NSCPHD1245 Plant Nutrients in Terrestrial Ecosystems - acquisition and turnover

Volume 2015/2016

The course:

  • Gives an introduction to issues, concepts and methodologies used for studying plant nutrition and soil fertility
  • Focuses on processes that determine nutrient acquisition and utilization by plants and the turnover and bio-availability of plant nutrients in soils and fertilizers
  • Introduces the Ph.D. students to cutting-edge techniques for plant and soil testing
  • Is interdisciplinary in its nature drawing on expertise from a range of different fields
  • Is international and embraces high-profile teachers from DK and abroad

The following topics will be covered in the 2016 edition of the course (minor changes may occur):

  • Nutrient requirements of plants and uptake mechanisms for plant nutrients
  • Diffusion and availability of plant nutrients in soils - pools, processes and inputs
  • Turnover of organically bound plant nutrients in soil - pools, processes and inputs
  • Rhizoshere processes
  • Biofortification of plants
  • Methods for analysis and bio-imaging of plant nutrients  
  • Laboratory exercises focusing on analysis of plant-available phosphorus and micronutrients in soil by use of diffusive gradients in thin-films (DGT) and state-of-the-art techniques in atomic spectrometry (ICP)


Learning Outcome


Upon completing the course the student will have achieved state-of-the-art knowledge on:

  • Concepts and theories underlying nutrient use efficiency and sustainable use of plant nutrients
  • Concepts and methodologies used for studying plant nutrition and soil fertility
  • Processes that determine acquisition and utilization of plant nutrients and their turnover and bio-availability in soils and fertilizers
  • The course is recommended for PhD students that want to work on issues related to plant nutrition and nutrient turnover in terrestrial ecosystems.

Recent review papers and advanced text book materials

The course includes literature review before the course week and seminars given by specialist researchers as well as practical and theoretical exercises.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 20
  • Practical exercises
  • 10
  • Preparation
  • 70
  • Theory exercises
  • 10
  • Total
  • 110
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Exam registration requirements

In order to pass the course, all participants must be actively engaged during on-campus seminars and exercises.
Following the on-campus part of the course, the students must write an individual 2-page report.
The report must be inspired by their PhD project, and it must include an analysis (initiated on-campus) of an identified problem and suggested solutions incorporating knowledge gained in the course.
The report must be submitted no later than 2 weeks after the completion of the on-campus part of the course and will be evaluated by the course teachers (marking scale passed/not passed).