Exploring the functioning of soil-plant interactions: data and models
Convenors: Frédéric Gérard (INRA), K Ulrich Mayer (UBC), Chiara Pistocchi (SupAgro), Federica Tamburini (ETH)
Proposed keynote speaker: Sascha Oswald (Univ Potsdam)
Soil-plant interactions are at the centre of many economical and environmental issues related to climate change, erosion, weathering, water resources, crop productivity and biofuel production. Soil-plant interactions are not restricted to the root zone, but also affect the top soil by litter fall and decomposition. Soil-plant interactions involve a complex interplay between hydrological, geochemical, physical and biological processes, including the cycling of carbon, nutrients, metals, and gas exchange with the atmosphere. This session aims at gathering contributions that explore the functioning of soil-plant interactions through laboratory experiments, field studies and numerical modelling with a particular focus on the role of biogeochemical processes, possibly, but not necessarily, coupled with mass transport. Contributions across all scales ranging from the pore scale, rhizosphere, single root, plant scale to the landscape scale are welcome. We will consider contributions on experimental methods, measurement and imaging techniques, as well as modelling approaches. Specific topics include, but are not limited to biotic and abiotic controls on nutrient uptake, soil carbon storage, genotype-phenotype mapping under environmental stress, plant manipulation of soil microbiome, salinity impacts, and the role of plant-soil interactions on mineral weathering and carbon availability. This session is meant to promote exchange between disciplines in this highly interdisciplinary field.