, algae, cyanobacteria, lichens, mosses and higher vegetation. Work to accompany this is looking at photosynthesis, respiration, transpiration and enzymatic processes in individual organisms.