Project number: 031A559
Contact: Prof. Dr. Barbara Reinhold-Hurek, University of Bremen
Project team: University of Bremen, University of Applied Sciences Weihenstephan-Triesdorf (HSWT), Leibniz-Institute for Plant Genetics & Crop Plant Research (IPK), Leibniz University Hannover, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Deutsche Saatveredelung AG (DSV)
Duration: 01/04/2015 - 31/03/2021
The results will be the basis for development of system-optimized commercial catch crop mixtures. Agronomic cropping systems shall be optimized with regard to sustainability, particularly with respect to parameters of soil functions. Concepts and contents of consulting services shall be adapted and transformed with regards to resource-optimized soil management systems. Integrated are also analyses of cost effectiveness and acceptance of the guidelines for agronomic practices that will be developed by us.
project results from phase 1
Soil biogeochemical cycles in cropping systems can be optimized by catch crop mixtures. The benefit of diverse catch crops derived from different shoot levels, larger rooting volume and a more even root distribution in different soil depth, but also from multiple interactions of a more diverse soil microbiome. The soil microbial communities are probably affected by cultivating catch crops over time and the microbial nitrogen cycle appears to be boosted after application of diverse catch crops. Nutrient release from catch crop residues depend on litter quality and can be manipulated by plant species combinations. First results indicate, that the nutrient release can be synchronized to the nutrient demand of the following main crop.
expected results phase 2
One of the major tasks is the search for groups of soil microorganisms that can be manipulated by selecting certain species combinations in catch crop mixtures. Root exudates will be investigated for their potential to affect the root growth of the main crops. After two catch crop rotations we expect to measure changes in the soil organic matter content, soil structure and crop yield architecture. In a common labelling experiment the nitrogen transfer to the main crops will be quantified. With this information in hand, it will be possible to search for proper species combinations that fulfil the nutrient demands of crops at different growing stages.