We work at the interface between vegetation and the hydrosystem and focus on the vertical connection between soil and atmosphere. We work on both flow directions up and down. We investigate canopy and soil processes and are specifically interested into how vegetation interacts with and creates spatial heterogeneity of fluxes and soil water states.
In our work group we focus on:
- Pattern formation by canopies and root water uptage and effect on surface flux partitioning
- Vegetation adaptation to water stress
- Integrated modelling of vegetation and the water cycle
For general information on the projects, please click on the links below each logo which will lead you to the project websites.
For short descriptions of our work in the projects, please open boxes
Short Project Descriptions
Root water uptake in anthropogenic change
Root water uptake can adapt quickly to changing environmental conditions. For example, ecosystems shift uptake downwards, when water is scarce. Here we investigste, how this capacity of the ecosystems depends on the management, changing climate conditions and especially the availability of other resouces that are also acquired by the root systems, like nitrogen. In this PhD project, we use soil moisture information in the Global Change Experimental Facility and in the Nutrient Network, with the aim to improve representation of plant resource acquisition in models.
A Parsimonious Canopy Model (PCM)
Temperate forest ecosystems play a crucial role in governing global carbon and water cycles. The total carbon uptake of ecosystems by photosynthesis (GPP) is the largest flux between the land and the atmosphere within the carbon cycle. It is intrinsically linked to the canopy leaf production and potentially strongly affected by drought. For the water cycle, leaf area index (LAI) plays a crucial role, as it affects both the interception of rainwater and the water loss during carbon uptake. Therefore, a prognostic simulated vegetation leaf area index (LAI) would substantially improve representation of the water cycle components in hydrological models (e.g., evapotranspiration), while GPP predictions would benefit from simulated soil water storage. Those two key variables can be estimated together by incorporating a light use efficiency concept into a hydrological model. But existing LUE-modules either require external (e.g. satellite-based) LAI dynamics which are subjected to uncertainty and/or the level of the model complexity (when LAI is also simulated) prohibits their integration into hydrologic models. In this project, we develop a parsimonious forest canopy model to simulate the daily development of both GPP and LAI, while ensuring adequate level of complexity to allow coupling into hydrological models.
Model description can be found here: Bahrami et al., GMD
The CRC AquaDiva is a Collaborative Research Centre funded by the German Science Foundation. It deals with the coupling between surface and subsurface processes within the Earth Critical Zone. Two exploratories have been established in the first two phases of this altogether twelve year long project.
Our working group contributes understanding on how surface structure, like vegetation type, diversity and management, affect where and how water enters into the subsurface, and which part enters the deeper subsurface. We also look at how carbon and nitrogen enter the subsurface, are transformed and transported below the main rooting zone. For this, we couple the ecological model FORMIND to the hydrological model mHM and add a module that accounts for nutrient and carbon turnover in the forest soils. The models will first be adopted at the intensive monitoring sites of our project partners and than further extended to larger watersheds to allow generalization of the results.
Using the coupled model, we want to investigate, how land use management or changes in ecosystem structure due to extreme climate events, affect the input of water and matter to the deeper subsurface.
The group contributes to teaching at the Institute of Geoscience at the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena:
- Preparatory class in Mathematics for incoming students of the BSc Geosciences (3-5 day block course)
- Module Ecohydrology for the BSc Biogeosciences (3rd year)
- Lecture Geostatistics for MSc Environmental and Georesources Management, Geosciences and Biogeosciences
- Lange, M., Roth, V-N, Eisenhauer, N, Roscher, C, Dittmer, T, Fischer, C, Gonzales Mace, O, Hildebrandt, A, Milcu, A, Mommer, L, Oram, NJ, Ravenek, J, Scheu, S, Schmidt, S, Strecker, T, Wagg, C, Weigelt, A, Gleixner, G. 2021.
Plant diversity enhances production and downward transport of biodegradable dissolved organic matter.
Journal of Ecology 1009(3), 1284-1297, doi: 10.1111/1365-2745.13556
- Barry, K.E., J van Ruijven, L. Mommer, Y. Bai, C. Beierkuhnlein, N. Buchmann, H. de Kroon, A. Ebeling, N. Eisenhauer, C. Guimaraes-Steinicke, Anke Hildebrandt, F. Isbell, A. Milcu, C. Neßhöver, P. B. Reich, C. Roscher, L. Sauheitl, M. Scherer-Lorenzen, B. Schmid, D. Tilman, S. von Felten & A. Weigelt (2019):
Limited evidence for spatial resource partitioning across temperate grassland biodiversity experiments.
