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Sample records for soil biological activity

  1. Should soil testing services measure soil biological activity?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Health of agricultural soils depends largely on conservation management to promote soil organic C accumulation. Total soil organic C changes slowly, but active fractions are more dynamic. A key indicator of healthy soil is potential biological activity, which could be measured rapidly with soil te...

  2. Soil biological activity at European scale - two calculation concepts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krüger, Janine; Rühlmann, Jörg

    2014-05-01

    The CATCH-C project aims to identify and improve the farm-compatibility of Soil Management Practices including to promote productivity, climate change mitigation and soil quality. The focus of this work concentrates on turnover conditions for soil organic matter (SOM). SOM is fundamental for the maintenance of quality and functions of soils while SOM storage is attributed a great importance in terms of climate change mitigation. The turnover conditions depend on soil biological activity characterized by climate and soil properties. To assess the turnover conditions two model concepts are applied: (I) Biological active time (BAT) regression approach derived from CANDY model (Franko & Oelschlägel 1995) expresses the variation of air temperature, precipitation and soil texture as a timescale and an indicator of biological activity for soil organic matter (SOM) turnover. (II) Re_clim parameter within the Introductory Carbon Balance Model (Andrén & Kätterer 1997) states the soil temperature and soil water to estimate soil biological activity. The modelling includes two strategies to cover the European scale and conditions. BAT was calculated on a 20x20 km grid basis. The European data sets of precipitation and air temperature (time period 1901-2000, monthly resolution), (Mitchell et al. 2004) were used to derive long-term averages. As we focus on agricultural areas we included CORINE data (2006) to extract arable land. The resulting BATs under co-consideration of the main soil textures (clay, silt, sand and loam) were investigated per environmental zone (ENZs, Metzger et al. 2005) that represents similar conditions for precipitation, temperature and relief to identify BAT ranges and hence turnover conditions for each ENZ. Re_clim was quantified by climatic time series of more than 250 weather stations across Europe presented by Klein Tank et al. (2002). Daily temperature, precipitation and potential evapotranspiration (maximal thermal extent) were used to calculate

  3. Biological activity of soil contaminated with cobalt, tin, and molybdenum.

    PubMed

    Zaborowska, Magdalena; Kucharski, Jan; Wyszkowska, Jadwiga

    2016-07-01

    In this age of intensive industrialization and urbanization, mankind's highest concern should be to analyze the effect of all metals accumulating in the environment, both those considered toxic and trace elements. With this aim in mind, a unique study was conducted to determine the potentially negative impact of Sn(2+), Co(2+), and Mo(5+) in optimal and increased doses on soil biological properties. These metals were applied in the form of aqueous solutions of Sn(2+) (SnCl2 (.)2H2O), Co(2+) (CoCl2 · 6H2O), and Mo(5+) (MoCl5), each in the doses of 0, 25, 50, 100, 200, 400, and 800 mg kg(-1) soil DM. The activity of dehydrogenases, urease, acid phosphatase, alkaline phosphatase, arylsulfatase, and catalase and the counts of twelve microorganism groups were determined on the 25th and 50th day of experiment duration. Moreover, to present the studied problem comprehensively, changes in the biochemical activity and yield of spring barley were shown using soil and plant resistance indices-RS. The study shows that Sn(2+), Co(2+), and Mo(5+) disturb the state of soil homeostasis. Co(2+) and Mo(5+) proved the greatest soil biological activity inhibitors. The residence of these metals in soil, particularly Co(2+), also generated a drastic decrease in the value of spring barley resistance. Only Sn(2+) did not disrupt its yielding. The studied enzymes can be arranged as follows for their sensitivity to Sn(2+), Co(2+), Mo(5+): Deh > Ure > Aryl > Pal > Pac > Cat. Dehydrogenases and urease may be reliable soil health indicators. PMID:27277093

  4. Humic substances biological activity at the plant-soil interface

    PubMed Central

    Trevisan, Sara; Francioso, Ornella; Nardi, Serenella

    2010-01-01

    Humic substances (HS) represent the organic material mainly widespread in nature. HS have positive effects on plant physiology by improving soil structure and fertility and by influencing nutrient uptake and root architecture. The biochemical and molecular mechanisms underlying these events are only partially known. HS have been shown to contain auxin and an “auxin-like” activity of humic substances has been proposed, but support to this hypothesis is fragmentary. In this review article, we are giving an overview of available data concerning molecular structures and biological activities of humic substances, with special emphasis on their hormone-like activities. PMID:20495384

  5. Soil organic components distribution in a podzol and the possible relations with the biological soil activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alvarez-Romero, Marta; Papa, Stefania; Verstraeten, Arne; Curcio, Elena; Cools, Nathalie; Lozano-Garcia, Beatriz; Parras-Alcántara, Luis; Coppola, Elio

    2016-04-01

    the different fractions of the SOC. It can form the base study for evaluation of changes in some biological activity along soil profile.

  6. Persistence of biologically active compounds in soil: Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Williams, S.E.

    1987-02-01

    This document describes the long-term effects of soil-applied oil shale process water on the VA fungi and Rhizobium bacteria in a native soil. Techniques include assessing the VA fungal activity at field treatment plots and using treated field soils in a bioassay to determine VA infection and Rhizobium-nodulation potentials four years after process water application. 52 refs., 32 figs., 2 tabs.

  7. Detection and Investigation of Soil Biological Activity against Meloidogyne incognita

    PubMed Central

    Bent, E.; Loffredo, A.; McKenry, M. V.; Becker, J. O.; Borneman, J.

    2008-01-01

    Greenhouse experiments with two susceptible hosts of Meloidogyne incognita, a dwarf tomato and wheat, led to the identification of a soil in which the root-knot nematode population was reduced 5- to 16-fold compared to identical but pasteurized soil two months after infestation with 280 M. incognita J2/100 cm3 soil. This suppressive soil was subjected to various temperature, fumigation and dilution treatments, planted with tomato, and infested with 1,000 eggs of M. incognita/100 cm3 soil. Eight weeks after nematode infestation, distinct differences in nematode population densities were observed among the soil treatments, suggesting the suppressiveness had a biological nature. A fungal rRNA gene analysis (OFRG) performed on M. incognita egg masses collected at the end of the greenhouse experiments identified 11 fungal phylotypes, several of which exhibited associations with one or more of the nematode population density measurements (egg masses, eggs or J2). The phylotype containing rRNA genes with high sequence identity to Pochonia chlamydosporia exhibited the strongest negative associations. The negative correlation between the densities of the P. chlamydosporia genes and the nematodes was corroborated by an analysis using a P. chlamydosporia-selective qPCR assay. PMID:19259527

  8. Temporal and spatial variability of soil biological activity at European scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mallast, Janine; Rühlmann, Jörg

    2015-04-01

    The CATCH-C project aims to identify and improve the farm-compatibility of Soil Management Practices including to promote productivity, climate change mitigation and soil quality. The focus of this work concentrates on turnover conditions for soil organic matter (SOM). SOM is fundamental for the maintenance of quality and functions of soils while SOM storage is attributed a great importance in terms of climate change mitigation. The turnover conditions depend on soil biological activity characterized by climate and soil properties. Soil biological activity was investigated using two model concepts: a) Re_clim parameter within the ICBM (Introductory Carbon Balance Model) (Andrén & Kätterer 1997) states a climatic factor summarizing soil water storage and soil temperature and its influence on soil biological activity. b) BAT (biological active time) approach derived from model CANDY (CArbon and Nitrogen Dynamic) (Franko & Oelschlägel 1995) expresses the variation of soil moisture, soil temperature and soil aeration as a time scale and an indicator of biological activity for soil organic matter (SOM) turnover. During an earlier stage both model concepts, Re_clim and BAT, were applied based on a monthly data to assess spatial variability of turnover conditions across Europe. This hampers the investigation of temporal variability (e.g. intra-annual). The improved stage integrates daily data of more than 350 weather stations across Europe presented by Klein Tank et al. (2002). All time series data (temperature, precipitation and potential evapotranspiration and soil texture derived from the European Soil Database (JRC 2006)), are used to calculate soil biological activity in the arable layer. The resulting BAT and Re_clim values were spatio-temporal investigated. While "temporal" refers to a long-term trend analysis, "spatial" includes the investigation of soil biological activity variability per environmental zone (ENZ, Metzger et al. 2005 representing similar

  9. SOIL BIOLOGY AND ECOLOGY

    EPA Science Inventory

    The term "Soil Biology", the study of organism groups living in soil, (plants, lichens, algae, moss, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes, and arthropods), predates "Soil Ecology", the study of interactions between soil organisms as mediated by the soil physical environment. oil ...

  10. Effects of gentle remediation technologies on soil biological and biochemical activities - a review.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marschner, B.; Haag, R.; Renella, G.

    2009-04-01

    Remediation technologies for contaminated sites are generally designed to reduce risks for human health, groundwater or plant quality. While some drastic remediation measures such as soil excavation, thermal treatment or soil washing eliminate or strongly reduce soil life, in-situ treatments involving plants or immobilizing additives may also restore soil functionality by establishing or promoting a well structured and active community of soil organisms. Biological parameters that are sensitive to contaminants and other pedo-environmental conditions and which contribute to biogeochemical nutrient cycles, can be used as synthetic indicators of the progress and also the efficiency of given remediation approaches. Data from long-term studies on re-vegetated mine spoils show that biological and biochemical activity is enhanced with increasing plant density and diversity. Among the soil amendments, most measures that introduce organic matter or alkalinity to the contaminated soils also improve microbial or faunal parameters. Only few amendments, such as phosphates and chelators have deleterious effects on soil biota. In this review, soil microbial biomass and the activity of the enzymes phosphatase and arylsulphatase are identified as suitable and sensitive biological indicators for soil health. The results and future research needs are are summarized.

  11. Evaluating the biological activity of oil-polluted soils using a complex index

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kabirov, R. R.; Kireeva, N. A.; Kabirov, T. R.; Dubovik, I. Ye.; Yakupova, A. B.; Safiullina, L. M.

    2012-02-01

    A complex index characterizing the biological activity of soils (BAS) is suggested. It is based on an estimate of the level of activity of catalase; the number of heterotrophic and hydrocarbon oxidizing microorganisms, microscopic fungi, algae, and cyanobacteria; and the degree of development of higher plants and insects in the studied soil. The data on using the BAS coefficient for evaluating the efficiency of rehabilitation measures for oil-polluted soils are given. Such measures included introducing the following biological preparations: Lenoil based on a natural consortium of microorganisms Bacillus brevis and Arthrobacter sp.; the Azolen biofertilizer with complex action based on Azotobacter vinelandii; the Belvitamil biopreparation, which is the active silt of pulp and paper production; and a ready-mixed industrial association of aerobic and anaerobic microorganisms that contains hydrocarbon oxidizing microorganisms of the Arthrobacter, Bacillus, Candida, Desulfovibrio, and Pseudomonas genera.

  12. Does the different mowing regime affect soil biological activity and floristic composition of thermophilous Pieniny meadow?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Józefowska, Agnieszka; Zaleski, Tomasz; Zarzycki, Jan

    2016-04-01

    The study area was located in the Pieniny National Park in the Carpathian Mountain (Southern Poland). About 30% of Park's area is covered by meadows. The climax stage of this area is forest. Therefore extensive use is indispensable action to keep semi-natural grassland such as termophilous Pieniny meadows, which are characterized by a very high biodiversity. The purpose of this research was to answer the question, how the different way of mowing: traditional scything (H), and mechanical mowing (M) or abandonment of mowing (N) effect on the biological activity of soil. Soil biological activity has been expressed by microbial and soil fauna activity. Microbial activity was described directly by count of microorganisms and indirectly by enzymatic activity (dehydrogenase - DHA) and the microbial biomass carbon content (MBC). Enchytraeidae and Lumbricidae were chosen as representatives of soil fauna. Density and species diversity of this Oligochaeta was determined. Samples were collected twice in June (before mowing) and in September (after mowing). Basic soil properties, such as pH value, organic carbon and nitrogen content, moisture and temperature, were determined. Mean count of vegetative bacteria forms, fungi and Actinobacteria was higher in H than M and N. Amount of bacteria connected with nitrification and denitrification process and Clostridium pasteurianum was the highest in soil where mowing was discontinued 11 years ago. The microbial activity measured indirectly by MBC and DHA indicated that the M had the highest activity. The soil biological activity in second term of sampling had generally higher activity than soil collected in June. That was probably connected with highest organic carbon content in soil resulting from mowing and the end of growing season. Higher earthworm density was in mowing soil (220 and 208 individuals m‑2 in H and M respectively) compare to non-mowing one (77 ind. m‑2). The density of Enchytraeidae was inversely, the higher

  13. The effect of biological activity on soil water retention and diffusivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choudhury, Burhan U.; Ferraris, Stefano; Ashton, Rhys W.; Powlson, David S.; Whalley, William R.

    2016-04-01

    soil microbial activity, with the addition of mercuric chloride, soil water diffusivity increased in comparison with biologically active soils.

  14. Assessment of the biological activity of soils in the subtropical zone of Azerbaijan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Babaev, M. P.; Orujova, N. I.

    2009-10-01

    The enzymatic activity; the microbial population; and the intensities of the nitrification, ammonification, CO2emission, and cellulose decomposition were studied in gray-brown, meadow-sierozemic, meadow-forest alluvial, and yellow (zheltozem) gley soils in the subtropical zone of Azerbaijan under natural vegetation, crop rotation systems with vegetables, and permanent vegetable crops. On this basis, the biological diagnostics of these soils were suggested and the soil ecological health was evaluated. It was shown that properly chosen crop rotation systems on irrigated lands make it possible to preserve the fertility of the meadow-forest alluvial and zheltozem-gley soils and to improve the fertility of the gray-brown and meadow-sierozemic soils.

