Projects

List of current projects

  • Kwantificering van de gevolgen van bodemverdichting en verslemping op de hydraulische eigenschappen van een bodem. > Read more
  • Visual evaluation of soils with contrasting texture and under different soil management, Embu, Kenya. > Read more
  • Integrated natural resource management for dryland areas - a case of Laikipia East county of Kenya. > Read more

  • Soil-improving cropping systems for sustainable rice production in the Vietnamese Mekong delta (SUSRICE). > Read more
  • Prevention of soil compaction by agricultural operations in Chuquisaca, Bolivia. > Read more
  • Effects of soil compaction by agricultural machinery on crop growth and environment. > Read more
  • Optimisation de l’humidité pour la maîtrise du tassement des sols agricoles en Tunisie. > Read more
  • Effect of soil wetting and drying cycles on root penetration and crop production in dry regions of Morocco. > Read more
  • Impact of soil compaction on water transport in soils. > Read more
  • Assessment of water erosion via Compound Specific Stable Isotope (CSSI) and Fallout Radionuclides (FRNs) techniques in the Middle Mountain Region of Nepal. > Read more
  • Data assimilation of in situ soil moisture measurements in hydrological models. > Read more
  • Multi-scale distributed modeling of hydrological processes in a typical mountain watershed in Southwest China. > Read more
  • Establisng a center of technical knowledge for crop production modeling in Thailand. > Read more
  • Hydrological impact of floodwater spreading techniques in Darab Plain, Iran. > Read more
  • Novel pedotransfer function for predicting physical and hydraulic properties of Tanzanian soils. > Read more
  • HYDROPED: Bridging pedology and hydrology through pedotransfer functions for sustainable soil-water management in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. > Read more
  • Isotopes for better environment: Integrated isotopic and 3D modeling approaches for sustainable management of watersheds affected by soil erosion. > Read more
  • Effect of land use and soil management on soil quality in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. > Read more
  • Assessment of soil quality under conservation agriculture in dryland zones of Malawi. > Read more
  • Building resilience to drought in Laikipia East District, Kenya: the Conservation Agriculture perspective. > Read more

Project-info

Kwantificering van de gevolgen van bodemverdichting en bodemverslemping op de hydraulische eigenschappen van een bodem

Timeframe: February 2018 - February 2020
Promoter(s) : Wim Cornelis
Funding: Vlaamse overheid
Summary: De doelstelling van het onderzoek is na te gaan wat de gevolgen zijn van bodemverdichting en bodemverslemping op de hydraulische eigenschappen van verschillende bodemtypes, om het watertransport doorheen een verdichte bodem beter te kunnen voorspellen en ruimtelijk te kunnen verklaren en zo de invloed van bodemverdichting op enerzijds overstromingen en erosie en anderzijds watertekorten bij planten beter te kunnen begroten, ook in scenario’s met klimaatverandering.

Visual evaluation of soils with contrasting texture and under different soil management, Embu, Kenya

Timeframe: 1 January 2018 – 3 December 2018
Promoter(s) : Wim Cornelis; Pascal Boeckx
Funding: BOF UGent

Integrated natural resource management for dryland areas - a case of Laikipia East county of Kenya

Timeframe: 1 October 2016 – 30 September 2020
Promoter(s) : Wim Cornelis; Pascal Boeckx, Bernard Vanlauwe
Funding: BOF UGent
Summary: Conservation agriculture (CA) based on no tillage, use of herbicides, mulch and leucaena as an agroforestry practice and integrated soil fertility management (ISFM) based on drought tolerant varieties and moderate use of NPK fertilizer could be considered as complementary and alternative approaches to the current continuous tillage and nutrient mining farming practices in semi-arid Kenya. Earlier research has concentrated on investigating the effects of either CA or ISFM on soil quality and crop yields. In this project, three paradigms for implementing CA and ISFM to reduce yield gaps under conditions of drought stress are tested on field trials: implementing CA followed by ISFM, ISFM followed by CA, or CA and ISFM simultaneously. Specific attention is given to soil health, water balance, crop growth and economic profitability.

