Lysi-T-FACE - An integrative approach to investigate soil hydrology under climate change conditions

How do global warming and CO2 increase affect soil hydrology?

How do water and nutrient cycles changing and what are the consequences for grassland in the inneralpine regions?

In order to investigate these complex questions it became necessary to develop a new experimental design in which soil processes and the resulting plant response can be examined all year round and under real field conditions. Lysimeters can measure water and nutrient cycles in the soil under real field conditions.  Likewise, the discharges into the groundwater, evaporation and precipitation.  What is new about our experiment design is that the CO2 enrichment and heating enable the simulation of different climate changes scenarios on a grassland plot.  New and unique is that all parameters can be measured and evaluated simultaneously in one system




In the field experiment, a factor combination of the elevated temperature level (C0T2) and the elevated CO2 concentration (C2T0) are represented on the lysimeter hexagon. The soil monoliths were taken near the test area and are thus with the residual test area comparable.  The soil type is a Cambisol (WRB classification), with an A horizon from 0-30 cm, a B horizon to about 100 cm and a C-horizon > 100 cm. The predominant soil texture is mainly loamy sand with a median bulk density of 1.4 g cm-1 and a median saturated hydraulic conductivity of 100 cm d-1.




Further Information regarding experimental design and setup can be found in Herndl et. al., 2011.


Current Projects:

HyproGrass - Impact of climate change on the hydrology and productivity of Alpine grasslands using weightable lysimeters (funded by the Austrian Ministry of Agriculture, forestry, environment and water management, 2018-2022) PI: M. Herndl, Partner:  S. Birk, V. Slawitsch (University of Graz).

Recent Publications:

Groh, J., V. Slawitsch, M. Herndl, A. Graf, H. Vereecken and T. Pütz (2018). Determining dew and hoar frost formation for a low mountain range and alpine grassland site by weighable lysimeter. Journal of Hydrology 563: 372-381.

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