Peter Fiener

Peter Fiener
Universität Augsburg | UNA · Institute of Geography

Prof. Dr.

About

203
Publications
56,740
Reads
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3,482
Citations
Introduction
Peter Fiener is a full professor at University Augsburg since 2013. He was a professor at the IITM in Chennai from 2011 till 2012; was a research scientist at the University Cologne from 2004 to 2010, was a postdoc at the KU Leuven. He earned his PhD in 2003 from the TU Munich. He studies the complex interactions of of soil, water and matter fluxes, especially in agricultural landscapes. He conducts lab and field work and is interested in landscape scale monitoring. He integrates experimental results in to spatially distributed models of small catchments or entire regions.
Additional affiliations
October 2013 - present
Universität Augsburg
Position
  • Professor (Full)
January 2013 - September 2013
University of Cologne
Position
  • Senior Researcher
July 2011 - December 2012
Indian Institute of Technology Madras
Position
  • Professor (Full)

Publications

Publications (203)
Article
Full-text available
Tropical deforestation for fertilizer-based agriculture has greatly increased in the last decades resulting in significant greenhouse gas (GHG; carbon dioxide (CO 2), methane (CH 4), and nitrous oxide (N 2 O)) emissions. Unfortunately , empirical studies on soil GHG fluxes from African deforestation hotspots are still limited, creating uncertaintie...
Article
Full-text available
The accelerated sediment supply from agricultural soils to riverine and lacustrine environments leads to negative off-site consequences. In particular, the sediment connectivity from agricultural land to surface waters is strongly affected by landscape patchiness and the linear structures that separate field parcels (e.g. roads, tracks, hedges, and...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the impact of land use and land cover change on surface energy and water budgets is increasingly important in the context of climate change research. Eddy covariance (EC) methods are the gold standard for high temporal resolution measurements of water and energy fluxes, but cannot resolve spatial heterogeneity and are limited in scope...
Article
Full-text available
Soils used for crop production cover 15.5 million km2 and almost all have been tilled at some point in their history. However, it is unclear how the changes in soil depth and soil properties associated with tillage affect crop yields. Here we show that tillage on slopes thins soils and reduces wheat and maize yields. At the landscape scale, tillage...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The net primary productivity (NPP) of tropical forests is an important component of the global terrestrial carbon (C) cycle. The lack of field-based data, however, limits our mechanistic understanding of the drivers of NPP and C allocation. In consequence, the role of local edaphic factors for forest growth and C dynamics is unclear and introduces...
Preprint
Full-text available
Soil erosion rates on arable land frequently exceed the pace at which new soil is formed. This imbalance leads to soil thinning (i.e., truncation), whereby subsoil horizons and their underlying parent material become progressively closer to the land surface. As subsurface horizons often have contrasting properties to the original topsoil, truncatio...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Tillage erosion is known to be a major soil degradation process that is mainly associated with increasingly mechanised agriculture since the early 1950s. However, especially soil truncation on convex hilltops and slope shoulders can be already identified on historical aerial photos of our study region in Northeast Germany from the 1950s. The aim of...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Soil erosion rates frequently exceed the pace at which new soil is formed. This imbalance can lead to soil thinning (i.e., truncation) whereby subsoil horizons, and the underlying parent material, emerge progressively closer to the land surface. These subsurface horizons may have contrasting physical, chemical, and biological properties from those...
Article
Full-text available
Accurate estimation of head loss introduced via randomly placed roughness elements found in natural or constructed streams (e.g., fish passages) is essential in order to estimate flow variables in mountain streams, understand formation of niches for aquatic life, and model flow structure. Owing to the complexity of the involved processes and the of...
Article
Full-text available
Three-dimensional numerical simulations were performed for different flow rates and various geometrical parameters of step-pools in steep open channels to gain insight into the occurrence of energy loss and its dependence on the flow structure. For a given channel with step-pools, energy loss varied only marginally with increasing flow rate in the...
Chapter
Soil erosion on arable land is one of the major long-term degradation processes of soil resources in Central Europe. Climate change has driven an increase of rainfall erosivity due to a higher frequency and magnitude of heavy rainfall events. However, changes in rainfall properties also cause vegetation feedback to management changes. The climate c...