Ecology. 101(1), doi: 10.1002/ecy.2905
Fischer, C., Leimer, S., Roscher. C., Ravenek, J., de Kroon, H., Kreutziger, Y., Baade, J., Beßler, H., Eisenhauer, N., Weigelt, A., Mommer, L., Lange, M., Gleixner, G., Wilcke, W., Schröder, B., A. Hildebrandt (2019):
Plant species richness and functional groups have different effects on soil water content in a decade-long grassland experiment.
Journal of Ecology 107:127-141, doi: 10.1111/1365-2745.13046.
- Guderle, M., D. Bachmann, A. Milcu, A. Gockele, M. Bechmann, C. Fischer, C. Roscher, D. Landais, O. Ravel, S. Devidal, J. Roy, A. Gessler, N. Buchmann, A. Hildebrandt (2018):
Dynamic niche partitioning in root water uptake facilitates efficient water use in more diverse plant communities.
Functional Ecology 32(1): 214-227. doi: 10.1111/1365-2435.12948
- Metzger, J., N. Dalla Valle, T. Wutzler, J. Filipzik, R. Lehmann, M. Roggenbuck, D. Schelhorn, J. Weckmüller, K. Küsel, K.U. Totsche, S. Trumbore, A. Hildebrandt (2017):
Vegetation impacts soil water content patterns by shaping canopy water fluxes and soil properties.
Hydrological Processes, doi: 10.1002/hyp.11274.
- Van Stan, J.T., Norman, Z., Meghoo, A., Friesen, J., Hildebrandt, A., Coté, J.-F., Moldanado, G. (2017):
Edge-to-stem variability in wet canopy evaporation from an urban tree row.
Boundary Layer Meteorology 165 (2): 295-310. doi: 10.1007/s10546-017-0277-7.
- Weisser, W.W., C. Roscher, S. Meyer, A. Ebeling, , G. Luo, E. Allan, H. Beßler, R. Barnard, N. Buchmann, F. Buscot, C. Engels, C. Fischer, M. Fischer, A. Gessler, G. Gleixner, S. Halle, A. Hildebrandt, H. Hillebrand, H. de Kroon, M. Lange, S. Leimer, X. Le Roux, A. Milcu, L. Mommer, P. Niklaus, Y. Oelmann, R. Proulx, C. Scherber, M. Scherer-Lorenzen, S. Scheu, T. Tscharntke, M. Wachendorf, C. Wagg, A. Weigelt, W. Wilcke, E.-D. Schulze, B. Schmid, N. Eisenhauer (2017):
Biodiversity effects on ecosystem functioning in a 15-year grassland experiment: patterns, mechanisms, and open questions.
Basic and Applied Ecology 23: 1-74, doi: 10.1016/j.baae.2017.06.002
- Wollschläger, U., Attinger, S., Borchardt, D., Brauns, M., Cuntz, M., Dietrich, P., Fleckenstein, J.H., Friese, K., Friesen, J., Harpke, A., Hildebrandt, A., Jäckel, G., Kamjunke, N., Knöller, K., Kögler, S., Kolditz, O., Krieg, R., Kumar, R., Lausch, A., Liess, M., Marx, A., Merz, R., Mueller, C., Musolff, A., Norf, H., Oswald, S.E., Rebmann, C., Reinstorf, F., Rode, M., Rink, K., Rinke, K., Samaniego, L., Vieweg, M., Vogel, H.-J., Weitere, M., Werban, U., Zink, M., Zacharias, S., (2017):
The Bode hydrological observatory: a platform for integrated, interdisciplinary hydro-ecological research within the TERENO Harz/Central German Lowland Observatory.
Environ. Earth Sci. 76 (1), art. 29. doi:10.1007/s12665-016-6327-5.