  15. Impact of Fungicide Mancozeb at Different Application Rates on Soil Microbial Populations, Soil Biological Processes, and Enzyme Activities in Soil

    PubMed Central

    Mehta, Preeti; Guleria, Shiwani; Chauhan, Anjali; Shirkot, C. K.

    2014-01-01

    The use of fungicides is the continuous exercise particularly in orchard crops where fungal diseases, such as white root rot, have the potential to destroy horticultural crops rendering them unsaleable. In view of above problem, the present study examines the effect of different concentrations of mancozeb (0–2000 ppm) at different incubation periods for their harmful side effects on various microbiological processes, soil microflora, and soil enzymes in alluvial soil (pH 6.8) collected from apple orchards of Shimla in Himachal Pradesh (India). Low concentrations of mancozeb were found to be deleterious towards fungal and actinomycetes population while higher concentrations (1000 and 2000 ppm) were found to be detrimental to soil bacteria. Mancozeb impaired the process of ammonification and nitrification. Similar results were observed for nitrifying and ammonifying bacteria. Phosphorus solubilization was increased by higher concentration of mancozeb, that is, 250 ppm and above. In unamended soil, microbial biomass carbon and carbon mineralization were adversely affected by mancozeb. Soil enzymes, that is, amylase, invertase, and phosphatase showed adverse and disruptive effect when mancozeb used was above 10 ppm in unamended soil. These results conclude that, to lessen the harmful effects in soil biological processes caused by this fungicide, addition of higher amount of nitrogen based fertilizers is required. PMID:25478598

  16. [Soil biological activities at maize seedling stage under application of slow/controlled release nitrogen fertilizers].

    PubMed

    Li, Dongpo; Wu, Zhijie; Chen, Lijun; Liang, Chenghua; Zhang, Lili; Wang, Weicheng; Yang, Defu

    2006-06-01

    With pot experiment and simulating field ecological environment, this paper studied the effects of different slow/ controlled release N fertilizers on the soil nitrate - reductase and urease activities and microbial biomass C and N at maize seedling stage. The results showed that granular urea amended with dicyandiamide (DCD) and N-(n-bultyl) thiophosphoric triamide (NBPT) induced the highest soil nitrate-reductase activity, granular urea brought about the highest soil urease activity and microbial biomass C and N, while starch acetate (SA)-coated granular urea, SA-coated granular urea amended with DCD, methyl methacrylate (MMA) -coated granular urea amended with DCD, and no N fertilization gave a higher soil urease activity. Soil microbial C and N had a similar variation trend after applying various kinds of test slow/controlled release N fertilizers, and were the lowest after applying SA-coated granular urea amended with DCD and NBPT. Coated granular urea amended with inhibitors had a stronger effect on soil biological activities than coated granular urea, and MMA-coating had a better effect than SA-coating. PMID:16964940

  17. Soil organic matter dynamics under Beech and Hornbeam as affected by soil biological activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kooijman, A. M.; Cammeraat, L. H.

    2009-04-01

    Organic matter dynamics are highly affected both the soil fauna as well as the source of organic matter, having important consequences for the spatial heterogeneity of organic matter storage and conversion. We studied oldgrowth mixed deciduous forests in Central-Luxemburg on decalcified dolomitic marl, dominated by high-degradable hornbeam (Carpinus betulus L.) or low-degradable beech (Fagus sylvatica L.). Decomposition was measured both in the laboratory and in the field. Litter decomposition was higher for hornbeam than for beech under laboratory conditions, but especially in the field, which is mainly to be attributed to macro-fauna activity, specifically to earthworms (Lumbricus terrestris and Allolobophora species). We also investigated differences between beech and hornbeam with regard to litter input and habitat conditions. Total litter input was the same, but contribution of beech and hornbeam litter clearly differed between the two species. Also, mass of the ectorganic horizon and soil C:N ratio were significantly higher for beech, which was reflected in clear differences in the development of ectorganic profiles on top of the soil. Under beech a mull-moder was clearly present with a well developed fermentation and litter horizon, whereas under hornbeam all litter is incorporated into the soil, leaving the mineral soil surface bear in late summer (mull-type of horizon). In addition to litter quality, litter decomposition was affected by pH and soil moisture. Both pH and soil moisture were higher under hornbeam than under beech, which may reflect differences in soil development and litter quality effects over longer time scales. Under beech, dense layers of low-degradable litter may prevent erosion, and increase clay eluviation and leaching of base cations, leading to acid and dry conditions, which further decrease litter decay. Under hornbeam, the soil is not protected by a litter layer, and clay eluviation and acidification may be counteracted by erosion

  18. [Effect of the vegetative cover on the biological activity of the soil of Chaco Arido].

    PubMed

    Abril, A; Acosta, M; Bachmeier, O; Rollan, A

    1993-01-01

    Vegetation plays a primal role in arid ecosystems, since it creates microclimate conditions that moderate the characteristics of the region whereby the rational use of vegetal resources is fundamental. Felling, clearing and overgrazing lead to decrease in organic contribution and stimulate soil compaction, causing an alteration of microbial activity, with losses in nutrient turnover. The global biological activity is a soil parameter easy to obtain and indicates the presence and diversity of soil life as well as substrate availability and is useful in order to characterize soil potential fertility. This work was carried out in Natural Forest Reserve Chancaní, Province of Córdoba (Argentina), which is representative of Argentine Dry Chaco. Dominant tree species are: Prosopis flexuosa and Aspidosperma quebracho blanco. The global biological activity (GBA) was measured along one year, under trees, under shrubs and in interspaces. Soil samples were taken monthly from plots with four management systems: 1) forest, ii) selective clearing (only dominant species remain), iii) bush (clearing invaded by Larrea sp) and iv) grazing (cleared area, neither trees nor shrubs). GBA was evaluated using the CO2 release method, after ten days of incubation. It is concluded that in the plots with grasses and under the trees GBA was higher than with other treatments. The lesser GBA was detected in bushes and interspaces. All differences were more prominent during extreme temperature months. No significant difference between both species of dominant trees was observed. PMID:8210407

  19. The influence comparing of activated biochar and conventional biochar on the soil biological properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dvořáčková, Helena; Mykajlo, Irina; Záhora, Jaroslav

    2016-04-01

    In our experiment we have used biochar. This material is the product of the pyrolysis that has shown a positive effect on numerous physical and chemical soil properties. However, its influence on the biological component of the soil is very variable. A number of toxic substances that inhibit the soil productivity may be produced during pyrolysis process. The experiment dealt with the hypothesis concerning biochar toxicity reduction by simulating natural processes in the soil. Biochar has been exposed to aeration in the aquatic environment, enriched with nutrients and a source of native soil microflora. It has been created 6 variants in total, each with four replications. The soils samples have been placed in a phytotron for 90 days. Variants consisted of the soil with fertilizers adding (compost, biochar, activated biochar) and have been prepared as well as variants containing compost and biochar and activated biochar optionally. The highest aboveground biomass production has been estimated in variants containing compost, while the lowest production - in the variants containing conventional biochar. During production comparing of the variants with the conventional biochar, activated biochar and control samples it has been evident that activated biochar promotes plant growth, and in contradiction conventional biochar inhibits it. We will approach to the same conclusions when comparing variants with a combination of conventional biochar + compost and activated biochar + compost. Mineral nitrogen leaching has been another investigated parameter. The highest leaching has occurred in the control variant, while the lowest - in the variant with activated biochar (the leaching of nitrate nitrogen has been negligeable). Our results suggest that activated biochar has the potential; however, it is necessary to carry out similar experiments in the field conditions.

  20. Three-dimensional structure and cyanobacterial activity within a desert biological soil crust.

    PubMed

    Raanan, Hagai; Felde, Vincent J M N L; Peth, Stephan; Drahorad, Sylvie; Ionescu, Danny; Eshkol, Gil; Treves, Haim; Felix-Henningsen, Peter; Berkowicz, Simon M; Keren, Nir; Horn, Rainer; Hagemann, Martin; Kaplan, Aaron

    2016-02-01

    Desert biological soil crusts (BSCs) are formed by adhesion of soil particles to polysaccharides excreted by filamentous cyanobacteria, the pioneers and main producers in this habitat. Biological soil crust destruction is a central factor leading to land degradation and desertification. We study the effect of BSC structure on cyanobacterial activity. Micro-scale structural analysis using X-ray microtomography revealed a vesiculated layer 1.5-2.5 mm beneath the surface in close proximity to the cyanobacterial location. Light profiles showed attenuation with depth of 1%-5% of surface light within 1 mm but also revealed the presence of 'light pockets', coinciding with the vesiculated layer, where the irradiance was 10-fold higher than adjacent crust parts at the same depth. Maximal photosynthetic activity, examined by O2 concentration profiles, was observed 1 mm beneath the surface and another peak in association with the 'light pockets'. Thus, photosynthetic activity may not be visible to currently used remote sensing techniques, suggesting that BSCs' contribution to terrestrial productivity is underestimated. Exposure to irradiance higher than 10% full sunlight diminished chlorophyll fluorescence, whereas O2 evolution and CO2 uptake rose, indicating that fluorescence did not reflect cyanobacterial photosynthetic activity. Our data also indicate that although resistant to high illumination, the BSC-inhabiting cyanobacteria function as 'low-light adapted' organisms. PMID:25809542

  1. [Effects of biological regulated measures on active organic carbon and erosion-resistance in the Three Gorges Reservoir region soil].

    PubMed

    Huang, Ru; Huang, Lin; He, Bing-Hui; Zhou, Li-Jiang; Yu, Chuan; Wang, Feng

    2013-07-01

    To gain a better knowledge of characteristics of soils and provide a scientific basis for soil erosion control in the Three Gorges Reservoir Area, contents of aggregates and total soil organic carbon (SOC), as well as soil active organic carbon fractions including particulate organic carbon (POC), readily oxidized organic carbon (ROC), dissolved organic carbon (DOC), microbial biomass carbon (MBC) in the 0-30 cm soil layer under seven different biological regulated measures were studied by the field investigation combined with the laboratory analysis. Results showed that the content of the SOC and active organic carbon fractions decreased with the increasing soil depth; the content of the SOC and active organic carbon fractions in 0-10 cm was significantly higher than that in 20-30 cm. The stability of soil aggregates were also significantly influenced by biological regulated measures, the content of > 0.25 mm water-stable aggregates in seven types of biological regulated measures was in the order of Koelreuteria bipinnata + Cassia suffruticasa > hedgerows > closed forest > natural restoration > economic forest > traditional planting > control plot, moreover, the content of 0.25 mm water-stable aggregates correlated positively with the content of SOC. Soils under different biological regulated measures all demonstrated fractal features, and soil under the measure of Koelreuteria bipinnata + Cassia suffruticasa was found to have the lowest value of fractal dimension and soil erodiable K, indicating a relatively strong structure stability and erosion-resistant capacity. Negative correlation was observed when compared the content of active organic carbon fractions with the soil erodiable K. It can be concluded that properties of soil can be managed through biological regulated measures; thence had an influence on the soil erosion-resistant capacity. PMID:24028016

  2. Activation of Methanogenesis in Arid Biological Soil Crusts Despite the Presence of Oxygen

    PubMed Central

    Angel, Roey; Matthies, Diethart; Conrad, Ralf

    2011-01-01

    Methanogenesis is traditionally thought to occur only in highly reduced, anoxic environments. Wetland and rice field soils are well known sources for atmospheric methane, while aerated soils are considered sinks. Although methanogens have been detected in low numbers in some aerated, and even in desert soils, it remains unclear whether they are active under natural oxic conditions, such as in biological soil crusts (BSCs) of arid regions. To answer this question we carried out a factorial experiment using microcosms under simulated natural conditions. The BSC on top of an arid soil was incubated under moist conditions in all possible combinations of flooding and drainage, light and dark, air and nitrogen headspace. In the light, oxygen was produced by photosynthesis. Methane production was detected in all microcosms, but rates were much lower when oxygen was present. In addition, the δ13C of the methane differed between the oxic/oxygenic and anoxic microcosms. While under anoxic conditions methane was mainly produced from acetate, it was almost entirely produced from H2/CO2 under oxic/oxygenic conditions. Only two genera of methanogens were identified in the BSC-Methanosarcina and Methanocella; their abundance and activity in transcribing the mcrA gene (coding for methyl-CoM reductase) was higher under anoxic than oxic/oxygenic conditions, respectively. Both methanogens also actively transcribed the oxygen detoxifying gene catalase. Since methanotrophs were not detectable in the BSC, all the methane produced was released into the atmosphere. Our findings point to a formerly unknown participation of desert soils in the global methane cycle. PMID:21655270

  3. Impact of reclamation treatment on the biological activity of soils of the solonetz complex in Western Siberia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berezin, L. V.; Khamova, O. F.; Paderina, E. V.; Gindemit, A. M.

    2014-11-01

    The abundance and activity of the soil microflora were studied in a field experiment with the use of green manure crops to assess the impact of reclamation measures on the biological activity of soils of the solonetz complex. The number of microorganisms in the plow soil horizon increased in the background of the green fallows as compared to the black ones. Coefficients of mineralization, immobilization, and transformation of organic compounds were calculated for different variants of the soil treatment. The value of the mineralization coefficient indicates the intense decomposition of the green manure that entered the soil. In the first year, peas were actively decomposed, while oats, in the second year (aftereffect). The activity of the soil enzymes (invertase, urease, and catalase) was determined. A close relationship between the catalase activity and the intensity of the microbiological processes in the soils was revealed.

  4. EFFECT OF NITROGEN AND METAL ADDITIONS ON NITROGEN FIXATION ACTIVITY IN BIOLOGICAL SOIL CRUSTS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alexander, K.; Lui, D.; Anbar, A. D.; Garcia-Pichel, F.; Hartnett, H. E.