Article
Full-text available
Heterotrophic soil respiration is an important component of the global terrestrial carbon (C) cycle, driven by environmental factors acting from local to continental scales. For tropical Africa, these factors and their interactions remain largely unknown. Here, using samples collected along topographic and geochemical gradients in the East African...
Article
Full-text available
Stabilization of soil organic carbon (SOC) against microbial decomposition depends on several soil properties, including the soil weathering stage and the mineralogy of parent material. As such, tropical SOC stabilization mechanisms likely differ from those in temperate soils due to contrasting soil development. To better understand these mechanism...
Article
Full-text available
Soil macronutrient availability is one of the abiotic controls that alters the exchange of greenhouse gases (GHGs) between the soil and the atmosphere in tropical forests. However, evidence on the macronutrient regulation of soil GHG fluxes from central African tropical forests is still lacking, limiting our understanding of how these biomes could...
Article
Full-text available
The African Tropics are hotspots of modern-day land-use change and are, at the same time, of great relevance for the cycling of carbon (C) and nutrients between plants, soils and the atmosphere. However, the consequences of land conversion on biogeochemical cycles are still largely unknown as they are not studied in a landscape context that defines...
Article
Full-text available
Due to the rapidly growing population in tropical Africa, a substantial rise in food demand is predicted in upcoming decades, which will result in higher pressure on soil resources. However, there is limited knowledge on soil redistribution dynamics following land conversion into arable land in tropical Africa that is partly caused by infrastructur...
Article
Full-text available
Soil erosion is a potentially important source of microplastic (MP) entering aquatic ecosystems. However, little is known regarding the erosion and transport processes of MP from agricultural topsoils. The aim of this study is to analyze the erosion and transport behavior of MP during heavy rainfall events, whereas a specific focus is set to prefer...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The exchange of the climate-relevant greenhouse gases (GHGs) at the soil-atmospheric interface is regulated by both abiotic and biotic controls. However, evidence on nutrient limitations of soil GHG fluxes from African tropical forest ecosystems is still rare. Therefore, an ecosystem-scale nutrient manipulation experiment (NME) consisting of nitrog...
Preprint
Full-text available
The accelerated sediment supply from agricultural soils to riverine and lacustrine environments leads to negative off-site consequences. In particular, the sediment connectivity from agricultural land to surface waters is strongly affected by landscape patchiness and the linear structures that separate field parcels (e.g. roads, tracks, hedges, and...
Article
Sediment fingerprinting in data sparse regions, such as the mountainous areas of Iran, is more suited to a confluence-based sample design wherein tributary sub-basins are characterised by sediment samples using different size fractions. Our objective was therefore to fingerprint spatial source contributions to the < 37 and 37–63 µm fractions of fin...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Sediment connectivity is highly influenced by landscape patchiness. In particular, linear features such as roads, ditches, and terraces, modify landscape patterns and affect sediment transport from hillslopes to surface waters. Connectivity patterns are commonly assessed by spatially-distributed models, which rely on semi-qualitative indices or num...
Preprint
Full-text available
The African Tropics are hotspots of modern-day land-use change and are, at the same time, of great relevance for the cycling of carbon (C) and nutrients between plants, soils and the atmosphere. However, the consequences of land conversion on biogeochemical cycles are still largely unknown as they are not studied in a landscape context that defines...
Article
Full-text available
Tillage erosion causes substantial soil redistribution that can exceed water erosion especially in hummocky landscapes under highly mechanised large field agriculture. Consequently, truncated soil profiles can be found on hill shoulders and top slopes, whereas colluvial material is accumulated at footslopes, in depressions, and along downslope fiel...
Article
Full-text available
With the development of low-cost, lightweight, integrated thermal infrared-multispectral cameras, unmanned aerial systems (UAS) have recently become a flexible complement to eddy covariance (EC) station methods for mapping surface energy fluxes of vegetated areas. These sensors facilitate the measurement of several site characteristics in one fligh...
Preprint
Full-text available
To gain a better understanding of the global application of soil erosion prediction models, we comprehensively reviewed relevant peer-reviewed research literature on soil-erosion modelling published between 1994 and 2017. We aimed to identify (i) the processes and models most frequently addressed in the literature, (ii) the regions within which mod...
