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INPLAMINT - Increasing agricultural nutrient-use efficiency by optimizing plant-soil-microorganism interactions

Dr. Rüdiger Reichel und Prof. Dr. Nicolas Brüggemann (coordinator)
Institut für Bio- und Geowissenschaften – Agrosphäre (IBG-3)
Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH

Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH

Subproject A (FZJ) addresses the following scientific questions:

• What is the potential of organic substrate amendments for immobilizing excess N after harvest and for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in crop rotations?
• What is the relationship between fertilization, C:N:P nutrient stoichiometry, and greenhouse gas emissions?
• What are the physicochemical drivers of greenhouse gas emissions at the soil-root interface?

An experiment on C:N:P stoichiometry effects with 32 lysimeters was established to explore the C:N:P stoichiometry effects on nitrate leaching and nitrous oxide emissions under field conditions (Fig. 1).

Figure 1. LysimeterexperimentFigure 1. Lysimeterexperiment
Copyright: Limbach(G-SG), Dr. Reichel, and Li (IBG-3)

Custom-made rhizotrons with re-sealable sampling ports (Fig. 2) were invented to explore effects of high-organic carbon amendments like wheat straw upon C:N:P stoichiometry, nitrate concentrations, and nitrous oxide emissions in different soil compartments (bulk and rhizosphere), depths, and during different plant growth stages.

Figure 2. Picture of the custom-made rhizotronsFigure 2. Composite picture of the custom-made rhizotrons (left) with re-sealable sampling openings (right) for studying plant-soil-microbial interactions.
Copyright: Dr. Reichel

We conducted several studies along a post-mining soil chronosequence with kind support of RWE Power AG (Germany) and local farmers to explore the development of the C stocks, nutrient status, and greenhouse gas emissions as a function of recultivation age from year zero up to 50 years after soil restoration. Soil is continuously being restored to support later agricultural recultivation (Fig. 3).

Figure 3. Post-mining restoration and recultivationFigure 3. Lignite post-mining recultivation chronosequence (left) and deposition of new substrate for soil restoration and recultivation (right).
Copyright: Dr. Reichel