Abteilung Bodenhydrologie

The division of Soil hydrology is committed to understand the water relations between soils and plants. Our team is driven by curiosity and by the awareness that soil and water are limited resources that must be managed with sustainable and efficient practices.

Our studies focus on the biophysical aspects of soil-plant interactions. In particular, we study the properties of the soil near the roots, the so called rhizosphere. The rhizosphere is where plants and soil meet and interact, and it plays a crucial role in water, nutrients and carbon fluxes across the soil-plant system. An optimal rhizosphere efficiently connects roots to the soil and facilitates the acquisition of water and nutrients, especially when these resources are scarce.
Our objectives are:

1) To better understand root-soil interactions and the role of the rhizosphere.

2) To develop new experimental methods to measure the hydraulic properties of soils, roots and their rhizosphere.

3) To develop new models of water flow in soil and plants, from the continuous to the pore scale.

4) To transfer this knowledge to agricultural practices. We expect that a proper rhzisophere management could bring to drought tolerant plants and to a more efficient use of the soil resources.