Soil-improving cropping systems for sustainable rice production in the Vietnamese Mekong delta (SUSRICE)

Timeframe: 1 April 2016 – 31 March 2020
Promoter(s) : Wim Cornelis; Ann Verdoodt, Steven Sleutel, Vo Quang Minh, Le Van Khoa
Funding: VLIR –UOS TEAM (Belgian Development Cooperation)
Summary: Albeit the increased use of mineral fertilizer and improved cultivars, rice productivity is gradually declining in the Vietnamese Mekong delta. The project aims at increasing crop production by introducing soil-improving cropping systems, while reducing inputs like water and fertilizer, and greenhouse gas emissions. Cropping systems in which rice is rotated with upland crops like maize, soybean and sesame within one year instead of rice monocultures with three rice crops per year, and soil is amended with organic waste materials like compost and rice-husk based biochar will be evaluated on farm. Specific attention is given to soil health, water balance, crop growth, economic profitability and greenhouse gas emissions. Meanwhile, the capacity of Can Tho University staff regarding teaching and research will be enhanced.

Prevention of soil compaction by agricultural operations in Chuquisaca, Bolivia

Timeframe: 1 March 2016 – 28 February 2020
Promoter(s): Adam Bezuijen, Gemmina De Emidio, Wim Cornelis, Juan Carlos Rojas Vidovic
Funding: VLIR–UOS TEAM (Belgian Development Cooperation)
Summary: This project will develop a decision support tool that allows to evaluate the risk of soil compaction due to agricultural operations with heavy machinery. The tool compares mechanical strength of the soil with stresses propagated in soil and exerted by wheels from machinery driving on the soil. It will be used to raise awareness to soil
compaction. Meanwhile, the capacity of SFXU staff regarding teaching and research on soil compaction in an
agricultural context will be enhanced.

Effects of soil compaction by agricultural machinery on crop growth and environment

Timeframe: 1 October 2015 – 30 September 2019
Promoter(s): Wim Cornelis, Greet Ruyschaert
Funding: Chinese Scholarship Council
Summary: Soil compaction is a major threat to soils worldwide. Field experiments are conducted to understand the interaction between soil compaction, soil-water dynamics, root development and nutrient leaching. Results will be very useful in selecting strategies to prevent and remediate soil compaction. This is crucial from a sustainable intensification perspective, i.e., to intensify agriculture, while minimizing environmental hazards.

Optimisation de l’humidité pour la maîtrise du tassement des sols agricoles en Tunisie

Timeframe: 1 October 2015 – 30 September 2019
Promoter(s): Wim Cornelis, Khaoula Abrougui
Funding: Institut Supérieur Agronomique de Chott-Mariem

Effect of soil wetting and drying cycles on root penetration and crop production in dry regions of Morocco

Timeframe: 1 October 2015 – 30 September 2019
Promoter(s) UGent: Wim Cornelis, Ann Verdoodt, Rachid Moussadek
Funding: Islamic Development Bank

Impact of soil compaction on water transport in soils

Timeframe: Feb 2014 – Feb 2015
Promoter(s): Wim Cornelis, Piet Seuntjens, Frank van der Bolt (WUR)
Funding: Flemish Community
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Assessment of water erosion via Compound Specific Stable Isotope (CSSI) and Fallout Radionuclides (FRNs) techniques in the Middle Mountain Region of Nepal

Timeframe: 1 Oct 2012 – 30 Sep 2016
Promoter(s): Pascal Boeckx, Wim Cornelis
Main researcher: Hari Ram Upadhayay
Funding: VLIR-UOS
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Data assimilation of in situ soil moisture measurements in hydrological models

Timeframe: 1 Oct 2011 – 30 Sep 2015
Promoter(s): Piet Seuntjens, Wim Cornelis
Main researcher: Meisam Rezaei
Funding: Ministry of Science, Research and Technology (Iran)
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Multi-scale distributed modeling of hydrological processes in a typical mountain watershed in Southwest China

Timeframe: 1 Nov 2011 - 31 Dec 2015
Promoter(s): Wim Cornelis, Xiangyu Tang
Funding: CAS (Chinese Academy of Sciences)
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Establishing a Center of Technical Knowledge for Crop Production Modeling in Thailand

Timeframe: 2011 - 2016
Promoter(s): Wim Cornelis, Ann Verdoodt, Eric Van Ranst, Geert Baert, Somjate Pratummint
Funding: DOA (Department of Agriculture of Thailand), ARDA (Agricultural Research Development Agency)
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Hydrological impact of floodwater spreading techniques in Darab Plain, Iran

Timeframe: 1 Oct 2010 – 30 Sep 2014
Promoter(s): Wim Cornelis, Donald Gabriels
Main researcher: Mojtaba Pakparvar
Funding: Ministry of Science, Research and Technology (Iran)
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Novel pedotransfer function for predicting physical and hydraulic properties of Tanzanian soils

