Topic: Development and degradation of Kobresia root mats and their effects on C and N turnover and C sequestration

Project: DFG SPP 1372 “Tibetan Plateau - Formation, Climate, Ecosystems”

Cluster: TiP AEG “Atmosphere, Ecology and Glaciology ”

Supervisor: Prof Dr. Yakov Kuzyakov

Kobresia pastures represent the world’s largest alpine ecosystem sustaining huge herds of domestic and natural herbivores. Specific features of Kobresia root mats provide unique mechanisms protecting against degradation even by moderate overgrazing and leading to a large carbon storage. These mechanisms, however, remain descriptive and partly speculative because they were never proven in process-based studies.


  • Morphological description of Kobresia root mats to understand several functions of individual root mat layers
  • Effects on C, N and nutrient cycling with regard to changes of climate and management
  • Identifying properties and mechanisms of Kobresia root mat degradation by using a false time series

University studies

2005-2012: Geography in the Department of landscape ecology at the University of Göttingen
Minor subjects: Soil science, Botany and Environmental economics
Diploma thesis: “Can forest soil organic carbon storages be better explained by variable tree species diversities or fine soil contents? - A case study from unmanaged beech forest ecosystems in the UNESCO World Heritage, Hainich National Park” (supervisors: Prof. Dr. H. F. Jungkunst and Dr. F. Heitkamp)

PhD candidate
since January 2013 at the University of Göttingen
Topic: “Development and degradation of Kobresia root mats and their effects on C and N turnover and C sequestration”