Photo: UFZ

Group: Field Experimental Soil Ecology - GCEF

Head: Dr. Thomas Reitz   ( Email , Web )
PhD Students
  • Sara Wahdan
  • Claudia Breitkreuz
  • Yvonne Eckstein
  • Antonia Schedewi
  • Julia Dietze

Research Topics

Climatic and land use-specific changes related to the global change alters the composition of microbial soil communities in terrestrial ecosystems. A change in the community structure is generally accompanied with a modified combination of microbial traits, which thereby affect microbially driven processes (decomposition, nutrient cycling) in the soil. The structural and functional adaptation to changed environmental conditions plays an essential role for ecosystem resistance and resilience.

In our group we investigate the structural and functional changes of soil microbial community and the associated ecosystem processes in response to changes in climate, as well as land use and land management regimes in experimental platforms at the field level. The analyses are carried out on the one hand at the level of the whole community (ARISA, soil enzymes), but also at the level of traits of individual species or genera (P and K solubilization; siderophore-, IAA, and ACC production). Selected isolates are examined in associated pot experiments on their plant growth promoting effects under abiotic and biotic stress.

Projects / Research Platforms

Platform: Global Change Experimental Facility

The Global Change Experimental Facility (GCEF) is an experimental platform for interdisciplinary research on the consequences of climate change on ecosystem processes in different land-use types on large field plots.

GCEF - Aerial view
GCEF - Aerial view. Photo: Tricklabor / Service Drone
Attached Projects

"Increasing the stress resistance of agricultural ecosystems through plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) using winter wheat (Triticum L.) production as a case study"
Funded by DBU (20015/391) | Project term: 2016 - 2019 | PhD Student: Claudia Breitkreuz
Supervision by Dr. Mika Tarkka and Dr. Thomas Reitz

"Impact of climate change on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities under different land-use types"
Funded by the Ministry of Higher Education Egypt | Project term: 2017 - 2021 | PhD Student: Sara Wahdan
Supervision by Dr. Thomas Reitz

Platform: Static Fertilization Experiment

The “Static Fertilization Experiment” (Bad Lauchstädt, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany) was established in 1902 and is one of the oldest agricultural field experiments worldwide. It aims to provide comprehensive understanding on the effects of long-term mineral and organic fertilization on yield and quality of crops as well as on soil fertility and sustainability.

Static Fertilization Experiment
Static Fertilization Experiment, Bad Lauchstädt. Photo: UFZ


  • Prof. Dirk Freese, BTU Cottbus
  • Dr. Petra Högy, Universität Hohenheim
  • Prof. Mohamed Merroun, Universität Granada

2018 (3)

  • Buczko, U., van Laak, M., Eichler-Löbermann, B., Gans, W., Merbach, I., Panten, K., Peiter, E., Reitz, T., Spiegel, H., von Tucher, S., (2018):
    Re-evaluation of the yield response to phosphorus fertilization based on meta-analyses of long-term field experiments
    Ambio 47 (Suppl. 1), 50 - 61
    full text (url)
  • Francioli, D., Schulz, E., Buscot, F., Reitz, T., (2018):
    Dynamics of soil bacterial communities over a vegetation season relate to both soil nutrient status and plant growth phenology
    Microb. Ecol. 75 (1), 216 - 227
    full text (url)
  • van Laak, M., Klingenberg, U., Peiter, E., Reitz, T., Zimmer, D., Buczko, U., (2018):
    The equivalence of the Calcium-Acetate-Lactate and Double-Lactate extraction methods to assess soil phosphorus fertility
    J. Plant Nutr. Soil Sci. 181 (5), 795 - 801
    full text (url)

2016 (2)

  • Francioli, D., Schulz, E., Lentendu, G., Wubet, T., Buscot, F., Reitz, T., (2016):
    Mineral vs. organic amendments: microbial community structure, activity and abundance of agriculturally relevant microbes are driven by long-term fertilization strategies
    Front. Microbiol. 7 , art. 1446
    full text (url)
  • Francioli, D., Schulz, E., Purahong, W., Buscot, F., Reitz, T., (2016):
    Reinoculation elucidates mechanisms of bacterial community assembly in soil and reveals undetected microbes
    Biol. Fert. Soils 52 (8), 1073 - 1083
    full text (url)

2015 (2)

  • Purahong, W., Stempfhuber, B., Lentendu, G., Francioli, D., Reitz, T., Buscot, F., Schloter, M., Krüger, D., (2015):
    Influence of commonly used primer systems on automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis of bacterial communities in environmental samples
    PLOS One 10 (3), e0118967
    full text (url)
  • Reitz, T., Rossberg, A., Barkleit, A., Selenska-Pobell, S., Merroun, M.L., (2015):
    Spectroscopic study on uranyl carboxylate complexes formed at the surface layer of Sulfolobus acidocaldarius
    Dalton Trans. 44 (6), 2684 - 2692
    full text (url)

2014 (2)

  • Morcillo, F., Gonzalez-Munoz, M.T., Reitz, T., Romero-Gonzalez, M.E., Arias, J.M., Merroun, M.L., (2014):
    Biosorption and Biomineralization of U(VI) by the marine bacterium Idiomarina loihiensis MAH1: effect of background electrolyte and pH
    PLOS One 9 (3), e91305
    full text (url)
  • Reitz, T., Rossberg, A., Barkleit, A., Selenska-Pobell, S., Merroun, M.L., (2014):
    Decrease of U(VI) immobilization capability of the facultative anaerobic strain Paenibacillus sp. JG-TB8 under anoxic conditions due to strongly reduced phosphatase activity
    PLOS One 9 (8), e102447
    full text (url)

2012 (1)

  • Bartolomé, J., Bartolomé, F., García, L.M., Figueroa, A.I., Repollés, A., Martínez-Pérez, M.J., Luis, F., Magén, C., Selenska-Pobell, S., Pobell, F., Reitz, T., Schönemann, R., Herrmannsdörfer, T., Merroun, M., Geissler, A., Wilhelm, F., Rogalev, A., (2012):
    Strong paramagnetism of gold nanoparticles deposited on a Sulfolobus acidocaldarius S layer
    Phys. Rev. Lett. 109 (24), 247203
    full text (url)

2011 (3)

  • Merroun, M.L., Nedelkova, M., Ojeda, J., Reitz, T., López Fernández, M., Arias, J.M., Romero-González, M., Selenska-Pobell, S., (2011):
    Bio-precipitation of uranium by two bacterial isolates recovered from extreme environments as estimated by potentiometric titration, TEM and X-ray absorption spectroscopic analyses
    J. Hazard. Mater. 197 , 1 - 10
    full text (url)
  • Reitz, T., Merroun, M.L., Rossberg, A., Steudtner, R., Selenska-Pobell, S., (2011):
    Bioaccumulation of U(VI) by Sulfolobus acidocaldarius under moderate acidic conditions
    Radiochim. Acta 99 (9), 543 - 553
    full text (url)
  • Selenska-Pobell, S., Reitz, T., Schönemann, R., Herrmansdörfer, T., Merroun, M.L., Geißler, A., Bartolomé, J., Bartolomé, F., García, L.M., Wilhelm, F., Rogalev, A., (2011):
    Magnetic Au nanoparticles on archaeal S-Layer ghosts as templates
    Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology 1 (2), 8 - 16
    full text (url)