Water relations are among the most important physical phenomena that affect the use of soils for agricultural, ecological, environmental, and engineering purposes. To formulate soil-water relationships, soil physical and hydraulic properties are required as essential inputs. Such data are, however, often not available. This project aims at establishing a new physical and hydraulic properties dataset for soils in Tanzania. Novel data mining techniques that allow to predict those properties from basic soil properties using pedotransfer functions (PTFs) will be developed. Scenario studies will demonstrate how PTFs can improve land management planning.
Timeframe: 1 Feb 2009- 31 Jan 2013 - extended
Promoter(s): Wim Cornelis, Eric Van Ranst
Main researcher: Thadeo Mpulila
Funding: BTC (Belgian Technical Cooperation)
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HYDROPED: Bridging pedology and hydrology through pedotransfer functions for sustainable soil-water management in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam

The emerging interdisciplinary research domain of hydropedology, which bridges pedology and hydrology, is gaining substantial attention. The project aims at understanding how pedological attributes affect soil water retention and soil water flow in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam, through the development of innovative ‘hydraulic’ pedotransfer functions. Distinct pedogenetic (structure, morphology, horizonation, …), landscape or vegetation features typically observed in the Mekong Delta, as well as novel data mining and pattern recognition tools will be considered in the PTF construction. The PTFs will be used for running models for applications ranging from field-scale water flow studies to global climate change.
Timeframe: 1 Mar 2012 - 28 Feb 2016
Promoter(s): Wim Cornelis
Main researcher: Nguyen Minh Phuong
Funding: Ministry of Education and Training, Vietnam
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Isotopes for better environment: Integrated isotopic and 3D modeling approaches for sustainable management of watersheds affected by soil erosion

Timeframe: 1 Oct 2011 - 30 Sep 15
Promoter(s): Wim Cornelis, Koen Verbist, Pascal Boeckx
Main researcher: Bahsar Al-Barri
Funding: BOF-UGent
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Effect of land use and soil management on soil quality in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Some areas of the Mekong Delta have been exploited and used intensively by many farmer generations. Land management practices applied include manual soil preparation, machinary ploughing, acid sulphate soil leaching, fertilized or unfertilized cultivation in order to obtain high yields and production. These practices, combined with natural soil processes, finally bring soils to complete degradation. This in turn leads to unsustainable agricultural development over the area. Nowadays, the paddy fields are alternatively changed and intercropped with cash crops or industrial crops. The aim of this project is to evaluate the impact of land use and soil management practices on soil quality in the Mekong Delta, and to present recommendations for sustainable land management in the future.
Timeframe: 1 Mar 2012 - 28 Feb 2016
Promoter(s): Wim Cornelis
Main researcher: Tran Ba Linh
Funding: Ministry of Education and Training, Vietnam
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Assessment of soil quality under conservation agriculture in dryland zones of Malawi

In Southern Africa, especially in semi-arid areas, conservation agriculture (CA) has been introduced since a few years and is highly promoted. Although it may be self-evident to many that CA will improve soil quality and hence increase the resilience of the soils against drought and thus increase yields, this assumption generally goes without rigorous evaluation or detailed testing. Agronomic properties, soil characteristics and economic benefits have not been widely studied among smallholder rainfed farmers. Moreover, the Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility Institute of the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture have recently raised very critical concerns about adoption of CA in smallholder farming systems in Africa. This project aim at critically assess CA for maize production in Central Malawi and Southern Malawi, two districts located in low rainfall zones and prone to drought. Suggestions for improvement of the current CA practices will be made.
Timeframe: 1 Oct 2010 - 30 Sep 2016
Promoter(s): Wim Cornelis
Main researcher: Medrina Linda Kamwendo Mloza-Banda
Funding: VLIR-UOS
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Building resilience to drought in Laikipia East District, Kenya: the Conservation Agriculture perspective

The farmers’ concept of drought is an indirect result of land degradation. Crop production suffers because water (and hence nutrients) is not available due to an imbalanced soil hydrology. This project aims at investigating how conservation agriculture can improve the rootzone water balance (by ameliorating soil quality) and hence crop production on farmers’ fields in Kenya.
Timeframe: 1 Oct 2011 - 30 Sep 2016
Promoter(s): Wim Cornelis
Main researcher: Geofrey Waweru Nyambura
Funding: VLIR
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