Universität Bonn

INRES Pflanzenbau

PhenoRob CP 3: The Soil-Root-Zone

Soil Dynamics and impacts of potential interventions


The accurate quantification of soil-root zone processes for application within yield and efficiency analysis is important to increase crop sustainability while conserving global resources. We address the task of measuring soil-root zones of crops in the field and in controlled environment rhizotron systems with minimally or non-invasive sensors and robotics. Sensor data will be ground-truthed at sub-millimeter to meter scales, and aligned with above ground sensor and yield component data and analyses in collaboration with CP1 and CP2 (see http://www.phenorob.de/research/). The overall aim is to develop technologies and scientific concepts for crop yield predictions and optimize resource inputs on farms in real time.
To predict spatial variability of crop biomass and yield in 1D/3D manner, we assimilate observations of below and above-ground processes into a processed-based model, validated by field data.

Persons in charge

Prof. Dr. Frank Ewert, Dr. Thomas Gaiser, Prof. Dr. Andrea Schnepf, Dr. Sabine Seidel

PhD students: Gina Lopez


2020 - 2025



Cooperating partners

  • Cluster of Excellence “PhenoRob – Robotics and Phenotyping for Sustainable Crop Production” of the University of Bonn together with Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany, see http://www.phenorob.de/ 
  • Spokespersons: Prof. Dr. Cyrill Stachniss, Photogrammetry and and Prof. Dr. Heiner Kuhlmann, Geodesy, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn


Gina Lopez, Sofia Hadir, Miriam Athmann, Gabriel Schaaf, Frank Ewert, Daniel Pfarr, Sophia Despina Mouratidis and Sabine Seidel: Effect of nutrient limitations on shoot and root growth, root morphology and root topology on sugar beet and winter wheat under field conditions. The International Conference on Digital Technologies for Sustainable Crop Production (DIGICROP), November 1-10, 2020, Bonn, Germany.

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