Soil-, root systems and rhizosphere processes
The aim of the research unit "Soil- root systems and rhizosphere processes" is to contribute to the improvement of our understanding of soil-root interactions through combined use of mathematical modelling and non-invasive methods of soil-root systems analysis. This improved understanding will allow to define recommendations for sustainable agricultural productions and breeding.
Model development focuses on models of root system growth that are responsive to the soil environment. Examples include root system P uptake from low-P soils including plant adaptations such as root architecture plasticity, root hair development, root exudation and the symbiosis with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Multiscale modelling is used to reflect the fact that various scales are involved in those interactions.
Three-dimensional images from non-invasive imaging techniques are used to extract root system parameters as well as for model calibration and validation.
Non-invasive monitoring techniques:
- MRI for soil and plant research
- Field rhizotron facility
Multidimensional modelling of coupled root growth, water- and solute uptake through roots, and solute transport in unsaturated soil
Modelling the influence of biopores in the soil on root growth, water and nutrient uptake
Effect of vertical and lateral variations of soil moisture at the field-scale on root water uptake and plant transpiration
Modelling spatial distribution and activities of soil enzymes
Water flow and solute transport in the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum: Upscaling from rhizosphere to root zone
Automatic Reconstruction of Soil-grown Root Systems from MRI Images and the Impact of Root Systems on Soil Water Dynamics