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24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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MOREL Christian


Research Engineer



Centre INRA Nouvelle Aquitaine-Bordeaux

71 avenue E. Bourlaux

CS 20032 33882 Villenave d'Ornon cedex

05 57 12 25 02



Habilitation to Lead Agronomic Science Research (2002, Institut National Polytechnique de Lorraine)

Doctor in Earth Sciences, University of Marseille (1988, University of Aix-Marseille III)

Research and skills

My research focuses on the long-term (decades) phosphorus cycling through agro-ecosystems (crops and pastures). The objectives are to gain a better understanding and quantification of processes that control soil P availability to plants in agricultural field conditions. Then, these processes and fluxes are integrated in one operational model. I developed novel techniques to assess available soil P by measuring orthophosphate ions (P-ions) in solution and associated amount of P-ions that can diffuse which time (rapid and slow kinetics) at the solid-to-solution interface. Operational outputs are: i) to improve P fertilization management gaining in a new diagnostic of crops behaviour in relation with soils types; ii) develop model to simulate and predict accurately plant-availble soil P.

Ongoing projects

Functional and mechanistic description of the availability of soil P for field crop species. Equation and prediction of the long-term dynamics of the available soil P and the future of the supplied P according to the soil types and the nature of phosphate fertilization

Long-term mineralization of soil organic phosphorus based on the application of waste organic products and mineral fertilizers

The physico-chemical determinants of the transfer of diffusible phosphate ions at the solid-solution interface of soils cultivated in France


Cambouris A. N., Messiga A. J., Ziadi N., Perron I., Morel C. 2017. Decimetric-scale 2 D distribution of soil phosphorus after 20 year of tillage management and maintenance phosphorus fertilization. Soil Science Society of America Journal accepté

Morel C., Denoroy P., Mollier A., Pellerin S., Sinaj S., Ziadi N. 2017. Chap. 5.IV Cycle biogéochimique du phosphore. ppX-Y. In : Guide de la fertilisation raisonnée. Coord. Bruno Colomb.  Agriproduction Productions végétales. Editions France Agricole. Paris, France. ISBN : 978-2-85557-412-7. en cours d’impression

Li H, Mollier A, Ziadi N, Shi, Y, Parent L-E, Morel C 2017. Soybean root traits after 24 years of different soil tillage and mineral phosphorus fertilization management. Soil & Tillage Research 165 258–267.

Morel C, Houot S, D Montenach, A Michaud, F Hammel, P Denoroy 2017. Dynamique à long terme du phosphore dans les sols de deux essais auu champ du réseau SOERE-PRO. Actes des 13èmes Rencontres de la fertilisation raisonnée et de l'analyse, 8 et 9 novembre 2017, Nantes, France. Comifer Gemas. Communication orale

Andriamananjara A, Rabeharisoa L, Prud’homme L, Morel C 2016. Drivers of Plant-Availability of Phosphorus from Thermally Conditioned Sewage Sludge as Assessed by Isotopic Labeling. Frontiers in Nutrition Vol. 3, article 19, 1-11. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2016.00019

Li H, Mollier A, Ziadi N, Shi, Y, Parent L-E, Morel C 2016 The long-term effects of tillage practice and phosphorus fertilization on the distribution and morphology of corn root. Plant Soil DOI 10.1007/s11104-016-2925-y

Messiga A.J., Ziadi N., Mollier A., Parent L-E, Schneider A., Morel C. 2015. Process-based mass-balance modeling of soil phosphorus availability: testing different scenarios in a long-term maize monoculture. Geoderma 243-244, 41-49.

