Universität Bonn

INRES Crop Science

Evaluation of lysimeter investigations on the dynamics of nitrogen and phosphorus at Brandis Station

Master Thesis

Research area

Crop science, soil science, crop modelling

Motivation / State of the art / Relevance

In the Brandis lysimeter station with its 24 weighable lysimeters, the water and matter balance variables of typical arable soils are determined under real weather conditions and agricultural management since 1981. Since the beginning of the measurements in 1981, the management of the lysimeters and the surrounding field has been oriented towards the management of the regional farms and has been subject to the changing climatic conditions.
On the basis of the available measurement series (including shoot P, shoot p, biomass at harvest, N and P in leachate, evapotranspiration), the dynamics of the plant nutrients nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) in their relevant binding forms in the soil and the crop uptake can be analyzed.
The objective of the thesis is to evaluate the historical data of two lysimeters with contrasting soils and to model nutrient uptake, yields and water and nutrient dynamics (N, P) in the soil with the modelling platform SIMPLACE.


  • Analysis of soil water and nutrient dynamics and uptake at Brandis
  • Modelling of main processes (soil water and nutrient dynamics, uptake)

Methodology / Procedure / Workscope / external cooperation

This work will include a literature review, an analysis on the lysimeter data, a simulation study with SIMPLACE, and discussion of the results Cooperation with lysimeter station in Brandis, Saxony (near Leipzig) of SMUL

Expected results

Data analysis (text, tables, figures), simulation runs with SIMPLACE


6 Month


English or German

Previous knowledge

Interest in crop simulation models and lysimeter experiments


Dr. Sabine Seidel (crop science), Stefan Werisch



Additional Information

Motivation to train or apply software like Latex/Lyx (for thesis), JabRef (for literature database) and R/Octave (for statistics and figures) is welcome and will be supported.

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