Dr. Andreas Fliessbach
Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL)
Ackerstrasse 113
5070 Frick
Tel. +41 62 865 7225
Fax +41 62 865 7273
Personal webpage


Prof. Dr. rer. nat. habil.  Michael Schloter
Director of the Research Unit for Environmental Genomics
Helmholtz Zentrum München (HMGU, German Research Center for Environmental Health)
Ingolstädter Landstrasse 1
85764 Neuherberg
Tel. +49 89 3187-2304
Fax +49 89 3187-2800
Personal webpage

WP 4: Soil microbiota in soil strata to support crop growth

Accumulation of organic matter in the topsoil layers compared to inversion tillage and/or the use of organic fertilisers as stated in TILMAN-ORG favours microbial biomass, activities and changes community structure and function. We will investigate in FertilCrop how these changes influence important functional traits of the soil microflora related to nutrient turnover and plant health taking sites with differing climatic conditions and forms of reduced tillage management into account. In addition, we will investigate how deeper soil layers are affected with respect to soil organic matter fractions, microbial biomass and activities, decomposition of crop residues and the composition and diversity of microbial species. Simultaneously, we will link results to data obtained in WP3 and WP5.

The objectives of work package 4 are

  • To analyse the stratification of soil organic carbon, microbial biomass and microbial activities.
  • To follow the decomposition of plant residues in selected field trial treatments.
  • To identify abiotic and biotic drivers for the metagenome of soil microbes and how changes in the structure of the soil microbiome affect activity patterns at the transcriptome level.


  • Work package coordinator: Dr. Andreas Fliessbach, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Switzerland
  • Co-coordinator: Prof. Dr. Michael Schloter, Helmholtz Zentrum München, Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt (HMGU), Germany


  • Task 4.1: Effect of organic CA on C and N pools and fluxes along the soil profile.
  • Task 4.2: Effects of soil and organic matter stratification on microbial communities.

To top