Workgroup Terrestrial Ecology
Prof. Dr. Michael Bonkowski
Kathleen Lemanski

Dr. Kathleen Lemanski


room: -1.807
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Current Research Projects

‘BonaRes’ B (Boden als nachhaltige Ressource für die Bioökonomie), ‘INPLAMINT’ (Increasing agricultural nutrient-use efficiency by optimizing plant-soil-microorganism interaction), BMBF-Project

Intensive agricultural practices lead to nutrient imbalances, which are the cause of detrimental nutrient losses, groundwater pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. In order to increase nutrient efficiency and maintaining crop productivity in a sustainable way we are aiming to optimize cultivation strategies.

As part of the project I am especially interested in the ecological stoichiometry of nutrient pools and microorganisms within the soil. Along a gradient of agricultural land-use intensity, the soil nutrient pools, and fluxes, and feedbacks on plant productivity will be investigated. The aim is to optimize plant nutrient use efficiency by manipulating the timing of microbial nutrient limitations in soil.

Previous Research

In my PhD thesis I examined how land-use intensity is influencing soil communities (including microorganisms and invertebrates), in particular how land-use intensity affects the flux of carbon (C) through the soil food web. The study was performed within the framework of the ‘GRASSMANN’ (Grassland Management) experiment, manipulating agricultural management practices in a temperate grassland. To investigate the C flux within the belowground system I traced the incorporation of 13C labelled glucose into soil microorganisms and invertebrates.


Since 2015 Postdoc at the Terrestrial Ecology working group (Prof. M. Bonkowski), University of Cologne, BMBF-Project, IMPLAMINT (Increasing agricultural nutrient-use efficency by optimizing plant-soil-microorganism interaction)

2010 - 2014 PhD at the Animal Ecology working group, supervised by Prof. S. Scheu, University of Göttingen. Title of the thesis: “Structure of and carbon flux through soil food webs of temperate grassland as affected by land use management”

2009 Assistant at the Plant Ecology and Ecosystem Research working group, University of Göttingen

2002 - 2008 Diploma in Biology, University of Göttingen

2004 - 2005 Erasmus Programme, Universidad de Murcia, Spain


Lemanski, K. and Scheu, S. (2015) The influence of fertilizer addition, cutting frequency and herbicide application on soil organisms in grassland. Biology and Fertility of Soils 51(2): 197-205

Lemanski, K. and Scheu, S. (2014) Fertilizer addition lessens the flux of microbial carbon to higher trophic levels in soil food webs of grassland. Oecologia 176: 487-496

Lemanski, K. and Scheu, S. (2014) Incorporation of 13C labelled glucose into soil microorganisms of grassland: Effects of fertilizer addition and plant functional group composition. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 69: 38-45