Stable isotopes have developed into indispensable tools for ecophysiological and biogeochemical research. This is because stable C, N, O and H isotope ratios in plant materials can be related to ecophysiological and biogeochemical processes. We do not only apply stable isotopes as important tools for our research questions but take also an active role in further developing stable isotope tools for applications in ecology, ecosystem and earth-system sciences. In particular, we investigate the environmental and plant physiological processes that shape the O and H isotope composition in various plant materials such as leaf water, cellulose, lignin or leaf wax lipids.

Key publications:

Cormier M-A, Werner RA, Saurer PE, Groecke DR, Leuenberger MC, Wieloch T, Schleucher J, Kahmen A (2018) The energy and carbon metabolism of plants affects the hydrogen isotope fractionation during the biosynthesis of organic plant compounds. New Phytologist 218: 479-491.

Nelson DB, Ladd SN, Schubert C, Kahmen A (2018) Rapid atmospheric transport and large-scale deposition of recently synthesized plant biomarkers. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 222: 599-617.

Newberry SL, Nelson DB, Kahmen A (2017) Cryogenic vacuum artefacts do not affect plant water-uptake studies using stable isotope analysis. Ecohydrology 10:e1892.

Bögelein R, Thomas FM, Kahmen A (2017) Leaf water 18O and 2H enrichment along vertical canopy profiles in a broadleaved and a conifer forest tree. Plant, Cell & Environment 40: 1086 - 1103.

Gamarra B, SachseD, Kahmen A (2016) Effects of leaf water evaporative 2H enrichment and biosynthetic fractionation on leaf wax n-alkane δ2H values in C3 and C4 grasses. Plant, Cell & Environment 39: 2390 - 2403.

CernusakLA, Barbour  MM, Cheesman AW, English NB, Field TS, Helliker BR, Holloway-Phillips MM, Holtum JAM, Kahmen A, McInerney FA, Munksgaard NC, Simonin KA, Song X, Stuart-Williams H, West JB, Farquhar GD (2016) Stable isotopes in plant water. Plant, Cell & Environment 39: 1087-1102.

Kahmen A, Schefuß E, Sachse D (2013)Leaf water deuterium enrichment shapes leaf wax n-alkane δD values of angiosperm plants I: Experimental evidence and mechanistic insight. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 111: 39-49.

Kahmen A, Hoffmann B, Schefuß E, Arndt SK, Cernusak LS, West JB, Sachse D (2013)Leaf water deuterium enrichment shapes leaf wax n-alkane δD values of angiosperm plants II: Observational evidence and global implications. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 111: 50-63.