Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Phytomedicine

Dr. Bernd Schönmuth



Humboldt-University of Berlin

Faculty of Life Sciences

Albrecht Daniel Thaer-Institute

Division Phytomedicine


Lentzeallee 55/57

14195 Berlin-Dahlem


Tel. 030-2093-46443



Main research


  • Analysis of long-term behavior of radioactive (14C)  labeled TNT and RDX after absorption in conifers (Picea spec.)
  • Observation of the behavior of TNT and RDX-born radioactivity during the natural degradation processes (rotting) of tree compartments
  • Determination of Dendrotolerance of conifers to STV and estimation of long term influence of contaminated tree growing’s
  • A natural contamination of trees is achieved by wick application systems using 14C-TNT and 14C-RDX in bioavailable form
  • Radioactivity is to be analyzed for each specific organ and is to be balanced. Wood of the roots and the needles of trees are to be composted and the TNT- and RDX –fate is analyzed radio-analytically. The estimation of Dendrotolerance is investigated by wick application systems as well


A contribution to the evaluation of the self-cleaning potential of conifer growing’s on contaminated sites of former military locations is expected. Implications on the utilization of forests shall be included in the guidelines of KORA-network.


For additional information please see:

Selected Publications


  • Schoenmuth B, Schenke D, Scharnhorst T, Combrinck S, McCrindle RI, Mueller JO, Büttner C, Pestemer W 2015:
    Binding of RDX to cell wall components of Pinus sylvestris and Picea glauca and three-year mineralisation study of tissue-associated RDX residues. International Journal of Phytoremediation, Volume 17, Issue 7, 716-725 [LINK]
  • Schoenmuth B, Mueller JO, Scharnhorst T, Schenke D, Büttner C, Pestemer W 2014. Elevated root retention of hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX) in coniferous trees. Environ Sci Pollut Res 21, 3733-43.
  • Schoenmuth BW, Pestemer W 2004 a:
    Dendroremediation of Trinitrotoluene (TNT). Part 1: Literature Overview and Research Concept. ESPR - Environmental Science & Pollution Research 11(4), 273-278
  • Schoenmuth BW, Pestemer W 2004 b:
    Dendroremediation of Trinitrotoluene (TNT). Part 2: Fate of Radio-labelled TNT in Trees. ESPR - Environmental Science & Pollution Research 11(5), 331-339