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Process understanding and usage of residues for a sustainable plant biomass production

Charlotte Dietrich

The quantity of organic residues generated during agricultural energy production is enormous. (Re-)using them as soil amendments and biostimulants offers the unique chance of preserving natural resources.

As part of the German-Brazilian collaboration project "PURESBio", I analyze plant-soil interactions following the application and targeted modification of residues from the Brazilian bioethanol and the German biogas industries. My focus lies on the systematic study of residue application on soil fertility and plant growth in agricultural soils in order to ultimately substitute high cost NPK fertilizers with a more sustainable alternative.

 Sugarcane root architecture following nutrient application in the form of filtercake, an organic by-product of the bioethanol production in Brazil. Differences in relative rooting frequencies are shown for unamended control and fertilized plants subjected to homogeneous fertilization, layer or depot fertilization. The picture was created using the root-phenotyping platform GROWSCREEN-Rhizo at the IBG-2.