Soil provides ecosystem services critical for life. The availability of micronutrients, such as zinc (Zn), in soils is an essential factor for normal healthy growth and reproduction of plants. Zinc deficiency is, however, a global problem in crop production due to low Zn bioavailability in soils to plants. The main objective of this thesis was the determination of factors which control Zn bioavailability in soils to plants and to assess approaches to improve the prediction of Zn plant uptake. Based on rhizobox experiments, in situ measurements in the rhizosphere as well as multisurface- and radial transport modeling approaches it was shown that the effect of root exuded citrate for increasing plant available Zn is soil specific and does not depend on a specific concentration of low molecular weight organic acids. Another insight was that multisurface models, which are widely used to assess the potential ecotoxicological risk in metal-contaminated soils, are also accurate to predict the Zn activity in soils with low Zn levels. In addition, a stepwise approach was developed to improve the prediction of the Zn plant uptake based on soil extracted Zn fractions.