Article
Full-text available
To gain a better understanding of the global application of soil erosion prediction models, we comprehensively reviewed relevant peer-reviewed research literature on soil-erosion modelling published between 1994 and2017. We aimed to identify (i) the processes and models most frequently addressed in the literature, (ii) the regions within which mode...
Article
Full-text available
Soil erosion can present a major threat to agriculture due to loss of soil, nutrients, and organic carbon. Therefore, soil erosion modelling is one of the steps used to plan suitable soil protection measures and detect erosion hotspots. A bibliometric analysis of this topic can reveal research patterns and soil erosion modelling characteristics tha...
Data
Version 1.0 of the TropSOC database. Accompanying publication in ESSD currently under review, but available as a pre-print at: https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2021-73
Preprint
Full-text available
Heterotrophic soil respiration is an important component of the global terrestrial carbon (C) cycle, driven by environmental factors acting from local to continental scales. For tropical Africa, these factors and their interactions remain largely unknown. Here, using samples collected along strong topographic and geochemical gradients in the East A...
Preprint
Full-text available
Stabilization of organic carbon in soils (SOC) depends on several soil properties, including the soil weathering stage and the mineralogy of parent material. As such, tropical SOC stabilization mechanisms likely differ from those in temperate soils due to contrasting soil development. To better understand these mechanisms, we investigated SOC dynam...
Preprint
Full-text available
Tropical forests contribute significantly to the emission and uptake of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O). However, studies on the soil environmental controls of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from African tropical forest ecosystems are still rare. The aim of this study was to disentangle the regulation effect of soil nutrients...
Article
Full-text available
Tropical deforestation for fertilizer-based agriculture has greatly increased in the last decades resulting in significant anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Unfortunately, empirical studies on soil GHG fluxes (carbon dioxide (C2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O)) from African tropical deforestation hotspots are still limited, cre...
Preprint
Full-text available
Due to the rapidly growing population in tropical Africa, a substantial rise in food demand is predicted in upcoming decades, which will result in higher pressure on soil resources. However, there is limited knowledge on soil redistribution dynamics following land conversion to arable land in tropical Africa that is partly caused by challenging loc...
Article
Full-text available
This paper was developed within a joint working group of river catchment modelers within the research initiative "Plastics in the environment" of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The work is based on model briefs (attached to the paper) that highlight the traits and keypoints of the models. In this synthesis, the boundaries an...
Article
Full-text available
Soil redistribution on arable land is a major threat for a sustainable use of soil resources. The majority of soil redistribution studies focus on water erosion, while wind and tillage erosion also induce pronounced redistribution of soil materials. Tillage erosion especially is understudied, as it does not lead to visible off-site damages. The ana...
Article
Full-text available
Prediction of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) based on catchment characteristics is a useful tool for efficient and effective water management, but in the case of arid and semi-arid regions, such predictive capacity is scarce. Accordingly, the main objective of this study was to evaluate the significance of principal components for predicting DOC co...
Article
Apart from being considered a potential threat to ecosystems and human health, the ubiquity of microplastics presents analytical challenges. There is a high risk of sample contamination during sampling, sample preparation and analysis. In this study, the potential of sample contamination or misinterpretation due to substances associated to disposab...
Article
Full-text available
Die (Mikro-)Plastikbelastung in Böden rückt zunehmend in den öffentlichen Fokus, aber die Datenbasis zu diesem Thema ist noch wenig belastbar. Über die Bedeutung der verschiedenen Eintragsquellen und -pfade liegen bis heute hauptsächlich Annahmen vor. Notwendige Voraussetzung für die Entwicklung von Vermeidungsstrategien ist ein besseres Systemvers...
Article
Full-text available
The invisible pollution: How much microplastic is hidden in soils? - The magnitude of contamination of the terrestrial environment with microplastics is still largely unknown. However, there are initial estimates that the contamination of soils significantly exceeds the contamination of oceans. While a growing number of studies analyse the ecotoxic...
Article
Full-text available
Connectivity has been embraced by the geosciences community as a useful concept to understand and describe hydrological functioning and sediment movement through catchments. Mathematical modelling has been used for decades to quantify and predict erosion and transport of sediments, e.g. in scenarios of land use change or conservation measures. Bein...
