Florian Wichern

Florian Wichern
Hochschule Rhein-Waal · Faculty of Life Sciences

Professor

About

125
Publications
23,122
Reads
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2,418
Citations
Introduction
Research areas - Permaculture and agoecology - Soils in agriculture, forests and urban environments - Soil pollutants such as heavy metals & microplastics - Nutrient and matter fluxes from field to regional scale - Soil-plant root interactions and rhizosphere processes - Soil ecology and soil microbiology - Use of stable isotopes in soil and plant sciences https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cy8z3M9MJkk&feature=youtu.be
Additional affiliations
November 2009 - present
Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences
Position
  • Full Professor for Soil Science and Plant Nutrition
June 2007 - October 2009
K+S KALI GmbH
Position
  • Product manager for specialty fertilizer
January 2004 - May 2007
University of Kassel
Position
  • Research Assistant
Education
October 2004 - December 2006
University of Kassel
Field of study
  • Soil science and plant nutrition
January 2004 - September 2004
University of Kassel
Field of study
  • Organic agriculture
October 1999 - October 2002
University of Kassel
Field of study
  • Organic agriculture

Publications

Publications (125)
Article
Cereal cultivars vary in root traits, and it can be proposed that wild forms and old cultivars are more adapted to using organic nitrogen (N) sources. Investigating N uptake from cover crop (CC) rhizodeposits by wheat and barley of different domestication level and their wild relatives, we expected a more efficient N uptake by wild forms and old cu...
Method
Full-text available
Dieser Leitfaden richtet sich an alle Wissenschaftler*innen sowie Citizen-Science-Gruppen, die bodenkundliche Untersuchungen in Agroforstsystemen mit streifenförmiger Anordnung der Gehölzkulturen vornehmen möchten. Ein besonderer Fokus liegt auf dem Probennahmedesign als Fundament und Grundvoraussetzung für die Vergleichbarkeit von wissenschaftlich...
Article
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Editorial on the Research Topic Frass: The Legacy of Larvae – Benefits and Risks of Residues From Insect Production
Article
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Accurate retrieval of grassland traits is important to support management of pasture production and phenotyping studies. In general, conventional methods used to measure forage yield and quality rely on costly destructive sampling and laboratory analysis, which is often not viable in practical applications. Optical imaging systems carried as payloa...
Article
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Regions with intensive agriculture often encounter environmental problems caused by nutrient excess of agro-food-waste systems that have become increasingly linear over previous decades. In this study, nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K) and carbon (C) flows in the whole agro-food-waste system of district Cleves in Germany were quantified s...
Article
Previous research on the identification of fungi by means of their Raman spectra (i.e. spectra based on the inelastic scattering of light) of their spores indicates that this approach could be a fast, cheap and reliable method to distinguish fungi. Entomopathogenic fungi are used in commercially available insecticides (mycoinsecticides), in particu...
Article
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Cultivation of perennials such as Miscanthus x giganteus Greef et Deuter (Mis) combines the provision of ecosystem services and the generation of additional carbon sources for farming. The potential of Mis based fertilisers, regarding immobilisation of inorganic nitrogen (N) and build-up of soil organic matter (SOM), was tested in a field trial. Th...
Article
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The African baobab (Adansonia digitata L.) is a multipurpose fruit-producing tree that is indigenous to the African savannahs. Commercial interest in the species has grown in recent years. The major obstacle of seed-based propagation of baobab is its inherent seed dormancy. Therefore, in this study the effects of different mechanical seed scarifica...
Article
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To reduce dependency on inorganic phosphorus (P) fertiliser, secondary P fertilisers such as struvite are becoming more important. However, the P uptake of these new fertilisers by plants is often not known and may be enhanced by plant associated microorganisms. We therefore investigated the effect of arbuscular mycorrhizae (AM) on P uptake in rye...
Article
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Insect protein production is considered a sustainable alternative to livestock protein which furthermore utilizes waste streams. Its production can have positive but also potentially negative environmental effects, which require evaluation. Frass, the byproduct of insect production, is regarded an efficient organic fertilizer or soil amendment. How...
Article
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Soil microorganisms require a range of essential elements for their optimal functioning and store several elements in the microbial biomass (MB), such as carbon (C), nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and sulphur (S), as well as other secondary and trace elements. The C, N and P content of the microbial biomass has been quantified in many studies for man...
Article
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Increased global production of animal-based protein results in high greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and other adverse consequences for human and planetary health. Recently, commercial insect rearing has been claimed a more sustainable source of animal protein. However, this system also leaves residues called frass, which—depending on the insect diet...
Article
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Cultivation of Miscanthus x giganteus L. (Mis) with annual harvest of biomass could provide an additional C source for farmers. To test the potential of Mis-C for immobilizing inorganic N from slurry or manure and as a C source for soil organic matter build-up in comparison to wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) straw (WS), a greenhouse experiment was per...
Article
