Analytical Laboratory

With its capacities, the analytical lab contributes to research in the fields of landscape ecology and ecosystem dynamics, wood chemistry, vegetation ecology and palaeoecology, representing the diversity in our research group. Lab activities include for example

  • characterization and quantification of soil properties
  • quantifying the accumulation and turnover rates of organic matter as a contribution to  palaeoecolocical research and recent habitat characterization     
  • elemental composition of biomass and its spatial pattern in renewable energy research and applications
  • contributing to research of the interactions between population biology and ecological site condition


A variety of field equipment is available such as:

  • tools for sampling of surface and groundwater as well as biomass and soils of all kind and for the installation of groundwater monitoring wells
  • GPS, optical levelling instruments and related tools for the recording of micro relief, slope angles, tree height and similar parameters
  • field measurement tools for pH, ion analysis (ISE), EC
  • hydrological field instruments such as TDR probes, tensiometers

The analytical equipment inside the lab is used for the chemical analysis of water, biomass and soil as well as for the characterization of physical soil properties. We focus especially on organic soil (peat). With the exception of CHNS-analysis, all other analytical lab methods require wet chemical sample preparation or extraction steps beforehand. Thus, separate rooms are available for the appropriate storage of samples, sample preparation and analysis. For the preparation of pollen and diaspores in soil samples, a special HF-lab (hydrofluoric acid) is available.

universal cutting mill

General equipment used in our lab:

  • several mills (cutting mill, ball mill, speed rotor mill)
  • mechanical (riffler) and rotating sample splitting device
  • laser particle sizer
  • sieving machine for wet and dry sieving
  • centrifuges
  • rotating shakers for soil extraction
  • drying ovens
  • muffle furnaces
  • vacuum pump
  • precision balances
  • microwave digestion system

For elemental analyses we use:

  • analyzer for CHNS determination in solid samples of organic/inorganic matter
  • ion chromatograph
  • UV/VIS spectrophotometer
  • calzimeter (volumetric Scheibler-type) for inorganic carbon analysis in soil
  • continuum source flame atomic absorption spectrometer (HR-CS FAAS)
atomic absorption spectrometer
CHNS elemental analyzer
laser particle sizer
muffle furnaces
speed rotor mill