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DFG Research Unit 1320

Crop Sequence and the Acquisition from the Subsoil

TP 9 - WatMed
Water as medium for nutrient distribution:
Monitoring water distribution between subsoil and topsoil considering roles of biopores and plants, by MRT and pressure probes

Magnetic resonance tomography (MRT) on microcosm soil cores (200 mm Ø) used for CeMiX, comprising naturally stacked subsoil down to 700 mm plus topsoil from CeFiT, will be im-plemented at a laterally partially open Split 1.5 T magnet, with intended final in-plane spatial resolution of 200 μm. Three-dimensional biopore distributions and dynamics of their formation within the cores will be determined on-invasively and compared to complementing CT analyses of SP 2.

One major aim is a non-invasive differentiation of the biopores into earthworm- and root system-originating ones and currently air-, water-, root- and earthwormfilled ones, based on NMR relaxation parameters. Attempts will additionally be made to classify different wall coatings of the biopores with regard to their water affinity. Dynamics of water distribution within the microcosm core and its biopore structures, starting from initial values taken from CeFiT (SP 3), will be documented with an in-plane resolution of 5 mm, in parallel to measurements of root growth dynamics for calculation of biomass and root surface area. Special emphasis will be put on the role of the plant root system for a re-distribution of water/D2O (and solutes) between different soil layers.

Finally we will attempt MRT-controlled sample collection from the microcosm cores, to get – together with our research unit partners of SPs 4-8 – repeated access to minimally invasively acquired data on nutrient and microorganism distributions in concert with non-invasively collected water and root distribution data as a basis for dynamic modelling of water and solute circuits in SP 10. Beside the microcosm cores, flat rhizotrons as used in SP 3 will be employed to enable measurements of root and shoot hydrostatic pressure profiles with pressure probes, in addition to MRT measurements. In this way water distributions and corresponding driving forces and growth dynamics will be measured altogether in a minimally invasive manner.

Project duration: 1.4.2010 - 31.3.2013

Additional Information

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft


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DFG Research Unit 1320

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DFG Research Unit 1320


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