All three field trials will be continued. External Researchers are invited to use these to obtain sample material for their own research questions.

Please contact Prof. Ulrich Köpke ( 

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General project description

Crop sequence and the nutrient acquisition from the subsoil DFG research consortium 2010-2017 FOR 1320 / PAK 888

General project description
The research consortium was established to investigate the subsoil relevance for future sustainable land use. The main focus is on
  • nutrient mobilization from the solid phase of the subsoil
  • nutrient turnover and translocation processes between topsoil and subsoil
  • interaction of specific root systems in rhizo- and drilosphere.
Special attention is paid to biopores, which provide favorable physical and chemical conditions for root growth and thus are considered as potential hot spots for the nutrient acquisition from the subsoil.
An overall aim in the research consortium is to establish and develop non-invasive imaging methods for improved characterization of root systems and water dynamics further. Creation of biopore systems, soil structure dynamics, microbial activities, water dynamics and nutrient allocation and/or transformation processes in the agricultural subsoil are described and quantified. In long-term field experiments, the biopore system in the subsoil is modified by growing three precrops with different root systems (lucerne Medicago sativa L., chicory Cichorium intybus L., tall fescue Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) and different cropping duration (1, 2 and 3 years). Afterwards, utilization of the created different biopore systems by main crops with homorhizous and allorhizous root systems is studied. Here, research questions center on biopore genesis, root distribution, morphology and activity, on biochemical strategies of the crop to acquire nutrients, as well as on transition of P and K from the solid phase to the soil solution. Water is a major part of the research unit, not only as a mediator for solute transport but also as a growth factor.  
External Researchers are invited to use these trials in order to obtain sample material for their own research questions. Please contact Prof. Dr. Ulrich Köpke (