Optimizing C inputs through diversification

Diverse crops: increase below ground C investments
by stimulating niche complementarity.

This project accounts for the interactions between climate, soil type, above and belowground plant parts and SOC. To address this objective, we will identify the main tradeoffs between increasing plant diversity and root-derived C storage in soils.

The aim of MixRoot-C seeks to fill this gap in mixed species systems (i.e. grassland, agroforestry, intercropping) in complement to the twin MaxRoot-C project which focused on main “cash” crops and cover crops.

The overarching aim of the MixRoot-C project is to:

Gain a management-oriented understanding of the effect of mixed-species root systems on carbon flow and organic matter accumulation in European agricultural soils. The corresponding operational objective is to analyse root processes in mix-species systems and to quantify in situ root C production and to propose root traits related to soil organic C storage in topsoil and subsoil for most cropping system diversification in European agriculture.