A new module for root growth in macropores

Magdalena Landl (PhD student at FZ-Juelich, Germany) has added a new module in R-SWMS to simulate root growth, water and nutrient uptake in macropores. Qualitative and quantitative comparisons between simulated and experimentally observed root systems showed good agreement, suggesting that the drawn analogy between soil water flow and root growth is a useful one. You can download it here : See publication


Recent article have shed light on the potential impact of rhizosphere properties on soil water flow. Mucilage may change drastically the properties of the few millimeters around roots but its impact on root water uptake had never had studied before. Nimrod Schwartz, postdoc at UCL, implemented the specific properties and processes in R-SWMS to investigate its impact on plant transpiration and rhizosphere hydraulic status. A recent paper in Water Resources Research summarizes its main findings.

Towards a new, improved R-SWMS model

Natalie Schroeder, a former PhD student at UCl and FZJ, is currently working at the Dept. of Hydromechanics and Modelling of Hydrosystems of the Stuttgard University to implement root functions into the Dumux platform.

Future simulations will rely on more accurate soil water and solute numerical resolutions and additional features like parallel processing and adpative grid are expected to be available. A first version is already available and currently running. Other features are coming soon!


About us

R-SWMS was originally developped in the Agrosphere institute of the Forschungszentrum Juelich GmbH in 2004-2006. It has then been continuously developped through research projects and PhD grants at the Forschungszentrum Juelich (Germany), at the Katolieke Universiteit Leuven(Belgium) and at the Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium).

Jülich Forschungszentrum


Jülich Forschungszentrum conduct research to provide comprehensive solutions to the grand challenges facing society in the three fields of energy and environment, information and brain research.

Earth and Life Institute

The Earth and Life Institute pursues the objectives of understanding the basic processes of the Earth & Life System at different scales and designing sustainable solutions to meet major challenges for our societies.

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