    2009-12-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are diverse consortia of microorganisms that live in intimate association with soils in arid environments. Also called cryptogamic or microbiotic crusts, these communities can include cyanobacteria, algae, heterotrophic bacteria, fungi, lichens, and mosses. Together, these organisms provide many services to their surrounding ecosystems, including reduction of water runoff, promotion of water infiltration, and prevention of soil erosion. The cyanobacteria and algae also provide fixed carbon (C) to the soil through photosynthesis, and because atmospheric deposition of nitrogen (N) in arid environments is low, the major input of biologically available N comes from cyanobacteria capable of converting nitrogen gas (N2) to ammonium (NH4+). Biological soil crusts are easily destroyed by livestock grazing, motor vehicle travel, and many forms of recreational and agricultural land use. Loss of BSC cover can leave the soil vulnerable to intense erosion that can remove the nutrients necessary to sustain plant and animal life, thus accelerating the process of desertification. In order to preserve existing crusts and encourage the development of new crusts, it is crucial to understand the nutrient requirements of metabolism and growth in these microbial communities. This study investigated the affect of nitrogen and metal additions on N2-fixation activity in cyanobacterially-dominated crusts from the Colorado Plateau near Moab, Utah. Although N2-fixation has been studied in this system before, the affect of nutrient additions on N2-fixation activity has not been documented. The goal of this work was to understand how N and metal supplementation affects crust N metabolism. Three experiments were conducted to observe how N2-fixation activity changed with the addition of N, molybdenum (Mo), and vanadium (V). Molybdenum and vanadium were chosen because they are most commonly found at the active site of the enzyme nitrogenase, the molecule responsible

  5. Soil biology for resilient healthy soil

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    What is a resilient healthy soil? A resilient soil is capable of recovering or adapting to stress; the health of the living/biological component of the soil is crucial for soil resiliency. Soil health is tightly coupled to the concept of soil quality (Text Box 1) and the terms are frequently used ...

  6. Effect of cassava mill effluent on biological activity of soil microbial community.

    PubMed

    Igbinosa, Etinosa O

    2015-07-01

    This study assessed the effect of cassava effluent on soil microbiological characteristics and enzymatic activities were investigated in soil samples. Soil properties and heavy metal concentrations were evaluated using standard soil analytical and spectroscopic methods, respectively. The microbiological parameters measured include microbial biomass carbon, basal soil respiration, catalase, urease, dehydrogenase activities and number of culturable aerobic bacteria, fungi and actinomycetes. The pH and temperature regime vary significantly (p < 0.05) throughout the study period. All other physicochemical parameters studied were significantly different (p < 0.05) higher than the control site. Soil organic carbon content gave significant positive correlations with microbial biomass carbon, basal soil respiration, catalase activity and dehydrogenase activity (r = 0.450, 0.461, 0.574 and 0.591 at p < 0.01), respectively. The quantitative analysis of soil microbial density demonstrates a marked decrease in total culturable numbers of the different microbial groups of the polluted soil samples. Soil contamination decreased catalase, urease and dehydrogenase activities. The findings revealed that soil enzymes can be used as indices of soil contamination and bio-indicator of soil quality. PMID:26055654

  7. Assessing the biological activity of oil-contaminated soddy-podzolic soils with different textures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vershinin, A. A.; Petrov, A. M.; Akaikin, D. V.; Ignat'ev, Yu. A.

    2014-02-01

    The respiratory activity features in oil-contaminated soddy-podzolic soils of different textures have been studied. Unidirectional processes occur in contaminated loamy and loamy sandy soddy-podzolic soils; their intensities depend on the soil parameters. The mineralization rates of the oil products and the activity of the microflora in loamy soils exceed the corresponding parameters for loamy sandy soils. The long-term impact of oil and its transformation products results in more important disturbances of the microbial community in light soils. It has been shown that light soils containing 9% oil require longer time periods or more intensive remediation measures for the restoration of soil microbial cenoses disturbed by the pollutant.

  8. The influence of bacterial-humus preparations on the biological activity of soils polluted with oil products and heavy metals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kozlova, E. N.; Stepanov, A. L.; Lysak, L. V.

    2015-04-01

    The influence of bacterial-humus preparations based on Gumigel ( Agrosintez Company) on the biological activity of soddy-podzolic soil polluted with Pb(CH3COO)2 and gasoline was studied in a model experiment. Some indicators of biological activity are shown to depend on soil pollution to different extents. The process of nitrogen fixation and the activity of dehydrogenase and phosphatase were mostly inhibited by Pb(CH3COO)2 and gasoline. Gasoline compared to Pb(CH3COO)2 inhibited the soil biological activity to a greater extent. The bacterial-humus preparations exerted a significant positive effect on the biological activity of the polluted soils manifested in the increase of the total number of bacteria and of the enzyme activity (1.5-5.0 times), in the intensification of nitrogen fixation and denitrification (3-8 times), as well as in the increase in the biomass of the plants grown (1.5-2.0 times). The application of bacterial suspensions of pure cultures or the microbial complex without the preparations of humic acids did not always give a positive effect.

  9. Effect of different crops on soil organic matter and biological activity in Oxisols under three different crops

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toledo, Diana Marcela; Arzuaga, Silvia; Dalurzo, Humberto; Zornoza, Raúl; Vazquez, Sara

    2015-04-01

    The objective of this work was to evaluate changes in soil organic matter in Oxisols under different crops compared to native rainforest, and to assess if acid phosphatase activity (APA) could be a good indicator for SOC changes and soil quality. The experimental design consisted of four completely randomized blocks with four treatments: subtropical rainforest (F); yerba mate crop (I) (Ilex paraguariensis SH.); citrus crop (C) (Citrus unshiu Marc); and tobacco crop (T) (Nicotiana tabacum L.). Soil samples were taken at 0-10; 10-20 and 20-30 cm depths. The variables measured were soil organic carbon (SOC), APA, clay content, pH, total nitrogen (Nt), available phosphorus (P) and CO2 emissions. All data were analyzed by ANOVA to assess the effects of land-use changes. The treatment means were compared through Duncan's multiple range tests (p<0.05). The relationship between variables was determined with a simple correlation analysis and with a multiple linear regression analysis through the stepwise method. These soils showed an acid reaction and their clay content was over 650 g kg-1 for the three depths. SOC and N contents were higher in native soils, intermediate for the citrus crop, and lower under both tobacco and yerba mate crops. CO2 emissions were higher in the rainforest (47.32 kg ha-1 of CO2) than in cultivated soils, which indicates that biological activity is enhanced in rainforest soils where substrates for soil biota and fauna are more readily available. The variability of 76% in APA was explained by total nitrogen, which is closely related to soil organic matter, and by available P. Conversion of subtropical rainforests into agricultural lands reduced SOC content and acid phosphatase activity, thereby lowering soil quality. In this study, acid phosphatase activity proved to be a sensitive indicator to detect changes from pristine to cropped soils, but it failed to distinguish differences among crop systems.

  10. Does grazing of cover crops impact biologically active soil C and N fractions under inversion and no tillage management?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cover crops are a key component of conservation cropping systems. They can also be a key component of integrated crop-livestock systems by offering high-quality forage during short periods between cash crops. The impact of cattle grazing on biologically active soil C and N fractions has not receiv...

  11. The impact of land use on biological activity of agriculture soils. An State-of-the-Art

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morugán-Coronado, Alicia; Cerdà, Artemi; García-Orenes, Fuensanta

    2014-05-01

    Biological activity is a crucial soil property affecting soil sustainability and crop production. The unsuitable land management can lead to a loss in soil fertility and a reduction in the abundance and diversity of soil microorganisms. This can be as a consequence of high erosion rates due to the mismanagement of farmers (Cerdà et al., 2009a). However ecological practices and some organic amendments can promote the activities of soil microbial communities, and increase its biodiversity (García-Orenes et al., 2010; 2013). The impact of land use in microbiological properties of agriculture soil are presented and discussed in this review. Biological activity is quantified by microbial soil communities and soil enzyme activities to interpret the effects of soil management practices (Morugán-Coronado et al., 2013). The aim of biological activity tests is to give a reliable description of the state of agricultural soils under the effect of different land uses. Numerous methods have been used to determine the impact of land uses on microbiological properties. The current used methods for detecting microbial diversity are based on molecular techniques centered on the 16S and 18S rRNA encoding sequences such as CLPP: community-level physiological profiles; T-RFLP: terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism; DGGE: denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis; OFRG: oligonucleotide fingerprinting of rRNA genes, ARISA: Automated Ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis, SSCP: single-strand conformation polymorphism. And techniques based on the cellular composition of the microbes such as PLFA: phospholipid fatty acid analysis. Other methods are based on the activity of microbes, for example, Cmic: microbial biomass carbon; SIR: substrate induced respiration; BSR: Basal soil respiration; qCO2 metabolic quotient; enzymatic activities (Urease, ß-glucosidase and phosphatase) (Deng, 2012). Agricultural land management can contribute to increased rates of erosion due to

  12. Ecological and geographical regularities of changes in the biological activity of automorphic soils on the foothills and adjacent plains of the Central Caucasus region (Kabardino-Balkarian Republic)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gorobtsova, O. N.; Khezheva, F. V.; Uligova, T. S.; Tembotov, R. Kh.

    2015-03-01

    The biochemical properties inherent to the main types of automorphic soils developed in different bioclimatic conditions of Elbrus and Terek variants of the vertical zonality within Kabardino-Balkaria were compared. The natural-climatic conditions of these variants noticeably affect the soil cover pattern. The ratio of the oxidase and hydrolase activities is sensitive to the moisture conditions in which these soils are formed. The redox processes are more active in drier conditions, whereas hydrolytic processes are more active under higher moisture. The level of the biological activity of the automorphic soils is estimated using the integral index of the ecological-biological soil status.

  13. Elevated temperature altered photosynthetic products in wheat seedlings and organic compounds and biological activity in rhizopshere soil under cadmium stress

    PubMed Central

    Jia, Xia; Zhao, YongHua; Wang, WenKe; He, Yunhua

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of slightly elevated atmospheric temperature in the spring on photosynthetic products in wheat seedlings and on organic compounds and biological activity in rhizosphere soil under cadmium (Cd) stress. Elevated temperature was associated with increased soluble sugars, reducing sugars, starch, and total sugars, and with decreased amino acids in wheat seedlings under Cd stress. Elevated temperature improved total soluble sugars, free amino acids, soluble phenolic acids, and organic acids in rhizosphere soil under Cd stress. The activity of amylase, phenol oxidase, invertase, β-glucosidase, and l-asparaginase in rhizosphere soil was significantly improved by elevated temperature under Cd stress; while cellulase, neutral phosphatase, and urease activity significantly decreased. Elevated temperature significantly improved bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes, and total microorganisms abundance and fluorescein diacetate activity under Cd stress. In conclusion, slightly elevated atmospheric temperature in the spring improved the carbohydrate levels in wheat seedlings and organic compounds and biological activity in rhizosphere soil under Cd stress in the short term. In addition, elevated atmospheric temperature in the spring stimulated available Cd by affecting pH, DOC, phenolic acids, and organic acids in rhizosphere soil, which resulted in the improvement of the Cd uptake by wheat seedlings. PMID:26395070

  14. Elevated temperature altered photosynthetic products in wheat seedlings and organic compounds and biological activity in rhizopshere soil under cadmium stress.

    PubMed

    Jia, Xia; Zhao, YongHua; Wang, WenKe; He, Yunhua

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of slightly elevated atmospheric temperature in the spring on photosynthetic products in wheat seedlings and on organic compounds and biological activity in rhizosphere soil under cadmium (Cd) stress. Elevated temperature was associated with increased soluble sugars, reducing sugars, starch, and total sugars, and with decreased amino acids in wheat seedlings under Cd stress. Elevated temperature improved total soluble sugars, free amino acids, soluble phenolic acids, and organic acids in rhizosphere soil under Cd stress. The activity of amylase, phenol oxidase, invertase, β-glucosidase, and l-asparaginase in rhizosphere soil was significantly improved by elevated temperature under Cd stress; while cellulase, neutral phosphatase, and urease activity significantly decreased. Elevated temperature significantly improved bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes, and total microorganisms abundance and fluorescein diacetate activity under Cd stress. In conclusion, slightly elevated atmospheric temperature in the spring improved the carbohydrate levels in wheat seedlings and organic compounds and biological activity in rhizosphere soil under Cd stress in the short term. In addition, elevated atmospheric temperature in the spring stimulated available Cd by affecting pH, DOC, phenolic acids, and organic acids in rhizosphere soil, which resulted in the improvement of the Cd uptake by wheat seedlings. PMID:26395070

  15. Elevated temperature altered photosynthetic products in wheat seedlings and organic compounds and biological activity in rhizopshere soil under cadmium stress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jia, Xia; Zhao, Yonghua; Wang, Wenke; He, Yunhua

    2015-09-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of slightly elevated atmospheric temperature in the spring on photosynthetic products in wheat seedlings and on organic compounds and biological activity in rhizosphere soil under cadmium (Cd) stress. Elevated temperature was associated with increased soluble sugars, reducing sugars, starch, and total sugars, and with decreased amino acids in wheat seedlings under Cd stress. Elevated temperature improved total soluble sugars, free amino acids, soluble phenolic acids, and organic acids in rhizosphere soil under Cd stress. The activity of amylase, phenol oxidase, invertase, β-glucosidase, and L-asparaginase in rhizosphere soil was significantly improved by elevated temperature under Cd stress; while cellulase, neutral phosphatase, and urease activity significantly decreased. Elevated temperature significantly improved bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes, and total microorganisms abundance and fluorescein diacetate activity under Cd stress. In conclusion, slightly elevated atmospheric temperature in the spring improved the carbohydrate levels in wheat seedlings and organic compounds and biological activity in rhizosphere soil under Cd stress in the short term. In addition, elevated atmospheric temperature in the spring stimulated available Cd by affecting pH, DOC, phenolic acids, and organic acids in rhizosphere soil, which resulted in the improvement of the Cd uptake by wheat seedlings.

