12 Department of Plant Nutrition
University of Zagreb :: Faculty of Agriculture
Svetošimunska cesta 25, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Activities and areas of research of the Department of Plant Nutrition
Department of Plant Nutrition during its many years of existence has developed into a very well established scientific - educational and professional unit within the University of Zagreb Faculty of Agriculture. Scientific research and teaching work of the Department's employees is focused on the optimal plant nutrition in the physiological, nutritional, toxicological as well as ecological and landscape aspects in general. In investigations conducted by the Department considerable attention to fertilization by various crops in conventional and organic production is dedicated and the influence of fertilization with organic and mineral fertilizers on the environment. Special attention is paid to treating the physiological disorders caused by abiotic stress factors, particularly the lack of trace elements. The published findings in scientific and professional publications are applicable both in the classroom and in professional practice.
Laboratory of Department of Plant Nutrition is authorized to: analysis of soil, plant material, substrate, fertilizer (organic and mineral), soil improvers, waste material and sludge, nutrient solutions and water are carried out according to standard methods of Croatian and international standards (DIN, ISO, EEC-Directive – EC, Regulations ).
Upon the completion of the analysis opinions are issued, as well as recommendations for all forms of agricultural production, it is suggested the possible fertilization with the aim of a fair and sustainable agricultural production without compromising the natural balance
Departement defines a number of physiological parameters in plants, too.
Laboratory regularly introduces new analytical methods, and systematically working to educate staff and improve the quality of laboratory analysis.
Researching infrastructure (laboratory, equipment)
Laboratory of the Department of Plant Nutrition is an analytical laboratory, surface of 180 m2 equipped with modern laboratory equipment and furniture for scientific, professional and educational activities and research projects in the field of agriculture and environmental protection according to official analytical methods (ISO standards, AOAC, European directives, etc.). Laboratory staff are actively involved in Technical Committees (TO-134 for fertilizers and soil improvers and TO-190 for soil) at the Croatian Office for Standardization and Metrology.
Laboratory operates in compliance with standard HRN ISO 17025:2009 - 'The organization of laboratories' according to which currently conducts the accreditation process.
The analytical procedures used modern techniques and equipment: atomic absorption spectrometer (AAS - flame technique, AAS - flameless (graphite) technique, AAS - hydride techinique), UV/VIS spectrophotometers, flamephotometer, conductometer, pH-meters, microwave oven, centrifuge, Kjeltec system (degradation and distillation of samples), refractometers, growth chambers with a fully controlled conditions, a scanner to determine the root surface, net fotosynthesis analyzer, chlorophyll meter, press chamber, and more.
Within The Department of Plant Nutrition operates Laboratory for the quality of fertilizers and soil improvers (licensed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development) and analysis of waste materials (the authority of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Physical Planning and Construction, in accordance with the Waste Act, the Regulations of the sludge and Regulations on the Protection of agricultural land from pollution by hazardous substances).
In order to control the quality of the obtained analytical data, the laboratory is involved in a program of national and international comparative tests of soil, plant material and organic and mineral fertilizers.
Services and products
Analyses of soil, plant materials, substrates, organic and mineral fertilizers, organic and mineral soil improvers, sludge and waste material and nutrient solutions (determination of the content of total and physiologically active macro-and microelements, organic matter, cations and anions (% salt), pH reaction , electrical (EC), heavy metals, etc.).
Determination of physiological parameters: the intensity of photosynthesis, extraction of plant pigments, chlorophyll index, plant water status, root surfaces (3D scanner), sugars, titratable acidity, nitrates (Cardy-ion meter), pH of vegetable juice.
Certified analysis of fertilizers and soil improvers in accordance with the authorization of the competent ministries.
On the basis of the obtained results (comparison - confirmation of the declaration of nutrients in various fertilizers) reviews for registration thereof in the Register of fertilizers.
After the analysis of organic materials issuing an opinion of their application in agricultural production according to the provisions of the legislation (Regulation on protection of agricultural land from pollution by hazardous substances).
Creation of studies and reports for:
In the Laboratory are carried out research and practical exercises with the students of undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate modules on issues related to nutrition and plant physiology, agronomy and related professions. Students of our faculty are doing their practical training under the expert guidance and supervision of the Department staff. In order to make agronomy closer to students, they are included in filed work. In this way students have great opportunity to be acquainted with the issues applied scientific knowledge into practice.
Participation of students in all phases of research results in an very successful and high quality undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate thesis and professional projects. As confirmation of the success of this approach to work with the students there are numerous papers, as well as students' participation in national and international scientific and professional conferences and recived awards (Rector's Award).
Employees of the Department are coordinators and assistants in teaching modules at all levels of study. A detailed list of modules and programs can be seen on the personal pages of staff.
Current scientifics and profession (expert) projects
Employees of the Department are involved in numerous national and international research projects. A detailed overview of the personal pages of staff.
Department of Plant Nutrition was founded in 1921 when the expansion of teaching and research activity in the Institute for Pedology, Petrography and Mineralogy transformed to the Institute for Pedology and Feeding of Plants. In 1929 stands out as a separate Laboratory for Plant Nutrition, and later transferred to the Department of Plant Nutrition. In 1953 is included in the Department of General Plant Production which, in addition to plant nutrition, including general farming. In 1978 the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences was founded by integration the Faculty of Agriculture and Agricultural Institute Zagreb. One of the University's Institute was the Institute of Agroecology which re-established nowdays the Department of Plant Nutrition.
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