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Lysimeter & Ecotron Workshop 2024

Review of our workshop

From March 19 to 21, 2024, we hosted a scientific workshop with presentations by international researchers. We would like to thank you for the numerous registrations, the interesting exchange and the exciting sessions. Below you can find an overview of the workshop and our partner day.

On the importance of lysimeter research

All over the world, ecosystems are confronted with numerous global environmental changes. This affects everything: Agriculture, urban planning, groundwater. Lysimeters and Ecotrons accurately measure these changes and help to better understand soils, waters and plants.

You can use our lysimeter technology for studies on the water balance of ecosystems, the evapotranspiration of the site or the water requirements of irrigated plants. You can also use our mini-laboratories to simulate different types of land use and how certain ecosystems react to different climatic conditions.

Lysimeter Ecotrons

Scientific lectures

Construction, operation and data of selected measurement periods of the ReKKS lysimeter station in Kazakhstan

Dr. Holger Rupp (Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung, Germany)
 

"The main subject of the presentation was the construction and installation of a PE-HD lysimeter station in container construction with weighingable soil monoliths in the Kazakh steppe. Under the continental climate conditions of Kazakhstan with cold and snowy winters, measurements of evapotranspiration with weighable lysimeters are a particular challenge due to the formation of snow and ice bridges that restrict the free movement of the lysimeter vessels. A technical solution developed by UGT to avoid snow and ice bridges was discussed on the basis of available measurement data and conclusions were drawn for the operation of lysimeters and similar boundary conditions."

A brief history and future of the large weighing lysimeters at the University of California Davis

Prof. Dr. Isaya Kisekka (UC Davis, USA)
 

"UC Davis has a long history in Lysimetry research since 1958, with large precision lysimeters aiding evapotranspiration studies. Now, with the original lysimeters aging, UC Davis plans a modern facility to explore contemporary research areas like remote sensing validation, groundwater recharge, and vadose zone studies."

Monitoring soil physical properties and processes with the thermo-TDR technology

Dr. Tusheng Ren (China Agricultural University, China)
 

"The thermo-TDR technology, which measures soil temperature, water content, thermal properties, and electrical conductivity directly, provides the opportunity for monitoring in situ soil porosity, surface heat flux, evaporation, and soil water retention characteristics continuously."

Influence of different tillage methods on soil evaporation

Dr. Steffi Knoblauch (Thüringer Landesamt für Landwirtschaft und Ländlichen Raum, Germany)
 

"The Buttelstedt weighable field lysimeter was used to investigate the influence of straw cover and different depths of tillage after harvesting winter wheat and spring barley on soil evaporation. Straw, which was spread widely on the soil reduced evaporation the most. Compared to a shallow stubble tillage of a soil covered with straw, it was 0.5 mm lower per day. On the other hand, evaporation was 0.5 mm per day lower with shallow tillage than with deep tillage, whereby both variants had a straw cover before tillage."

Using Ecotrons to separate the effects of above and belowground drought

Dr. Vinicius Munaldi Lube / Chen Yuheng (NPEC Utrecht, Netherlands)
 

"Global climate change, especially drought, weakens grassland ecosystem functions. To Separate the effects of air and soil drought on grassland plants, we utilized the NPEC Ecotron facility to disentangle the effects of aboveground and belowground drought on the aboveground and belowground functional traits of grassland plants grown as mono- or polycultures. The results will advance our understanding of biodiversity and drought impacts on grassland ecosystems."

From Lab to Field: Exploring Plant-Microbe Interactions in  the Rhizosphere with EcoPOD Technology

Dr. Kateryna Zhalnina (Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, USA)


"To unravel the intricate connections among plants, their chemical composition, microbiome dynamics, and soil parameters, we employed centimeter-scale high-throughput lab ecosystems, EcoFABs, and meter-scale EcoPODs, which enable the cultivation of plants under conditions that closely mimic those found in natural fields. Leveraging EcoPOD technology with synthetic microbial communities and the annual grass Brachypodium, we investigated the mechanisms governing microbial colonization of plant roots and the plant-exuded aromatic acids involved in plant-microbe interactions."

Lysimeter setups to study the water balance of green roofs

Prof. Dr. Kristian Förster (HSWT Freising, Germany)

Impact of water quality change after long term wastewater irrigation in Mexico: first results of a lysimeter experiment

Prof. Dr. Christina Siebe (UNAM, Mexico)
 

"Christina Siebe explained the lysimeter experiment currently going on at the National Autónomous University of Mexico (UNAM). Here the impact of the change in water quality on soils and crops irrigated with untreated wastewater for more than 90 years and now irrigated with treated wastewater from a recently   inaugurated waste water treatment plant is studied. The expermient allows to monitor the water balance as well as nutrient and pollutant balances and green house gas emissions in three lysimeters irrigated with treated waste water and in 3 lysimeters irrigated with untreated wastewater."

Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function: How much diversity and how much system do we need to understand function?

Dr. Jes Hines (iDiv, Germany)


"The iDiv Ecotron will be introduced by describing, the mission, technical capabilities, and 4 case study experiments.

iDiv Ecotron is a mesocosm facility that provides infrastructure for experimental manipulation of biotic communities (aboveground and belowground) and abiotic environment (e.g. precipitation, nutrients) in terrestrial ecosystems."

Information on the transport and mobilization behavior of PFAS precursor compounds in leachate

Ann-Sophie Heldele (Bayerisches Landesamt für Umwelt, Germany)


"PFAS are a widely used chemical class with PBT-properties. Nevertheless, there is only were little information on occurrence, mobilization, degradation behaviour and transport behaviour of PFAS precursors in soil. This lysimeter study was conducted to get a more detailed insight, into the degradation and transport behaviour of certain PFAS precursors in a prominent case of damage."

In-situ high-resolution measurements of stable water isotopes along the snow - soil - tree pathway

Dr. Zuosinan Chen (University of Oulu, Finland)
 

"With the changing seasonality of precipitation (snow-rain) in high latitude regions, in-depth understanding of sublimation dynamics, snowpack development, snowmelt process, root water absorption, and tree water use is needed more than ever. By using the in-situ Water Isotope Probe system, water movement along the snow-soil-tree pathway can be tracked with high temporal resolution."

Forest Floor Grid-Lysimeter

Heinke Paulsen (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Germany)


"We presented the Forest Floor Grid Lysimeter, developed by the Chair of Hydrology University Freiburg. We built a weighing Mini-lysimeter to measure water fluxes from and into the organic litter layer of forests, which makes it possible to quantify differences in throughfall and infiltration patterns as well as define the storage capacities of litter."

Impact of phosphorus fertilizer application on Cadmium dynamic and transformation in the soil-plant continuum of tomato crop grown in alkaline soils

Rachida Naciri / Dr. Mohamed Chtouki (Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, Marocco)


"Cadmium (Cd) is one of the most toxic elements in soil, affecting morphological, physiological, and biochemical processes in plants. The objective of this research project is to develop and evaluate new strategies based on the use of modified organo-mineral fertilizers and amendments to remediate cadmium toxicity in plants."

Effective sap flow measurements for forest environmental monitoring

Stephan Rimmele (Bayerische Landesanstalt für Wald und Forstwirtschaft (LWF), Germany)


"The project „Forest-Water-Transpiration“ is taking a look into changing water-dynamics of forests in times of climate change. Especially changes in soil-water-availability and the effect on tree-transpiration is investigated by employing state of the art sap-flow-meters and soil-moisture-sensors. At the end of the project there will be recomendations created for the sustainable application of those sensors for the forest environmental monitoring in Germany."

Construction and operation of a digital lab system using an automatic weighing lysimeter

Dr. Seungoh Hur (Rural Development Administration, South Korea)

The hidden half of plant water relations: root-soil interactions impacting plant response to drought

Prof. Dr. Mutez Ahmed (TU München, Germany)

New insights on the dynamics of plant water and carbon fluxes from on-line isotope measurements in enclosed model ecosystems

Kathrin Kühnhammer (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Germany)


"Novel on-line measurement techniques provide opportunities to overcome previous limitations to capture plant water and carbon stable isotopic composition in high temporal resolution and thus enable the observation of the dynamics of plant carbon and water fluxes. Various 2H- and 13C-labeling experiments across different scales confirmed that tree water and carbon fluxes are highly dynamic, depending on environmental conditions, e.g., availability of water, and that differences exist not only between species but also between plant individuals. This proves the necessity of temporally highly resolved isotope measurements that the Institute for Ecosystem Physiology will continue in the new Ecotrone facility that will be established shortly."

Our supporting program

In addition to the scientific presentations, we also went out onto the lawn in front of the building and extracted a monolith live using our patented technology. The product rally in our office, where we demonstrated many of our solutions - including some laboratory equipment - was also very popular. We rounded off the evening with a Bavarian dinner in the Bräustüberl Weihenstephan.

Distributor Day March 18

The day before our workshop, we had our sales partners from more than eight countries visiting us. In addition to a lot of theory about our technologies, our experts demonstrated the application of the products live on site. Thank you for the intensive exchange!

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