Since May 2016 I am employed at the Chair of Crop Science, University of Bonn, Germany in the BonaRes project entitled “Soil^3 – Sustainable Subsoil Management”.
This project aims to explore how and to which degree we can manage the subsoil to secure or even increase plant yields by improving the overall nutrient and water use efficiency for crops. We presume that nutrient and water uptake from the subsoil can be elevated at given or even increased crop yields when there are attractive options for the plants to invest into subsoil roots, like low physical resistance for the root channels, hot spots of higher microbially facilitated nutrient supply in the subsoil as well as plant available subsoil water under conditions of seasonal drought stress in the surface soil.
The Crop Science Group develops a numerical model to describe the impacts of different subsoil management options (deep tillage, subsoil amendments, rotations with deep rooting crops) on food and biomass production at the field scale. Moreover, the data of several long-term fertilization experiments with field crops conducted in Germany (including Dikopshof, Berlin-Thyrow, Berlin-Dahlem and Gießen) will be used to setup the crop growth simulation model SIMPLACE to better understand soil water and nutrient dynamics and plant water and nutrient uptake. A short project description of the Chair of Crop Science cane be found here.