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Water02 - SOWAT


Securing agricultural productivity by improving the soil water holding capacity

Agricultural crop productivity is closely linked to organic matter in soils, as organic matter increases the soil water holding capacity through its influence on soil structure and aggregation. To minimize the impact and costs of drought, soil needs to capture the rainwater that falls on it, store as much of that water as possible for future plant use, and allow for plant roots to penetrate and proliferate. Creating drought-resistant soil thus means to manage soil organic matter in order to enhance soil structural development. To study the effects of different organic matter additions to soil, a detailed analysis of the chemical composition and structure is necessary. The analytical challenge is in the complexity of the soil materials (different minerals provided by weathering associated with all organic materials of plant or microbial origin entering soils) and the fine spatial scales of these arrangements at the submicron scale and their relation to the soil water holding properties.
Our interdisciplinary project team will investigate the fate and structural association of specific organic soil amendments, by a new combination of long-term field experimental approaches, state-of-the-art soil analyses (solid-state 13C NMR spectroscopy) and high-end analytical (Raman microspectroscopy, stable isotope Raman microscopy and surfaceenhanced Raman scattering) approaches. With this strategy we will analyze the effect of organic matter amendments on the formation of soil structure and aggregation, and thus on the ability of soils to capture plant available water over periods of drought.

IGSSE setup of interdisciplinary research in project teams

Apply now: 12th call for proposals

IGSSE supports up to 10 new project teams

Call closes 2 July 2017


Apply now: IGSSE travel grant for ICCE 2017

28-29 September 2017, TU Darmstadt

Submission deadline for abstracts: 18 June 2017


IGSSE Forum 2017

29-31 May 2017, TUM Science and Study Center Raitenhaslach, Burghausen


Climate-KIC: Join the PhD Catapult

Two-week thematic summer schools across Europe


IAS Symposium: Selected topics in science and technology

8-10 May 2017, IAS Building, Garching Campus


IAS Coffee Talk with PTL Florian Praetorius

3 May 2017, 1 pm, TUM IAS Building, Garching Campus


10th IGSSE Forum

1 - 4 June 2016, TUM Science and Study Center, Burghausen


10th IGSSE Forum

Smart cooperation - science and technology in, with and for society


The Science of Cooking

Doctoral Candidates explore the Secrets of a great Dinner



Having heard of a great Canadian Kick-Off Meeting, everyone at IGSSE was thrilled to welcome the...


Breakfast at IGSSE´s

Meet the IGSSE team every other month! All the things IGSSE members wanted to asked but never dared...


Save the Date: Canadian ATUMS Speaker on "Global Science- Global Career"

26. November 2015, 6-8 pm, IAS Faculty Club, Garching Campus

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Friday, 09. June 2017
Workshop: Standing up for science
9 June 2017, 9am-4pm, Brussels
Apply now: McKinsey 'Forschergeist' symposium
9-11 June 2017, Berlin For doctoral researchers and postdocs!