Research objectives and content
The project concerns the determination of the microbial quality of soils from arid zones with the aim to define the quality of these soils. The intention of this study is: 1) To find sensitive microbiological and biochemical parameters so as to detect early changes in the quality of arid soils as it is affected by human activities. An innovative aspect will be the use of new parameters such as the ratio between enzyme activity and microbial biomass, parameters similar to the qC02. 2) To study the contaminating effect of heavy metals on microbial and biochemical activities through a quantification of these effects by determining the respective ED50 values. For this purpose three systems in arid zones of SE Spain will be sampled: - Agricultural soils: monoculture and crop rotation - Soils amended with urban sewage sludge - Abandoned agricultural soils: degraded and recovered. In addition two different arid soils will be contaminated with heavy metals and changes in different microbiological and biochemical parameters will be determinated under controlled incubations conditions.
Training content (objective. benefit and expected impact)
This study will involve the use of microbiological and biochemical parameters (bioindicators), which will be or great use in subsequent studies of the arid soils of Spain.