Boden-Pflanze Systeme

Our Concept

The interaction of the soil matrix, the living soil organisms and the plants is dynamic and controlled by limiting nutrients (especially nitrogen and phosphorus), physical soil properties and - chemistry as well as microclimate.

In ecosystems vulnerable to climate change, such as those in i) re-cultivated land and catchments after closure of open-cast mining, ii) forests re-generating after wildfire, and iii) pioneering biological soil crusts on gravel grounds, constant changes critically affect nutrient availability. Especially soil organic matter (SOM) is crucial for supporting life and growth in establishing ecosystems, as it holds the nutrients in organic form microbiological key players and plant roots, e.g., as carbon (C) sink and the potential phosphorus (P) reserves. SOM accumulation furthermore supports adaptation to climate change. Agroforestry systems indeed support these goals, and positively influence microclimate, soil and biodiversity. By studying natural pioneer ecosystems under extreme exposure, we broadly approach constructing new living soils. Furthermore, drought manipulation experiments with rain and dew removal and winter warming, are being designed.

Novel approaches to understanding C, nitrogen (N) and P ecosystem dynamics and limitations, while tracing enriched isotopes, is a new goal of the Chair of Soil and Plant Systems.

Our research recognizes the triple planetary crisis: climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution, and aims for the global goals (SDGs) for sustainable development.