Research group soil fertility and nutrient management



The research is directed along two major lines. A first research line is the dynamics of nutrients, mainly nitrogen and phosphorus, in soil and in the environment. This research is concerned with crop nutrition and optimization of fertilization, with focus on nitrogen, and on all environmental aspects related to (agricultural) nutrient use, including nitrate leaching, gaseous and erosional losses of nitrogen, phosphate saturation, phosphate losses etc.
A second research line is the study of organic carbon and organic matter dynamics in soils, mainly in agricultural ecosystems. This research was originally aimed at increasing agricultural productivity and soil quality. With the growing attention for global change and the potential role of carbon sequestration in soils, this research is now also directed towards the fundamental study of stabilization mechanisms of carbon in soil.
During the last years, research on soil biological activity and soil biological quality has received an important position in our group, with applications in both nutrient and organic matter research. Particular attention is also being paid to nutrient and organic matter dynamics in alternative agricultural systems such as organic farming and reduced tillage agriculture.
These research lines are further developed both in temperate regions and in tropical areas, with an equal share of PhD students from European and developing countries.


Our research team is collaborator in the research platform natural capital of the Faculty Bio-Science Engineering.