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Optimising plant and soil management

Optimising plant and soil management
Optimising plant and soil management
This thesis is an accumulation of work regarding the role of phosphorus (P) and water in soils in relation to crop growth and food production. We use a multiscale modelling approach to initially capture the interactions of soil and water on a single cylindrical root and further expand to a growing root structure. Moreover, we have a multi-physics problem involving fluid dynamics of water uptake in plants, and reactive solute transport in the soil for plant P uptake. We use detailed climate data and the super computer at the University of Southampton (Iridis 4) to parameterise our models. These facilities allow us to analyse the root structure as well as P and water in the soil in great detail. The collaboration of mathematics, biology and operational research makes it possible to complete this project.

The analytical models recently developed within our group have shown to agree remarkably well with full 3D simulation models. These analytical models help provide the structure for the models used within this thesis and will for the first time enable us to start using optimisation techniques to find the optimal conditions for increasing plant P uptake efficiency.

By using mathematical models to predict plant P and water uptake within the soil, we have addressed a number of questions surrounding the optimal plant root structure for P accumulation, and the survival of crops in a low P environment. In addition, we were able to predict the behaviour of water in the soil over the course of a full year. And finally, utilising all the above, we have outlined the optimal fertiliser and soil management strategy.
Heppell, James
afb39e50-e4da-445f-bff6-0d52b0c40eea
Heppell, James
afb39e50-e4da-445f-bff6-0d52b0c40eea
Roose, Tiina
3581ab5b-71e1-4897-8d88-59f13f3bccfe
Fliege, Joerg
54978787-a271-4f70-8494-3c701c893d98

Heppell, James (2014) Optimising plant and soil management. University of Southampton, School of Mathematics, Doctoral Thesis, 216pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

This thesis is an accumulation of work regarding the role of phosphorus (P) and water in soils in relation to crop growth and food production. We use a multiscale modelling approach to initially capture the interactions of soil and water on a single cylindrical root and further expand to a growing root structure. Moreover, we have a multi-physics problem involving fluid dynamics of water uptake in plants, and reactive solute transport in the soil for plant P uptake. We use detailed climate data and the super computer at the University of Southampton (Iridis 4) to parameterise our models. These facilities allow us to analyse the root structure as well as P and water in the soil in great detail. The collaboration of mathematics, biology and operational research makes it possible to complete this project.

The analytical models recently developed within our group have shown to agree remarkably well with full 3D simulation models. These analytical models help provide the structure for the models used within this thesis and will for the first time enable us to start using optimisation techniques to find the optimal conditions for increasing plant P uptake efficiency.

By using mathematical models to predict plant P and water uptake within the soil, we have addressed a number of questions surrounding the optimal plant root structure for P accumulation, and the survival of crops in a low P environment. In addition, we were able to predict the behaviour of water in the soil over the course of a full year. And finally, utilising all the above, we have outlined the optimal fertiliser and soil management strategy.

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More information

Published date: October 2014
Organisations: University of Southampton, Mathematical Sciences

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 373886
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/373886
PURE UUID: 89bf629e-cb92-49e0-8cf7-e43515a71463
ORCID for Tiina Roose: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8710-1063
ORCID for Joerg Fliege: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4459-5419

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 16 Feb 2015 13:07
Last modified: 06 Oct 2018 00:34

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Contributors

Author: James Heppell
Thesis advisor: Tiina Roose ORCID iD
Thesis advisor: Joerg Fliege ORCID iD

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