P6 Controls for the Fate of Agrochemicals in Soils

Principal Investigators

Dr. Christian Poll University of Hohenheim, Soil Biology
Prof. Dr. Ellen Kandeler University of Hohenheim, Soil Biology
Prof. Dr. Peter Grathwohl University of Tübingen, Hydrogeochemistry
Dr. Holger Pagel University of Hohenheim, Biogeophysics
Prof. Dr. Thilo Streck

University of Hohenheim, Biogeophysics


Michael Lesch

University of Tübingen, Hölderlinstr. 12, 72074 Tübingen

+49 (7071) 29 77452; michael.leschspam prevention@uni-tuebingen.de



Research Questions

Soils are reactive landscape elements that link the land surface to subsoil environments. Agricultural soils are particularly important because, in industrialized countries, they are subject to large inputs of agrochemicals the fate of which is determined by a complex interplay of transformation and mass transfer processes. Nitrogen inputs to soils have been considerably reduced (in Germany), but, in many regions, not to levels complying with the needs of local water suppliers. There is growing evidence that agricultural soils continuously accumulate pesticides (and formed metabolites) posing the risk that they turn from sinks to secondary sources of pesticides. Unfortunately, we are still lacking the mechanistic understanding of interacting biogeochemical processes governing the persistence of organic pollutants in soil. To tackle this challenge, the central research questions of project P6 are:


We will investigate soils from and at representative sites in the Ammer catchment and combine field investigations with laboratory studies and biogeochemical modeling. This includes:

Incorporation of key microbial traits controlling pesticide turnover in soils into a mechanistic small-scale biogeochemical model followed by scenario simulations to assess how small-scale dynamics affect persistence and release of pesticides in soil and development of up-scaled expressions for implementation in vertical soil-crop models (Expert-N) in project P7