Prof. Dr. Christoph Emmerling

Prof. Dr. Christoph Emmerling


Apl. Professor

University of Trier
Faculty of Geosciences (VI)
Department of Soil Science
Campus II, Office Room H 142
D-54286 TRIER

Tel: +49 651/201-2238
Fax:+ 49 651/201-3809



Office Hours:

Winter semester:     Thursday, 10:00 - 12:00 a.m.
Summer semester:  Tuesday,  10:00 - 12:oo a.m.



Research Interests

Landuse change: Biodiversity, Gene transfer, Nutrient and Energy Cycles

Evaluation of Ecosystem Services of Soils / Soil Resilience

Renewable Ressources / perennial energy crops: Biochemical Methane Potentials & Digestate Quality

Effects of Nanoparticles in Soil: Microorganisms, Functional Diversity, Bioindication

Functional and structural Diversity Soil Organisms (in particular Microbes, Enzymes, Earthworms), including their spatio-temporal Variability


  • Member of the Soil Science Department since 1989. Lecturer in Soil Scince, Soil Biology, Agricultural Land-use and Waste Management.
  • From 2001 to 2005 Head of Commission III – Soil Biology of the German Soil Science Society (DBG)
  • 2006: Appointment for apl. Professor
  • Member of the Institute of BioGeoAnalytics, University of Trier
  • Member of the doctorate program 1319: "Verbesserung von Normsetzung und Normanwendung im integrierten Umweltschutz durch rechts- und naturwissenschaftliche Kooperation"; University of Trier



Selected Publications of Prof. Dr. Christoph Emmerling

Grün, A.-L., Emmerling, C. (2018): Long-term effects of environmentally relevant concentrations of silver nanoparticles on major soil bacterial phyla of a loamy soil. Environmental Sciences Europe 30: 31. DOI: 10.1186/s12302-018-0160-2.

Awet, T., Kohl, Y., Meier, F., Straskraba, S., Grün, A.-L., Ruf, Th., Jost, C., Drexel, R., Tunc, E., Emmerling, C. (2018):  Effects of polystyrene nanoparticles on microbiota and functional diversity of enzymes in soil. Environ Sci Eur (2018) 30: 11. DOI: org/10.1186/s12302-018-0140-6

Grün, A-L, Straskraba, S., Schulz, S., Schloter, M., Emmerling, C. (2018): Long-term effects of environmentally relevant concentrations of silver nanoparticles on microbial biomass, enzyme activities, and functional genes involved in the nitrogen cycle of a loamy soil. Journal of Environmental Sciences 69, 12-22. DOI: 10.1016/j.jes.2018.04.013.

Ruf, Th., Emmerling, C. (2018): Site-adapted production of bioenergy on poorly drained cropland through the cultivation of perennial crops. A feasibility study focussing on biomass yield and biochemical methane potential. Biomass and Bioenergy 119, 429-435.

Schmidt, A., Lemaigre, S., Delfosse, P., von Francken-Welz, H., Emmerling, C.

(2018): Biochemical methane potential (BMP) of six perennial energy crops cultivated at three different locations in W-Germany. Biomass Conversion and Biorefinery.

Ruf, Th., Makselon, J., Udelhoven, Th.., Emmerling, C. (2018): Soil quality indicator response to land-use change from annual to perennial bioenergy cropping systems in Germany. GCB Bioenergy. DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12513.

Rasche, F., Blagodatskaya, E., Emmerling, C., Belz, R., Musyoki, M.K., Zimmermann, J., Martin, K. (2017): A preview of perennial grain agriculture: knowledge gain from biotic interactions in natural and agricultural ecosystems. Ecosphere, DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.2048.

Emmerling, C., Ruf, Th., Schmidt, A., von Francken-Welz, H., Thielen, S. (2017): Impact of newly introduced perennial bioenergy crops on soil quality parameters at three different locations in W – Germany. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, DOI: 10.1002/jpln.201700162.

Grün, A.-L., Scheid, P., Hauröder, B., Emmerling, C., Manz, W. (2017): Effect assessment of silver nanoparticles on Acanthamoeba sp. revealed by two ecotoxicological endpoints. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, in press. DOI: 10.1002/jpln.201700277.

