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Microhydrological Niches in Soils : How Mucilage and EPS Alter the Biophysical Properties of the Rhizosphere and Other Biological Hotspots

Title data

Benard, Pascal ; Zarebanadkouki, Mohsen ; Brax, Mathilde ; Kaltenbach, Robin ; Jerjen, Iwan ; Marone, Federica ; Couradeau, Estelle ; Felde, J. M. N. L. ; Kaestner, Anders ; Carminati, Andrea:
Microhydrological Niches in Soils : How Mucilage and EPS Alter the Biophysical Properties of the Rhizosphere and Other Biological Hotspots.
In: Vadose Zone Journal. Vol. 18 (June 2019) Issue 1 . - 10 S..
ISSN 1539-1663
DOI: https://doi.org/10.2136/vzj2018.12.0211

Official URL: Volltext

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Abstract in another language

Plant roots and bacteria are capable of buffering erratic fluctuations of water content in their local soil environment by releasing a diverse, highly polymeric blend of substances (e.g. extracellular polymeric substances [EPS] and mucilage). Although this concept is well accepted, the physical mechanisms by which EPS and mucilage interact with the soil matrix and determine the soil water dynamics remain unclear. High-resolution X-ray computed tomography revealed that upon drying in porous media, mucilage (from maize [Zea mays L.] roots) and EPS (from intact biocrusts) form filaments and two-dimensional interconnected structures spanning across multiple pores. Unlike water, these mucilage and EPS structures connecting soil particles did not break up upon drying, which is explained by the high viscosity and low surface tension of EPS and mucilage. Measurements of water retention and evaporation with soils mixed with seed mucilage show how these one- and two-dimensional pore-scale structures affect macroscopic hydraulic properties (i.e., they enhance water retention, preserve the continuity of the liquid phase in drying soils, and decrease vapor diffusivity and local drying rates). In conclusion, we propose that the release of viscous polymeric substances and the consequent creation of a network bridging the soil pore space represent a universal strategy of plants and bacteria to engineer their own soil microhydrological niches where stable conditions for life are preserved.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER152487
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Soil Physics
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Soil Physics > Chair Soil Physics - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Andrea Carminati
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Faculties
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2020 06:45
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2020 10:54
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/53784