- Zimmermann, A., S. Voss, J.C. Metzger, A. Hildebrandt, B. Zimmermann (2016):
Capturing heterogeneity: The role of a study area's extent for estimating mean throughfall. Journal of Hydrology 542: 781-789. doi: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2016.09.047
- Hildebrandt, A., A. Kleidon, and M. Bechmann (2016):
A thermodynamic formulation of root water uptake. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 20: 3441-3454, doi: 10.5194/hess-20-3441-2016
- Milcu, A., W. Eugster, D. Bachmann, M. Guderle, Ch. Roscher, D. Landais, O. Ravel, A. Gessler, M. Lange, A. Ebeling, W. Weisser, J. Roy, A. Hildebrandt, N. Buchmann (2016):
Plant species and functional diversity increase grassland productivity-related water vapour fluxes: a combined Ecotron and modeling approach. Ecology 97(8): 2044-2054. doi: 10.1890/15-1110.1
- Van Stan, J., L. Elliott, A. Hildebrandt, C. Rebmann, J. Friesen (2016):
Interacting bark structure and rainfall conditions impact stemflow variability in a temperate beech-oak forest, Central Germany. Hydrological Science Journal 61: 2071-2083. doi: 10.1080/02626667.2015.1083104
- Renner, M., S. K. Hassler, T. Blume, M. Weiler, A. Hildebrandt, M. Guderle, S. J. Schymanski, and A. Kleidon (2016):
Dominant controls of transpiration along a hillslope transect inferred from ecohydrological measurements and thermodynamic limits. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 20: 2063-2083, doi: 10.5194/hess-20-2063-2016.
- Fischer, C., J. Tischer, C. Roscher, N. Eisenhauer, J. Ravenek, G. Gleixner, S. Attinger, B. Jensen, H. de Kroon, L. Mommer, S. Scheu, A. Hildebrandt (2015):
Plant species diversity affects infiltration capacity in an experimental grassland through changes in soil properties. Plant and Soil. 397: 1-16. doi: 10.1007/s11104-014-2373-5
- Guderle, M. and Hildebrandt, A. (2015):
Using measured soil water contents to estimate evapotranspiration and root water uptake profiles – a comparative study. Hydrology and Earth Systems Sciences. 19: 409-425. doi: 10.5194/hess-19-409-2015
- Bechmann, M., C. Schneider, A. Carminati, D. Vetterlein, S. Attinger, A. Hildebrandt (2014):
Effect of parameter choice in root water uptake models – the arrangement of root hydraulic properties within the root architecture affects dynamics and efficiency of root water uptake.
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 18, 4189–4206. doi: 10.5194/hess-18-4189-2014.
- Milcu, A., C. Roscher, D. Bachmann, A. Gockele, M. Guderle, D. Landais, C. Piel, C. Escpape, S. Devidal, O. Ravel, N. Buchmann, A. Gessler, G. Gleixner, A. Hildebrandt, J. Roy. (2014):
Functional diversity of leaf nitrogen concentrations drives grassland carbon fluxes.
Ecology Letters 17: 435-444. doi 10.1111/ele.12243.
- Leimer, S., Y. Kreutziger, S. Rosenkranz, H. Bessler, C. Engels, A. Hildebrandt, Y. Oelmann, W. Weisser, C. Wirth, W. Wilcke. (2014):
Plant diversity effects on the water balance of an experimental grassland.
Ecohydrology 7, 1378–1391. doi 10.1002/eco.1464
- Anthonj, C., S. Beskow, F. Dornelles, A. Terumi Fushita, C. Alves Gelharte, P. Galvao, P. Gatti J, B. Gluecker, A. Hildebrandt, D. Karthe, P. Kotsila, K. Krause, A. Kledson Leal Silva, P. Lehmann, P. Moura, N. Andricioli Periotto, J. L. Rodrigues Filho, D.R. Lopes dos Santos, F. Selge, T. Silva, R.M. Soares, M. Strohbach, A. Suhogusoff, I. Wahnfried, I. Zaseda. (2014):
Water in Urban Regions: Building Future Knowledge to Integrate Land Use, Ecosystem Services and Human Health.
Science Policy Report, German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. ISBN: 978-3-8047-3332-9
- Alexandrov, G. A., D. Ames, G. Bellocchi, M. Bruen, N. Crout, M. Erechtchoukova, A. Hildebrandt, F. Hoffman, C. Jackisch, P. Khaiter, G. Mannina, T. Matsunaga, S.T. Purucker, M. Rivington, L. Samaniego (2011):
Technical assessment and evaluation of environmental models and software: Letter to the Editor.
Environmental Modelling & Software 26 (3):328–336. doi: 10.1016/j.envsoft.2010.08.004.