Project properties

Title Soil organic matter and biodiversity in solar farms on agricultural land
Group Soil Biology
Project type thesis
Credits 24-39
Supervisor(s) Dr. R.G.M. de Goede, prof. Dr. ir. G. de Deyn
Examiner(s) prof.dr. Rachel Creamer
Contact info ron.degoede@wur.nl; gerlinde.dedeyn@wur.nl
Begin date 2021/09/01
End date
Description Introduction:
Land-use change from conventional grassland or arable farming to solar farming is expected to have potential effects on the vegetation underneath the solar panels. Reduction in light availability will impact primary production which can have consequences for soil organic matter dynamics as well as for soil life. Other effects of solar panels that will impact soil biota are e.g. changes in soil moisture and temperature. How can solar farms be designed such that soil organic matter stocks and soil biodiversity can be sustained to allow for other land-uses after the eventual termination of the solar farming activities?

Aim:
Determine soil organic matter stocks and soil biodiversity in solar farms with different
types of panel arrangement. Measure early warning indicators for changes in soil carbon dynamics.

Type of work:
Field sampling, laboratory analyses, statistical analysis, reporting
Used skills Measuring SOM, soil carbon fractions, and microbial and micro-faunal populations. Monitoring microclimatic conditions.
Requirements