Michael Kaiser

Michael Kaiser

Assistant Professor

Area of Expertise: Soil and Water Sciences

Habilitation (qualification to conduct self-contained university teaching), Soil Chemistry, University of Kassel, 2017

Ph.D., Natural Sciences, University of Potsdam, 2004

Diploma, Geoecology, University of Potsdam, 2000

Area of Focus

Soil organic matter dynamics

Research Interests

  • Effects of land use, management, and soil type on soil organic matter characteristics
  • Sustainable soil management and soil health
  • Environmental and management effects on soil aggregate formation
  • Methods for separation of ecological meaningful soil organic matter fractions

Courses Taught


  • Blanco-Canqui H., Kaiser M., Creech C., Maharjan B., Nielsen R., Easterly A. 2020. Soil and crop response to char application after two years. Journal of Environmental Quality, https://doi.org/10.1002/jeq2.20111.
  • Dinesh P., Mikha M.M., Collins H.P., Jin V.L., Kaiser M., Cooper J., Malakar A., Bijesh M. 2020. Optimum rates of surface applied coal char decreased soil ammonia volatilization loss. Journal of Environmental Quality, 49, 256-267.
  • Vormstein S., Kaiser M., Ludwig B. 2020. Aggregate formation and organo-mineral association affect characteristics of soil organic matter across soil horizons and parent materials in temperate broadleaf forest. Biogeochemistry, doi.org/10.1007/s10533-020-00652-z.
  • Cooper J., Greenberg I., Hippich L., Glaser B., Fischer D., Ludwig B., Kaiser M. 2020. Effect of biochar and compost on soil properties and organic matter in aggregate size fractions under field conditions. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 295, 106882.
  • Francis C.A., Young R., Wortmann S., Kaiser M., Basche A. 2019. International topics increase global awareness in Midwest crops and soils courses. Journal of North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture, 63, 131-138.
  • Gunina A., Vormstein S., Kaiser M., Ludwig B. 2019. Decomposition of beech leaves and roots in the topsoil and subsoil of a sandy Cambisol: results of a one-year incubation. Submitted to European Journal of Soil Biology, 95, 103136.
  • Greenberg I., Kaiser M., Polifka S., Wiedner K., Glaser B., Ludwig B. 2019. The effect of biochar with biogas digestate or mineral fertilizer on fertility, aggregation and organic carbon contents of a sandy soil: Results of a 4-year temperate field experiment. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, 182, 824-835.
  • Greenberg I., Kaiser M., Gunina A., Ledesma P., Polifka S., Wiedner K., Mueller C., Glaser B., Ludwig B. 2019. Substitution of mineral fertilizers with biogas digestate plus biochar increases physically stabilized soil carbon but not crop biomass in a field trial. Science of the Total Environment 680, 181-189.
  • Graf-Rosenfellner M., Kayser G., Guggenberger G., Kaiser K., Büks F., Kaiser M., Müller C.W., Schrumpf M., Rennert T., Welp G., Lang F. 2018. Replicability of soil aggregate disruption by sonication. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science 181, 894-904.
  • Grunwald D., Kaiser M., Ludwig B. 2018. Effects of biochar and slurry application as well as drying and rewetting on soil macro-aggregate formation in silty loam soils. Submitted to Soil Use & Management 34, 575-583.
  • Poeplau C., Don A., Six J., Kaiser M., Nieder R., Benbi D., Chenu C., Cotrufo F., Derrien D., Grand S., Gregorich E., Griepentrog M., Gunina A., Kuzyakov Y., Kühnel A., MacDonald L., Nebbioso A., Soong J., Trigalet S., Vermeire M-L., Rovira P., van Wesemael B., Wiesmeier M., Yeasmin S. 2018. Isolating soil organic carbon fractions with varying turnover times - A comprehensive comparison of fractionation methods. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 125, 10-26.
  • Remus R., Kaiser M., Kleber M., Augustin J., Sommer M. 2018. Demonstration of the rapid incorporation of carbon into protective, mineral-associated organic carbon fractions in an eroded soil from the CarboZALF experimental site. Plant and Soil, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11104-018-3724-4.
  • Nitzsche K.N., Kaiser M., Premke K., Gessler A., Ellerbrock R.H., Hoffmann C., Kleeberg A., Kayler ZE. 2017. Organic matter distribution and retention along transects from hilltop to kettle hole within an agricultural landscape. Biogeochemistry 136, 47-70.
  • Berhe A.A., Arnold C., Jin L., Kaiser M., Lever R. 2017. Carbon Dynamics. In Oxford Bibliographies in Environmental Science. Ed. Ellen Wohl. New York: Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780199363445-0065.
  • Nüsse, A., Linsler, D., Kaiser, M., Tonn, B., Ebeling, D., Isselstein, J., Ludwig, B. 2017. Short Communication: Effect of grazing intensity and soil characteristics on soil organic carbon and nitrogen stocks in a temperate long-term grassland. Archives of Agronomy and Soil Science, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03650340.2017.1305107.
  • Vormstein S., Kaiser M., Piepho H.-P., Joergensen R.G., Ludwig B. 2017. Effects of the concentration, size, and distribution of beech fine roots on the C turnover in homogenized and minimally disturbed top- and subsoil material of a sandy Cambisol. European Journal of Soil Science 68, 177-188.