The commercial rearing of insects is a growing economic sector. Therefore, an assessment was made of the potential of its by-product, frass, to be a soil improver. Essential plant nutrients were extracted (using 0.01 M CaCl2 or Mehlich 3) from frass of mealworms (Tenebrio molitor), black soldier flies (Hermetia illucens) and buffalo worms (Alphitob...
Article
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The soil microbial community fulfils various functions, such as nutrient cycling and carbon (C) sequestration, therefore contributing to maintenance of soil fertility and mitigation of global warming. In this context, a major focus of research has been on C, nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) cycling. However, from aquatic and other environments, it i...
Article
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Intercropping of legumes and cereals is an important management method for improving yield stability, especially in organic farming systems. However, knowledge is restricted on the relevance of different nutrient transfer pathways. The objective of the study was to quantify nitrogen (N) and carbon (C) transfer from peas to triticale by (1) direct r...
Article
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The use of antibiotics in humans and animals results in a release of excess antibiotic residues into the environment through wastewaters and insufficient removal in wastewater treatment plants (WWTP). This can lead to the development of antibiotic resistance through increasing numbers of bacteria enriched in antibiotic resistance genes (ARG). Howev...
Article
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Kyrgyz walnut-fruit forests harbour a unique walnut diversity, which has rarely been investigated concerning nut properties and the influence of environmental conditions on these. We evaluated the influence of soil properties and altitude on physical and some chemical walnut properties at three sampling sites differing in altitude by 200 m. Walnut...
Article
Hydrothermal carbonization converts organic wastes into potentially soil‐improving solids. The nutrient‐rich process waters generated are prospective fertilisers. Two hydrochars were produced from maize biogas digestate after one or six hours’ carbonization. Nutrient concentrations of the digestate, hydrochars and process waters were determined. A...
Article
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The abundance of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and ARGs is steadily increasing and has been comprehensively analyzed in natural environments, animals, foods, and wastewater treatment plants. In this respect, β-lactams and colistin are of particular interest due to the emergence of multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria. Despite the connection o...
Article
Full-text available
To reduce environmental issues resulting from excess nutrients, conserve valuable resources and safeguard future food security, natural nutrient cycles in agro-food-waste systems need to be restored. To this end, nutrient stock and flow analyses of the agro-food-waste system can be undertaken. There is currently no standardized method for the syste...
Preprint
Full-text available
The baobab tree is an underutilised indigenous fruit tree in sub-Saharan Africa which, at the same time is vulnerable to overexploitation in areas close to centres of demand, as currently baobab use is limited to wild, baobab trees. Baobab seedlings are known to form root tubers, but little is known about their growth characteristics and its yield...
Preprint
Full-text available
Microplastics (MPs) are an emerging pollutant found in many ecosystems including soils, where they may become toxic to organisms or alter their habitat. However, little is known about the influence of MPs on soil microorganisms and processes vital to ecosystem functioning in different soils. Therefore, our objective was to investigate the short-ter...
Preprint
Full-text available
The widespread of antibiotic resistance (ABR) among bacteria has become a global health concern for humans, animals and the environment. In this respect, beta-lactams and colistin are of particular interest due to the emergence of multidrug-resistant gram-negative bacteria. Households provide a habitat for bacteria originating from humans, animals,...
Article
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This study is based on 2-year experimental results aimed at evaluating the nutritional value and pomological characteristics of wild fruits and berries from the walnut-fruit forests of southern Kyrgyzstan including apple (Malus sieversii var. kirgizorum), pear (Pyrus korshinskyi Litv.), rosehip (Rosa canina), or barberry (Berberis oblonga). Wild pe...
Article
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Seawater level rise leads to increased saltwater intrusion causing soil salinity on arable land with negative effects on soil microbial processes. Organic amendments are known to reduce the effects of salinity on soil microorganisms, therefore positively influencing microbial activity and nutrient cycling. However, the extent of this effect in padd...
Article
Secondary fertilisers are becoming an important alternative to conventional mined fertilisers. For the first time, the struvite "relative" hazenite (KNaMg<sub>2</sub>(PO<sub>4</sub>)<sub>2</sub>∙14 H<sub>2</sub>O) has been artificially synthesised. A pot trial assessed whether hazenite-fertilised ryegrass had comparable potassium (K), magnesium (Mg...
Article
Wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) play a key role in the dissemination of antibiotic resistance and analyzing the abundance of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and resistant bacteria is necessary to evaluate the risk of proliferation caused by WWTPs. Since few studies investigated the seasonal variation of antibiotic resistance, this study aimed...
Article
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Wild fruits and berries from the walnut-fruit forests of Kyrgyzstan may hold nutritional and health benefits for humans. Since information on their nutritional value is scarce, physical properties and nutritional value of naturally occurring red, black, and yellow cherry plum fruits (Prunus divaricata Ledeb.) were evaluated. The wild cherry plums f...
Article
