Unit of Soil Ecology

Soil contains a diverse community of active micro-organisms. Most of them are still unknown to us. The Unit of Soil Ecology deals with the biodiversity of soil organisms, their activities and impact on various ecosystems with special focus on forest ecosystems, plant growth, soil stability as well as water and air quality.

Priority Areas of Work

  • Greenhouse gases
    • Gas flux measurements (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxides, nitric oxides,ozone, hydrocarbons) in different ecosystems,
    • Operation of long-term measuring sites in the forests
    • Development of mitigation strategies
    • Development and maintenance of databases
    • Mathematical modelling
    • Project coordination and realisation
  • Amount, activity and biodiversity soil
    • Determination of  the amount of microbial biomass using chloroform fumigation extraction (CFE) and substrate-induced respiration (SIR)
    • Determination of microbial activity in various ecosystems by analysing basal respiration and enzyme activities
    • Analysis of microbial community structure by means of phospholipid fatty acid analysis (PLFA)
  • Forest soil inventory and site evaluation
    • Analysis of different samples matrices (forest floor material, mineral soil and soil water)
    • Soil physical and chemical analysis (e.g. texture , total carbon and nitrogen, dissolved carbon and nitrogen (DOC, DON),  pH value, cation exchange capacity, anions)
  • Commissioned analyses


    • Gas flux measurements in the forest (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxides, nitric oxides, hydrocarbons), operation of various long-term measuring sites in the forests
    • Coordination of biodiversity projects
    • Development and maintenance of a soil biodiversity data-base
    • Microbial community patterns by means of fatty acid patterns (PLFA)
    • Gas chromatography, IRGA, GC-MS, photometry, and wet chemistry laboratory
    • Mathematical modelling, predictions


    Head of Unit,
    Gas analysis, EU Projects, modelling
    +43-1-87838-1302 Schönbrunn, Room 146


    contact person: PLFA analysis, soil organic matter, commissioned analyses
    +43-1-87838-1421 Schönbrunn, Room 338a

    Brigitte Schraufstädter Chemical-technical Assistant,
    +43-1-87838-1303 Schönbrunn, Room 202

    Technical Assistant:
    contact person: IT, Web- & Graphic Design, Video- Footage and Animation, Database, Gas, Poison, Radiation Protection Officer
    +43-1-87838-1306 Schönbrunn, Room 247


    Chemical-technical Assistant: PLFA analyses, Ergosterol
    +43-1-87838-1413 / - 1425
    Schönbrunn, Room 323

    Laboratory, Soil analysis                                                                                                                                                                      
    +43 (1)
    878 38-1206, -1412                             
    Zimmer 106, 318


    Soil analysis
    chemical and physical analysis
    +43 (1)
    878 38-1206,
    Zimmer 106, 318


    Unit of Soil Ecology
    Seckendorff-Gudent-Weg 8, 1131 Vienna
    Head of Unit DI Dr. Barbara Kitzler

    Tel. +43-1-87838-1302, Fax: +43-1-87838-1250
    email: barbara.kitzler@bfw.gv.at

    Federal Research and Training Centre for Forests, Natural Hazards and Landscape (BFW)
    Austria, 1131 Vienna, Seckendorff-Gudent-Weg 8 | Tel.: +43 1 878 38-0

    Autor: Kitzler B.

    Quelle/URL: https://bfw.ac.at/rz/bfwcms.web?dok=5388