Schmidt, A., Lemaigre, S., Ruf, Th., Delfosse, P., Emmerling, C. (2017): Miscanthus as biogas feedstock: Influence of harvest time and stand age on the biochemical methane potential (BMP) of two different growing seasons. Biomass Conversion and Biorefinery, DOI 10.1007/s13399-017- 0274-6.

Ruf, Th., Emmerling, C. (2017): Impact of premature harvest of Miscanthus x giganteus for biogas production on organic residues, microbial parameters and earthworm community in soil. Applied Soil Ecology 114, 74-81.

Ruf, Th., Schmidt, A., Delfosse, P., Emmerling, C. (2017): Harvest date of Miscanthus x giganteus affects nutrient cycling, biomass development and soil quality. Biomass and Bioenergy 100, 62-73.

Lorig, F., Reuter, L. Zolitschka, J.-F., Timm, I.J., Emmerling, C., Udelhoven, Th. (2017): An Agent-based approach  for simulating transformation processes of social-ecological systems as serious games. IxD&A (Interaction Design & Architecture): Notification - Special issue on Smart Learning Ecosystems and Regional Development, in press.

Emmerling, C., Pude, R. (2017):Introducing Miscanthus to the Greening measures of the EU Common Agricultural Policy. GCB Bioenergy 9, 274-279.

Vohland, M., Ludwig, M., Harbich, M., Emmerling, C., Thiele-Bruhn, S. (2016): Using variable selection and wavelets to exploit the full potential of visible-near infrared spectra for predicting soil properties. Journal of Near Infrared Sectroscopy, in press.

Vohland, M., Harbich, M:, Ludwig, M., Udelhoven, T., Emmerling, C., Thiele-Bruhn, S. (2016): Quantification of soil variables in a heterogeneous soil region with VIS-NIR-SWIR data using different statistical sampling and modelling strategies. IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing. In press. 10.1109/JSTARS.2016.2572879.

Emmerling, C., Rassier, K.M., Schneider, R. (2015):A simple and effective method for linking field investigations of earthworms and water infiltrtion rate in soil at pedon-scale. Journal Plant Nutrition Soil Science 178, 841-847.

Schreiner, S., Buddenbaum, H., Emmerling, C., Steffens, M. (2015): Vis/NIR/SWIR Laboratory imaging spectroscopy for wall-to-wall mapping of elemental concentrations in soil cores. Photogrammetrie, Fernerkundung, Geoinformation (PFG), 2015(12), 423-436.

Ludwig, M., Achtenhagen, J., Miltner, A., Eckhardt, K.U., Leinweber, P., Emmerling, C., Thiele-Bruhn, S. (2015): Microbial contribution to SOM quantity and quality in density fractions of temperate arable soils. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 81, 311-322.

Lötters, S., Filz, K.J., Wagner, N., Schmidt, B.R., Emmerling, C., Veith, M. (2014): Hypothesizing if responses to climate change affect herbicide exposure risk for amphibians. Environmental Sciences Europe, 26, 26-31.

Emmerling, C. (2014): Impact of land-use Change towards energy crops on earthworm population. Applied Soil Ecology 84, 12-15.

Fischer, K., Wolff, B., Emmerling, C. (2013): Inter and intra plant variability of enzyme profiles including various phosphoesterases and sulfatase of six wastewater treatment plants. Bioresources Technology, 137, 209-219.

Felten, D., Fröba, N., Fries, J., Emmerling, C. (2013): Energy balances and CO-mitigation potentials of bioenergy crops (Miscanthus, rapeseed, maize) based on farming conditions in Western Germany. Renewable Energy 55, 160-174.

Emmerling, C., Strunk, H. (2012): Active dispersal of the endo-anecic earthworm Aporrectodea longa (Ude) in an experimental box. Soil Organisms, 84 (3), 491-498.

Felten, D., Emmerling, C. (2012): Accumulation of Miscanthus-derived carbon in soils in relation to soil depth and duration of land-use under commercial farming conditions. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, 175, 661-670.