  16. Potential nitrogen fixation activity of different aged biological soil crusts from rehabilitated grasslands of the hilly Loess Plateau, China

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zhao, Y.; Xu, M.; Belnap, J.

    2010-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) cover up to 60–70% of the soil surface in grasslands rehabilitated during the "Grain for Green" project implemented in the hilly Loess Plateau region in 1999. As biocrusts fix nitrogen (N), they are an important part of restoring soil fertility. We measured nitrogenase activity (NA) in biocrusts from sites rehabilitated at six different time periods to estimate 1) the effects of moisture content and temperature on NA in biocrusts of different ages and 2) the potential N contribution from biocrusts to soils and plants in this region. Results show that NA in the biocrusts was mostly controlled by the species composition, as the activity of biocrusts dominated by free-living soil cyanobacteria was significantly higher than that of moss-dominated biocrusts. Nitrogenase activity was also influenced by soil moisture content and ambient temperature, with a significant decline in activity when moisture levels were decreased to 20% field water-holding capacity. The optimal temperature for NA was 35–40 °C and 30–40 °C for cyanobacteria- and moss-dominated biocrusts, respectively. Biocrust fixed N is likely an important source of N in this ecosystem, as we estimated annual potential N inputs per hectare in these grasslands to be up to 13 kg N ha-1 and 4 kg N ha-1 for cyanobacteria- and moss-dominated biocrusts, respectively.

  17. The impact of land use on biological activity of agriculture soils. An State-of-the-Art

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morugán-Coronado, Alicia; Cerdà, Artemi; García-Orenes, Fuensanta

    2014-05-01

    Biological activity is a crucial soil property affecting soil sustainability and crop production. The unsuitable land management can lead to a loss in soil fertility and a reduction in the abundance and diversity of soil microorganisms. This can be as a consequence of high erosion rates due to the mismanagement of farmers (Cerdà et al., 2009a). However ecological practices and some organic amendments can promote the activities of soil microbial communities, and increase its biodiversity (García-Orenes et al., 2010; 2013). The impact of land use in microbiological properties of agriculture soil are presented and discussed in this review. Biological activity is quantified by microbial soil communities and soil enzyme activities to interpret the effects of soil management practices (Morugán-Coronado et al., 2013). The aim of biological activity tests is to give a reliable description of the state of agricultural soils under the effect of different land uses. Numerous methods have been used to determine the impact of land uses on microbiological properties. The current used methods for detecting microbial diversity are based on molecular techniques centered on the 16S and 18S rRNA encoding sequences such as CLPP: community-level physiological profiles; T-RFLP: terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism; DGGE: denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis; OFRG: oligonucleotide fingerprinting of rRNA genes, ARISA: Automated Ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis, SSCP: single-strand conformation polymorphism. And techniques based on the cellular composition of the microbes such as PLFA: phospholipid fatty acid analysis. Other methods are based on the activity of microbes, for example, Cmic: microbial biomass carbon; SIR: substrate induced respiration; BSR: Basal soil respiration; qCO2 metabolic quotient; enzymatic activities (Urease, ß-glucosidase and phosphatase) (Deng, 2012). Agricultural land management can contribute to increased rates of erosion due to

  18. The effect of mustard gas on the biological activity of soil.

    PubMed

    Medvedeva, N; Polyak, Yu; Kuzikova, I; Orlova, O; Zharikov, G

    2008-03-01

    A special group of substances that are very dangerous for the biosphere includes war gases such as mustard gas (bis(2-chloroethyl)sulphide). The influence of mustard gas hydrolysis products (MGHPs) on soil microbiota has been investigated. These substances bear numerous toxic effects on soil microorganisms. They change significantly the number and the specific composition of soil microbiota and inhibit the enzyme activity of soils. The main "ecological targets" of mustard and its hydrolysis products' toxic action have been determined. MGHPs affect the growth and reproduction of soil micromycetes, as well as their morphological and cultural properties. Increase in number and size of mitochondria in the fungal cells is accompanied by increase in dehydrogenases activity. Cell permeability influenced by MGHPs grows in connection with concentration of toxicants. Increase of permeability corresponds to growth of the amount of unsaturated fatty acids. The changes in the fatty acid composition of lipids in the cells of the soil micromycetes display their adaptation to adverse impact of the substances studied. MGHPs and thiodiglycol enhance synthesis of polysaccharides and pigments. PMID:17537425

  19. Amendments and mulches improve the biological quality of soils degraded by mining activities in SE Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luna Ramos, Lourdes; Miralles Mellado, Isabel; Hernández Fernández, María Teresa; García Izquierdo, Carlos; Solé Benet, Albert

    2014-05-01

    Mining and quarrying activities generate negative visual impacts in the landscape and a loss of environmental quality. Substrate properties at the end of mining are in general not suitable for plant growth, even native ones. In an experimental soil restoration in limestone quarries from Sierra de Gádor (Almería), SE Spain, the effect of organic amendment (sewage sludge, compost from the organic fraction of domestic waste or non-amendment) combined or not with two different kind of mulches (fine gravel, chopped forest residue) was tested by triplicate in 5 x 5 m plots with the aim to improve soil/substrate properties and to reduce evaporation and erosion. In each experimental plot 75 native plants (Stipa tenacissima, Anthyllis terniflora and Anthyllis cytisoides) were planted. Effects of adding organic amendments and mulches on some soil microbiological and biochemical parameters (microbial biomass carbon, basal respiration and different enzymatic activities, such as dehydrogenase, phosphatase, β-glucosidase and urease) were analyzed 5 years after the start of the experiment. Vegetation growth was also monitored. The two-way ANOVA, using as factors amendment and mulch, showed a significant positive influence of organic amendments on microbial biomass (Cmic), basal respiration and some enzymatic activities related to the cycles of C and N. The highest values of these parameters were obtained with compost. The influence of the mulch factor and its interactions with the amendment factor on the measured variables did not follow a clear trend with respect the measured parameters. Mulching did not improved significantly (p<0.05) the positive effect of organic amendments on Cmic although Cmic values increased with the incorporation of "forest chopped residue" and decreased with gravel incorporation. In general, both type of mulch decreased or have no effect on the microbial activity detected in the amended soils, with the only exception of the forest chopped residue

  20. Elevated atmospheric CO2 affected photosynthetic products in wheat seedlings and biological activity in rhizosphere soil under cadmium stress.

    PubMed

    Jia, Xia; Liu, Tuo; Zhao, Yonghua; He, Yunhua; Yang, Mingyan

    2016-01-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of elevated CO2 (700 ± 23 μmol mol(-1)) on photosynthetic products in wheat seedlings and on organic compounds and biological activity in rhizosphere soil under cadmium (Cd) stress. Elevated CO2 was associated with decreased quantities of reducing sugars, starch, and soluble amino acids, and with increased quantities of soluble sugars, total sugars, and soluble proteins in wheat seedlings under Cd stress. The contents of total soluble sugars, total free amino acids, total soluble phenolic acids, and total organic acids in the rhizosphere soil under Cd stress were improved by elevated CO2. Compared to Cd stress alone, the activity of amylase, phenol oxidase, urease, L-asparaginase, β-glucosidase, neutral phosphatase, and fluorescein diacetate increased under elevated CO2 in combination with Cd stress; only cellulase activity decreased. Bacterial abundance in rhizosphere soil was stimulated by elevated CO2 at low Cd concentrations (1.31-5.31 mg Cd kg(-1) dry soil). Actinomycetes, total microbial abundance, and fungi decreased under the combined conditions at 5.31-10.31 mg Cd kg(-1) dry soil. In conclusion, increased production of soluble sugars, total sugars, and proteins in wheat seedlings under elevated CO2 + Cd stress led to greater quantities of organic compounds in the rhizosphere soil relative to seedlings grown under Cd stress only. Elevated CO2 concentrations could moderate the effects of heavy metal pollution on enzyme activity and microorganism abundance in rhizosphere soils, thus improving soil fertility and the microecological rhizosphere environment of wheat under Cd stress. PMID:26315595

  1. The activity and community structure of total bacteria and denitrifying bacteria across soil depths and biological gradients in estuary ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Lee, Seung-Hoon; Kang, Hojeong

    2016-02-01

    The distribution of soil microorganisms often shows variations along soil depth, and even in the same soil layer, each microbial group has a specific niche. In particular, the estuary soil is intermittently flooded, and the characteristics of the surface soil layer are different from those of other terrestrial soils. We investigated the microbial community structure and activity across soil depths and biological gradients composed of invasive and native plants in the shallow surface layer of an estuary ecosystem by using molecular approaches. Our results showed that the total and denitrifying bacterial community structures of the estuarine wetland soil differed according to the short depth gradient. In growing season, gene copy number of 16S rRNA were 1.52(±0.23) × 10(11), 1.10(±0.06) × 10(11), and 4.33(±0.16) × 10(10) g(-1) soil; nirS were 5.41(±1.25) × 10(8), 4.93(±0.94) × 10(8), and 2.61(±0.28) × 10(8) g(-1) soil; and nirK were 9.67(±2.37) × 10(6), 3.42(±0.55) × 10(6), and 2.12(±0.19) × 10(6) g(-1) soil in 0 cm, 5 cm, and 10 cm depth layer, respectively. The depth-based difference was distinct in the vegetated sample and in the growing season, evidencing the important role of plants in structuring the microbial community. In comparison with other studies, we observed differences in the microbial community and functions even across very short depth gradients. In conclusion, our results suggested that (i) in the estuary ecosystem, the denitrifying bacterial community could maintain its abundance and function within shallow surface soil layers through facultative anaerobiosis, while the total bacterial community would be both quantitatively and qualitatively affected by the soil depth, (ii) the nirS gene community, rather than the nirK one, should be the first candidate used as an indicator of the microbial denitrification process in the estuary system, and (iii) as the microbial community is distributed and plays a certain

  2. Nitrogen fixation activity in biological soil crusts dominated by cyanobacteria in the Subpolar Urals (European North-East Russia).

    PubMed

    Patova, Elena; Sivkov, Michail; Patova, Anna

    2016-09-01

    The nitrogen fixation by biological soil crusts with a dominance of cyanobacteria was studied using the acetylene reduction assay in the territory of the Subpolar Urals (65°11' N, 60°18' E), Russia. The field measurements of nitrogen fixation activity were conducted in situ for two different types of soil crusts dominated by Stigonema (V1 type) and Nostoc with Scytonema (V2 type). The nitrogen fixation process had similar dynamics in both crusts but nitrogen fixation rates were different. The crusts of the V2 type showed a significantly higher acetylene reduction activity, with ethylene production rate of 1.76 ± 0.49 g C2H4 m(-2) h(-1) at 15°C, compared with V1-type soil crusts, with a rate of 0.53 ± 0.21 mg C2H4 m(-2) h(-1) at 15°C. The daily value of acetylene reduction activity in V2-type soil crusts was 32.7 ± 6.2 mg C2H4 m(-2) d(-1) and in V1-type crusts, 12.3 ± 1.8 mg C2H4 m(-2) d(-1) After recalculation for N, the daily values of nitrogen fixation were in the range 3.3-22.3 mg N m(-2) d(-1), which is a few times higher than the values of N input from the precipitation to the soil in the studied regions. The dependence of nitrogen-fixation activity on temperature and light intensity of biological soil crusts was investigated. On the basis of temperature models obtained from the dependence, the nitrogen balance was calculated for the growing season (approximately 120 days). The crusts dominated by Stigonema species were fixing 0.3 g N m(-2) (ethylene production rate, 1.10 g C2H4 m(-2)) and crusts dominated by Nostoc and Scytonema were fixing 1.3 g N m(-2) (4.10 g C2H4 m(-2)). PMID:27306556

  3. Engelmann Spruce (Picea engelmannii) as a biological monitor of changes in soil metal loading related to past mining activity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Witte, K.M.; Wanty, R.B.; Ridley, W.I.

    2004-01-01

    Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii) is the dominant tree species in many abandoned mine areas of the Rocky Mountains. It is long-lived, and therefore, may act as a long term biological monitor of changes in soil chemistry caused by past mining activity. In this study, laser ablation inductively coupled mass spectrometry (LA-ICPMS) was used to analyze individual tree rings of Engelmann spruce for Fe, Zn, Cu, Cd, Mn, Pb and Sr concentrations. Cores were obtained from trees growing in tailings-impacted and control (non-tailings impacted) sites near the Waldorf mine (Waldorf, CO, USA). Zinc, Cu, Fe, Cd, Pb and Sr concentrations remained low and consistent over time in the control tree rings. However, in the tailings impacted cores, concentrations of Zn, Cu, Fe and Cd increase significantly in post-mining rings. In addition, Zn, Cu, Fe, and Cd concentrations in pre-mining rings of both the control and tailings impacted cores are similar, indicating that present day soil concentrations of these elements in the control area are a reasonable estimation of background for this area. Lead and Sr concentrations in control and tailings-impacted rings remained similar and relatively constant through time and are not useful in determining changes in soil chemistry due to past mining activity. ?? 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Impact of organic and mineral inputs onto soil biological and metabolic activities under a long-term rice-wheat cropping system in sub-tropical Indian Inceptisols.

