Soil Fertility and Soil Protection

To gain a better understanding of the interactions between soil processes and other environmental compartments, we investigate the relationship between the chemical and physical soil environment – especially its structural characteristics – and soil organisms (population structure and activity of microorganisms). We are particularly interested in the regeneration potential of soil properties. The findings from these tasks are used together with site- and soil-specific knowledge for the assessment and development of agricultural management techniques for sustainable land use. For practical purposes of soil protection, we test methods for the long-term observation of soil properties, develop soil indicators, and assess the risks of chemical and physical soil pollution. By analysing soil profiles, mapping soils in the landscape and developing interpretation tools, we provide information and tools for land-use and regional-planning purposes.

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Research Group

Effect of Agricultural Management on Soil Structure and Functions

Soil structure, i.e. the spatial arrangement of soil constituents, influences important soil functions such as the transport and storage of water, gases, nutrients and pollutants.

Model for Gauging the Effects of Agricultural Management on Soil Quality within the Framework of Life-Cycle Assessments

We focus on sustainability in this comparison of various farming systems and optimisation of individual-farm management.

Soil amendments

Carbon-based soil amendments like biochar are a double-edged sword. On the one hand, biochar serves as a soil improver and can bind pollutants; on the other, it is not free of pollutants itself. Our work aims to take into account both aspects.