Lahl, K.; Unger, C.; Emmerling, C.; Broer, Thiele-Bruhn, S. (2012): Response of soil microflora and enzyme activities on the decomposition of cyanophycin producing potatoes during overwintering in soil. European Journal of Soil Biology, 53, 1-10.

Emmerling, C., Pohl, J., Lahl, K., Unger, C., Broer, (2012): Cultivation of transgenic cyanophycin producing potatoes does not negatively affect growth, reproduction and activity of earthworms (Lumbricus terrestris L.). Pedobiologia - Int. J. Soil Biol., 55, 161-165.

Strunk, H.; Hochkirch, A.; Veith, M.; Hankeln, T.; Emmerling, C. (2012): Isolation and characterization of eleven polymorphic microsatellite markers for the earthworm Aporrectodea longa (Ude). European Journal of Soil Biology, 48, 55-58.

Felten, D.; Emmerling, C. (2011): Effects of bioenergy crop cultivation on earthworm communities - A comparative study of perennial (Miscanthus) and annual crops with consideration of graded land-use intensity. Applied Soil Ecology, 49,167-177.

Vohland, M.; Emmerling, C. (2011): Determination of total soil organic C and hot-water-extractable C from diffuse VIS-NIR soil reflectance with PLS and spectral feature selection techniques. European Journal of Soil Science, 62, 598-606.

Emmerling, C.; Strunk, H.; Schöbinger, U.; Schrader, S. (2011): Fragmentation of Cry1Ab toxin from MON810 maize through the gut of the earthworm species Lumbricus terrestris L. European Journal of Soil Biology, 47, 160-164.

Hänsch, M.; Emmerling, C. (2010): Effects of silver nanoparticles on the microbiota and enzyme activity in soil. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, 173, 554-558.
Emmerling, C.; Udelhoven, T., Schneider, R. (2010): Long lasting impact of biowaste-compost application in agriculture on soil quality parameters of three different crop rotation systems. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, 173, 391-398.

Fründ, H.C.; Butt, K.; Capowiez, Y.; Eisenhauer, N.; Emmerling, C.; Ernst, G.; Potthoff, M.; Schädler, M.; Schrader, S.(2010): Using earthworms as model organisms in the laboratory: Recommondations for experimental implementations. Pedobiologia, 53, 119-125.

Felten, D.;Emmerling, C. (2009): Earthworm burrowing behaviour in 2D-Terraria with single- and multi-species assemblages. Biology and Fertility of Soils, 45, 789-797.

Ernst, G.; Henseler, I.; Felten, D.;Emmerling, C. (2009): Decomposition and mineralization of energy crop residues governed by earthworms. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 41, 1548-1554.

Ernst, G.; Felten, D.; Vohland, M.; Emmerling, C. (2009): Impact of ecologically different earthworm species on soil water characteristics. European Journal of Soil Biology, 45, 207-213.

Ernst, G.;Emmerling, C. (2009): Impact of five different tillage types on soil organic carbon content and the density, biomass, and community composition of earthworms after a ten year period. European Journal of Soil Biology, 45, 247-251.

Ernst, G.; Müller, A.; Göhler, H.; Emmerling, C. (2008): C- and N-turnover of fermented residues from biogas plants in soil in the presence of three different earthworm species (Lumbricus terrestris, Aporrectodea longa, Aporrectodea caliginosa). Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 40, 1413-1420. 

Kruska, V.; Emmerling, C. (2008): Flächennutzungswandel durch Biogaserzeugung - Regionale und lokale Erhebungen in Rheinland-Pfalz. Naturschutz und Landschaftsplanung, 40 (3), 69-72.     

Emmerling, C.; Barton, J. (2007): Anaerobic co-digestion of Topinambour (Helianthus tuberosus L.) and properties of the remaining biogas manure. Archives of Agronomy and Soil Science, 53, 683-690.

Fründ, H.C.; Bravin, M.; Bossung, C.; Emmerling, C.; Hinsinger, P.; Mench, M.; Tülp, H. (2007): Is copper stabilizing organic matter in soils? A survey of vineyards and contaminated sites in Germany and France. Intern. Symp. on Organic Matter Dynamics in Agro-Ecosystems, July, 16-19, Poitiers, France.

