Research on soil-plant-atmosphere processes 


Soil moisture dynamics together with the evaporative atmospheric demand are key factors for the study of the soil-plant-atmosphere interaction in relation to the primary production. Our aim is to study biomass transpiration relations of plants under different soil water availabilty. For the study we developed a modified wicked lysimeter system. The volumetric soil content of different treatments was maintained with an automatic drip-irrigation system controlled by FDR-sensors and a GP-1 data logger system. Plant response plants to water availability, and climate, in terms of transpiration, growth rate, area leaf and biomass production, is investigated at whole plant level. Furthermore, the ecophysiological response and growth perforwill be integrated into the soil-plant-atmosphere modeling. For this purpose lysimeter experiments have been carried out for the early successional and nitrogen-fixing tree species black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) and the knotweed Igniscum (Fallopia sachalinesis), which are characterized by a high annual biomass production. The plant performance is evaluated at whole plant level from the experimental water balance together with the biomass allocation analysis and growth rate, evaluated at different time span. At leaf level the links between soil water availability, the plant water status and its growth rate are investigated. The effect of the evaporative atmospheric demand on the leaf gas exchange  is assessed with minicuvette-system. Root morphology and 3D root spatial distribution analysis is accomplish to examine the influence of the drought stress on the root architecture.  

Related publications

  • Mantovani, D., Veste, M., Badorreck, A., Freese, D. (2013): Evaluation of fast growing tree transpiration under different soil moisture regimes using wicked lysimeters. iForest - Journal of Biogeosciences and Forestry 6: 190-200. 
  • Mantovani, D., Freese, D., Veste, M., Hüttl, R.F. (2011): Modified wick lysimeters for critical water use efficiency evaluation and yield crop modelling. In:  LFZ Raumberg-Gumpenstein, (ed.) Conference proceedings  14th Lysimeter Conference „Lysimeters in Climate Change Research and Water Ressources Management", 3.-4. May 2011, Gumpenstein, Austria, 245-248.
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