link to homepage

Institut für Bio- und Geowissenschaften

Navigation and service

Portrait von Ana Alejandra Robles Aguilar

Ana Alejandra Robles Aguilar

Food and water security are dependent on the sustainable use of phosphorus (P). However, there is no single solution for achieving a phosphorus-secure future. P recovered and recycled from current waste streams is an important approach to developing environmentally sustainable and biologically efficient fertilizers.

To understand which aspects modify the availability of recovered P fertilizers, the effect of relevant plant species, soil pH, and method and duration of application need to be studied. Plant species have different morphological and physiological root adaptations to increase the efficiency of P acquisition. Under this premise, I put a particular focus on investigating root traits that would have an effect on phosphorus bioavailability (root exudates of organic acids) and spatial availability (root architecture). I analyzed the response of different plant species with contrasting strategies to mobilize nutrients (i.e. maize, lupine, and tomato) to various P applications. The use of new phenotyping techniques allowed visualizing the fertilizer effect at different time points and plant growth stages.

The elucidation of plant-rhizosphere-soil interactions is not a trivial task, and it is necessary for understanding and improving fertilizer efficiency increasing therefore plant use efficiency and yields. Thus, the environmental impact of nutrient overuse will also be reduced.


Forschungszentrum Jülich, IBG-2
52428 Jülich


Phone: +49 2461 61-5106