Stellenbosch University
Welcome to Stellenbosch University
SU Soil Science researchers attend International Soil Organic Matter Symposium
Author: AG Hardie
Published: 01/12/2015

Two researchers from the Department of Soil Science (SU), Dr Andrei Rozanov and Dr Ailsa Hardie, presented four research papers at the 5th International Soil Organic Matter Symposium held at Georg-August University, Göttingen, Germany. The theme of the symposium was structure, origin and mechanisms of soil organic matter (SOM). Dr Rozanov presented his research on the degradation of biochar under aerobic and anaerobic conditions, as well as, findings on how to determine the physical density of SOM. Dr Hardie presented research on the long-term effect of crop-rotation on soil C and N stocks in the Overberg, as well as, the effect of fertilizers on soil litter decomposition dynamics.

The symposium was attended by over 500 delegates from 50 nations and covered a wide range of topics relating to SOM. This included advanced molecular methods for studying soil organic matter structure and turnover, processes and interactions of organic matter in soils and relevance and functions. The symposium ended with a workshop on SOM fractionation techniques which yielded valuable information and direction for future research. The symposium provided a wealth of information on the latest research developments in this important field of soil science, and provided the opportunity to meet with the leading international SOM researchers.