Ehrmann, O.; Brauckmann, H.J.; Emmerling, C.; Fründ, H.C. (2007): Erfassung und Bewertung von Regenwurmpopulationen – Vorschlag für ein mehrstufiges Bewertungsverfahren. In: Umweltbundesamt (Hrsg.): Bodenbiologische Bewertung von Boden-Dauerbeobachtungsflächen (BDF) anhand von Lumbriciden. Workshop in Weimar vom 30.11.-01.12.2006. UBA-Texte 34/07, S. 72-86, Dessau, ISSN 1862-4804.

Emmerling, C. (2007): Reduced and conservation tillage effects on soil ecological properties in an organic farming system. Biological Agriculture & Horticulture, 24, 363-377.

Göhler, H.; Emmerling, C. (2007): Landwirtschaftliche Verwertung von Gärrückständen aus NaWaRo – Biogasanlagen, Endbericht 2004, Förderkennzeichen: 22011201 (Projektträger Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe, FNR), Universität Trier, 211 S.

Jörgensen, R.G.; Emmerling, C. (2006): Methods for evaluating human impact on soil microorganisms based on their activity, biomass and diversity in agricultural soils. Journal of Plant Nutrition & Soil Science, 169, 295-309.

Quirin, M.; Emmerling, C.; Schröder, D. (2006): Phosphorgehalte und –bilanzen konventionell, integriert und biologisch bewirtschafteter Acker- und Grünlandflächen und Maßnahmen zum Phosphorabbau hoch versorgter Flächen. Pflanzenbauwissenschaften, 10, 60-65.

Emmerling, C. (2006): Bodenbiologische Untersuchungen. In: Bodenmonitoring Luxemburg, Hrsg.: Administration de l´Environment, Luxembourg, S. 226 – 235.

Emmerling, C. (2005): Soil microbial biomass and activity and the lasting impact of agricultural de-intensification. In: Ray, R.C. (ed.): Microbial Biotechnology in Agriculture and Aquaculture, Vol. 1, M/s Science Publishers, Inc., 239-260, Enfield, USA.

Weber, M.; Emmerling, C. (2005): Zehn Jahre differenzierte Grundbodenbearbeitung im ökologischen Ackerbau – Entwicklung der organischen Bodensubstanz, Nährstoff-gehalte sowie bodenbiologischen Eigenschaften. In: Hess, J. u. G. Rahmann (Hrsg.): Ende der Nische – Beiträge zur 8. Wissenschaftstagung, Kassel, 1.-4.3.2005; Kassel University Press, S. 5 – 8.

Göhler, H.; Schwarting, A.; Emmerling, C. (2004): Effects of modified earthworm species and life-form composition (Lumbricidae) on soil properties, and soil microbial biomass and activity in the drilosphere. International Symposium EUROSOIL, 6. – 11. 9. 2004, Freiburg, Germany.

Quirin, M.; Emmerling, C.; Schröder, D. (2004): Ökologische Bewertungunterschiedlicher Energiekenngrößen am Beispiel konventionell, integriert und biologisch bewirtschafteter Acker- und Grünlandschläge. Pflanzenbauwissenschaften, 8, 91-98.

Quirin, M.; Emmerling, C.; Schröder, D. (2004): Eignung von betriebs- und schlagbezogenen Stickstoffsalden zur Reduzierung von Stickstoffeinträgen in die Umwelt. Berichte über Landwirtschaft, 82, 317-333. Landwirtschaftsverl. Münster-Hiltrup.

Rothstein, B.; Quirin, M.; Emmerling, C.; Schröder, D. (2004): Phosphor­einsatz in der Landwirtschaft – Probleme und Lösungsstrategien am Beispiel eines Mittelgebirgsraumes. Bodenschutz, 2, 59-63.

Emmerling, C. (2004): Bodenfruchtbarkeit in Biobetrieben – ein Problem? Landwirtschaftliches Wochenblatt – Hessenbauer, 45, 12-13.

Emmerling, C.; Gattinger, A.; Embacher, A. (2003): Reduced tillage in organic farming: Impact on microbial activity and functional and structural diversity of soil microbial community. In: B. Freyer (Hrsg.): 7. Wissenschaftstagung zum Ökologischen Landbau, Wien, 453-454.

