Choosing different crops, building soil organic matter and planting more trees could allow farmers to reduce the risk of nearby rivers from bursting their banks miles downstream, according to an innovative new research project.
Researchers in a collaborative project led by the University of Reading will work with farmers, advisors, communities and local authorities across the West Thames area to learn how different land management methods impact on flood risk.
The LANDWISE (LAND management in loWland catchments for Integrated flood riSk rEduction) proposal is one of three projects funded under the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)’s £4m Understanding the Effectiveness of Natural Flood Management (NFM) programme, and will receive £1.25m.
A non-renewable resource, phosphorus (P) is essential for crop and food production. However, due to inefficient use and limited global reserves, inorganic P fertilisers will become less economically viable and there are concerns about future supplies and the environmental consequences of mismanagement. Without action, this situation could undermine agricultural productivity and sustainability.
Soil scientists at the James Hutton Institute are working to create the first unified digital map of soil properties within Great Britain, a development which will contribute to worldwide Global Soil Map projects and improve the data available to researchers and stakeholders in Britain and beyond to be used for many different projects.
Scientists at the John Innes Centre have identified a unique mechanism that the soil dwelling bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens uses to effectively exploit nutrients in the root environment.
The breakthrough offers multiple new applications, for the study of human pathogens, for synthetic biology, and for the productions of biosensors which help detect biological changes in plants and their environment.
Every five years, Rothamsted Research develops a revised science strategy, in order to deliver the knowledge and innovation required to address grand challenges faced by farmers and society for food production and environmental sustainability. Rothamsted Research is a Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) strategically supported institute and investment by the BBSRC in Rothamsted’s science strategy, follows a robust, independent and international peer review process.