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Prof. Dr. Mathias Becker


selected Publications:

Becker, M., Alvarez, M., Heller, G.,  Leparmarai, P., Maina, D., Malombe, I., Bollig, M., Vehrs, H. (2016). Land-use changes and the invasion dynamics of shrubs in Baringo. Journal of Eastern African Studies 10(1), 111-129. DOI:10.1080/17531055.2016.1138664.

Böhme, B., Becker, M., Diekkrüger, B., Gerd Förch, G. (2016). How is water availability related to the land use and morphology of an inland valley wetland in Kenya? Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Parts A/B/C (available online 10 March 2016); DOI:10.1016/j.pce.2016.03.005.

Beuel, S., Alvarez, M., Amler, E., Behn, K., Kotze, D., Kreye, C., Leemhuis, C., Wagner, K., Kyalo Willy, D., Ziegler, S., Becker, M. (2016). A rapid assessment of anthropogenic disturbances in East African wetlands. Ecological Indicators 67, 684–692.

Frei, M., Tetteh, R.N., Razafindrazaka, A.L., Fuh, M.A., Wu, L-B., Becker, M. (2016) Responses of rice to chronic and acute iron toxicity: genotypic differences and biofortification aspects. Plant Soil. (available online 18 May 2016). DOI 10.1007/s11104-016-2918-x.


Becker, M. (ed) (2014) Small Wetlands in East Africa: A field guide to the representative flora. Selbstverlag, University of Bonn, Germany. ISBN 978-3-00-047349-4.

Changwony,  K.D., Lanyasunya, T.P., Südekum, K-H., Becker. M.  (2015)  Feed intake and digestibility by sheep of natural vegetation in the riparian land of lake Naivasha, Kenya. Small Ruminants Research. 123, 75-82

Dold, C. Becker, M. (2015) Soil attributes and plant production changes in a  tropical littoral Wetland. J. Plant Nutr. Soil Sci. 178(3) DOI: 10.1002/jpln. 201400258

Leparmarai, P., M. Alvarez, , G. Heller, and M. Becker (2015) “The role of endozoochory on the recovery and germination of Prosopis juliflora seeds” Arid Lands 7(5): 000-000 (in press)

Matthus, E.,  Wu, L.-B., · Ueda, Y, · Höller, S., Becker, M., Frei, M. (2015) Loci, genes, and mechanisms associated with tolerance to ferrous iron toxicity in rice (Oryza sativa L.). Theor Appl Genet DOI 10.1007/s00122-015-2569-y.

Shrestha, R.K., Engel, K., Becker, M. (2015) Effect of transpiration on iron uptake and translocation in lowland rice. J. Plant Nutr. Soil Sci. 178(3) 1-5. DOI: 10.1002/jpln.201400361


Becker, M., Alvarez, M, Behn, K., Handa, C., Misana, S., Mogha, N., Möseler, B.M., Oyieke, H. (2014) Small wetlands in East Africa: A field guide to the representative flora. Selbstverlag, Bonn. Germany. 202 pp.  ISBN 978-3-00-047349-4.

Becker, M., Schütt, B., Amini, S. (2014) Proposal writing for international research projects - a guide for teachers. DAAD Publishing, Bonn, Germany. 97 pp.

Changwony,  K.D., Alvarez, M., Lanyasunya, T.P., C. Dold, C., M. Becker. M.,  Südekum, K-H. (2014)  Biomass and quality changes of forages along land use and soil type 1 gradients in the riparian zone of Lake Naivasha, Kenya. Ecological Indicators 49, 169–177. (IF 3.384)

Changwony,  K.D., Lanyasunya, T.P., Südekum, K-H., Becker. M.  (2015)  Feed intake and digestibility by sheep of natural vegetation in the riparian land of lake Naivasha, Kenya. Small Ruminants Research. 123, 75-82

Kamiri, H.W., Kreye, C., Becker, M. (2014)  Assessing selected soil properties responses to wetland cultivation in floodplain wetlands of East Africa. International Journal of AgriScience 3(11), 825-837.

Kuria, D. N., G. Menz, S. Misana, E. Mwita, H.-P. Thamm, M. Alvarez, N. Mogha, M. Becker, and H. Oyieke (2014) Seasonal Vegetation Changes in the Malinda Wetland Using Bi-Temporal, Multi-Sensor, Very High Resolution Remote Sensing Data Sets. Advances in Remote Sensing, 3(1), 33-48.