Emmerling, C. (2003): Funktionen und Leistungen von Bodenorganismen unter den besonderen Bedingungen des Ökologischen Landbaus und Konsequenzen für die Bodenbearbeitung. KTBL – Schrift 416, 30-38.

Udelhoven, T.; Emmerling, C.; Jarmer, T. (2003): Quantitative analysis of soil chemical properties with diffuse reflectance spectrometry and partial-least-square regression: A feasibility study. Plant and Soil, 251, 319-329.

Emmerling, C. (2003): Sewage sludge and compost application in agriculture, and its effects on soil quality. Report for the UNDP – RDA programme: Developing and Promoting Support System and International Cooperation on Environment – friendly Agriculture. Suweon, S–Korea, 43 p.

Emmerling, C. (2003): Bodenleben gezielt durch Zwischenfruchtanbau fördern lohnt sich. Rheinische Bauernzeitung, 24, 13-15.

Emmerling, C. (2003): Die zeitliche Entwicklung von Regenwurmpopulationen (Lumbricidae) nach Applikation verschiedener organischer Reststoffe in einem aschemeliorierten tertiären Kippkohlelehmsand (Kastenversuch). In: Bodenverbessernde Substrate aus Massenabfällen für die landwirtschaftliche Rekultivierung - Endbericht 2004, Förderkennzeichen: 03399646B. Institut für Bergbaufolgelandschaften, Finsterwalde.

Emmerling, C.; Udelhoven, T. (2002): Discriminating factors of soil quality parameters at landscape-scale. Journal of Plant Nutrition & Soil Science, 165, 706-712.

Emmerling, C.; Schloter, M.; Hartmann, T.; Kandeler, E. (2002): Functional diversity of soil organisms – a review of recent research activities in Germany. Journal of Plant Nutrition & Soil Science, 165, 408-420.

Gattinger, A.; Embacher, A.; Emmerling, C.; Fließbach, A.; Schloter, M. (2002): Microbial community analyses in organically and conventionally managed soil ecosystems. Proc. 14th International IFOAM Scientific Conference, Canada, 2002.

Emmerling, C.; Hampl, U. (2002): Wie sich reduzierte Bodenbearbeitung auswirkt. Ökologie & Landbau, 124,19-23.

Schröder, D.; Ruthsatz, B.; Müller, P.; Emmerling, C.; Quirin, M.; Neitzke, M.; Wehke, S. (2002): Ableitung operativer Indikatoren für eine nachhaltige Landwirtschaft im Raum Trier. In: Müller, P.; Monheim, H. u. Rumpf, S. (Hrsg.): Umwelt und Region – Umweltanalyse und Umweltmanagementstrategien für eine nachhaltige Entwicklung im ländlichen Raum. Ergebnisbericht der ersten Förderphase, SFB 522, Universität Trier, 427-449.

Emmerling, C.; Udelhoven, T.; Schröder, D. (2001): Response of soil microbial biomass and activity to agricultural de-intensification over a ten year period. Soil Biology & Biochemistry, 33, 2105-14.

Emmerling, C.; Paulsch, D. (2001): Improvement of earthworm (Lumbricidae) community and activity in mine soils from open-cast coal mining by the application of different organic waste materials. Pedobiologia, 45, 396-407.

Emmerling, C. (2001): Response of earthworm communities to different types of soil tillage. Applied Soil Ecology, 17, 91-96.

Emmerling, C.; Wermbter, N. (2001): Biomasse, Aktivität und Besiedlung von Bo­denorganismen (Mikroorganismen, Collembolen, Regenwürmer, Streuabbau) als Indi­katoren einer standortgerechten landwirtschaftlichen Nutzung von Kippenböden. In: Schriftenreihe der Sächs. Landesanstalt f. Landwirtschaft, Heft 5, 79-95.

Emmerling, C.; Liebner; Haubold-Rosar, M.; Katzur, J.; Schröder, D. (2000): Impact of Organic Matter Application on Microbial Biomass and Activity of Re­cultivated Soils in the Lusatia Coal Mining Area. Plant and Soil, 220, 129-138.

