Begin: 01.10.2022
This project is supported by Landwirtschaftskammer Niedersachsen.


Prof. Dr. Andreas Winter
M.Sc. Florian Schmalriede
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Oliver Theel
M.Sc. Marvin Banse
Prof. Dr. Dirk Albach
M.Sc. Regine Albers
Dipl. Bio. Elke Haase
B.Sc. Johannes Hartkens (student)

Biologists at Oldenburg University's Botanical Garden are researching ways of cultivating potted plants while conserving resources. Among other things, they cover soil of potted plants with microclover to protect water in the soil from evaporation. Water consumption during the cultivation of potted plants is thus reduced. In order to confirm or disprove the positive water saving effect of microclover soil cover, it is necessary to evaluate effects of this type of soil cover. As it turns out, the evaluation is a great challenge that the Botanical Garden's Biologists, the Software Engineering Department and the Systems Software and Distributed Systems Department are facing with an adaption of the environmental information system Guerilla Sensing.

In order to evaluate effects of soil cover with microclover on water consumption, an experiment is conducted in which soil moisture is measured in 48 plant pots at the top and bottom over a period of one year in a realistic environment. The 48 plant pots are divided into two groups of 24 plant pots with different plant species (lilac and rhododendron). Furthermore, 6 of the 24 plant pots per plant species are provided with different soil coverings: no soil cover, wood mulch, microclover type 1 and microclover type 2. Across variations in plant species and soil covers, the effects of microclover as a soil cover are investigated in comparison to conventional soil covers. The plant pots without soil cover form a reference group. A period of one year is chosen so that effects of different seasons can be taken into account. By considering two positions at the top and bottom of plant pots, the effects of position are taken into account. In the upper part, solar radiation is more likely to cause evaporation. During the runtime, the plants are cared by the local nursery Piccoplant GmbH. This guarantees that findings can be transferred to realistic environments. However, it requires that soil moisture must be measured under a wide range of weather conditions. Taken together, the workload is too great to carry out the measurements manually. Accordingly, a system for automating soil moisture measurements is being implemented and operated.

During the project, the required system for autmatized measurement of soil moisture based on Guerrilla Sensing will be developed and operated over the course of a year. With 96 soil moisture sensors, soil moisture is measured at the top and bottom of each plant pot. Measurements are automatically performed by weatherproof G-Boxes (sensor nodes) on a hourly basis and transferred to a central G-Platform of Guerilla Sensing. The measurements can be inspected at any time via the Guerilla Sensing website and exported for further processing. Through the Mikroklee campaign established in Guerilla Sensing, additional information about the project can be found alongside collected measurements.

Using this system, biologists can easily capture required data to evaluate effects on evapotranspiration of soil cover with microclover.


Open Topics

Ongoing Theses


[inproceedings]   BibTeX    Paper Paper
Hartkens, Johannes; Schmalriede, Florian; Albach, Dirk; Albers, Regine; Banse, Marvin; Theel, Oliver; Winter, Andreas:
Detecting effects on soil moisture with Guerilla Sensing,
In: Wohlgemuth, Volker; Kranzlmüller, Dieter; Höb, Maximilian (eds):
Advances and New Trends in Environmental Informatics 2023, Progress in IS, Switzerland AG 2024, Springer Cham, January 2024.

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