Max Planck Society
Max Planck Institut for Biogeochemistry

Department Biogeochemical Integration

Prof. Dr. Markus Reichstein

Phone: +49 (0)3641 57 - 6200
Fax: +49 (0)3641 57 - 7200


Department webpage

New modelling and model-data integration approaches for explaining global change processes

The Department of Biogeochemical Integration aims to better understand how the terrestrial biosphere reacts to and exerts feedbacks on ongoing environmental change and variation in atmospheric conditions. How do ecosystems respond to changing weather patterns, rising temperatures and increasing carbon dioxide concentrations? Is the effect of precipitation more important than that of temperature? Or are ecosystem dynamics more strongly affected by nutrient availability? What is the role of extreme events in shaping biogeochemical cycles? To find out the answers we need to understand the interactions among three complex systems: climate, vegetation, and soil. Thus, we combine experiments and in-situ long-term observation with Earth observations gathered by aircraft and satellites across a range of spatial scales, and embrace data-driven machine learning and theory-driven mechanistic modelling.

Easy-to-understand fact sheet of the department (pdf, 1.1 MB)


  • Global biogeochemical cycles (C-N-H2O-P)
  • Data-driven Earth System Science
  • Soils in the Earth System
  • Climate and biosphere extremes
  • Ecosystem function and biodiversity

Selected publications

Ahrens, B., Braakhekke, M. C., Guggenberger, G., Schrumpf, M., Reichstein, M. (2015): Contribution of sorption, DOC transport and microbial interactions to the 14C age of a soil organic carbon profile: Insights from a calibrated process model. Soil Biology and Biochemistry. DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2015.06.008.

Forkel, M., Carvalhais, N., Rödenbeck, C., Keeling, R., Heimann, M., Thonicke, K., Zaehle, S., Reichstein, M. (2016). Enhanced seasonal CO2 exchange caused by amplified plant productivity in northern ecosystems. Science, 351(6274), 696-699. doi:10.1126/science.aac4971.

Jung, M., Reichstein, M., Schwalm, C.R., Huntingford, C., Sitch, S., Ahlström, A., Arneth, A., Camps-Valls, G., Ciais, P., Friedlingstein, P., Gans, F., Ichii, K., Jain, A.K., Kato, E., Papale, D., Poulter, B., Raduly, B., Rödenbeck, C., Tramontana, G., Viovy, N., Wang, Y.-P., Weber, U., Zaehle, S., Zeng, N. (2017) Compensatory water effects link yearly global land CO2 sink changes to temperature. Nature 541, 516–520. DOI: 10.1038/nature20780

Knauer, J., Zaehle, S., Reichstein, M., Medlyn, B. E., Forkel, M., Hagemann, S., Werner, C. (2017). The response of ecosystem water-use efficiency to rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations: sensitivity and large-scale biogeochemical implications. New Phytologist, 213(4), 1654-1666. doi:10.1111/nph.14288

Perez-Priego, O., El-Madany T.S., Migliavacca, M., Kowalski A.S., Jung M., Carrara A. ,Kolle O., Martín M. P., Pacheco-Labrador J., Moreno G. , Reichstein, M. (2017) Evaluation of eddy covariance latent heat fluxes with independent lysimeter and sapflow estimates in a Mediterranean savannah ecosystem. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 236 DOI: 10.1016/j.agrformet.2017.01.009

Reichstein, M., Bahn, M., Mahecha, M. D., Kattge, J., Baldocchi, D. D. (2014). Linking plant and ecosystem functional biogeography. Proc.Natl.Acad.Sci.USA, 111(38), 13697-13702. doi:10.1073/pnas.1216065111.

Drilling of a soil core (Photo: Sven Doering) Soil core (Photo: Marion Schrumpf) Las Majadas del Tietar, Spain, Dehesa - open holm oak woodland with traditional grazing management. In March 2014 two identical Eddy covariance flux measurement towers were set up. A third smaller tower, a so called subcanopy eddy covariance tower, was built in June 2014. Manipulation experiments with nitrogen and phosphor fertilization startet in 2015. (Photo: Istvan Hejja) Extreme events: drought in a mediteranean soil, Milos, Greece (Photo: Marcel van Oijen, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Edinburgh) Modelling and discussion of measured data (Photo: )
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