Fuchs J, S Génermont, S Houot, E Jardé, S Ménasseri, A Mollier, C Morel, V Parnaudeau, M Pradel, L Vieublé, 2015. Chapitre 3. Effets agronomiques attendus de l’épandage des Mafor sur les écosystèmes agricoles et forestiers 2015.  pp.  364-567. In: Houot S., Pons M.N., Caillaud M.A., Savini I, Tibi A (editeurs). Valorisation des matières fertilisantes d’origine résiduaire sur les sols à usage agricole ou forestier. Impacts agronomiques, environnementaux, socio-éconiomiques. Expertise scientifique collective, INRA-CNRS-Irstea (France). Rapport final de l'ESCo "Matières fertilisantes d'origine résiduaire" – octobre 2014.

Messiga A J, N Ziadi, C Jouany, P Virkajärvi, R Suomela, S Sinaj, G Bélanger, C Stroia, C Morel, 2015. Soil test phosphorus and cumulative phosphorus budgets in fertilized grassland  Ambio 2015, 44(Suppl. 2):S252–S262.

Ziadi, N., Angers, D. A., Gagnon, B., Lalande, R., Morel, C., Rochette, P. and Chantigny, M. H. 2014. Long-term tillage and synthetic fertilization affect soil functioning and crop yields in a corn–soybean rotation in eastern Canada. Canadian Journal of Soil Science, 94: 365-376.

Morel C, Ziadi N, Messiga A, Bélanger G, Denoroy P, Jeangros B, Jouany C, Fardeau J-C, Mollier A, Parent L-E, Proix N, Rabeharisoa L, Sinaj S, 2014. Modeling of phosphorus dynamics in contrasting agroecosystems using long-term field experiments Canadian Journal of Soil Science. 94, 377-387

Achat D, M Sperandio, Daumer M-L, A-C Santellani, L. Prud’Homme, M. Akhtar, C Morel 2014. Plant-availability of phosphorus recycled from pig manures and dairy effluents as assessed by isotopic labeling techniques. Geoderma. 232-234, 24-33.

Nadeem M, Mollier A, Morel C, Prud’homme L, Vives A, Pellerin S 2014. Remobilization of seed phosphorus reserves and their role in attaining phosphorus autotrophy in maize (Zea mays L.) seedlings. Seed Science Research. 24, 187-194. doi:10.1017/S0960258514000105

Messiga A. J., N. Ziadi, N., Bélanger G., and Morel, C. 2014. Relationship between soil P and P budget in grass sward with varying N applications. Soil Science Society of America Journal 78: 1481-1488.

Achat DL, Daumer M-L, M Sperandio, A-C Santellani, C Morel 2014. Solubility and mobility of phosphorus recycled from dairy effluents and pig manures in incubated soils with different characteristics. Nutrient cycling in agroecosystems 99, 1-15. DOI 10.1007/s10705-014-9614-0.

Hejcman, M., Jouany, C., Cruz, P., Morel, C., Stroia, C., Theau, J.P., 2014. Sub soil P Status could explain the absence of resilience in plant species composition of subalpine grasland 63 years after the last fertilizer aplication. Scientia Agriculturae Bohemica 2, 75-84.

Nadeem M, Mollier A, Morel C, Prud’homme L, Vives A, Pellerin S 2014. Effect of phosphorus nutrition and grain position within maize cob on grain phosphorus accumulation.  Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research 12(2):486-491

Pellerin S, Morel C, Nesme T, Ringeval B 2014. Phosphorus in manures and other organic products: What limits proper recycling of this resource in agriculture? K301. In : 4th Sustainable phosphorus summit. 1-3 septembre Montpellier, France. Conférence invitée

Morel C, 2014. Fertiliser value of the recovered phosphate products. p.7 In: Phosph-Or. 2nd France Phosphorus seminar. Scope Newsletters 101.

Andriamananjara A, Rabeharisoa L, Masse D, Amenc L, Pernot C, Drevon JJ, Morel C, 2013. Phosphorus use efficiency for symbiotic fixation nitrogen in voandzou (Vigna subterranea L.) using isotopic exchange method in rhizotron. pp. 135-150. In : Optimizing productivity of food crop genotypes in low nutrient soils. – IAEA-TECDOC series n° 1721. Vienna: International Atomic Energy Agency. ISSN 1011-4289. ISBN 978-92-0-113113-3.

