Sustainable Soils and Grassland Systems
The Sustainable Soils and Grassland Systems Department aims to understand, model and manipulate the abiotic and biotic processes in arable and grazed grassland soils to improve the function, resilience and sustainability of farming systems.
Areas of scientific expertise
The Department has internationally-acknowledged expertise in the biology, chemistry and physics of soils and soil processes in arable and grazed grassland systems. It has particular expertise in nutrient and pollutant cycling, especially of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulphur and micronutrients, the recycling of organic manures, greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, soil-root interactions, and soil and crop modelling. The Department delivers to Rothamsted's strategic objectives in the areas of sustainable soil and grassland management.
The Department links most closely to the Delivering Sustainable Systems research programme, delivering research on sustainable soil and grassland management. It also delivers research into soil-root interactions to '20:20 Wheat®', on carbon cycling, sequestration and modelling to 'Cropping Carbon', and on micronutrient quality of cereal grains to 'Designing Seeds'.
Arsenic in rice
Optimising application of fertilisers in China
Technology to improve water usage efficiency
See more team members in each Research Group below
China Agricultural University
James Hutton Institute
Nanjing Agricultural University, China
UK Biochar Research Centre at Edinburgh University
Professor Steve McGrath awarded this prestigious international post to support sustainable agriculture and environmental management systems
Scientists from Rothamsted Research at North Wyke use their research"farm platform" in Devon to accurately measure unprecedented levels of rainfall, its impact on farming and to test novel ways to overcome water losses.
Scientists from Rothamsted Research help develop improved soil management techniques and policy reforms that could reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions by 60% by 2030 in China.
An international team of scientists, have published a meta-analysis revealing alarming increasing nitrogen deposition in China between 1980 and 2010, in a Letter to the journal Nature.
In four simple steps this model is used for deciding how much lime to add to raise a soil's pH under UK conditions. Soil pH refers to measurement made in water with a soil:water ratio of 1:2.5 (weight:volume). See Methods for Analysis of Agricultural Materials (1986).
The Farm Platform provides a Research Hotel for agri-environmental research, attracting researchers from different communities and disciplines to promote new ideas or tackle old problems in new ways. The Farm Platform is globally unique in that it can provide the research community access to a range of in situ state-of-the-art instrumentation in hydrologically isolated fields and farmlets to better address key issues in sustainable agriculture related to, for example:
North Wyke is integrated with Rothamsted Research and brings together BBSRC research on grassland and arable systems
Evaluation of the productivity of perennial energy crops in land use systems, environmental impact of energy crops using a wide range of modelling techniques (including Monte Carlo and scenario simulation)...
Research focusses on evaluating the sustainability of modern agricultural practices and the tradeoffs with the provision of environmental goods and services. An ecosystem services approach has been adopted for use with mathematical models that quantify, value and compare the provision and resilience of provision of goods and environmental services in both space and time and in the face of stresses such as climate change and growth in demand.
Research includes: Optimisation of micronutrient status in food crops, risk assessment of metals and metalloids in soils, bio-indicators of pollution, focussing on heavy metals and manufactured nanoparticles, biogeochemistry of phosphorus, sulphur and trace elements in soils, microbes and plants.
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