Plant and Soil Ecology

Soil Health

Along with sunlight and water, soils provide much of the basis of life around us. Soils enable plant growth, store water, retain nutrients and are populated by microbes that decompose and recycle material. Some of the projects we are involved with include:

  • Determining how bovine waste may influence nitrogen cycling of pasture and non pasture soils
  • Examining the influence of different types of organic matter additions on nutrient turnover and carbon respiration in soils

Plant Health

Healthy plants are vital to the functioning of both natural and agricultural systems. Some of the projects we are involved with includes:

  • Uncovering impacts of rock phosphate on sweet potato cultivars and their associated root bacteria. Part of this work has shown that phosphate fertiliser alters root exudation of carboxylates and bacterial communities in sweet potato rhizosheaths. You can read about it here
  • Understanding the structure and functioning of riparian zones
  • Improving phosphorus uptake in wheat