Research objectives and content
Soils in Mediterranean semiarid Countries are seriously affected by process of degradation which have caused a decline in soil productivity and physical structure. Soil earthworms contribute in enhancing soil biophysical properties, thus creating a microcosm favourable to microbial proliferation and activity, in which water, humic matter and nutrients are kept under optimum conditions. The application of not-digested organic matter and crop residues layered on soil surface in the presence of earthworms (living mulch) appears very promising to stimulate the biosynthesis 'in situ' of enzimatically active humic substances by soil and earthworm-associated microorganisms. Biochemically active humic substances and polysaccharides, whose structural conformation has been organized into that specific physical environment, will play a positive effect on soil particle aggregation, water and nutrient retention and plant physiology.
Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
The main objective of the work is to develop manuring practices as a means to regenerate biophysical properties of degraded soils in semiarid areas. The expected results allow us to monitoring degraded soil through meaningful markes and to improve soil biophysical properties through practices ecologically sounder and economically and socially sustainable. Links with industry / industrial relevance (22)