Pame, A.R., Kreye, C., Johnson, D. Heuer, S. Becker, M. (2014)  Effects of genotype, seed P concentration and seed priming on seedling vigor of rice. Experimental Agriculture 51(1) 1-12

Theobald, T.F.H., , Mussgnug, F., Becker, M. (2014): Live fences – a hidden resource of soil fertility in West Kenya. J. Plant Nutr. Soil Sci. 177, 758-765 , DOI: 10.1002/jpln.201300232.

Wilbers, G-J., Becker, M., La Thi Nga, Sebesvari, Z., Renaud, F.G. (2014): Spatial and temporal variability of surface water pollution in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. Science of the Total Environment 485–486 (2014), 653–665.

Wu, L-B., - Shhadi, M.Y., Gregorio, G., Matthus, E., Becker, M., Frei, M. (2014): Genetic and physiological analysis of tolerance to acute iron toxicity in rice. Rice 7, 8 (published online at


Diwani, T.N., Asch, F., Becker, M., Mussgnug, F. 2013. Characterizing farming systems around Kakamega Forest, Western Kenya. J. Plant Nutr. Soil Sci. 176, 585–594. DOI: 10.1002/jpln.201200036.

Greiner, C., Alvarez, M., Becker, M. 2013. From Cattle to Corn: Attributes of Emerging Farming Systems of Former Pastoral Nomads in East Pokot, Kenya. Society & Natural Resources DOI: 10.1080/08941920.2013.791901

Kamiri, H.W., Kreye, C., Becker, M. 2013. Dynamics of agricultural use differentially affect soil properties and crop response in East African wetlands. Wetlands Ecol. Manage.  DOI: 10.1007/s11273-013-9315-5.

Kuria, D.N., Menz, G., Misana, S., Mwita, E., Thamm, H.-P., Alvarez, M., Mogha, N., Becker, M., Oyieke, H. 2013. Seasonal vegetation changes in the Malinda Wetland using bi-temporal, multi-sensor, very high resolution remote sensing data sets. Advances in Remote Sensing, doi:10.4236/ars.2013. published online.

Mtei, K.M., Ngome, A.F., Wambua, S., Becker, M. 2013. Assessment of Technology Options Addressing Agricultural Production Constraints in Western Kenya. Greener J. Agric. Sci. 3(3):222-234.

Ngome, A.F.  Becker, M.  Mtei, M.K., Mussgnug, F. 2013. Maize productivity and nutrient use efficiency in Western Kenya as affected by soil type and crop management. Int. J. Plant Prod. 7 (3):517-536.

Sakané, N., Becker, M., Langensiepen, M., van Wijk, M.T. 2013. Typology of Smallholder Production Systems in Small East-African Wetlands. Wetlands 33(1):101-116.


Alvarez, M.; Becker, M.; Böhme, B.; Handa, C.; Josko, M.; Kamiri, H.; Langensiepen, M.; Menz, G.; Misana, S.; Mogha, N.; Möseler, B.M.; Mwita, E.; Oyieke, H.; Sakane, N. (2012): SWEA-Dataveg: vegetation of small wetlands in East Africa. Biodiversity Ecol. 4:64-76.

Angulo, C.L., Becker, M., Wassmann, R. 2012. Yield gap analysis and assessment of climate-induced yield trends of irrigated rice in selected provinces of the Philippines. J.  Agric. Rural Develop. Trop. Subtrop.113(1): doi :hebis:34-2011101139358.

Aryal, D.R., Geissen, V., Ponce-Mendoza, A., Ramos-Reyes R.R., Becker, M. (2012): Water quality under intensive banana production and extensive pastureland in tropical Mexico. J. Plant Nutr. Soil Sci. 175(3):553-559..

Engel, K., Asch, F., Becker, M. (2012): Classification of rice genotypes based on their tolerance and mechanisms of adaptation to conditions of iron toxicity. J. Plant Nutr. Soil Sci.. 175(6):871-881.

Engel, K., Asch, F., Becker, M. (2012): In vivo staining of reduced iron by 2,2’ bipyridine in rice exposed to iron toxicity. J. Plant Nutr. Soil Sci. 175(4), 548-552.

Mwita, E., Menz, G., Misana, S., Becker, M., Kisanga, D., Böhme, B. 2012. Mapping small wetlands of Kenya and Tanzania using remote sensing techniques. Int. J. Appl. Earth Observ. Geoinf.
Ngome, A.F, Mtei, K.M.,Mussgnug, F., Becker, M. (2012): Management options and soil type differentially affect weeds in maize fields of Kakamega, western Kenya. J. Agric. Sci. Technol. A2:104-114.