Achat D, Bakker M, Augusto L, Morel C, 2013. Contributions of microbial and physical–chemical processes to phosphorus availability in Podzols and Arenosols under a temperate forest. Geoderma 211–212, 18–27

Nadeem M, Mollier A, Morel C, Shahid M, Aslam M, Zia-ur-Rehman M, Wahid MA, Pellerin S (2013) Maize seedling phosphorus nutrition: Allocation of remobilized seed phosphorus reserves and external phosphorus uptake to seedling roots and shoots during early growth stages. Plant and Soil 371 (1-2):327-338. DOI 10.1007/s11104-013-1689-x

Randriamanantsoa L., Morel C., Rabeharisoa L, Douzet J-M, Jansa J, Frossard E 2013. Can the isotopic exchange kinetic method be used in soils with a very low water extractable phosphate content and a high sorbing capacity for phosphate ions? Geoderma 200-201, 120-129.

Messiga A.J., Ziadi N., Bélanger G., Morel C. 2013. Soil nutrients and other major properties in grassland fertilized with nitrogen and phosphorus. Soil Science Society of America Journal 77, 643-652. doi:10.2136/sssaj2012.0178.

Ziadi N, Whalen J, Messiga A, and Morel C, 2013. Assessment and Modeling of Soil Available Phosphorus in Sustainable Cropping Systems. pp. 85-126. In Donald Sparks, editors: Advances in Agronomy, Vol 122, AGRON, UK: Academic Press.

Fardeau J.-C., Morel C., Frossard E. 2012. Pour une utilisation plus efficace du phosphore dans les agrosystèmes. Introduction. Séance du 10 octobre 2012. Académie d’Agriculture de France.

Denoroy P., Butler F., Castillon P., Champolivier L., Duval R., Fourrie L., Hanocq D., Kouassi A.S., Metraille M., Morel C., Rabourdin N., Raynal C., Savoie T., Souplet N., 2012. Vers un raisonnement innovant de la fertilisation phosphatée. Innovations Agronomiques 25, 219-230

Nadeem M., Mollier A., Morel C., Vives A., Prud’homme L., Pellerin S. 2012. Seed phosphorus remobilization is not a major limiting step for phosphorus nutrition during early growth of maize. J. Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, 1–5.

Nadeem M., Mollier A., Morel C., Vives A., Prud’homme L., Pellerin S., 2012. Maize (Zea mays L.) endogenous seed phosphorus remobilization is not influenced by exogenous phosphorus availability during germination and early growth stages. Plant Soil, 357, 13-24.

Messiga A.J., Ziadi N., Morel C., Grant C., Tremblay G., Lamarre G., Parent L-É, 2012. Long term impact of tillage practices and biennial P and N fertilization on maize and soybean yields and soil P status. Field Crops Research 133, 10–22.

Messiga A. J., Ziadi N., Bélanger G., Morel C., 2012. Process-based mass-balance modeling of soil phosphorus availability in a grassland fertilized with N and P. Nutr. Cycl. Agroecosyst. 92:273–287

Nesme T., Toublant M., Mollier A., Morel C., Pellerin S., 2012. Assessing phosphorus management among organic farming systems: a farm input, output and budget analysis in southwestern France. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems 92, 225–236.

Achat D. L., Augusto L., Bakker M. R., Gallet-Budynek A., Morel C., 2012. Microbial processes controlling P availability in forest spodosols as affected by soil depth and soil properties. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 44, 39-48

Messiga A. J., Ziadi N., Angers D. A., Morel C., Parent L. E., 2011. Tillage practices of a clay loam soil affect soil aggregation and associated C and P concentrations. Geoderma 164: 225-231.

