Scope of Activity

MTA ATK TAKI is the scientific centre in Hungary for soil science, agrochemistry and soil biology. The Institute is responsible primarily for fundamental research in these fields with significant applied research, education, advisory and information activities, and extensive national and international cooperation. MTA ATK TAKI is the coordination centre of numerous national and international programmes. The institute was established in 1949.

Research Objectives and Topics

Soils represent a considerable part of the natural resources of Hungary. Consequently, their rational utilization, conservation and the maintenance of their multipurpose functionality have particular significance both for the national economy and environment protection.

The efficiency of soil functions (conditionally renewable natural resource; media for biomass production; primary nutrient resource of the biosphere; storage of heat, water, plant nutrients and pollutants; natural filter; high capacity buffer media; gene reservoir) is determined by the integrated impacts of soil properties, which are the result of soil processes. The main task of sustainable land use and rational soil management is the control of soil processes: mass and energy regimes, abiotic and biotic transport and transformation and their interactions.

The elaboration of the scientific basis for these actions is the main task of the Institute:

  1. Qualitative and quantitative characterization of soil resources.
  2. Quantification and prediction of soil processes for their efficient control.
  3. Development of scientifically based, rational plant nutrition.
  4. Prevention and reduction of soil pollution and its unfavourable environmental consequences.
  5. Analysis of the role of micronutrients in soil processes.

Department of Soil Science

  1. Quantitative characterization of spatial (vertical and horizontal) and temporal variabilities of soil properties (soil mapping, soil monitoring) with the application of up-to-date GIS facilities (in the recently established GIS Laboratory), geostatistical analyses and remote sensing.
  2. Identification of various soil function and their multidisciplinary evaluation from the viewpoints of sustainable biomass production and environment protection.
  3. Description, quantification and modelling of the mass and energy regimes of soil, their determining and influencing factors and mechanisms for an efficient prediction and control

Department of Agrochemistry

  1. Determination and quantification of the spatial and time variabilites of the various forms of plant nutrients in soils; status and dynamics of plant nutrients in the soil - plant roots micro-environment; the up-to-date evaluation and characterization of the "plant nutrient supply" function of soils and possibilities of its regulation.
  2. Determination of the nutrient uptake and fertilizer response of the main cultivated crops and - on this basis - the development of the modern plant nutrition system and advisory service based on soil tests, plant analyses and long-term field experiments.
  3. Prevention and reduction of soil pollution and its untavourable agricultural and environmental consequences.

Department of Soil Biology and Biochemistry

  1. Analyses of the role of microorganisms in soil processes.
  2. Identification and quantification of the existing relationships between soil microorganisms, soil and plants in various natural, semi-natural and agro-ecosystems.
  3. Scientific establishment of a strategy for the prevention of soil contamination and for soil remediation. Monitoring and state survey of soil contamination in Hungary
  4. Study and assay the biogeochemical cycles (transport, biotic and abiotic transformation) of contaminants (mainly heavy metals) and their controlling possibilities in soil-plant systems (phytoremediation).
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