    PubMed

    Basak, Nirmalendu; Datta, Ashim; Mitran, Tarik; Mandal, Biswapati; Mani, P K

    2016-01-01

    Long-term use of organic and mineral inputs has an overriding impact on soil biological and metabolic activities and crop management. Farm yard manure (FYM), paddy straw (PS) and green manure (GM, Sesbania sesban L.) were used for 24- years old rice (Oyza sativa L.) -wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cropping system in sub-tropical India to predict whether the screened soil biological and metabolic activities are correlated with system yield. The integrated approaches viz., NPK + FYM, NPK + PS and NPK + GM significantly increased both rice and wheat yield together by 67.5, 44.4 and 55.4%, respectively over control. However, for a few exceptions both soil microbial activity and metabolic activity were remarkably enhanced under integrated treatment NPK + FYM followed by NPK + PS, and NPK + GM, respectively. Among the studied attributes fluorescein diacetate hydrolyzing, dehydrogenase, β-glucosidase activity (β-glu) and microbial biomass C (C(mic)) were screened through principal component (PCA) and discriminate analysis (DA) that explained nearly 89% of total variations of the entire data set. Among the four identified attributes, only β-glu assay value could predict system yield (R2 = 0.65). Further, estimation of β-glu activity in soil can predict other soil biological properties (R2 = 0.96). PMID:26930864

  5. A comparison of soil climate and biological activity along an elevation gradient in the eastern Mojave Desert

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Amundson, R.G.; Chadwick, O.A.; Sowers, J.M.

    1989-01-01

    Soil temperature, moisture, and CO2 were monitored at four sites along an elevation transect in the eastern Mojave Desert from January to October, 1987. Climate appeared to be the major factor controlling CO2 partial pressures, primarily through its influence of rates of biological reactions, vegetation densities, and organic matter production. With increasing elevation, and increasing actual evapotranspiration, the organic C, plant density, and the CO2 content of the soils increased. Between January and May, soil CO2 concentrations at a given site were closely related to variations in soil temperature. In July and October, temperatures had little effect on CO2, presumably due to low soil moisture levels. Up to 75% of litter placed in the field in March was lost by October whereas, for the 3 lower elevations, less than 10% of the litter placed in the field in April was lost through decomposition processes. ?? 1989 Springer-Verlag.

  6. The influence of pine forests of different ages on the biological activity of layland soils in the middle Angara River basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sorokina, O. A.; Sorokin, N. D.

    2007-05-01

    The influence of pine forests of different ages (from 25 to 85 years) restoring on old plow land soils is reflected in the biological processes proceeding in them. The drastic decrease in the absolute and relative number of actinomycetes, along with an increase of the fungal population in the microbial complexes of the soils (within the whole profiles), indicates that the microbocenoses acquire “forest” properties. In the soils under the younger pine forests, the processes of microbiological mineralization and specific respiration activity are more active than in the soils under the older pine forests. With the age of the pine forests, the soil profiles become more differentiated according to the eluvial-illuvial type.

  7. Long-term impact of land management in soil biological processes can be assessed by fingerprint of dissolved organic carbon and peroxidase activity in topsoil and subsoil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hernandez-Soriano, Maria C.; Maclean, Jamie L.; Dalal, Ram C.; Menzies, Neal W.; Kopittke, Peter M.

    2015-04-01

    The dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is a highly dynamic pool, directly related to biological functions and to the stabilization of organic carbon (OC) through interaction with the mineral phase. Therefore, the characterization of the main components of DOC can be linked to the metabolic status of soil and the turnover of OC and provides a sensitive approach to evaluate the impact of land use on OC turnover in soils. Accordingly, the objective of this study was to derive relationships between DOC characteristics and biochemical activity in soils under contrasting land management. The soil solution was isolated from topsoil and subsoil for three soils (Vertisol, Ferralsol, Acrisol, World Reference Base 2014) collected from undisturbed areas and from a location(s) immediately adjacent which has a long history of agricultural, pasture or afforestation use (>20 years) by centrifugation at 4000 rpm (20 min, 25 °C. The fingerprint of DOC was obtained to identify OC functionalities by spectrofluorometric analyses and Excitation-Emission matrices (EEM) were obtained for all samples. The excitation wavelengths were increased from 250 to 400 nm in 5-nm steps for each excitation wavelength, and emission was detected from 250 to 500 nm in 0.5-nm steps and. Humification index (HIX), freshness index (FrI), fluorescence index (FI) and redox index (RI) were derived from the EEMs. Extracellular laccase activity was examined by monitoring the oxidation of 2,2'-azinobis-3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid (ABTS) at 420 nm. The EEMs revealed a depletion of the humic-like component (250soils under pasture or cropping compared to adjacent soils under native vegetation. For soil under pasture, the subsoil appeared enriched in the humic-like component compared to the subsoil under native vegetation. A component assigned to aromatic proteins was identified in the subsoil of the cropping area. The HIX consistently decreased for cropping areas

  8. Changes in the biological activity of chestnut soils upon the long-term application of fertilizers in a rotation with oil-bearing crops

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eleshev, R. E.; Bakenova, Z. B.

    2012-11-01

    Experimental studies showed that irrigated chestnut soils on the piedmont of the Zailiiskiy Alatau Range are characterized by the moderate activity of the hydrolytic and redox enzymes. The use of these soils in the crop rotation system increases the hydrolytic activity of the enzymes (invertase, urease, and ATP synthase) by 30% in comparison with the monoculture; at the same time, it does not have a significant impact on the changes in the biological activity of the redox enzymes (catalase and dehydrogenase). The hydrolytic activity of the soils is activated to a greater extent in the crop rotation and in the monoculture against the background application of organic fertilizers. In this case, the recommended rates of mineral fertilizers do not inhibit the activity of the hydrolytic and redox enzymes. An increase in the hydrolytic activity of the enzymes directly affects the yield of oilseed flax. Therefore, indices of the hydrolytic activity of soils can be used as a test for the diagnostics of the efficiency of fertilizers both in crop rotation and monoculture systems.

  9. LAND USE HISTORY, SOIL BIOLOGY, AND SOIL CARBON

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Land use history contributes to patterns in soil biology and nutrient cycling. In California, a range of soil types support grasslands, each consisting of specific soil factors that influence the associated grassland and microbial communities. In Monterey County in the Central Coast region, several ...

  10. Metadata Activities in Biology

    SciTech Connect

    Inigo, Gil San; HUTCHISON, VIVIAN; Frame, Mike; Palanisamy, Giri

    2010-01-01

    The National Biological Information Infrastructure program has advanced the biological sciences ability to standardize, share, integrate and synthesize data by making the metadata program a core of its activities. Through strategic partnerships, a series of crosswalks for the main biological metadata specifications have enabled data providers and international clearinghouses to aggregate and disseminate tens of thousands of metadata sets describing petabytes of data records. New efforts at the National Biological Information Infrastructure are focusing on better metadata creation and curation tools, semantic mediation for data discovery and other curious initiatives.

  11. Biological framework for soil aggregation: Implications for ecological functions.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghezzehei, Teamrat; Or, Dani

    2016-04-01

    Soil aggregation is heuristically understood as agglomeration of primary particles bound together by biotic and abiotic cementing agents. The organization of aggregates is believed to be hierarchical in nature; whereby primary particles bond together to form secondary particles and subsequently merge to form larger aggregates. Soil aggregates are not permanent structures, they continuously change in response to internal and external forces and other drivers, including moisture, capillary pressure, temperature, biological activity, and human disturbances. Soil aggregation processes and the resulting functionality span multiple spatial and temporal scales. The intertwined biological and physical nature of soil aggregation, and the time scales involved precluded a universally applicable and quantifiable framework for characterizing the nature and function of soil aggregation. We introduce a biophysical framework of soil aggregation that considers the various modes and factors of the genesis, maturation and degradation of soil aggregates including wetting/drying cycles, soil mechanical processes, biological activity and the nature of primary soil particles. The framework attempts to disentangle mechanical (compaction and soil fragmentation) from in-situ biophysical aggregation and provides a consistent description of aggregate size, hierarchical organization, and life time. It also enables quantitative description of biotic and abiotic functions of soil aggregates including diffusion and storage of mass and energy as well as role of aggregates as hot spots of nutrient accumulation, biodiversity, and biogeochemical cycles.

  12. Behavior of oxyfluorfen in soils amended with different sources of organic matter. Effects on soil biology.

    PubMed

    Gómez, Isidoro; Rodríguez-Morgado, Bruno; Parrado, Juan; García, Carlos; Hernández, Teresa; Tejada, Manuel

    2014-05-30

    We performed a laboratory study on the effect of oxyfluorfen at a rate of 4lha(-1) on biological properties of a soil amended with four organic wastes (two biostimulants/biofertilizers, obtained from rice bran, RB1 and RB2; municipal solid waste, MSW; and sheep manure, SM). Soil was mixed with SM at a rate of 1%, MSW at a rate of 0.52%, RB1 at a rate of 0.39% and RB2 at a rate of 0.30%, in order to apply the same amount of organic matter to the soil. The enzymatic activities and microbial community in the soil were determined during the incubation times. The application of RB1 and RB2 to soil without oxyfluorfen increased the enzymatic activities and biodiversity, peaking at day 10 of the incubation period. This stimulation was higher in the soil amended with RB2 than in that amended with RB1. In SM and CF-amended soils, the stimulation of enzymatic activities and soil biodiversity increased during the experiment. The application of herbicide in organic-amended soils decreased the inhibition of soil enzymatic activities and soil biodiversity. Possibly the low molecular weight protein content easily assimilated by soil microorganisms and the higher fat content in the biostimulants/biofertilizers are responsible for the lower inhibition of these soil biological properties. PMID:24742665

  13. Color characterization of Arctic Biological Soil Crusts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mele, Giacono; Gargiulo, Laura; Ventura, Stefano

    2015-04-01

    Global climate change makes large areas lacking the vegetation coverage continuously available to primary colonization by biological soil crusts (BSCs). This happens in many different environments, included high mountains and Polar Regions where new areas can become available due to glaciers retreat. Presence of BSCs leads to the stabilization of the substrate and to a possible development of protosoil, with an increase of fertility and resilience against erosion. Polar BSCs can exhibit many different proportions of cyanobacteria, algae, microfungi, lichens, and bryophytes which induce a large variability of the crust morphology and specific ecosystem functions. An effective and easy way for identifying the BSCs in the field would be very useful to rapidly recognize their development stage and help in understanding the overall impact of climate change in the delicate polar environments. Color analysis has long been applied as an easily measurable physical attribute of soil closely correlated with pedogenic processes and some soil functions. In this preliminary work we used RGB and CIE-L*a*b* color models in order to physically characterize fourteen different BSCs identified in Spitsbergen island of Svalbard archipelago in Arctic Ocean at 79° north latitude. We found that the "redness parameter "a*" of CIE-L*a*b* model was well correlated to the succession process of some BSCs at given geomorphology condition. Most of color parameters showed, moreover, a great potential to be correlated to photosynthetic activity and other ecosystem functions of BSCs.

  14. Effects of chemical, biological, and physical aging as well as soil addition on the sorption of pyrene to activated carbon and biochar.

    PubMed

    Hale, Sarah E; Hanley, Kelly; Lehmann, Johannes; Zimmerman, Andrewr; Cornelissen, Gerard

    2011-12-15

    In this study, the suitability of biochar and activated carbon (AC) for contaminated soil remediation is investigated by determining the sorption of pyrene to both materials in the presence and absence of soil and before as well as after aging. Biochar and AC were aged either alone or mixed with soil via exposure to (a) nutrients and microorganisms (biological), (b) 60 and 110 °C (chemical), and (c) freeze-thaw cycles (physical). Before and after aging, the pH, elemental composition, cation exchange capacity (CEC), microporous SA, and sorption isotherms of pyrene were quantified. Aging at 110 °C altered the physicochemical properties of all materials to the greatest extent (for example, pH increased by up to three units and CEC by up to 50% for biochar). Logarithmic K(Fr) values ranged from 7.80 to 8.21 (ng kg(-1))(ng L(-1))(-nF) for AC and 5.22 to 6.21 (ng kg(-1))(ng L(-1))(-nF) for biochar after the various aging regimes. Grinding biochar to a smaller particle size did not significantly affect the sorption of d(10) pyrene, implying that sorption processes operate on the subparticle scale. Chemical aging decreased the sorption of pyrene to the greatest extent (up to 1.8 log unit for the biochar+soil). The sorption to AC was affected more by the presence of soil than the sorption to biochar was. Our results suggest that AC and biochar have a high sorption capacity for pyrene that is maintained both in the presence of soil and during harsh aging. Both materials could therefore be considered in contaminated land remediation. PMID:22077986

  15. Isolation of Secondary Metabolites from the Soil-Derived Fungus Clonostachys rosea YRS-06, a Biological Control Agent, and Evaluation of Antibacterial Activity.

    PubMed

    Zhai, Ming-Ming; Qi, Feng-Ming; Li, Jie; Jiang, Chun-Xiao; Hou, Yue; Shi, Yan-Ping; Di, Duo-Long; Zhang, Ji-Wen; Wu, Quan-Xiang

    2016-03-23

    The fungus Clonostachys rosea is widely distributed all over the world. The destructive force of this fungus, as a biological control agent, is very strong to lots of plant pathogenic fungi. As part of the ongoing search for antibiotics from fungi obtained from soil samples, the secondary metabolites of C. rosea YRS-06 were investigated. Through efficient bioassay-guided isolation, three new bisorbicillinoids possessing open-ended cage structures, tetrahydrotrichodimer ether (1) and dihydrotrichodimer ether A and B (2 and 3), and 12 known compounds were obtained. Their structures were determined via extensive NMR, HR-ESI-MS, and CD spectroscopic analyses and X-ray diffraction data. Compounds 1-3 are rare bisorbicillinoids with a γ-pyrone moiety. The biological properties of 1-15 were evaluated against six different Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Bisorbicillinoids, 2-5, and TMC-151 C and E, 14 and 15, showed potent antibacterial activity. PMID:26974009

  16. Impact of temperature on the biological properties of soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borowik, Agata; Wyszkowska, Jadwiga

    2016-01-01

    The aim of the study was to determine the response of soil microorganisms and enzymes to the temperature of soil. The effect of the temperatures: 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25°C on the biological properties of soil was investigated under laboratory conditions. The study was performed using four different soils differing in their granulometric composition. It was found that 15°C was the optimal temperature for the development of microorganisms in soil. Typically, in the soil, the highest activity of dehydrogenases was observed at 10-15°C, catalase and acid phosphatase - at 15°C, alkaline phosphatase at 20°C, urease and β-glucosidase at 25°C. The highest colony development index for heterotrophic bacteria was recorded in soils incubated at 25°C, while for actinomycetes and fungi at 15°C. The incubation temperature of soil only slightly changed the ecophysiological variety of the investigated groups of microorganisms. Therefore, the observed climate changes might have a limited impact on the soil microbiological activity, because of the high ability of microorganisms to adopt. The response of soil microorganisms and enzymes was more dependent on the soil granulometric composition, organic carbon, and total nitrogen than on its temperature.

