The importance of soils for the environment and for humans is often underestimated. Soils are an integral component of nutrient and water cycles and ultimately constitute our basis of life. In our project, we have comparatively analyzed the two energy crops corn and cup plant, an agricultural newcomer, with regard to water retention, nitrate filtration capacity, influence on humus formation and potential for reintegration of depleted soils. After numerous laboratory and field trials the cultivation of the cup plant can be recommended especially in the context of climate change and in areas where erosion is prominent and water protection is needed.
We have developed an experimental setup that can automatically and autonomously investigate the phototaxis of unicellular green algae. The fields to be tested are phototaxis in terms of wavelength and intensity of the triggering light. Other parameters to be considered are contrast, time of day, cell concentration and the speed of the source of light.
With our apparatus we investigate the phototaxis of the microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.