Ngome, A.F., Becker, M., Mtei, K.M. (2012): Leguminous cover crops differentially affect maize yields in three contrasting soil types of Kakamega, Western Kenya. J. Agr. Rural Develop. Trop Subtrop. 112(1):1-10.

Ngome, F.A.F., Becker, M., Mtei, K.M., Mussgnug, F. (2012): Soil fertility management for maize cultivation in some soils of Western Kenya. Soil Till. Res. 117:69,75.

2003 - 2011 (Selected papers)
Ajouri, A.,  Asgedom, H. and Becker, M. 2004. Seed priming enhances germination and seedling growth of barley under conditions of P and Zn deficiency. J. Plant Nutri. Soil Sci. 167:630-636.

Alvarez, M., Becker, M., Bohme, B., Handa, C., Josko, M., Kamiri, H.W., Langensiepen3, M., Menz, G., Misana, S., Mogha, N., Moseler, B.M, Mwita, E., Oyieke, H., and Sakane, N. 2001. Floristic classification of the vegetation in small wetlands of Kenya and Tanzania. Biodivers.. Ecol. 4:63-76..

Asch, F., Kpongor, D. and Becker, M. 2005. A quick and efficient screen for resistance to iron toxicity in lowland rice. J. Soil Sci Plant Nutr.168: 764-773.

Becker, M., Asch, F. 2005. Iron toxicity in rice -  conditions and management concepts. J. Plant Nutri. Soil Sci. 168: 558-573.

Becker, M., Johnson, D.E., Wopereis, M.S.C. and Sow, A. 2003. Rice yield gaps in irrigated systems along an agro-ecological gradient in West Africa. J. Plant Nutr. Soil Sci. 166, 61-67.

Becker, M.; Maskey, S.L.; Pande, K.R.;  Shah S.C.; and Shrestha , S.C. 2007. Effects of transition season management on soil N dynamics and system N balances in rice-wheat rotations of Nepal. Field Crops Res.  103(2):98-108.

Mussgnug, F., Becker, M., Son, T.T, Buresh, R.J., Vlek, P.L.G. (2006). Yield gaps and nutrient balances in intensive, rice-based cropping systems on degraded soils in the Red River Delta of Vietnam. Field Crops Res. 98:127-140.

Pande, K.R. and Becker, M. 2003. Seasonal soil nitrogen dynamics in rice-wheat cropping systems of Nepal. J. Plant Nutr. Soil Sci. 66: 499-506.

Sakane, N., Alvarez, M., Becker, M., Böhme, B., Handa, C., Kamiri, H., Langensiepen, M., Menz, G., Misana, S., Mogha, N., Möseler, B., Mwita, E. Oyieke, A.H., van Wijk, M. (2011) Classification, characterisation, and use of small wetlands in East Africa. Wetlands 31(2) (6):1103-1116.

Shrestha, S., Asch, F., Dingkuhn, M. and Becker, M (2011) Cropping calendar options for rice–wheat production systems at high-altitudes. Field Crops Research 121(1):158-167.

Somado, E.A., Becker, M. Kuehne, R.F., Sawrawat, K.L., Vlek, P.L.G. 2003. Combined effects of legumes with rock phosphorus on rice in West  Africa. Agron. J. 95: 1172-1178.

Touré, A, Becker, M., Johnson, D.E., Koné, B., Kossou, D.K., Kiepe, P. 2009. Response of lowland rice to agronomic management under different hydrological regimes in an inland valley of the Guinea Savanna zone of West Africa. Field Crops Res. 114(2):304-310


1996 - 2002 (Selected papers)
Akanvou, R., Becker, M. Bastiaans, L., Kropff, M. 2001. Effects of sowing dates on cover legumes-upland rice intercropping systems in West Africa. Biol. Fertil. Soils 33: 15-21

Akanvou, R., Becker, M., Chano, M., Johnson, D.E., Gbaka-Tcheche, H., Toure, A. 2000. Fallow residue management effects on upland rice in three agro-ecological zones of West Africa. Biol. Fertil. Soils 31:501-507.

Becker, M., Johnson, D.E. 1997 The role of legume fallows in intensified upland rice-based systems. Nutr. Cycl. Agroecosyst. 53:71-81.

Becker, M., Johnson, D.E. 1998. Rice yield and productivity gaps in irrigated systems of the forest zone of Côte d’Ivoire. Field Crops Res. 60:201-208.

