P4 Floodplain Biogeochemistry - Redox Buffering and Contaminant Fate in Waterlogged Sediments

People Involved

Principal Investigators

Prof. Dr. Stefan B. Haderlein

University of Tübingen, Environmental Mineralogy & Chemistry

Prof. Dr. Carolin Huhn

University of Tübingen, Analytical Chemistry

Prof. Dr. Christian Griebler

Helmholtz Center München, University of Vienna, Limnology and Bio-Occanography

Prof. Dr. Andreas Kappler

University of Tübingen, Geomicrobiology

In the second phase of CAMPOS, the P4 team will change as parts of the research on glyphosate will be continued in P6. Adrian Mellage will become a new PI.


Lena Cramaro, MSc

University of Vienna, Limnology and Bio-Occanography

Benedikt Wimmer, MSc

University of Tübingen, Analytical Chemistry

Johanna Schlögl, MSc

University of Tübingen, Environmental Mineralogy & Chemistry

Research Questions and General Approach

Research Questions

Redox processes play a key role in both the biogeochemical cycling of nutrients and pollutant transformations. Thus, the overarching goal of this project is to identify and quantify the biogeochemical processes controlling the redox dynamics and the spatial and temporal transformation of redox sensitive nutrients (nitrate, ammonia) and agrochemicals (glyphosate and degradation by-products) in floodplain sediments.

General Approach of P4

We apply advanced electrochemical, trace analytical, microbial and biochemical techniques to determine

  • the redox state and its seasonal dynamics in floodplain sediments
  • the decisive reactive soil components that control the redox dynamics and redox buffering
  • the speciation, sorption and mobilization of glyphosate and its major transformation product AMPA as affected by the redox conditions
  • the dynamics of microbial communities and microbially driven nitrogen and sulfur cycles
  • the transport and transformation the herbicides in sediments under simulated water-logging and redox dynamics

The work comprises field coring campaigns (in close collaboration with P3) as well as detailed laboratory studies to decipher and quantify the links between geochemistry, redox dynamics, microbial activity and pollutant fate.


Establishment of a field irrigation experiment
Capturing redox potential and nutrient dynamics in dry floodplain soils
Spatiotemporal dynamics of floodplain-soil microbial communities
Development and application of analytical methodology for glyphosate quantification
Bioavailability and Biodegradation of glyphosate



Zhang, S., Usman, M., Peiffer, S., Haderlein, S.B. (2020): The abiotic sulfur cycle revisited - disproportionation of elemental sulfur at goethite in the presence of surface-bound Fe(II). Environ.Sci.Technol. (in revision)


Li, S.; Braun, J. C.; Buchner, D.; Haderlein, S. B. (2020): Denitrifier method for nitrite removal in electrochemical analysis of the electron accepting capacity of humic substances. Anal. Chem.; 92, (1): 616-621, doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.9b03683.

Li, S., Kappler, A., Zhu, Y., Haderlein, S. B. (2020): Mediated electrochemical analysis as emerging tool to unravel links between microbial redox cycling of natural organic matter and anoxic nitrogen cycling. Earth Sc. Rev.: accepted July 7, 2020, doi: 10.1016/j.earscirev.2020.103281.

Martin, P. R.; Buchner, D.; Jochmann, M. A.; Haderlein, S. B. (2020): Stable carbon isotope analysis of polyphosphonate complexing agents by anion chromatography coupled to isotope ratio mass spectrometry: method development and application. Anal. Bioanal. Chem.; 1-9, doi: 10.1007/s00216-019-02251-w.

Wimmer, B.; Pattky, M.; Zada, L. G.; Meixner, M.; Haderlein, S. B.; Zimmermann, H.-P.; Huhn, C. (2020): Capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry for the direct analysis of glyphosate: method development and application to beer beverages and environmental studies. Anal. Bioanal. Chem.; 1-17, doi: g/10.1007/s00216-020-02751-0.

Subdiaga, E.; Orsetti, S.; Haderlein, S. B. (2019): Effects of sorption on redox properties of natural organic matter. Environ. Sci. and Technol.; 53, (24): 14319-14328, doi: 10.1021/acs.est.9b04684.

Schaedler, F., Kappler, A., Schmidt, C. (2018): A revised iron extraction protocol for environmental samples enriched in nitrate, nitrite and carbonate. Geomicrobiol. J.: 35, 23-30, doi: 10.1080/01490451.2017.1303554.

Gauglitz, G., Wimmer, B., Melzer, T., Huhn, C. (2018): Glyphosate analysis using sensors and electromigration separation techniques as alternatives to gas or liquid chromatography. Anal. Bioanal. Chem.; 410(3): 725-746, doi: 10.1007/s00216-017-0679-x.

Huhn, C. (2018): More and enhanced glyphosate analysis is needed. Anal. Bioanal. Chem.; 410(13): 3041-3045, doi: 10.1007/s00216-018-1000-3.

BSc and MSc Theses

BSc Theses

Michelle Engelhardt (2020): Verteilung der Korngröße und organischen Materie von Auenböden im Ammertal bei Unterjesingen

Marie Kaspar (2019): Adsorption von Glyphosat an Böden aus dem Ammertal: Untersuchung der Sorptionskinetik

Stephanie Bock (2018): Trennung von Glyphosat, dessen Abbauprodukte und Analoga

MSc Theses

Andrea Tzeitel Loria Basto (2020): Biogeochemistry in floodplain sediments from the Ammer valley, SW Germany - Sulfur cycling

Frieder Straub (2020): Biogeochemistry in floodplain sediments from the Ammer valley, SW Germany - Iron cycling