Nadeem M., Mollier A., Morel C., Vives A., Prud’homme L., Pellerin S., 2011. Relative contribution of seed phosphorus reserves and exogenous phosphorus uptake to maize (Zea mays L.) nutrition during early growth stages. Plant Soil, DOI 10.1007/s11104-011-0814-y.

Fourrie L, Butler F, Castillon P, Hanocq D, Fougère M, Levasseur P, Gascuel C, Dorioz JM, Morel C, Raison C, Aubert C (2011). Le phosphore d’origine agricole : diagnostics et solutions pour limiter les transferts vers le milieu aquatique. Innovations Agronomiques 17:15-32.

Achat D. L., Augusto L., Morel C., Bakker M. R., 2011. Predicting available phosphate ions from physical-chemical soil properties in acidic sandy soils under pine forest. Journal Soils Sed. 11: 452–466.

Stroia C, Jouany C., Morel C. 2011.  Nitrogen fertilization effects on grassland soil acidification: consequences on diffusive phosphorus ions. Soil Science Society American Journal. 75: 112-120.

Augusto L, Bakker M. R., Morel C., Meredieu C., Trichet P., Badeau V., Arrouays D., Plassard C., Achat D. L., Gallet-Budynek A., Merzeau D., Canteloup D., Najark M, J.Ranger, 2010. Is ‘grey literature’ a reliable source of data to characterize soils at the scale of a region? A case study in a maritime pine forest in southwestern France. European Journal Soil Science 61, 807-822. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2389.2010.01286.x

Morel C., F. Butler, P. Castillon, L. Champolivier, P. Denoroy, R. Duval, D. Hanocq, A-S Kouassi, E. Kvarnström, M. Metraille, A. Messiga, C. Raynal, L. Rabeharisoa, T. Savoie, S. Sinaj, N. Ziadi. 2011. Gestion à long terme de la dynamique du phosphore dans les sols cultivés. Les 10èmes rencontres de la fertilisation raisonnée et de l’analyse du Comifer et du Gemas. Reims 23 & 24 novembre 2011. (communication orale, résumé, article)

Achat D. L., Morel C, Bakker M. R, Augusto L., Pellerin S., Gallet-Budynek A, Gonzalez M., 2010. Assessing turnover of microbial biomass phosphorus: Combination of an isotopic dilution method with a mass balance model. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 42: 2231-2240. doi:10.1016/j.soilbio.2010.08.023

Achat D L, Bakker M R, Saur E, Pellerin Sylvain, Augusto L, Morel C, 2010. Quantifying gross mineralisation of P in dead soil organic matter: testing an isotopic dilution method. Geoderma, 158 : 163-172.

Andriamaniraka H., Rabeharisoa L., Michellon R., Moussa N., Morel C., 2010. Influence de différents systèmes de culture sur la productivité de sols cultivés des Hautes Terres de Madagascar et conséquences pour le bilan de phosphore Étude et Gestion des Sols, 17 : 115-126.

Achat, D. L., Bakker, M. R., Zeller, B., Pellerin, S., Bienaimé, S., Morel, C., 2010. Long-term organic phosphorus mineralization in Spodosols under forests and its relation to carbon and nitrogen mineralization. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 42: 1479-1490.

Messiga A.J., Ziadi N., Plénet D., Parent L.-E., Morel C., 2010. Long-term changes in soil phosphorus status related to P budgets under maize monoculture and mineral P fertilization. Soil Use and Management, 26: 354-364. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-2743.2010.00287.x

Messiga A.J., Ziadi N., Morel C., Parent L.-E., 2010. Soil phosphorus availability in no-till versus conventional tillage following freezing and thawing cycles. Can. J. Soil Sci. 90: 419-428.

Jonard M, Augusto L, Hanert E, Achat D L, Bakker M R, Morel C, Mollier A, Pellerin S, 2010.  Modelling forest floor contribution to phosphorus supply to maritime pine seedlings in two-layered forest soils. Ecological Modelling 221: 927-935.