Soils Lab

Kasper Reitzel

Kasper Reitzel


The overall focus of my research is to study the structuring role of phosphorus (P) in aquatic ecosystems. To successfully manage aquatic ecosystems it is required to know the sources of P as well as the bioavailability of the P compounds entering the freshwater systems. At present, I am studying the identity and transformation of P in a continuum from source on land through leakage to ground water to burial in aquatic sediments. During my stay at Soils Lab, I will work on the following projects.

  1. Fate of organic P and carbon in deep soil cores from the oligotrophic wetland of San San Pond Sak in Bocas del Toro.

In the oligotrophic wetland of Bocas Del Toro, 2 m deep soil cores will be analysed by solution 31P NMR and solid state 13C NMR spectroscopy to gain information on the degradability of functional P and C groups at three sites in the wetland constituting a nutrient gradient from monodominant Raphia taedigera palm swamp at the periphery, through mixed Campnosperma panamensis forest swamp, to a central ‘bog plain’ community dominated by herbaceous species and stunted trees.

  1. Importance of organic P in tropical soil solutions

Recent studies have addressed the possibility that the P:C ratio in tropical plants and trees might be negatively affected by increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations due to decreased transpiration, and consequently a reduced uptake of P from the soil solution. To investigate one aspect of this hypothesis, we will study the concentration of P compounds in solution in a vast range of soils by isolating the pore water from the solid matrix by centrifugation. The presence of inorganic and organic P can be determined by standard colorimetric procedures and detailed information on the P compounds will be pursued by using 31P NMR spectroscopy. Information on the bioavailability of the P compounds will be obtained by using hydrolytic enzymes specific to various organic P compounds.


2006 – PhD. in Biology, University of Southern, Denmark
2004 – M.Sc. in Biology, University of Southern, Denmark
1999 – B.S. in Biology, University of Southern, Denmark

Selected Publications

  1. Reitzel, K., J. Ahlgren, E. Rydin, S. Egemose, B. L. Turner, and M. Hupfer. 2012. Diagenesis of settling seston: identity and transformations of organic phosphorus. Journal of Environmental Monitoring 14:1098-1106.
  2. Jørgensen, C., Jensen, H. S., Andersen, F. Ø., Egemose, S. & Reitzel, K. Identification and quantification of myo-inositol hexakisphosphate and glycerophosphates in lake sediments. 2011. Journal of Environmental Monitoring 13 (8): 2328-2334.
  3. Ahlgren, J., Reitzel, K., Debrabandere, H., Gogoll, A., & Rydin, E. 2011. Release of organic P forms from lake sediments. Water Research 45: 565-572.
  4. Egemose, S., K. Reitzel, F. Ø. Andersen, M. R. Flindt. 2010. Chemical Lake Restoration Products: Sediment Stability and Phosphorus Dynamics. 2010. Environmental Science and Technology 44 (3): 985-991.
  5. Reitzel, K., H. S. Jensen, M. R. Flindt & Andersen, F. Ø. 2009. Identification of non reactive phosphorus in freshwater by precipitating with aluminium and 31P NMR analysis. Environmental Science & Technology 43: 5381-5397.
  6. Reitzel, K., J. Ahlgren, H. DeBrabandere, M. Waldebäck, A. Gogoll, L. Tranvik & E. Rydin. 2007. Degradation rates of organic phosphorus in lake sediment: a question of origin? Biogeochemistry 82: 15-28.
  7. Reitzel, K., J. Ahlgren, A. Gogoll & E. Rydin. 2006. Effects of aluminum treatment on phosphorus, carbon, and nitrogen distribution in lake sediment: a 31P NMR study. Water Research 40: 647-654.
  8. Reitzel, K., J. Hansen, F. Ø. Andersen, K. S. Hansen & H. S. Jensen. 2005. Lake restoration by dosing aluminum relative to mobile phosphorus in the sediments. Environmental Science & Technology 39: 4134-4140.

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