Plant biodiversity has important effects on the functioning of ecosystems. These effects have been attributed to the partitioning and facilitation of resources among different plant species. In our research we seek to resolve the ecophysiological and biogeochemical principles of resource partitioning and facilitation among plants in biodiverse agro-ecosystems.

One of our current foci in this research area is to investigate the impact of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on the partitioning and facilitation of nitrogen and water among agricultural plants in intercropping systems of the dry tropics. The goal is here to establish intercropping systems that are ecologically more resistant to climate change and thus lead to more stable and consist yields for small holder farmers in these areas.

Recent key publications:

Saharan K, Schütz L, Kahmen A, Wiemken A, Boller T, Mathimaran N (2018) Finger millet growth and nutrient uptake is improved in intercropping with pigeon pea through “biofertilization” and “bioirrigation” mediated by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and plant growth promoting rhizobacteria. Frontiers in Environmental Science - Agroecology and Land Use Systems 6, 46.

Schütz L, Gattinger A, Meier M, Müller A, Boller T, Mäder P and Mathimaran N (2018) Improving Crop Yield and Nutrient Use Efficiency via Biofertilization—A Global Meta-analysis. Frontiers in Plant Sciences 8. Article 2204.

The BIOFI story