SIGNAL - Sustainable intensification of agriculture through agroforestry Central aim of our project is to evaluate whether and under which site conditions agroforestry in Germany can be a land use alternative that is ecologically, economically and socially more sustainable than conventional agriculture.
A pore network model of soil hydrophobicity The objective of the project is to improve our understanding of the physical mechanisms that cause some soils to turn water repellent. Our hypothesis is that the microscopic heterogeneity of hydrophobic compounds explains why at given water contents and soil organic matter a soil turns suddenly from hydrophilic to water repellent. Such criticality can be explained using a percolation approach.
Rhizosphere wettability and implications for water availability to plants This study deals with water flow through the rhizosphere during repeated drying and wetting scenarios, simulating the impact of drought events and irrigation. We focus on the effects of mucilage on water repellency in the rhizosphere. Our aim is to quantitatively predict the occurrence of water repellency in this region. Two modelling approaches will be combined to simulate the rhizosphere water dynamics. This project is realized in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Rony Wallach (Hebrew University of Jerusalem).
Project Managers: Prof. Dr. Andrea Carminati, Prof. Dr. Rony Wallach
Coworkers: Pascal Benard (PhD student), Ibukun Medahunsi (PhD student)
Root exudation and the biophysics of the rizosphere Root exudates help to improve nutrient uptake and microbial activity. This project aims to understand the soil and root properties affecting the spatial and temporal distribution of root exudates. Novel imaging methods (neutron radiography, 14C imaging, zymography) and numerical models are used to visualize and interpret profiles of root exudates as a function of distance from the root surface. This project is in collaboration with Prof. Y. Kuzyakov (Uni-Göttingen).