Prof. Dr. Lorenz Hiltner on his 60th birthday“Rhizosphere 4” is number 4 in a series that started in Munich, Germany, in 2004 with “Rhizosphere—perspectives and challenges—a tribute to Lorenz Hiltner”. This conference "was organised to mark the centenary of the ‘rhizosphere’ concept which was first introduced in the seminal publication of Prof. Dr. Lorenz Hiltner (1904; photo) to describe ‘the soil compartment influenced by the root’. Hiltner proposed that the rhizosphere is the site of unique interactions between beneficial and pathogenic microorganisms attracted by root exudates, which can have a dramatic impact on plant nutrition and plant health.”1 This first conference was chaired by Anton (Toni) Hartmann, who will give the first historical keynote at Rhizosphere 4.

The first rhizosphere conference was followed by the tremendously successful Rhizosphere 2 (2007 in Montpellier, France) and Rhizosphere 3 (2011 in Perth, Australia). The aim of these conferences was and will be to provide a multidisciplinary forum for exchanging innovative ideas and methods for studying the rhizosphere and understanding its complexity and its role in both natural and agricultural  ecosystem processes. The conference will provide a stage for both young and established scientists to present their work to a welcoming international audience.

page vii in Hinsinger P & Marschner P 2006 Rhizosphere—perspectives and challenges—a tribute to Lorenz Hiltner 12–17 September 2004—Munich, Germany. Plant Soil 283, vii-viii