IMPRS course 'Soil, soil biology and soil hydrology'

  • Beginn: 16.10.2023
  • Ende: 26.10.2023

1.  General information

Date: Oct 18-26, 2023
Teachers: Marion Schrumpf, Markus Lange, Shane Stoner, Gerd Gleixner, Anke Hildebrandt and Zander Human
Location: MPI-BGC and FSU Jena, Institute for Ecology (Dornburger Str. 159)
Category: Core courses related to BGC cycles
1.0 CP for the whole course

The rationale of this module is to provide PhD researchers with a general idea of soil formation, life within the soil, the links to biogeochemical cycles, as well as transport processes.

Key integrating aspects (propositions, to be continued):

  • Everything is connected (i.e. the water, C, N, P and mineral cycles interact nowhere as closely as in the soil)
  • Time scales of the different interacting cycles (time of soil formation, vs. time of complete degradation of this years litter vs. time of complete exchange of water within the soil volume?)
  • Soil structure connects with biogeochemistry as well as water flow

>> Soil, soil biology and soil hydrology 2021

If you are an doctoral researcher with limited background knowledge in soil, this is the right course for you.

Suggested reading

Brady & Weil (2001). The Nature and Properties of Soils. Prentice Hall

2.  Preliminary agenda

L = lecture, D = demonstration, P = practical, E = excursion

Wednesday, October 18

Intro to soil science and the mineral phase of the soil with Marion Schrumpf

09:00 - 10:30 Important aspects of soil science (L)
- Soil function and formation
- Intro to soil phases (water/air, mineral, organic)

11:00 - 12:00 Soil description and sampling (close to the MPI, E/D)

- Description of soil profile
- Measurement of simple soil properties in the field

13:00 - 14:00 Soil description and sampling (close to the MPI, E/D)
- Description of soil profile
- Measurement of simple soil properties in the field

14:30 - 16:00 Soil classification (L)
- Key concepts and systems
- Soil transfer functions
- Soil properties and ecological site characteristics

Thursday, October 19

09:00 - 10:00 Soil degradation (L) with Marion Schrumpf

- compaction, loss of organic carbon, acidification, increased erosion, i.e. results of intensive land use

10:30 - 11:30 Overview of soil fauna (L) with Markus Lange
- Biodiversity of soil organisms
- soil food webs
- Role of functional organism groups for biogeochemical processes (including their role for soil structure)

Monday, October 23

Soil biology (II) with Zander Human at Dornburger Str. 159, lecture hall on the 4th floor

09:00 - 12:00 Introduction into Soil Microbiology (L)
- Diversity and function of soil microorganisms
- Actors/drivers in element cycles
- Methods of soil biology (classical field & laboratory incubations)
- Omics-based soil microbiology methods

12:00 - 12:45 Lunch break

12:45 - 17:00 Practical Part in the Laboratory
- DNA extraction from soil
- Introduction to PCR and amplicon sequencing
- Gel analysis of PCR products

Wednesday, October 25

C-N cycles in the soil (connection to the organic soil phase)

09:00 - 11:00 Modeling soil organic matter dynamics in R (L, P) with Shane Stoner

- please bring a laptop with a current version of R and RStudio installed. You will need the packages SoilR and FME

11:30 - 13:00 Response of soil processes to change of moisture and temperature (climate change)

14:30 - 16:00 Soil C and N stocks and turnover (L) with Gerd Gleixner
- Carbon stabilization mechanisms
- C and N processes and interactions
- Methods for determination of substrates and C/N processes and isotopic markers

Thursday, October 26

Pore & water phase, transport processes with Anke Hildebrandt

09:00 - 10:20 the below ground hydraulic system (L)
- subsurface water compartments
- water potentials
- exchange between surface, soil and groundwater

10:40 - 12:00 water flow in unsaturated soil (L)
- soil water retention
- unsaturated water flow in soil

13:00 - 14:00 plant water relations (L)
- the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum
- root water uptake: limits and spatial extent

3.  Registration

>> Register here by September 30, 2023.

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