A course introducing soil science
· Soil-plant interactions : functioning of cultivated soils, determinants of soil fertility, dynamics of soil exploration by root systems, rhizospheric processes
· Biogeochemical cyles and processes : action of soil organisms (plants and animals) on the nutrient cycles, ecological requirements and biogeochemical action of organisms, soil degradation, modifications of biological properties
- Fertiliser science : estimation of crop demand, use of mineral and organic fertilisers, recent technological advances
a. Contribution of this activity to the program learning outcomes
M1.2, M1.4, M2.4, M3.1, M4.3, M6.1
b. Learning outcome specifics for this activity
At the end of this course, the student is able :
· to understand soil-plant interactions at the field scale in order to optimise the management of the cropping system and its impacts on the soil and crop
· to understand the dynamics and complexity of soil-plant interactions, with reference to the functioning of cultivated soils and to the strategies of soil exploration and exploitation by plants
· to interprete plant responses to its environments and to crop management pratices and the impact of the cropping system on the soil
· to consider fertility management in a systems framework respectful of environment, through the adoption of ad hoc crop management practices and the monitoring of the cropping system.
The contribution of this Teaching Unit to the development and command of the skills and learning outcomes of the programme(s) can be accessed at the end of this sheet, in the section entitled “Programmes/courses offering this Teaching Unit”.
Table of content
1. Soil-plant interactions
· Properties, heterogeneity, fonctioning and evolution of cultivated soils
· Determinants of soil fertility.
· Notion of soil profile ; evaluation of humus and nutrients content, available soil nutrients , indicators of fertility (definition, monitoring)
· Soil exploration by roots : growth and development of typical crop root systems ; response of root distribution to transient and permanent soil conditions
· Rhizospheric processes : soil-plant interactions at the rhizosphere scale (uptake, acquisition strategies, exsudation) ; complexity and dynamics of these processes
2. Biogeochemical cycles and processes
· The soil biome
· Mycorhizal symbiosis
o Plant ' mycorhizae relations
o The mycorhized root
o Mycorhizal networks
· Biogeochemical cycles
3. Fertiliser science
· Estimation of crop nutrient requirements : diagnostic and measurement (trials, soil and plant analyses, indicator species, deficiency symptoms, etc.) ; analytical methods
· Use of mineral and organic fertilisers : fertiliser use in crop management ; consideration of soil properties and wheather data (case studies)
· Recent trends in fertiliser use : delayed fertiliser, organic agriculture, intensive agriculture and environment considerations.
Coached preparation and presentation of seminars (by students, partim Soil-Plant Interactions)
Excursion and seminars (partim Fertiliser science)
Presentation of a seminar (partim Soil Plant Interactions)
This course can be given in English.
Powerpoint slides (online Moodle)