  17. Quantitative molecular biology and gas flux measurements demonstrate soil treatment and depth affects on the distribution and activity of denitrifiers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barrett, M. M.; Jahangir, M.; Cardenas, L.; Khalil, M.; Richards, K. R.; O'Flaherty, V.

    2010-12-01

    The growing industrialisation of agriculture has led to a dramatic increase in organic and inorganic nitrogen (N) fertiliser inputs to agro-ecosystems. This increase has had negative effects on the quality of water ecosystems and greenhouse gas emissions.The study objective was to quantify denitrification and denitrifying microorganisms, using real-time PCR assays of the nitrite reductase(nir) and nitrous oxide reductase(nos) functional gene copy concentrations (GCC g[soil]-1) in Irish agricultural surface and subsoils. Soil cores from 3 soil horizons (A:0-10 cm; B:45-55 cm; C:120-130cm) were amended with 3 alternate N- and C-source amendments (NO3-; NO3-+glucose-C; NO3-+Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC). Real-time production of N2O and N2 was recorded by gas chromatography in a specialized He/O2 environment. N2O and Total Denitrification (TDN) (N2O+N2) production was generally greater in surface soil (2.052 mg/kg/d TDN) than in subsoils (0.120 mg/kg/d TDN). The abundance of denitrifying nirS, nirK (nir) and nos genes was higher in the surface soil, decreasing with soil depth, except in incubations amended with NO3- and DOC, where the carbon source directly positively affected gene copy numbers and fluxes of N2O and N2 production. C addition increased soil denitrification rates, and resulted in higher N2O/(N2O+N2) ratios in surface soil (0.39) than subsoils (0.005), indicating that the subsoil had higher potential for complete reduction of N2O to N2. In the subsoils, complete reduction of NO3- due to glucose-C and DOC addition was observed. Interestingly, at all 3 soil depths, lower nirK abundance (2.78 105 GCC) was recorded, compared to nirS (1.45 107 GCC), but the overall abundance of nir (S+K) i.e. (1.54 107GCC), corresponded with N2O emission fluxes (3.34 mg/kg/d) Statistical analysis indicates negative correlation between nirK GCC and N2O production, but a strong positive correlation was observed between nirS GCC and N2O. We therefore hypothesize that the

  18. Active Biological Materials

    PubMed Central

    Fletcher, Daniel A.; Geissler, Phillip L.

    2011-01-01

    Cells make use of dynamic internal structures to control shape and create movement. By consuming energy to assemble into highly organized systems of interacting parts, these structures can generate force and resist compression, as well as adaptively change in response to their environment. Recent progress in reconstituting cytoskeletal structures in vitro has provided an opportunity to characterize the mechanics and dynamics of filament networks formed from purified proteins. Results indicate that a complex interplay between length scales and timescales underlies the mechanical responses of these systems and that energy consumption, as manifested in molecular motor activity and cytoskeletal filament growth, can drive transitions between distinct material states. This review discusses the basic characteristics of these active biological materials that set them apart from conventional materials and that create a rich array of unique behaviors. PMID:18999991

  19. Biological soil crusts as soil stabilizers: Chapter 16

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, Jayne; Buedel, Burkhard

    2016-01-01

    Soil erosion is of particular concern in dryland regions, as the sparse cover of vascular plants results in large interspaces unprotected from the erosive forces of wind and water. Thus, most of these soil surfaces are stabilized by physical or biological soil crusts. However, as drylands are extensively used by humans and their animals, these crusts are often disturbed, compromising their stabilizing abilities. As a result, approximately 17.5% of the global terrestrial lands are currently being degraded by wind and water erosion. All components of biocrusts stabilize soils, including green algae, cyanobacteria, fungi, lichens, and bryophytes, and as the biomass of these organisms increases, so does soil stability. In addition, as lichens and bryophytes live atop the soil surface, they provide added protection from raindrop impact that cyanobacteria and fungi, living within the soil, cannot. Much research is still needed to determine the relative ability of individual species and suites of species to stabilize soils. We also need a better understanding of why some individuals or combination of species are better than others, especially as these organisms become more frequently used in restoration efforts.

  20. Biological residues define the ice nucleation properties of soil dust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conen, F.; Morris, C. E.; Leifeld, J.; Yakutin, M. V.; Alewell, C.

    2011-06-01

    Soil dust is a major driver of ice nucleation in clouds leading to precipitation. It consists largely of mineral particles with a small fraction of organic matter constituted mainly of remains of micro-organisms that participated in degrading plant debris before their own decay. Some micro-organisms have been shown to be much better ice nuclei than the most efficient soil mineral. Yet, current aerosol schemes in global climate models do not consider a difference between soil dust and mineral dust in terms of ice nucleation activity. Here, we show that particles from the clay and silt size fraction of four different soils naturally associated with 0.7 to 11.8 % organic carbon (w/w) can have up to four orders of magnitude more ice nuclei per unit mass active in the immersion freezing mode at -12 °C than montmorillonite, the most efficient pure clay mineral. Most of this activity was lost after heat treatment. Removal of biological residues reduced ice nucleation activity to, or below that of montmorillonite. Desert soils, inherently low in organic content, are a large natural source of dust in the atmosphere. In contrast, agricultural land use is concentrated on fertile soils with much larger organic matter contents than found in deserts. It is currently estimated that the contribution of agricultural soils to the global dust burden is less than 20 %. Yet, these disturbed soils can contribute ice nuclei to the atmosphere of a very different and much more potent kind than mineral dusts.

  1. Soil stabilization by biological soil crusts in arid Tunisia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guidez, Sabine; Couté, Alain; Bardat, Jacques

    2015-04-01

    As part of the fight against desertification (LCD) in arid Tunisia, we have been able to highlight the important role played by biological soil crusts (BSC) in soil stabilization. The identification of the major species of cyanobacteria, lichens and bryophytes, their adaptation and terrestrial colonization strategies in this high climatic constraints area through their morpho-anatomical criteria have been set. In addition to their biological composition, their internal arrangement (i.e. texture and microstructure) reflects the structural stability of BSC against erosion. Precisely, the aggregative power of cyanobacteria and their ways of moving inside a soil, the capacity of mosses to grow through the sediments and lichens ability to bind at particles on surface, thus stabilizing the substrate have been demonstrated. Then, the three biological components ability to capture soil particles has been widely illustrated, proving the major environmental contribution of BSC in arid areas biological crusts formation, providing that soils will experience an increase of organic matter and fine particles rates subsequently gaining faster and better stability. Although the thickness and the morphology of crusts are related to the cover rates of these different biological components, the water properties of the latter, studied at the environmental SEM, illustrate their important role in altering the water cycle. Thus, the mixed crusts, i.e. with good presence of three biological components, cause the highest runoff rates by their ability to retain the water and spread on the surface. In spite of a swelling coefficient in presence of water higher than cryptogams, the cyanobacterial crusts located in newly stabilized areas of our studied region, remain finally insufficiently dense to impact surface hydrology. But, we showed after all that the cyanobacteria, pioneer species, have a certain environmental role. The lichen crusts cause a increased runoff because the lichens have a

  2. Advances in Soil Biology: What does this mean for assessing soil change?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Black, Helaina; Mele, Pauline

    2015-07-01

    Our interests in soil change are moving away from soil properties and increasingly towards changes in the processes and functioning of soils. Soil organisms are fundamental to dynamics and change in soils through their fundamental role in soil processes [1]. However it is only with recent technical and theoretical advances that we have started to establish quantitative relationships between soil biology and soil change (c.f. [2]). It is this predictive understanding that will enable us to fully integrate soil biology into the effective monitoring and sustainable management of soils. This paper outlines some of the recent advances in soil biology and discusses their relevance to monitoring and management.

  3. Enzyme activities by indicator of quality in organic soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raigon Jiménez, Mo; Fita, Ana Delores; Rodriguez Burruezo, Adrián

    2016-04-01

    The analytical determination of biochemical parameters, as soil enzyme activities and those related to the microbial biomass is growing importance by biological indicator in soil science studies. The metabolic activity in soil is responsible of important processes such as mineralization and humification of organic matter. These biological reactions will affect other key processes involved with elements like carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus , and all transformations related in soil microbial biomass. The determination of biochemical parameters is useful in studies carried out on organic soil where microbial processes that are key to their conservation can be analyzed through parameters of the metabolic activity of these soils. The main objective of this work is to apply analytical methodologies of enzyme activities in soil collections of different physicochemical characteristics. There have been selective sampling of natural soils, organic farming soils, conventional farming soils and urban soils. The soils have been properly identified conserved at 4 ° C until analysis. The enzyme activities determinations have been: catalase, urease, cellulase, dehydrogenase and alkaline phosphatase, which bring together a representative group of biological transformations that occur in the soil environment. The results indicate that for natural and agronomic soil collections, the values of the enzymatic activities are within the ranges established for forestry and agricultural soils. Organic soils are generally higher level of enzymatic, regardless activity of the enzyme involved. Soil near an urban area, levels of activities have been significantly reduced. The vegetation cover applied to organic soils, results in greater enzymatic activity. So the quality of these soils, defined as the ability to maintain their biological productivity is increased with the use of cover crops, whether or spontaneous species. The practice of cover based on legumes could be used as an ideal choice

  4. Orchard floor management effects on nitrogen fertility and soil biological activity in a newly established organic apple orchard

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Nutrient supply in organic systems is dependent on mineralization of organic matter; however, the intensive cultivation commonly used to control weeds can disrupt biological processes and cause undue loss of organic matter. Here we address the often-competing goals of organic fertility and weed con...

  5. Biological cleaning of soil and reservoirs from oil products

    SciTech Connect

    Zinberg, M.B.; Ivanovskaya, I.B.; Gafarov, N.A.

    1996-12-31

    The production of oil and gas condensate invariably involves environmental hazards: water and soil contamination due to miscellaneous breakdowns of technological equipment and pipeline damage. Among many existing contamination methods biological cleaning has become more popular lately. It took us some years to make investigations and to carry out a number of field tests in order to develop biological methods of cleaning soil and reservoirs from oil and gas condensate products. Our method is based on the use of special biological agents containing various active hydrocarbon oxidizing bacteria. It has been experimentally proved that biological agents of {open_quotes}Devouroil{close_quotes} possess the greatest oxidizing properties. {open_quotes}Devouroil{close_quotes} contains five kinds of hydrocarbon oxidizing bacteria of Pseudomonas, Rodococcus, Candida genera. These bacteria are extracted from natural ecosystems: underground waters, soils, reservoirs. As the agents are grown on oil distillate, they are very destructive to different oil products. We also proved the described microorganisms ability to oxidize sulfate oil and hydrocarbon condensate, which are the most toxic components. For four years our colleagues have been cleaning soil and reservoirs contaminated with oil, black oil, gas condensate and other products of hydrocarbon origin. This method was used to treat different kinds of soil and ground (grass and arable land, swamp and forest) in actual hazardous situations involving oil and gas condensate spills. Besides it was successfully applied to clean sludge storage which had been filled with oil process sewage for several years.

  6. Reconstruction of food webs in biological soil crusts using metabolomics.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baran, Richard; Brodie, Eoin L.; Mayberry-Lewis, Jazmine; Nunes Da Rocha, Ulisses; Bowen, Benjamin P.; Karaoz, Ulas; Cadillo-Quiroz, Hinsby; Garcia-Pichel, Ferran; Northen, Trent R.

    2015-04-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are communities of organisms inhabiting the upper layer of soil in arid environments. BSCs persist in a dessicated dormant state for extended periods of time and experience pulsed periods of activity facilitated by infrequent rainfall. Microcoleus vaginatus, a non-diazotrophic filamentous cyanobacterium, is the key primary producer in BSCs in the Colorado Plateau and is an early pioneer in colonizing arid environments. Over decades, BSCs proceed through developmental stages with increasing complexity of constituent microorganisms and macroscopic properties. Metabolic interactions among BSC microorganisms probably play a key role in determining the community dynamics and cycling of carbon and nitrogen. However, these metabolic interactions have not been studied systematically. Towards this goal, exometabolomic analysis was performed using liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry on biological soil crust pore water and spent media of key soil bacterial isolates. Comparison of spent vs. fresh media was used to determine uptake or release of metabolites by specific microbes. To link pore water experiments with isolate studies, metabolite extracts of authentic soil were used as supplements for isolate exometabolomic profiling. Our soil metabolomics methods detected hundreds of metabolites from soils including many novel compounds. Overall, Microcoleus vaginatus was found to release and utilize a broad range of metabolites. Many of these metabolites were also taken up by heterotrophs but there were surprisingly few metabolites uptaken by all isolates. This points to a competition for a small set of central metabolites and specialization of individual heterotrophs towards a diverse pool of available organic nutrients. Overall, these data suggest that understanding the substrate specialization of biological soil crust bacteria can help link community structure to nutrient cycling.

