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© Thünen-Institut/AK
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Institute of

AK Climate-Smart Agriculture


Soil hydraulic properties and release of CO2 from peat soils

[Translate to English:]
© Thünen-Institut/Ullrich Dettmann
[Translate to English:]

Soil hydraulic properties and release of CO2 from peat soils

The main objective of the project is the investigation of hydrological processes and their interaction to biogeochemical processes in organic soils.

Background and Objective

Peatlands are drained worldwide for economical uses and therefore turn into a source of greenhouse gas emissions. Measured CO2-fluxes from peat soils show a high variability. Although soil hydrological and chemical variables are identified as key parameters, a major part of the variability remains unexplained. The project will face these challenges and investigate  hydraulic-, physical- and chemical properties of peat soils and their interaction to biogeochemical processes.


  1. Determination of soil hydraulic properties of organic soils with laboratory evaporation experiments and inverse parameter optimization.
  2. Investigate how representative soil hydraulic properties determined in the laboratory are for larger scales.
  3. Analysis of the wettability of organic soils and the influence on soil hydraulic properties and the stabilization of organic carbon.
  4. Development of approaches for an improved soil hydrological modeling of peatlands with the aim to improve the interpretation of biogeochemical field data.

Involved external Thünen-Partners

  • Leibniz Universität Hannover
    (Hannover, Deutschland)


9.2016 - 8.2024

More Information

Project status: ongoing


  1. 0

    Dettmann U, Frank S, Wittnebel M, Piayda A, Tiemeyer B (2022) How to take volume-based peat samples down to mineral soil? Geoderma 427:116132, DOI:10.1016/j.geoderma.2022.116132

  2. 1

    Dettmann U, Kraft NN, Rech R, Heidkamp A, Tiemeyer B (2021) Analysis of peat soil organic carbon, total nitrogen, soil water content and basal respiration: Is there a ‘best’ drying temperature? Geoderma 403:115231, DOI:10.1016/j.geoderma.2021.115231

  3. 2

    Dettmann U, Bechtold M, Viohl T, Piayda A, Sokolowsky L, Tiemeyer B (2019) Evaporation experiments for the determination of hydraulic properties of peat and other organic soils: An evaluation of methods based on a large dataset. J Hydrol 575:933-944, DOI:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2019.05.088

  4. 3

    Bechtold M, Dettmann U, Wöhl Lena, Durner W, Piayda A, Tiemeyer B (2018) Comparing methods for measuring water retention of peat near permanent wilting point. Soil Sci Soc Am J 82(3):601-605, DOI:10.2136/sssaj2017.10.0372

  5. 4

    Dettmann U, Bechtold M (2018) Evaluating commercial moisture probes in reference solutions covering mineral to peat soil conditions. Vadose Zone J 17(1):1-6, DOI:10.2136/vzj2017.12.0208

  6. 5

    Dettmann U (2018) SoilHyP: Soil Hydraulic Properties. R package version 0.1.1 [online]. , zu finden in <> [zitiert am 05.10.2018]

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