Soil Science of Temperate Ecosystems

Joscha Becker

Postdoctoral researcher

DFG-FOR 1246: "Kilimanjaro ecosystems under global change: Linking biodiversity, biotic interactions and biogeochemical processes"
Subproject 3: "Linking nutrient cycles, land use and biodiversity along an altitudinal gradient at Mt. Kilimanjaro"
Synthesis Project 2: "Functional relationships between land-use, climate and biogeochemical cycles"

Principal Investigator: Prof. Yakov Kuzyakov


  • Ecosystem functions of tropical mountain ecosystems and their ability to provide ecosystem services are particularly threatened by the combined impact of climate and land-use change. Soil, as the linkage between abiotic and biotic components of an ecosystem, is strongly affected by these changes. Soil biological diversity, carbon and nutrient turnover in soil as well as their losses into atmosphere and hydrosphere are major parts of regional assessments for land-use management and the global carbon cycle.
  • To understand impacts of climate and land use changes on biodiversity and accompanying ecosystem stability and services at the Mt. Kilimanjaro, detailed understanding and description of the current biotic and abiotic controls on ecosystem C and nutrient fluxes are needed. Therefore, cycles of main nutrient (C, N, P, K, Ca, Mg, S, Si) and carbon will be quantitatively described on pedon and stand level scale depending on climate (elevation gradient) and land use.


  • Becker JN, Gütlein A, Sierra Cornejo N, Kiese R, Hertel D, Kuzyakov Y (2016): Legume and Non-legume Trees Increase Soil Carbon Sequestration in Savanna, Ecosystems, 1-12, doi:10.1007/s10021-016-0087-7
  • Gütlein A, Zistl-Schlingmann M, Becker JN, Sierra Cornejo N, Detsch F, Dannenmann M, Appelhans T, Hertel D, Kuzyakov Y, Kiese R (2016): Nitrogen turnover and greenhouse gas emissions in a tropical alpine ecosystem, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, Plant Soil, 1-17, doi:10.1007/s11104-016-3029-4
  • Becker, J, Pabst, H, Mnyonga, J, and Kuzyakov, Y (2015): Annual litterfall dynamics and nutrient deposition depending on elevation and land use at Mt. Kilimanjaro, Biogeosciences, 12, 5635-5646, doi:10.5194/bg-12-5635-2015


  • since 2017: Postdoctoral researcher, Dept. Soil Science of Temperate Ecosystems, Georg-August-University Göttingen
  • 2013 – 2017: PhD Studies in Biological Diversity and Ecology, Georg-August-University Göttingen
  • 2007 – 2013: Degree studies in Geoecology, University of Potsdam
  • 2006 – 2007: Undergraduate studies in Geotechnology, Technische Universität Berlin