  7. Biological degradation of TNT-contaminated soil

    SciTech Connect

    Manning, J.F.; Boopathy, R.

    1995-12-31

    The concept of using biological slurry reactors to remediate soil contaminated with TNT has been investigated at the laboratory scale. Important parameters include an organic co-substrate and appropriate amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus added as nutrients. Normally, the degradation requires an organic co-substrate. The type of co-substrate can have a significant impact on the rate and extent of degradation. Succinate, malate, molasses, and glucose are all acceptable co-substrates. Molasses, or succinate with added yeast extract and/or peptone, provides superior rates of removal. Consortia of microorganisms isolated from various sites can also degrade TNT. To exploit the microbial system, laboratory scale soil slurry reactors have been operated, achieving reductions in TNT concentrations on the order of 90-99% from initial TNT concentrations of 7,000-10,000 mg/kg. Laboratory scale tests have shown that all of the intermediates can be removed by microbial degradation. Laboratory reactors operated with 15% volume replacement one, two, or three times a week achieved removal of 95-99% of the TNT in the feed soil. This system can reduce TNT concentrations to less than 20 mg/kg in treated soil. In particular, operation of the reactors in an aerobic-anoxic sequenced pattern promotes the conversion of TNT to CO{sub 2} and microbial biomass. Radiolabeling studies demonstrated that 50% of the TNT is mineralized, with 30% of the original labeled TNT being converted to microbial biomass. To take advantage of this technology, a field demonstration in which the soil slurry reactor is being used to degrade explosives-contaminated soil is currently being conducted.

  8. Biological Chlorine Cycling in Arctic Peat Soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zlamal, J. E.; Raab, T. K.; Lipson, D.

    2014-12-01

    . Incubations were conducted in the laboratory providing arctic soils with Clorg, and measurements taken to assess rates of organohalide respiration show an increase in chloride production due to microbial activity. Investigating these soils with diverse techniques affirms the importance of Cl-cycling in a pristine arctic tundra ecosystem.

  9. Biological residues define the ice nucleation properties of soil dust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conen, F.; Morris, C. E.; Leifeld, J.; Yakutin, M. V.; Alewell, C.

    2011-09-01

    Soil dust is a major driver of ice nucleation in clouds leading to precipitation. It consists largely of mineral particles with a small fraction of organic matter constituted mainly of remains of micro-organisms that participated in degrading plant debris before their own decay. Some micro-organisms have been shown to be much better ice nuclei than the most efficient soil mineral. Yet, current aerosol schemes in global climate models do not consider a difference between soil dust and mineral dust in terms of ice nucleation activity. Here, we show that particles from the clay and silt size fraction of four different soils naturally associated with 0.7 to 11.8 % organic carbon (w/w) can have up to four orders of magnitude more ice nucleation sites per unit mass active in the immersion freezing mode at -12 °C than montmorillonite, the nucleation properties of which are often used to represent those of mineral dusts in modelling studies. Most of this activity was lost after heat treatment. Removal of biological residues reduced ice nucleation activity to, or below that of montmorillonite. Desert soils, inherently low in organic content, are a large natural source of dust in the atmosphere. In contrast, agricultural land use is concentrated on fertile soils with much larger organic matter contents than found in deserts. It is currently estimated that the contribution of agricultural soils to the global dust burden is less than 20 %. Yet, these disturbed soils can contribute ice nuclei to the atmosphere of a very different and much more potent kind than mineral dusts.

  10. Evaluation of Biological and Enzymatic Activity of Soil in a Tropical Dry Forest: Desierto de la Tatacoa (Colombia) with Potential in Mars Terraforming and Other Similar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moreno Moreno, A. N.

    2009-12-01

    Desierto de la Tatacoa has been determined to be a tropical dry forest bioma, which is located at 3° 13" N 75° 13" W. It has a hot thermal floor with 440 msnm of altitude; it has a daily average of 28° C, and a maximum of 40° C, Its annual rainfall total can be upwards of 1250 mm. Its solar sheen has a daily average of 5.8 hours and its relative humidity is between 60% and 65%. Therefore, the life forms presents are very scant, and in certain places, almost void. It was realized a completely random sampling of soil from its surface down to 6 inches deep, of zones without vegetation and with soils highly loaded by oxides of iron in order to determine the number of microorganisms per gram and its subsequent identification. It was measured the soil basal respiration. Besides, it was determined enzymatic activity (catalase, dehydrogenase, phosphatase and urease). Starting with the obtained results, it is developes an alternative towards the study of soil genesis in Mars in particular, and recommendations for same process in other planets. Although the information found in the experiments already realized in Martian soil they demonstrate that doesnt exist any enzymatic activity, the knowledge of the same topic in the soil is proposed as an alternative to problems like carbonic fixing of the dense Martian atmosphere of CO2, the degradation of inorganic compounds amongst other in order to prepare the substratum for later colonization by some life form.

  11. Effects of soil type and farm management on soil ecological functional genes and microbial activities

    SciTech Connect

    Reeve, Jennifer; Schadt, Christopher Warren; Carpenter-Boggs, Lynne; Kang, S.; Zhou, Jizhong; Reganold, John P.

    2010-01-01

    Relationships between soil microbial diversity and soil function are the subject of much debate. Process-level analyses have shown that microbial function varies with soil type and responds to soil management. However, such measurements cannot determine the role of community structure and diversity in soil function. The goal of this study was to investigate the role of gene frequency and diversity, measured by microarray analysis, on soil processes. The study was conducted in an agro-ecosystem characterized by contrasting management practices and soil types. Eight pairs of adjacent commercial organic and conventional strawberry fields were matched for soil type, strawberry variety, and all other environmental conditions. Soil physical, chemical and biological analyses were conducted including functional gene microarrays (FGA). Soil physical and chemical characteristics were primarily determined by soil textural type (coarse vs fine-textured), but biological and FGA measures were more influenced by management (organic vs conventional). Organically managed soils consistently showed greater functional activity as well as FGA signal intensity (SI) and diversity. Overall FGA SI and diversity were correlated to total soil microbial biomass. Functional gene group SI and/or diversity were correlated to related soil chemical and biological measures such as microbial biomass, cellulose, dehydrogenase, ammonium and sulfur. Management was the dominant determinant of soil biology as measured by microbial gene frequency and diversity, which paralleled measured microbial processes.

  12. Effects of soil type and farm management on soil ecological functional genes and microbial activities.

    PubMed

    Reeve, Jennifer R; Schadt, Christopher W; Carpenter-Boggs, Lynne; Kang, Sanghoon; Zhou, Jizhong; Reganold, John P

    2010-09-01

    Relationships between soil microbial diversity and soil function are the subject of much debate. Process-level analyses have shown that microbial function varies with soil type and responds to soil management. However, such measurements cannot determine the role of community structure and diversity in soil function. The goal of this study was to investigate the role of gene frequency and diversity, measured by microarray analysis, on soil processes. The study was conducted in an agro-ecosystem characterized by contrasting management practices and soil types. Eight pairs of adjacent commercial organic and conventional strawberry fields were matched for soil type, strawberry variety, and all other environmental conditions. Soil physical, chemical and biological analyses were conducted including functional gene microarrays (FGA). Soil physical and chemical characteristics were primarily determined by soil textural type (coarse vs fine-textured), but biological and FGA measures were more influenced by management (organic vs conventional). Organically managed soils consistently showed greater functional activity as well as FGA signal intensity (SI) and diversity. Overall FGA SI and diversity were correlated to total soil microbial biomass. Functional gene group SI and/or diversity were correlated to related soil chemical and biological measures such as microbial biomass, cellulose, dehydrogenase, ammonium and sulfur. Management was the dominant determinant of soil biology as measured by microbial gene frequency and diversity, which paralleled measured microbial processes. PMID:20376100

  13. In situ fixation of metals in soils using bauxite residue: biological effects.

    PubMed

    Lombi, Enzo; Zhao, Fang-Jie; Wieshammer, Gerlinde; Zhang, Gangya; McGrath, Steve P

    2002-01-01

    Soils polluted with heavy metals can cause phytotoxicity and exhibit impared microbial activities. In this paper we evaluate the responses of different biological endpoints to in situ remediation processes. Three soil amendments (red mud, beringite and lime) were applied to two soils polluted by heavy metals. Oilseed rape, wheat, pea and lettuce were grown successively in pots on the untreated and amended soils and their yield and metal uptake were determined. A suite of microbial tests (lux-marked biosensors, Biolog and soil microbial biomass) were performed to determine the effect of the soil amendments on the functionality and size of the soil microbial community. In both soils all three amendments reduced phytotoxicity of heavy metals, enhanced plant yields and decreased the metal concentrations in plants. The red mud treatment also increased soil microbial biomass significantly. The microbial biosensors responded positively to the remediation treatments in the industrially-contaminated soil used in the experiment. Red mud applied at 2% of soil weight was as effective as beringite applied at 5%. The results also showed that since the biological systems tested respond differently to the alleviation of metal toxicity, a suite of biological assays should be used to assess soil remediation processes. PMID:12009143

  14. [Biologically active food additives].

    PubMed

    Velichko, M A; Shevchenko, V P

    1998-07-01

    More than half out of 40 projects for the medical science development by the year of 2000 have been connected with the bio-active edible additives that are called "the food of XXI century", non-pharmacological means for many diseases. Most of these additives--nutricevtics and parapharmacevtics--are intended for the enrichment of food rations for the sick or healthy people. The ecologicaly safest and most effective are combined domestic adaptogens with immuno-modulating and antioxidating action that give anabolic and stimulating effect,--"leveton", "phytoton" and "adapton". The MKTs-229 tablets are residue discharge means. For atherosclerosis and general adiposis they recommend "tsar tablets" and "aiconol (ikhtien)"--on the base of cod-liver oil or "splat" made out of seaweed (algae). All these preparations have been clinically tested and received hygiene certificates from the Institute of Dietology of the Russian Academy of Medical Science. PMID:9752776

  15. Biological attributes of rehabilitated soils contaminated with heavy metals.

    PubMed

    Valentim Dos Santos, Jessé; Varón-López, Maryeimy; Fonsêca Sousa Soares, Cláudio Roberto; Lopes Leal, Patrícia; Siqueira, José Oswaldo; de Souza Moreira, Fatima Maria

    2016-04-01

    This study aimed to evaluate the effects of two rehabilitation systems in sites contaminated by Zn, Cu, Pb, and Cd on biological soil attributes [microbial biomass carbon (Cmic), basal and induced respiration, enzymatic activities, microorganism plate count, and bacterial and fungal community diversity and structure by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE)]. These systems (S1 and S2) consisted of excavation (trenching) and replacement of contaminated soil by uncontaminated soil in rows with Eucalyptus camaldulensis planting (S1-R and S2-R), free of understory vegetation (S1-BR), or completely covered by Brachiaria decumbens (S2-BR) in between rows. A contaminated, non-rehabilitated (NR) site and two contamination-free sites [Cerrado (C) and pasture (P)] were used as controls. Cmic, densities of bacteria and actinobacteria, and enzymatic activities (β-glucosidase, acid phosphatase, and urease) were significantly higher in the rehabilitated sites of system 2 (S2-R and S2-BR). However, even under high heavy metal contents (S1-R), the rehabilitation with eucalyptus was also effective. DGGE analysis revealed similarity in the diversity and structure of bacteria and fungi communities between rehabilitated sites and C site (uncontaminated). Principal component analysis showed clustering of rehabilitated sites (S2-R and S2-BR) with contamination-free sites, and S1-R was intermediate between the most and least contaminated sites, demonstrating that the soil replacement and revegetation improved the biological condition of the soil. The attributes that most explained these clustering were bacterial density, acid phosphatase, β-glucosidase, fungal and actinobacterial densities, Cmic, and induced respiration. PMID:26662102

  16. Impact of environmental factors and biological soil crust types on soil respiration in a desert ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Feng, Wei; Zhang, Yuqing; Jia, Xin; Wu, Bin; Zha, Tianshan; Qin, Shugao; Wang, Ben; Shao, Chenxi; Liu, Jiabin; Fa, Keyu

    2014-01-01

    The responses of soil respiration to environmental conditions have been studied extensively in various ecosystems. However, little is known about the impacts of temperature and moisture on soils respiration under biological soil crusts. In this study, CO2 efflux from biologically-crusted soils was measured continuously with an automated chamber system in Ningxia, northwest China, from June to October 2012. The highest soil respiration was observed in lichen-crusted soil (0.93 ± 0.43 µmol m-2 s-1) and the lowest values in algae-crusted soil (0.73 ± 0.31 µmol m-2 s-1). Over the diurnal scale, soil respiration was highest in the morning whereas soil temperature was highest in the midday, which resulted in diurnal hysteresis between the two variables. In addition, the lag time between soil respiration and soil temperature was negatively correlated with the soil volumetric water content and was reduced as soil water content increased. Over the seasonal scale, daily mean nighttime soil respiration was positively correlated with soil temperature when moisture exceeded 0.075 and 0.085 m3 m-3 in lichen- and moss-crusted soil, respectively. However, moisture did not affect on soil respiration in algae-crusted soil during the study period. Daily mean nighttime soil respiration normalized by soil temperature increased with water content in lichen- and moss-crusted soil. Our results indicated that different types of biological soil crusts could affect response of soil respiration to environmental factors. There is a need to consider the spatial distribution of different types of biological soil crusts and their relative contributions to the total C budgets at the ecosystem or landscape level. PMID:25050837

  17. Evaporative losses from soils covered by physical and different types of biological soil crusts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chamizo, S.; Cantón, Y.; Domingo, F.; Belnap, J.

