Johanna Clara Metzger

PhD Student (Thesis submitted) / Technician​
Johanna Clara Metzger Image: Johanna Clara Metzger


Friedrich Schiller University Jena
Institute of Geoscience
Wöllnitzer Straße 7 / Room 101
07749 Jena / Germany
+49 3641 9-48655

Research activity

Due to the mechanisms of interception, stemflow and throughfall, precipitation reaches a forest soil surface in an altered temporal and spatial distribution. The retention of water by the canopy is contrasted by the formation of dynamic hotspots. Where do these hotspots evolve, and how strong are they? How does precipitation redistribution impact subsequent soil flow processes and properties?

Within the collaborative research center of AquaDiva, I assessed precipitation, soil warer content and stand as well as soil properties in an extensive field study on a 1-ha mixed beech forest plot. Via geostatistical analyses, I disentangle the character and relationship of canopy and soil water flow patterns. I found that vegetation structure forms input hotspots, which persist on the soil level and impact soil formation processes. Soil water content patterns are mainly shaped by soil properties rather than precipitation input heterogeneities – yet, by changing soil properties, trees shape both soil and precipitation patterns and establish water flux bypass from the canopy to the deeper subsurface.

Scientific biography highlights

Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences at Technical University of Braunschweig

Internship with UMS Environmental Measurement Systems (today Meter Group AG)

Master’s Thesis in the framework of the international Africa-based project “The future Okavango”

Master of Science in Soil Science at University of Hamburg

Since 2013
Researcher in the Collaborative Research Center “AquaDiva”

Research stay at Institute of Sciences of Temeperate Forests (ISFORT) in Ripon, Québec, Canada


Van Stan, J. T., A. Hildebrandt, J. Friesen, J. C. Metzger, and S. A. Yankine: Spatial Variability and Temporal Stability of Local Net Precipitation Patterns. Precipitation Partitioning by Vegetation, Springer, 89-104, 2020.

Metzger, J. C., J. Schumacher, M. Lange, and A. Hildebrandt: Neighbourhood and stand structure affect stemflow generation in a heterogeneous deciduous temperate forest. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 23:4433-4452, 2019.

Metzger, J. C., T. Wutzler, N. Dalla Valle, J. Filipzik, C. Grauer, R. Lehmann, M. Roggenbuck, D. Schelhorn, J. Weckmüller, and K. Küsel: Vegetation impacts soil water content patterns by shaping canopy water fluxes and soil properties. Hydrological processes 31:3783-3795, 2017.

Zimmermann, A., S. Voss, J. C. Metzger, A. Hildebrandt, B. Zimmermann: Capturing heterogeneity: The role of a study area's extent for estimating mean throughfall. Journal of Hydrology 542:781–789, 2016.

Metzger, J. C., L. Landschreiber, A. Groengroeft, and A. Eschenbach: A Field and Model Approach to Soil Evaporation in Southern African Savannas. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science 177:468-475, 2014.

Selected conference contributions

Metzger, J. C., J. Filipzik, B. Michalzik, and A. Hildebrandt: Interrelation of soil water fluxes and soil properties: Stemflow-induced soil microsites at tree stems. Recent advances in soil physics and soil hydrology - Annual meeting of the commission 1 of the German Soil Science Society 2020. Talk.

Metzger, J. C., T. Wutzler, J. Filipzik, and A. Hildebrandt: From the canopy to the deeper subsurface: Tree-induced water flux bypasses. Global change, landscape ageing and the pulse of catchments - European Geosciences Union Leonardo Topical Conference Series 2019. Talk.

Metzger, J. C., S. Germer, and A. Hildebrandt: Factors impacting stemflow generation in a European beech forest: Individual tree versus neighborhood properties. European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2017. Talk.

Metzger, J. C., N. Dalla Valle, T. Wutzler, J. Filipzik, C. Grauer, J. Weckmüller, D. Schelhorn, A. Hildebrandt: Tracing spatial variation of canopy water fluxes to the soil - An experimental approach to assessing heterogeneity with high resolution data. European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2016. Talk.

Metzger, J. C., L. Landschreiber, A. Gröngröft, A. Eschenbach: A Field and Model Study on Soil Evaporation in semi-open Savanna Ecosystems of Southern Africa. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Bodenkundlichen Gesellschaft 2013. Poster.

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