Universität Bonn

INRES Crop Science

Quantification of nitrogen losses in a catch crop trial

Master Thesis (Bachelor thesis also possible)

Research area

Crop science

Motivation / State of the art / Relevance

Unwanted nitrogen losses, especially in agricultural systems, lead to negative changes in ecosystems (e.g. in ground and surface waters) and contribute to climate change.  However, the sources and amounts of losses are often difficult to quantify.


The aim of this work is the quantification of nitrogen losses in catch crop mixtures and solely seeds in a multi-year field trial with various inhomogeneous trial members in which data on diverse nitrogen pools (N uptake of the intercrop, Nmin, microbial nitrogen, N uptake of the subsequent crop) were collected. Taking into account the agronomic and climatic data, the aim is to determine how much nitrogen was conserved by the catch crop and can potentially be credited to the subsequent crop.

Methodology / Procedure / Workscope / external cooperation

Evaluation of available experimental data (no experimental work)

Expected results

Literature research, statistical analysis and discussion of experimental results and their graphical representation, discussion of results.


About 6 months (start possible at any time)


English preferred, German possible

Previous knowledge

Basic knowledge of statistics and statistical software (e.g., R) and interest in crop science topics including the nitrogen cycle. A later publication of the work is aimed for.


Dr. Sabine Seidel, Pflanzenbau Uni Bonn and Prof. Dr. Wichern, Florian, Hochschule Rhein-Waal




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