Article
Full-text available
In the European Union, soil erosion is identified as one of the main environmental threats, addressed with a variety of rules and regulations for soil and water conservation. The by far most often officially used tool to determine soil erosion is the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) and its regional adaptions. The aim of this study is to use thr...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Systematic bibliometric investigations are useful to evaluate and compare the scientific impact of journal papers, book chapters and conference proceedings. Such studies allow the detection of emerging research topics, the analyses of cooperation networks, and the collection of in-depth insights into a specific research topic. In the presented work...
Preprint
Full-text available
Abstract. Soil redistribution on arable land is a major threat for a sustainable use of soil resources. The soil redistribution process most studies focus on is water erosion, while wind and tillage erosion also induce pronounced redistribution of soil materials. Especially, tillage erosion is understudied, as it does not lead to visible off-site d...
Conference Paper
Tropical ecosystems and the soils therein have been reported as one of the most important and largest terrestrial carbon (C) pools and are considered important climate regulator. Carbon stabilization mechanisms in these ecosystems are often complex, as these mechanisms crucially rely on the interplay of geology, topography, climate, and biology. Fu...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Soil mineralogy plays an important role in stabilizing soil organic carbon (SOC) against decomposition by forming organo-mineral complexes with reactive mineral surfaces. However, few studies take the influence of parent material geochemistry on the development of C stabilization mechanisms into account. In addition, studies evaluating C stabilizat...
Article
Representations of land use change in hydrologic impact assessment studies mostly rely on static land use information of two points in time, even though the availability of dense time series of land use data allows for the incorporation of dynamic land use changes. We compare the hydrologic impacts of dynamic land use change assessments to those of...
Article
Full-text available
Watershed studies are essential for erosion research because they embed real agricultural practices, heterogeneity along the flow path, and realistic field sizes and layouts. An extensive literature review covering publications from 1970 to 2018 identified a prominent lack of studies, which (i) observed watersheds that are small enough to address r...
Data
The topographic data consists of two parts Part 1 – Topography (elevation, slope, aspect), corresponding field and watershed information at 5 m x 5 m resolution can be found in file 21_Topo5m.csv while the description is given in 21_Topo5m.pdf. Part 2 – Topography (elevation, slope, aspect), corresponding field and watershed information at 12.5 m...
Data
The land use data consists of six parts: Part 1 – Land use before 1993: The file 41_LandUse1993.zip contains a polygon file (ArcGIS shape) of the field layout and land use before restructuring the farm to improve agricultural and ecological performance. The file can be displayed by Geographic Information Systems. The data description can be found...
Data
The meteorological data consist of six parts: Part 1 – Locations of meteorological stations: Coordinates and elevation of the 13 meteorological stations at the Scheyern experimental farm can be found in file 31_MeteoStationLocations.csv while the description is given in 31_MeteoStationLocations.pdf. Part 2 – Hourly (partly two-hourly) meteorolog...
Data
The runoff and sediment delivery data are split into five parts: Part 1 – Watershed data: The data set contains size and outlet coordinates as well as vector data for the location of the 14 watersheds. The data are stored in the files 51_WatershedData.csv and 51_WatershedData.zip; the meta data can be found in 51_WatershedData.pdf. Part 2 – Runo...
Data
The rainfall simulation data are split into three parts: Part 1 – Plot property data: The data set contains 38 properties of 57 rainfall simulation plots. The data can be found in file 61_PlotData.csv while the description is given in 61_PlotData.pdf. Part 2 – Simulation conditions: The data set contains a total of 15 properties determined for 11...
Data
The soil data is split into five parts Part 1 – Soil profile data: The data set contains 15 properties of entire soil profiles determined at 606 locations. The data is stored in file 11_SoilProfilData.csv while meta data can be found in 11_SoilProfilData.pdf. Part 2 – Soil horizon data: The data set contains a total of 46 soil properties determin...
Article
Changing soil use from cropland to grassland influences organic carbon storage in a highly complex way. This includes the root/shoot allocation, the root depth distribution, the incorporation of shoot biomass and lateral organic carbon fluxes, by erosion and removal of harvested carbon, and finally the aeration by tillage. An experiment was designe...
Presentation
Hummocky landscapes under intensive arable use are substantially affected by erosion processes. Especially in areas of limited precipitation and highly mechanized large field farming, tillage erosion causes substantial soil erosion that can distinctively exceed water erosion. In consequence, truncated soil profiles can be found on hilltops and stee...