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Biofumigation for sustainable and intensive tree production


2012 - 12/2017

The aim of the BÖLM-project, financed by the BMEL is to establish biofumigation as a sustainable and practical plant protection procedure and as an alternative solution to chemical treatments. Thus, degradation processes of glucosinolates and their corresponding, biologically effective breakdown products under various soil conditions are investigated. Additionally, vegetative growth parameters of indicator plants are determined in container experiments.

Cooperation Partners

Leibniz Universität Hannover
Julius Kühn-Institut
Landwirtschaftskammer Schleswig-Holstein

Intensive replanting of woody species can reduce plant growth especially in members of the Rosaceae, a phenomenon known as replant disease. The latter leads to economic losses, especially in nurseries producing rootstocks or grafted plants of apple or rose. The complex phenomenon of replant disease is still poorly understood and often chemical soil disinfection with Basamid® Granulat is commonly applied against replant problems. However, Basamid® will no longer be applicable in future due to outbound registration. Thus, the BÖLM project, financed by the BMEL aims to investigate a biological soil disinfection strategy – the so called biofumigation, in order to find an alternative for Basamid®. The biological soil disinfection uses green plant biomass from glucosinolate-rich Brassicales plants which are cut, mixed with the soil surface and covered. From the plant material isothiocyanates are released, that are similar to the effective metabolite of Basamid®, thus developing pesticidal effects in the soil. Within the subproject “The effect of biofumigation on microbial communities in the soil” the IGZ studies in cooperation with the JKI in Braunschweig and the Leibniz University in Hanover the mechanisms of biofumigation. Field trials at different nurseries as well as model experiments are conducted. For example, glucosinolate contents of plants but also the formations of their hydrolysis products within the soils are investigated in order evaluate this biological soil disinfection strategy.

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