Emmerling, C.; Liebner, CH.; Haubold-Rosar, M.; Katzur, J.; Schröder, D. (2000): Application of organic waste materials for agricultural recultivation of mine soils in Eastern Germany - Responses of net-N-mineralization and net-nitrification rates. Proceedings of SUITMA-Symposium, July 12-18, Essen, Germany, 1009-1014.

Emmerling, C.; Lee, S.-B. (2000): Soil biological and biochemical properties as a tool to verify sustainability of agricultural soil management. Alföldi, T.; Lockeretz, W.; Niggli, U. (eds): Proc. 13th International IFOAM Scientific Conference, Basel, August 28-31, 402.

Lee, S.B.; Park, M.E.; Emmerling, C. (2000): Evaluation of the biological activities in arable soils. Proc. Korean Society of Soil Science and Fertilizer, 50-51.

Emmerling, C.; Wermbter, N.; Schimmelpfennig, H.; Schröder, D. (2000): Bodenmikrobiologische Eigenschaften rekultivierter Böden und die Besiedlung durch Regenwürmer in Abhängigkeit von Substrat, Nutzung und Alter. In: Broll, G., Dunger, W., Keplin, B., Topp, W. (Hrsg.): Rekultivierung in Bergbaufolgelandschaften. Geo­wissenschaften & Umwelt, Bd. 4, S. 67-86, Springer-Verlag, Berlin.

Kolk, A.; Keplin, B.; Wermbter, N.; Mayer, S.; Emmerling, C. (2000): Anwen­dung bodenbiologischer Methoden bei rekultivierten Böden. In: Broll, G., Dunger, W., Keplin, B., Topp, W. (Hrsg.): Rekultivierung in Bergbaufolge-landschaften. Geowissen­schaften & Umwelt, Bd. 4, S. 285-302, Springer-Verlag, Berlin.

Eichinger, M.; Emmerling, C.; Hornetz, B.; Shisanya, C.A.; Gitonga, N.M. (2000): Temporal dynamics of soil microbial biomass-C, -N, microbial activities, and the overall feeding activity through the application of different rock-powders during the rainy season in a semi-arid environment of SE Kenya. In: B. Hornetz, C.A. Shisanya, N.M. Gitonga (Hrsg.): Studies on the ecophysiology of locally suitable cultivars of food crops and soil fertility monitoring in the semi-arid areas of Southeast Kenya. Materialien zur Ostafrika-Forschung, Heft 23, 70-83, Trier.

Emmerling, C. (1999): Eignung und Aussagekraft bodenbiologischer Methoden zur Beurteilung der Bodenfruchtbarkeit im Ökologischen Landbau. Ökologie & Landbau, 110, 16-17.

Emmerling, C.; Schröder, D. (1999): P-Versorgung und P-Nachlieferung in lang­jährig ökologisch bewirtschafteten Böden. Beitr. 5. Wiss.-Tagung Ökol. Landbau, Berlin, 31-34, Verlag Dr. Köster.

Emmerling, C. (1999): Auswirkungen des Einsatzes von bodenverbessernden Sub­straten aus Massenabfällen für die landwirtschaftliche Rekultivierung von Kippen und Halden des Braunkohlentagebaues auf bodenmikrobiologische Eigenschaften und die Besiedlung durch Regenwürmer. F. u. E.-Vorhaben für das Forschungsinstitut für Berg­baufolgelandschaften Finsterwalde im Auftrag des BMBF und des UBA, 89 S.

Pfeiffer, CH.; Emmerling, C.; Schröder, D.; Niemeyer, J. (1998): Antibiotika (Ivermectin, Monensin) und endokrine Umweltchemikalien (Nonylphenol, Ethinylöstra­diol) im Boden. UWSF – Z. Umweltchem. Ökotox., 10, 147-153.

Emmerling, C. (1998): Kinetics of litter decomposition in restored forest soils. Pedo­biologia, 42, 185-191.

Emmerling, C.; Eisenbeis, G. (1998): Influence of modern soil restoration techniques on litter decomposition in forest soils. Applied Soil Ecology,  9, 501-507.

