Subproject 1 – Microbial C transformation
The results obtained during the first phase of this project suggest that the cultivation of maize in rice fields leads to a loss of C, N and water. Desiccation cracks, which appear in particular during the maize growing period, are probably a major cause for these losses. A method to prevent crack formation and the loss of C and N is seen in the application of rice straw mulching and the cultivation of mungbean as cover crop. The effectiveness of these treatments and the impact on C, N and water fluxes will be studied in detail during the second phase of this research unit. Within subproject SP1 the impact of the aforementioned altered cropping strategies on the soil carbon cycle, or more specifically on microbial conversion processes of organic material in soil, will be studied. We will focus on the effects rice straw application has on these conversion processes, in particular in the rhizosphere, which represents a “hot spot” of microbial activity. Moreover, alterations introduced in the soil microbial community by desiccation cracks will be studied.
Prof. Dr. Claudia Knief
Dr. Katharina Frindte
Institut für Nutzpflanzenwissenschaften und Ressourcenschutz,
Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn,
Nussallee 13, 53115 Bonn, Germany