CSIC is evaluating the influence of ozone in the soil microbial quality
CSIC is using different approaches to evaluate the influence of ozone (O3) in soil microbial quality.
For example, the biomass of the soil microbial communities is analyzed through the extraction and quantification of fatty acids from the soil by gas cromatography (Pictures 1). In addition, the activity of microbial communities is measured through different soil enzyme activities, such, urease, alkaline phosphatase, and β-glucosidase (Picture 2), which are related to the cycles of nitrogen (N), phosphous (P), and carbon (C) in terrestrial ecosystems, respectively.
The results indicate that ozone may impact the biomass of the soil microbial community, but also the activity of soil enzymes. Ozone also enhanced the decomposition of soil organic matter and, hence, increased the content of water-soluble C and N fractions. In some cases, the greater availability of water-soluble compounds in treated samples can be responsible for the reduced enzyme activity by negative feedback mechanisms.
Picture 1. Process of extraction and separation of fatty acids from soil (left panel) and gas gromatograh utilized for measuring microbial fatty acids (right panel).
Picture 2. Examples of some soil samples utilized for analyses in AgRemSO3il (left panel) and colorimetric reaction for measuring soil phosphatase activity (right panel).
About LIFE+ AgRemSO3il
The LIFE AgRemSO3il pilot project aims to develop new innovative technology, at a large farm-scale, using agrochemical remediation in farm soils by combining solarization and ozonation in situ. This innovative solution involves building new technological applications (giant equipment) and using methods that advance oxidation processes, which are called ozonation and H2O2; or solarization. The project provides a new cost-effective solution for this ongoing, silent problem while supporting the soil's true function as part of the wider ecosystem positively impacting the feed and food products produced, which have consequent effects on human health. The project also plans to integrate into its work Common Agriculture Policy's environmental objectives and promote EU's agriculture and environmental policies.