Project properties

Title Soil biota and carbon stocks in a 64 years old grassland fertilization experiment
Group Soil Biology
Project type thesis
Credits 24-39
Supervisor(s) Dr. Ron de Goede/prof. Dr Gerlinde de Deyn
Examiner(s) prof.dr. Rachel Creamer
Contact info ron.degoede@wur.nl
Begin date 2022/09/01
End date
Description Introduction:
Near Wageningen, at one of the experimental fields of WUR is a unique long-term field experiment (LTE) that studies the effect of fertilizer application in grassland that had never before received inorganic fertilizer. The experiment was established in 1958 in a species-rich, old pasture at the Ossekampen farm. Fertilizer treatments are Control, P, K, PK, NPK, and lime (Ca), and in addition also N only. This year (2022) the LTE will be sampled extensively by a large group of scientists on above-ground and below-ground biodiversity and ecosystem services. The SBL group will be responsible for a determination of a selection of these measurements.

Aim:
Study the long-term effects of fertilizer application on soil biota and soil quality indicators.

Type of work:
The SBL group will be involved in the investigation of the nematode, enchytraeid, and earthworm community. Also, we will determine the AMF (arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi) colonization of plant roots. Finally, we aim to measure specific carbon stocks (e.g. MAOM and POM fractionation) and soil (micro)structure (water stable aggregates). We are looking for MSc students who are interested in the subject and would like to contribute to the determination of a selection of the above presented soil parameters.
Used skills Used skills Field sampling (October 2022), analysing soil biota, structure or C-stocks (make a choice), statistical analyses, reporting (including: contribution to prepare a scientific publication). (soil biota will be sampled in October 2022, soil physical parameters can be sampled also during summertime).
Requirements Standard requirements for starting a MSc thesis project at SBL.