    2013-01-01

    Evaporation of soil moisture is one of the most important processes affecting water availability in semiarid ecosystems. Biological soil crusts, which are widely distributed ground cover in these ecosystems, play a recognized role on water processes. Where they roughen surfaces, water residence time and thus infiltration can be greatly enhanced, whereas their ability to clog soil pores or cap the soil surface when wetted can greatly decrease infiltration rate, thus affecting evaporative losses. In this work, we compared evaporation in soils covered by physical crusts, biological crusts in different developmental stages and in the soils underlying the different biological crust types. Our results show that during the time of the highest evaporation (Day 1), there was no difference among any of the crust types or the soils underlying them. On Day 2, when soil moisture was moderately low (11%), evaporation was slightly higher in well-developed biological soil crusts than in physical or poorly developed biological soil crusts. However, crust removal did not cause significant changes in evaporation compared with the respective soil crust type. These results suggest that the small differences we observed in evaporation among crust types could be caused by differences in the properties of the soil underneath the biological crusts. At low soil moisture (<6%), there was no difference in evaporation among crust types or the underlying soils. Water loss for the complete evaporative cycle (from saturation to dry soil) was similar in both crusted and scraped soils. Therefore, we conclude that for the specific crust and soil types tested, the presence or the type of biological soil crust did not greatly modify evaporation with respect to physical crusts or scraped soils.

  18. Active synthetic soil

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ming, Douglas W. (Inventor); Henninger, Donald L. (Inventor); Allen, Earl R. (Inventor); Golden, Dadigamuwage C. (Inventor)

    1995-01-01

    A synthetic soil/fertilizer for horticultural application having all the agronutrients essential for plant growth is disclosed. The soil comprises a synthetic apatite fertilizer having sulfur, magnesium and micronutrients dispersed in a calcium phosphate matrix, a zeolite cation exchange medium saturated with a charge of potassium and nitrogen cations, and an optional pH buffer. Moisture dissolves the apatite and mobilizes the nutrient elements from the apatite matrix and the zeolite charge sites.

  19. Active synthetic soil

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ming, Douglas W. (Inventor); Henninger, Donald L. (Inventor); Allen, Earl R. (Inventor); Golden, Dadigamuwage C. (Inventor)

    1995-01-01

    A synthetic soil/fertilizer for horticultural application having all the agronutrients essential for plant growth is disclosed. The soil comprises a synthetic apatite fertilizer having sulfur, magnesium, and micronutrients dispersed in a calcium phosphate matrix, a zeolite cation exchange medium saturated with a charge of potassium and nitrogen cations, and an optional pH buffer. Moisture dissolves the apatite and mobilizes the nutrient elements from the apatite matrix and the zeolite charge sites.

  20. Biological Features of the Soil: Advanced Crop and Soil Science. A Course of Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Larry E.

    The course of study represents the third of six modules in advanced crop and soil science and introduces the agriculture student to biological features of soil. Upon completing the two day lesson, the student will: (1) realize the vast amount of life present in the soil, (2) be able to list representative animal and plant life in the soil by size,…

  1. Biological indicators of soil quality and soil organic matter characteristics in an agricultural management continuum

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Relationships among biological indicators of soil quality and soil organic matter characteristics in a claypan soil were evaluated across a continuum of long-term agricultural practices in Missouri, USA. In addition to chemical and physical soil quality indicators, dehydrogenase and phenol oxidase a...

  2. Solar Energy Project, Activities: Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tullock, Bruce, Ed.; And Others

    This guide contains lesson plans and outlines of science activities which present concepts of solar energy in the context of biology experiments. Each unit presents an introduction; objectives; skills and knowledge needed; materials; methods; questions; recommendations for further work; and a teacher information sheet. The teacher information…

  3. Biological activity of ionene polymers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rembaum, A.

    1973-01-01

    Ionene polymers are polyammonium salts with positive nitrogens in the backbone, resulting from the polycondensation of diamines with dihalides or from the polycondensation of halo amines. The mechanism of formation of ionene polymers of different structures and their biological activity is reviewed. The antimicrobial and antifungal properties are compared with low molecular weight ammonium salts. Ionenes were found to combine with DNA by means of ionic bonds to yield similar complexes to those obtained with polyamines (spermine and spermidine). They also combine with nerve cell receptors and exercise a more powerful and longer duration ganglionic blocking action than their monomeric analogs. The antiheparin activity of ionenes and the thromboresistance of elastomeric ionene heparin coatings is described. The enhanced biological activity of ionenes as compared with low molecular weight compounds is attributed to a cooperative effect of a large number of positive charges on the polymeric chains.

  4. Antibacterial activity of soil-bound antibiotics.

    PubMed

    Chander, Yogesh; Kumar, Kuldip; Goyal, Sagar M; Gupta, Satish C

    2005-01-01

    There is some concern that antibiotic residues in land-applied manure may promote the emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria in the environment. The goal of this study was to determine whether or not soil bound antibiotics are still active against bacteria. The procedure involved sorbing various amounts of tetracycline or tylosin on two different textured soils (Webster clay loam [fine-loamy, mixed, superactive, mesic Typic Endoaquolls] and Hubbard loamy sand [sandy, mixed, frigid Entic Hapludolls]), incubating these soils with three different bacterial cultures (an antibiotic resistant strain of Salmonella sp. [Salmonella(R)], an antibiotic sensitive strain of Salmonella sp. [Salmonella(S)], and Escherichia coli ATCC 25922), and then enumerating the number of colony forming units relative to the control. Incubation was done under both static and dynamic conditions. Soil-adsorbed antibiotics were found to retain their antimicrobial properties since both antibiotics inhibited the growth of all three bacterial species. Averaged over all other factors, soil adsorbed antimicrobial activity was higher for Hubbard loamy sand than Webster clay loam, most likely due to higher affinity (higher clay content) of the Webster soil for antibiotics. Similarly, there was a greater decline in bacterial growth with tetracycline than tylsoin, likely due to greater amounts of soil-adsorbed tetracycline and also due to lower minimum inhibitory concentration of most bacteria for tetracycline than tylosin. The antimicrobial effect of tetracycline was also greater under dynamic than static growth conditions, possibly because agitation under dynamic growth conditions helped increase tetracycline desorption and/or increase contact between soil adsorbed tetracycline and bacteria. We conclude that even though antibiotics are tightly adsorbed by clay particles, they are still biologically active and may influence the selection of antibiotic resistant bacteria in the terrestrial environment

  5. Soil Physical Characteristics and Biological Indicators of Soil Quality Under Different Biodegradable Mulches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaeffer, S. M.; Flury, M.; Sintim, H.; Bandopadhyay, S.; Ghimire, S.; Bary, A.; DeBruyn, J.

    2015-12-01

    Application of conventional polyethylene (PE) mulch in crop production offers benefits of increased water use efficiency, weed control, management of certain plant diseases, and maintenance of a micro-climate conducive for plant growth. These factors improve crop yield and quality, but PE must be retrieved and safely disposed of after usage. Substituting PE with biodegradable plastic mulches (BDM) would alleviate disposal needs, and is potentially a more sustainable practice. However, knowledge of potential impacts of BDMs on agricultural soil ecosystems is needed to evaluate sustainability. We (a) monitored soil moisture and temperature dynamics, and (b) assessed soil quality upon usage of different mulches, with pie pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo) as the test crop. Experimental field trials are ongoing at two sites, one at Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center, Mount Vernon, WA, and the other at East Tennessee Research and Education Center, Knoxville, TN. The treatments constitute four different commercial BDM products, one experimental BDM; no mulch and PE served as the controls. Soil quality parameters being examined include: organic matter content, aggregate stability, water infiltration rate, CO2 flux, pH, and extracellular enzyme activity. In addition, lysimeters were installed to examine the soil water and heat flow dynamics. We present baseline and the first field season results from this study. Mulch cover appeared to moderate soil temperatures, but biodegradable mulches also appeared to lose water more quickly than PE. All mulch types, with the exception of cellulose, reduced the diurnal fluctuations in soil temperature at 10cm depth from 1 to 4ºC. However, volumetric water content ranged from 0.10 to 0.22 m3 m-3 under the five biodegradable mulches compared to 0.22 to 0.28 m3 m-3 under conventional PE. Results from the study will be useful for management practices by providing knowledge on how different mulches impact soil physical and

  6. RESPONSE OF SOIL MICROBIOLOGICAL ACTIVITIES TO CD, PB, AND ZN SALT AMENDMENTS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Heavy metal pollution of soil has been recognized as a major factor impeding soil microbial processes. We studied responses of the soil biological activities to metal stress simulated by soil amendment with Zn, Pb and Cd chlorides. The amounts of heavy metal salts added to five metal polluted soils ...

  7. Investigation of Biological Soil Crusts Metabolic Webs Using Exometabolomic Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Northen, T.; Karaoz, U.; Jenkins, S.; Lau, R.; Bowen, B.; Cadillo-Quiroz, H.; Garcia-Pichel, F.; Brodie, E.; Richard, B.

    2014-12-01

    Desert biological soil crusts are simple cyanobacteria-dominated surface soil microbial communities found in areas with infrequent wetting, often extreme temperatures, low coverage of vascular plants and constitute the world's largest biofilm. They exist for extended periods in a desiccated dormant state, yet rapidly re-boot metabolism within minutes of wetting. These soil microbial communities are highly dependent on filamentous cyanobacteria such as Microcoleus vaginatusto stabilize the soil and to act as primary producers for the community through the release carbon sources to feed a diversity of heterotrophs. Exometabolomic analysis was performed using liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry on biological soil crust pore water and spent media of key soil bacterial isolates. Comparison of spent vs. fresh media was used to determine uptake or release of metabolites by specific microbes. To link pore water experiments with isolate studies, metabolite extracts of authentic soil were used as supplements for isolate exometabolomic profiling. Our soil metabolomics methods detected hundreds of metabolites from soils including may novel compounds. Only a small set of which being targeted by all isolates. Beyond these few metabolites, the individual bacteria examined showed specialization towards specific metabolites. Surprisingly, many of the most abundant oligosaccharides and other metabolites were ignored by these isolates. The observed specialization of biological soil crust bacteria may play a significant role in determining community structure.

  8. Biological and biochemical soil indicators: monitoring tools of different agricultural managements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scotti, Riccardo; Sultana, Salma; Scelza, Rosalia; Marzaioli, Rossana; D'Ascoli, Rosaria; Rao, Maria A.

    2010-05-01

    on fertility of both soils under intensive farming. In general, all enzymatic activities and organic carbon content increased after 1 month, and they were still higher after 4 months from amendment application. Microbial biomass and soil potential activity (respiration) showed significantly higher values in soils added with organic amendments, for both farms and samplings, with more marked effects on respiration in the first sampling. In conclusion results showed, in general, a quick response as indicators of the assayed biological and biochemical soil properties and a good recovery in fertility of the studied agricultural soils. The project was founded by CCIIAA of Salerno

  9. Biological soil crusts as an integral component of desert environments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, Jayne; Weber, Bettina

    2013-01-01

    The biology and ecology of biological soil crusts, a soil surface community of mosses, lichens, cyanobacteria, green algae, fungi, and bacteria, have only recently been a topic of research. Most efforts began in the western U.S. (Cameron, Harper, Rushforth, and St. Clair), Australia (Rogers), and Israel (Friedmann, Evenari, and Lange) in the late 1960s and 1970s (e.g., Friedmann et al. 1967; Evenari 1985reviewed in Harper and Marble 1988). However, these groups worked independently of each other and, in fact, were often not aware of each other’s work. In addition, biological soil crust communities were seen as more a novelty than a critical component of dryland ecosystems. Since then, researchers have investigated many different aspects of these communities and have shown that although small to microscopic, biological soil crusts are critical in many ecological processes of deserts. They often cover most of desert soil surfaces and substantially mediate inputs and outputs from desert soils (Belnap et al. 2003). They can be a large source of biodiversity for deserts, as they can contain more species than the surrounding vascular plant community (Rosentreter 1986). These communities are important in reducing soil erosion and increasing soil fertility through the capture of dust and the fixation of atmospheric nitrogen and carbon into forms available to other life forms (Elbert et al. 2012). Because of their many effects on soil characteristics, such as external and internal morphological characteristics, aggregate stability, soil moisture, and permeability, they also affect seed germination and establishment and local hydrological cycles. Covering up to 70% of the surface area in many arid and semi-arid regions around the world (Belnap and Lange 2003), biological soil crusts are a key component within desert environments.

  10. Wildfire effects on biological properties of soils in forest-steppe ecosystems of Russia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maksimova, E.; Abakumov, E.

    2014-01-01

    Soils affected by forest wildfires in 2010 in Russia were studied on postfire and mature plots near the Togljatty city, Samara region. Soil biological properties and ash composition dynamics were investigated under the forest fire affect: a place of local forest fire, riding forest fire and unaffected site by fire-control (mature) during 3 yr of restoration. Soil samples were collected at 0-15 cm. Soil biological properties was measured by the fumigation method. The analytical data obtained shows that wildfires lead to serious changes in a soil profile and soil chemistry of upper horizons. Wildfires change a chemical composition of soil horizons and increase their ash-content. Fires lead to accumulation of biogenic elements' content (P and K) in the solum fine earth. Calcium content is increased as a result of fires that leads to an alkaline pH of the solum. The values of nutrients decreased as a result of leaching out with an atmospheric precipitation during the second year of restoration. Thus, when the upper horizons are burning the ash arriving on a soil surface enrich it with nutrients. The mature (unaffected by fire) soils is characterized by the greatest values of soil microbial biomass in the top horizon and, respectively, the bigger values of basal respiration whereas declining of the both parameters was revealed on postfire soils. Nevertheless this influence does not extend on depth more than 10 cm. Thus, fire affect on the soil were recognized in decreasing of microbiological activity.

  11. Contribution of the biological crust to the soil CO2 efflux in a Mediterranean ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morillas, Lourdes; Bellucco, Veronica; