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The University of Southampton

Research project: Multiscale image based computational modelling of plant-soil interaction

Currently Active: 

October 2015 – October 2018

Models describing plant-soil interaction have existed for a long time. However, until recently these models have only been numerically solved on idealised geometries due to lack of data describing roots in soil and computational power. Advancements in imaging, particularly micro Computed Tomography (µCT) and Synchotron Radiation X-ray Tomographic Microscopy has allowed accurate geometries to be collected down to the root hair scale (sub-micron resolution). Models can be solved on these geometries quantifying water and nutrient movement in soils and uptake by roots. These pore scale models can be combined with multiscale methods, such as homogenization, to describe uptake on the root or even field scale. Such methods merge regions in the model e.g. soil particle and pore space averaging the behaviour over these domains.

Using the methods described above we plan to study nutrients with low mobility such as phosphorus, and their interaction with soil in the presence of roots.

This is part of the ERC consolidation grant “Data Intensive Modelling of Rhizosphere Processes“


Associated research themes

Bioengineering and Human factors

Water and environment


Related research groups

Bioengineering Science
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