TP7: Sustainable soil productivity

Effects of agroforestry systems on microclimate and water availability as determinants for sustainable soil productivity

Summary

Recent studies have shown that tree strips in temperate short rotation alley cropping systems can improve the microclimate in adjacent crop alleys through, for instance, a reduction of temperature extremes, wind speed and evaporation. It has also been shown that improved microclimatic conditions can influence evapotranspiration and increase the availability of water for the crop. Since water availability is one of the most important limiting factors for crop yields and as such highly relevant for site productivity an improved microclimate may thus also exert a positive effect on crop yields. However, there is still a lack of knowledge with respect to the interaction between microclimatic changes and crop yields and whether they correlate with each other. Against this background, the objective of TP 7 in the second phase is to quantify small-scale yield variations, small-scale water availability and small-scale microclimatic conditions as affected by the presence of trees and to assess and analyse the correlations and interactions between them.

For this purpose, measurements of parameters such as solar radiation, wind velocity, air temperature, air humidity, evapotranspiration and soil water content will be carried out with high spatial and temporal resolution for different crop species. Our main concern is to identify the magnitude of variance in crop yield, which is caused by changes in microclimate. To do so, yield measurements of different crop species will be carried out in the same vegetation period accompanied by detailed microclimate measurements. In order to highlight the extent of small-scale yield differences caused by above-ground processes and to assess these impacts in the context of ecosystem services provided by short rotation agroforestry, collected data are linked to additional studies of below-ground processes (e.g. soil properties and tree-crop-interactions), which will be realised in cooperation with other TPs.

 

Contact

apl. Prof. Dr. agr. habil. Dirk Freese

Brandenburgische Technische Universität, Fachgebiet Bodenschutz und Rekultivierung
Konrad-Wachsmann-Allee 6, 03046 Cottbus, Germany

Phone: +49 (0)355/ 69 4238
Fax.: +49 (0)355/ 69 2323
Email: freese@tu-cottbus.de

Marie Majaura

Brandenburgische Technische Universität, Fachgebiet Bodenschutz und Rekultivierung
Konrad-Wachsmann-Allee 6, 03046 Cottbus, Germany

Phone: +49 (0) 355/ 69 3689
Fax.: +49 (0)355/ 69 2323

Email: majaura@b-tu.de