Re­search pro­ject

Small scaled and dy­namic ana­lysis of mi­cro­struc­tural rhizo- and drilo­sphere prop­er­ties: poros­ity, physi­co­chem­istry and their role for root growth, nu­tri­ent stor­age and trans­port/sup­port


Following the results of the DFG project FOR1320, the focus of this investigation is the question: How big is the influence of the pore wall properties on the transfer of air and water and nutrients between bulk soil and the pore through the rhizodrilosphere. In this project a detailed analysis of the pore wall properties is envisaged in a combined approach (StrucDyn/Kassel, and RhizPhy/Kiel) including both the structure and micromorphology of the biopore network (StrucDyn) and the physicochemical, physical and chemical aspects of the pore wall (RhizPhy). StrucDynwill investigate non-invasively the architecture of single biopores including the morphologies of the pore wall and rhizodrilosphere pore space depending on the pore origin/colonization (worm or root) as well as due to biopore aging. Morphological image analysis and digital image correlation will be utilized to detected pore modifications. Pore wall properties such as actual hydrophobicity (repellency), the transferability of water (sorptivity, microinfiltration) and air (oxygen diffusion, redox potential) as well as micromechanical properties (micropenetration, rheomtry) will be determined by RhizPhy on both intact pore walls and root and worm exudates as well as biological model substances. The obtained data from StrucDyn and RhizPhy will be used to parameterize and further develop a root growth model (RootMod) in order to investigate the effect of microstructural and hydraulic/mechanical properties of the rhizodrilosphere on root development and water and nutrient uptake.

Pro­ject Leader

Prof. Stephan Peth


01.09.2014 - 31.12.2017



Pro­ject part­ners

University of Kiel (RhizPhy)

Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH (RootMod)

Doc­toral Stu­dent

MSc Marlen Wittig