Emmerling, C.; Pfeiffer; Schröder, D. (1998): Einfluss synthetischer Arz­neimittel auf Biomasse und Stoffwechselprozesse in Böden. In: Schäfer, M.; Servatius, C. (Hrsg.): Ökosystemanalyse und Umweltforschung in Rheinland-Pfalz, 5. Symposium: Biochemie/ Biotechnologie im Dienste der Umweltforschung. Akademie der Wissen­schaften, Mainz, 219-230, Gustav Fischer Verlag Stuttgart, Jena, Lübeck, Ulm.

Lee, S.B.; Emmerling, C.; Schröder, D.; Park, M.E.; Park, H.M. (1997): Micro­bial biomass and activities of arable soils in Korea. In: Soil Quality Management and Agro-Ecosystem Health. 4th Int. Conf. East and Southeast Asia federation of Soil Sc. Soc., Cheju, S-Korea, 1997, 219-229.

Emmerling, C.; Seitz, L.; Schröder, D. (1997): Einfluss reduzierter Bodenbear­beitung im Ökologischen Landbau auf Nährstoffhaushalt und mikrobiologische Eigen­schaften von Böden sowie die Besiedlung durch Regenwürmer. Beitr. 4. Wiss.-Tagung Ökol. Landbau, Bonn, 49-55, Verlag Dr. Köster.

Emmerling, C.; Schröder, D. (1997): Die Reaktion von Mikroorganismen auf Kal­kung und Melioration von Waldböden. In: Ministerium für Umwelt und Forsten Rheinl.-Pfalz (Hrsg.): Waldschäden, Boden- und Wasserversauerung durch Luftschadstoffe in Rheinland-Pfalz, 39-46, Mainz.

Emmerling, C. ; Krause, K. ; Schröder, D. (1996): Regenwürmer als Bioindikato­ren für Schwermetallbelastungen von Böden unter Freiland-bedingungen. Zeitschrift Pflanzenern. Bodenk., 160, 33-38.

Emmerling, C. (1995): Long-term effects of inundation dynamics and agricultural land-use on the distribution of soil macrofauna in fluvisols. Biology & Fertility of Soils, 20, (2), 130-136, Springer, Heidelberg.

Van Saan, B. ; Krause, K. ; Emmerling, C. (1995): Farne, Regenwürmer und Bö­den als Indikatoren für Schwermetalle in abgestufter Distanz zur Bleihütte Braubach. Verh. Gesellsch. Ökol., 1995, (24), 653-656.

Emmerling, C. (1994): Standortgerechte Nutzung von Auenböden als Beitrag zum Gewässerschutz. Arch. für Nat.- Lands.-, 33, 223-235, Harwood Acad. Publ.

Kraatz, M. ; Emmerling, C. ; Schröder, D. (1993): Bodenmikrobiologische und humuschemische Untersuchungen während der mikrobiologischen on-site-Sanierung eines PAK- belasteten Substrates, Altlastensanierung 1993, S. 961-962, Kluwer Acad.Publ.

Research Projects

1. Biogas from genetically modified Bt-maize – Potentials and limitations

The environmentally friendly production of energy from renewable primary products (biogas) is also gaining in importance in coming years. In spite of the sinking acceptance of genetically modified products in the field of human and animal nutrition (see current cultivation ban of MON810) the use of transgenic maize in the production of biogas should be considered and evaluated separately, if this energy maize is grown exclusively for energy production. It is likely that in this case fermentation residues accumulate which contain traces of genetically modified plants, or of the Cry1Ab protein. According to the Recycling and Waste Management Ordinance (1998), a valuable manure should be returned to agricultural land. Hence the regulations of the Federal Soil Protection Act will be affected. To date, numerous publications exist about the behaviour of Cry1Ab protein in the environment, however, an assessment with regard to the anaerobic fermentation in biogas plants is up to now insufficiently. The elucidation of fundamental effects of the Bt-maize derived Cry1Ab protein on the fermentation behaviour and the fate of the Cry1Ab protein in the process of fermentation is the aim of the present project.

