The soil weighing lysimeters provide a closed nutrient pathway that allows for the quantification of nutrient leaching in the agro-ecosystem, on a field scale. The data collected is used to examine how a diverse vs conventional crop rotation might impact soil hydrology and the transport of nutrients throughout the soil and beyond the root zone.
Nutrient leaching measurements are calculated using the total volume of water that is drained out the bottom of the lysimeter, as well as the concentration of dissolved nitrates in the soil water. Increases in the weight of the drainage tank of the soil lysimeter measure the volume of water drained from the soil core. Manual soil solution samples at depths of 5, 10, 30, 60, and 90 cm, are used to determine the concentration of nitrates in the soil water. The soil moisture probes also measure the electrical conductivity of the soil water at those same depths. This allows for real-time tracking of the movement of nutrients through the soil profile.
Follow this link to access the complete lysimeter data set.