Several microcosm experiments were conducted to understand the factors influencing root growth, microbial activity, and nutrient utilization in the subsoil, as well as interactions among these factors:

  • subsoil-derived arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and their influence on iron uptake by spring barley
  • biopores generated by earthworms, and their pore lining
  • water content or penetration resistance of the soil
  • crop genotypes (tested so far for spring barley, winter wheat and oats)
  • contact between root (hair) and soil within the biopores
  • influence of nutrient availability on isotope fractionation
  • composition of the compost incorporated into the subsoil
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