The rhizosphere represents a fascinating and complex system, which plays a crucial role in the functioning of the soil ecosystem and the health of plants. This zone is characterized by an intricate web of biological, chemical, and physical interactions between the plant, the soil microorganisms, and the soil itself. One of the key functions of the rhizosphere is to facilitate nutrient uptake by plants, by enhancing the availability and accessibility of nutrients in the soil. Another important role of the rhizosphere is to mitigate plant stress, by providing a range of protective and supportive functions. Understanding the mechanisms underlying nutrient cycling and stress response in the rhizosphere can help us to develop more sustainable and efficient agricultural practices, which can improve soil fertility and plant productivity, while minimizing environmental impact.
Manure is both a waste product with the potential to pollute, and a potential fertiliser. One challenge in dairy production is managing manure in a way that is advantageous for agricultural production, while minimising the potential negative impact on the environment and public health.
Soils containing excessive concentrations of sodium and magnesium can have detrimental effects on plant growth and productivity. These minerals can accumulate in the soil to high levels due to various factors, including irrigation with water containing high salt content, excessive application of fertilizers rich in these minerals, and the deposition of animal excreta from grazing animals, which contain significant amounts of sodium and magnesium.