If you are familiar with the water droplets on the green leaves or flower petals, have you seen or imaged when you put a droplet on the soil surface? Sometimes, the droplets do not immediately infiltrate into the soils, instead of that, they can stay several seconds, minutes even hours. This phenomenon is called ‘soil water repellency’ (SWR). Why is it worth doing research on this topic? The reason is that soil water repellency interrupts the water penetration, impacts the water uptake of plants and becomes a potential factor causing soil erosion. The hydrophobic soil organic matters derived from vegetation or microorganisms cause soil water repellency, we defined such components as ‘SWR-markers’. What are those SWR-markers and where do they come from?
Fieldwork in Dutch sand dunes
Literature: Mao, J., Nierop, K.G.J., Sinninghe Damsté, J.S. & Dekker, S.C. (2014). Roots induce stronger soil water repellency than leaf waxes. Geoderma, 232-234, 328-340, doi: 10.1016/j.geoderma.2014.05.024