Table: Comparison of the biogas yield of a biogas plant in practice and the laboratory-based biogas plant (input materials: cattle sludge, maize silage); both with batch reactors [Emmerling & Barton, 2007, Arch. Agron. Soil Sc., 53, 683-690]

<o:p> </o:p>

biogas plant in practice

laboratory-based biogas plant

gas yield<o:p></o:p>

4100 m³ +

19128.9 ml N  #

gas yield [l]<o:p></o:p>

4,100000 #

19.13  #

org. dry matter [kg]<o:p></o:p>

6470.21 #

0.0267 #

l/kg org. dry matter<o:p></o:p>


719.95 ±43.5

 + : personal communication of the cooperative farmer

 # : measured


2. Effects of Nanoparticles in Soil

Nanotechnology is playing an ever greater role in agriculture, industry and engineering due to its different applications and variety of facets. Especially silver nanoparticles (AgNP) are being produced in increasing amounts due to the antimicrobial properties of silver ions. A possible pathway of AgNP into soil may be wet or dry deposition as well as the application of pesticides or organic wastes in agriculture, such as sewage sludge. For example, the Federal Environmental Agency of Germany estimated that the use of AgNP in Germany accounts for 1100 kg yr-1 (UBA, 2008). The first published study on the effects of AgNP on soil organisms revealed, that the microbial biomass was significantly reduced. Moreover, evidence was found that the composition of the microbial community was changed due to AgNP. In a recent project we aim to investigate effects of combined application of AgNP and sewage sludge on the functional diversity of soil organisms. We also have analysed  antioxidative enzymes in coelomocytes of earthworms.

Hänsch, M., Emmerling, C. (2010): Effects of silver nanoparticles on the microbiota and enzyme activity in soil. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, 173, 554-558.


3. Land-use induced changes in population structure of the earthworm Aporrectodea longa (Ude) revealed from polymorphic microsatellite markers

Land-use changes, such as the current increase of permanent or mono-cultivation of energy crops, will probably affect the population connectivity of several biota, including earthworms. The aim of the present study of the Research Initiative Rhineland-Palatinate was to get a deeper insight in the question if and probably to what extend mono-cultivation induces changes in earthworm population structure. In order to examine the effects of habitat fragmentation on genetic differentiation, diversity and gene flow among earthworm populations, the use of molecular markers is promising. We aimed to investigate possible effects of Miscanthus mono-cultivation of different duration on the structure of Aporrectodea longa populations, a wide-spread earthworm species of arable soils in W-Germany and the abundant species in our study area. For this purpose, eleven new polymorphic microsatellite markers have been developed and characterized in a preliminary study (Strunk et al., 2012).

Strunk, H., Hochkirch,A., Veith,M., Hankeln, T., Emmerling, C. (2012): Isolation and characterization of eleven polymorphic microsatellite markers for the earthworm Aporrectodea longa (Ude). European Journal of Soil Biology, 48, 55-58.


4. Future Cultivation of Energy Crops – Feedback on Land-use, Soils and Biodiversity

Fossil energy is replaced increasingly by renewable resources, e.g. through the cultivation of energy crops. In particular energy crops such as winter rape (Brassica napus) and maize (Zea mays) have been increasingly cultivated in the European agriculture, because of their high biomass yield and their potential for renewable energy production. By this, the proportion of p<//span>erennial crops, e.g. grasses, intended for solid fuels is increasing yearly. Additionally, various crops are increasingly cultivated as mono-cultured crops, such as maize for biogas production. Perennial crops like the C4-grasses of the genus Miscanthus received considerable attention in the past decade. Their hybrid Miscanthus x giganteus Greef & Deuter ex Hodkinson and Renvoize is particularly used as a solid fuel for combustion. Due to low requirements on fertilization and weed control, long cultivation periods up to 25 years, no-till cultivation, and high yield potential, Miscanthus can be regarded as a low-input crop, characterized by a high energy output:input ratio and a high potential of C-sequestration. Besides the study of Felten and Emmerling (2011) reports of general effects of perennial Miscanthus on earthworm populations have yet not been described.

Felten, D.; Emmerling, C. (2011): Effects of bioenergy crop cultivation on earthworm communities - A comparative study of perennial (Miscanthus) and annual crops with consideration of graded land-use intensity. Applied Soil Ecology, 49, 167-177.