  • Grunwald D., Kaiser M., Junker S., Marhan S., Piepho H.-P., Poll C., Bamminger C., Ludwig B. 2017. Influence of elevated soil temperature and biochar application on organic matter associated with aggregate-size and density fractions in an arable soil. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 249, 79-87.
  • Strücker J., Kaiser M., Dyckmans J., Joergensen R.G. 2016. Maize root decomposition in subsoil horizons of two silt loams differing in soil organic C accumulation due to colluvial processes. Geoderma 283, 101-109.
  • Linsler D., Kaiser M., Andruschkewitsch A., Piegholdt C., Ludwig B. 2016. Effect of cover crop growth and decomposition on the distribution of aggregate size-fractions and soil carbon dynamics. Land Use & Management 32, 192-199.
  • Khan K.S., Mack R., Castillo X., Kaiser M., Joergensen, R.G. 2016. Fungal and bacterial residues and their relationships to the C/N/P/S ratio of soil organic matter and microbial biomass. Geoderma 271, 115-123.
  • Grunwald D., Kaiser M., Ludwig B. 2016. Effect of biochar and organic fertilizers on C mineralization and macro-aggregate dynamics under different incubation temperatures. Soil & Tillage Research 164, 11-17.
  • Kaiser M., Zederer D.P., Ellerbrock R.H., Sommer M., Ludwig B. 2016. Effects of mineral characteristics on content, composition, and stability of organic matter fractions separated from seven forest topsoils of different pedogenesis. Geoderma 263, 1-7.
  • Kaiser M., Kleber M., Berhe A.A. 2015. How air-drying and rewetting modify soil organic matter characteristics: an assessment to improve data interpretation and inference. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 80, 324-340.
  • Kaiser M., Ghezzeei T., Kleber M., Myrold D., Berhe A.A. 2014. Influence of calcium carbonate and charcoal applications on organic matter storage in silt-sized aggregates formed during a microcosm experiment. Soil Science Society of America Journal 78, 1624-1631.
  • Kaiser M., Berhe A.A. 2014. How does sonication affect the mineral and organic constituents of soil aggregates? - A review. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science 177, 479-495.
  • Kaiser M., Piegholdt C., Andruschkewitsch A., Linsler D., Koch H.-J., Ludwig D. 2014. Impact of tillage intensity on carbon and nitrogen pools in surface and sub-surface soils of three long-term field experiments. European Journal of Soil Science 65, 599-609.
  • Ryals B., Kaiser M., Torn M.S., Berhe A.A., Silver W.L. 2014. Impacts of organic matter amendments on carbon and nitrogen dynamics in grassland soils. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 68, 52-61.
  • Kaiser M., Ellerbrock R.H., Dultz S., Wulf M., Hierath C., Sommer M. 2012. Influence of mineral characteristics on organic matter content, composition, and stability of topsoils under long-term arable and forest land use. Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences, 117: Article Number: G02018.
  • Kaiser M., Berhe A.A., Sommer M., Kleber M. 2012. Short communication: Application of ultrasound to disperse soil aggregates of high mechanical stability. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science 175, 521-526.
  • Kayler Z., Kaiser M., Ellerbrock R.H., Sommer M. 2011. Application of δ13C and δ15N isotopic signatures of organic matter fractions sequentially separated from adjacent arable and forest soils to identify carbon stabilization mechanisms. Biogeosciences 8, 2895-2906.
  • Kaiser M., Walter K., Ellerbrock R.H., Sommer M. 2011. Effects of land use and mineral characteristics on the organic carbon content and the amount and composition of Na-pyrophosphate soluble organic matter in sub-surface soils. European Journal of Soil Science 62, 226-232.
  • Kaiser M., Wirth S., Ellerbrock R.H., Sommer M. 2010. Microbial respiration in relation to sequentially separated organic particle and water-soluble organic matter fractions from arable and forest topsoils. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 42, 418-428.
  • Kaiser M., Ellerbrock R.H., Sommer M. 2009. Separation of coarse particulate organic matter from bulk soil by electrostatic attraction. Soil Science Society of America Journal 73, 2118-2130.
  • Kaiser M., Ellerbrock R.H., Gerke H.H. 2008. Cation exchange capacity and composition of soluble soil organic matter fractions. Soil Science Society of America Journal 72, 1278-1285.
  • Kaiser M., Ellerbrock R.H., Gerke H.H. 2007. Long-term effects of crop rotation and fertilization on soil organic matter composition. European Journal of Soil Science 58, 1460-1470.
  • Ellerbrock R.H., Kaiser M. 2005. Stability and composition of different soluble organic matter fractions - evidence from δ13C and FTIR signatures. Geoderma 128, 28-37.
  • Kaiser M., Ellerbrock R.H. 2005. Functional characterization of soil organic matter fractions different in solubility originating from a long-term field experiment. Geoderma 127, 196-206.
  • Ludwig B., John B., Ellerbock R.H., Kaiser M., Flessa H. 2003. Stabilization of carbon from maize in a sandy soil in a long-term experiment. European Journal of Soil Science 54, 117-126.