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Aims More sustainable agricultural systems, which contribute to C sequestration and biological N fixation, require accurate quantification of plant C and N inputs into soils. This has to be conducted under field conditions, as there are serious shortcomings to pot-based experiments, which have dominated studies on rhizodeposition estimation in the...
Article
Full-text available
To reduce environmental issues resulting from excess nutrients, conserve valuable resources and safeguard future food security, natural nutrient cycles in agro-food-waste systems need to be restored. To this end, nutrient stock and flow analyses of the agro-food-waste system can be undertaken. There is currently no standardized method for the syste...
Article
Struvite (MgNH4PO4.6H2O) and nitrification inhibitors are applied to soils to respectively provide nutrients and reduce nitrogen (N) loss. Given its low N composition (5.7%) relative to that of phosphorus (P, 12.6%) and magnesium (Mg, 9.9%), struvite could be added to soil concurrently with N fertilisers as a source of P and Mg. Nutrient release fr...
Article
Full-text available
Background and aims Soil nutrient dynamics are affected by root-microbe interactions and plant development. We investigated the influence of plant growth stage and arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi (AMF) on carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) rhizodeposition and the transfer into the microbial biomass (MB). Methods Pea varieties (Pisum sativum L.) with (Frisson...
Article
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Background and aims Catch crops (CC) reduce nitrate leaching, and may resolve a major concern in nitrogen (N) intensive agriculture. CC efficiency depends on N uptake ability, which is related to root development, biomass partitioning, and competition with soil microbes. We investigated the effect of N addition on this with three CC species. Metho...
Article
The current review investigates the hypothesis that dormant soil microorganisms are relevant for microbial processes and community changes. Dormant soil microorganisms are C limited and do not grow. However, they still have a basic metabolism, which requires organic C uptake, resulting in a slow biomass turnover. Dormant soil microorganisms respond...
Conference Paper
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Bangladesh is affected by many of the challenges affecting future food production, such as a rising seawater level leading to increased saltwater intrusion causing soil salinity. Moreover, the pronounced dry and rainy seasons lead to temporal accumulation of salts in the soils ultimately reducing plant growth. Addition of organic matter is expected...
Conference Paper
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Forests make important contributions to safeguarding agricultural production, food security and nutrition of rural and urban populations. The walnut-fruit forests in Kyrgyzstan constitute a unique resource in this regard. Simultaneously, they are of global importance as a biodiversity hotspot. However, current patterns of forest management are unsu...
Article
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Background and aimsOne means of reducing nitrate leaching in temperate farming is to include catch crops in crop rotations, which immobilize residual nitrogen (N) in their biomass. For an accurate quantification of the N stored in catch crops and subsequently released from residues, their total biomass, including roots and rhizodeposits has to be a...
Article
Ecophysiological traits determining the occurrence and cultivability of Irvingia gabonensis are not fully understood. We evaluated the impact of salinity (30, 60 and 120mmol NaCl) on seedling emergence (rate and speed) and seedling vigour in greenhouse conditions. Vegetative responses of seedlings were also assessed. Salinity levels up to 60 mmol h...
Article
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The sustainable use of grasslands in intensive farming systems aims to optimize nitrogen (N) inputs to increase crop yields and decrease harmful losses to the environment at the same time. To achieve this, simple optical sensors may provide a non-destructive, time- and cost-effective tool for estimating plant biomass in the field, considering spati...
Article
Bodemdaling in veenweidegebieden en aangrenzende moerige gron- den stelt ons voor een grote geofysische en milieutechnische uitda- ging. Op Europese schaal wordt bodemdaling in veengebieden voor- komen door peilverhoging, waar maatschappelijke kosten door CO2-emissies, verlies aan waterveiligheid en stikstofverliezen de baten niet meer kunnen compe...
Article
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Biochars are adsorptive solids potentially of benefit to soil microbes by providing improved nutrient retention, a carbon substrate and contaminant adsorption. A 28-day incubation experiment gauged the interactive effects of biochar application and contaminants on the microbial biomass and respiration of a sandy loam soil. Soil was amended with 250...
Article
N released from soil organic matter and plant residues is an important source of available N in permanent grassland. Inorganic fertilizer application alters root biomass and quality and therefore changes the input and turnover of soil organic matter. Little is known about how intensification of N fertilization affects C and N mineralization process...
Article
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As a consequence of climate change, a rising sea level results in increased saltwater intrusion and soil salinity problems in Bangladesh. The affected agricultural soils are characterized by temporarily high concentrations of soluble salts, low organic matter and reduced plant growth. Addition of organic matter can reduce the negative effects of sa...
Article
The soil conditioners anionic polyacrylamide (PAM) and dicyandiamide (DCD) are frequently applied to soils to reduce soil erosion and nitrogen loss, respectively. A 27-day incubation study was set up to gauge their interactive effects on the microbial biomass, carbon (C) mineralization and nitrification activity of a sandy loam soil in the presence...
Article
Full-text available
Wild edible fruits hold great potential for improving human diets, especially in agricultural societies of the developing world. In Africa, a well-known supplier of such fruits is the baobab (Adansonia digitata L., Malvaceae), one of the most remarkable trees of the world. Several studies in different African countries have highlighted this indigen...