Becker, M., Johnson, D.E. 1999. Legumes as dry season fallow in upland rice-based systems of West Africa. Biol. Fertil. Soils 27:358-367.

Becker, M., Johnson, D.E. 1999. Rice yield and productivity gaps in irrigated systems of the forest zone of Côte d’Ivoire. Field Crops Res. 60:201-208.

Becker, M., Johnson, D.E. 2001. Cropping intensity effects on upland rice yield and sustainability in West Africa. Nutr. Cycl. Agroecosys. 59:128-133.

Becker, M., Johnson, D.E. 2001. Improved water control and crop management effects on lowland rice productivity in West Africa. Nutr. Cycl. Agroecosys. 59:119-127.

Becker, M., Johnson, D.E., Wopereis, M.S.C. 2001. The role of N nutrition on rice yields along an agroecological gradient in West Africa.. Develop. Plant Soil Sci. 92:970-971.

Becker, M., Ladha, J.K. 1996. Adaptation of green manure legumes to adverse conditions in rice lowlands. Biol. Fertil. Soils 23:243-248.

Becker, M., Ladha, J.K. 1996. Synchronizing residue N mineralization with rice N demand in flooded conditions. In: Giller, K.,Cadisch, G. (eds.) Driven by nature: Plant litter quality and decomposition. CAB International, London. pp. 231-238.

Kent, R., Johnson D.E., Becker M. 2001. The influence of cropping system on weed communities of rice in Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa. Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 87, 299-307.


Before 1995 (Selected papers)
Alazard, D., Becker, M. 1987. Aeschynomene as green manure for rice. Plant and Soil 101:141-143.
Becker, M. and George, T. 1995. Nitrogen fixation response of stem- and root-nodulating Sesbania species to flooding and mineral nitrogen. Plant and Soil 175:189-196.

Becker, M., Alazard, D., Ottow, J.C.G. 1986. Mineral nitrogen effect on nodulation and nitrogen fixation of the stem-nodulating legume Aeschynomene afraspera. Z. Pflanzenernähr. Bodenkd. 129:485-491.
Becker, M., Ali, M., Ladha, J.K., Ottow, J.C.G. 1995. Agronomic and economic evaluation of Sesbania green manure establishment in irrigated rice. Field Crops Res. 40:135-141.

Becker, M., Diekmann, K.H., Ladha, J.K., De Datta, S.K., Ottow, J.C.G. 1991. Effect of NPK on growth and nitrogen fixation of Sesbania rostrata as a green manure for lowland rice (Oryza sativa L.) Plant and Soil 132:149-158.

Becker, M., Ladha, J.K., Ali, M. 1995. Green manure technology: Potential usage, limitations. A case study for lowland rice. Plant and Soil 174:181-194.

Becker, M., Ladha, J.K., Ottow, J.C.G. 1990 Einfluss von NPK auf die Biomasseproduktion und Stickstoffbindung der stängelknöllchenbildenden Leguminosen Sesbania rostrata und Aeschynomene afraspera. Z. Pflanzenernäh. Bodenkd. 153:333-339.

Becker, M., Ladha, J.K., Ottow, J.C.G. 1990. Growth and nitrogen fixation of two stem- nodulating legumes and their effect as green manure on lowland rice. Soil Biol. Biochem. 22:1109-1119.
Becker, M., Ladha, J.K., Ottow, J.C.G. 1994. Nitrogen losses and lowland rice yield as affected by residue N release. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 58:1660-1665.

Becker, M., Ladha, J.K., Simpson, I.C. and Ottow, J.C.G. 1994.  Parameters affecting residue nitrogen release in flooded soil. Soil Sci. Soc. Am . J. 58:1666-1671.

Becker, M., Ladha, J.K., Watanabe, I., Ottow, J.C.G. 1988 Seeding vs. vegetative propagation of the stem- nodulating green manure Sesbania rostrata. Biol. Fertil. Soils 6:279-281.

Engels, K.A., Becker, M., Ottow, J.C.G., Ladha, J.K. 1995. Influence of P and PK fertilization on N2 fixation of the stem-nodulating green manure legume Sesbania rostrata in different marginally productive wetland rice soils. Biol. Fertil. Soils 20:107-112.

Ladha, J.K., Pareek, R.P., Becker, M. 1992. Stem-nodulating legume-Rhizobium symbiosis and its agronomic use in lowland rice. Adv. Soil Sci. 20:147-192.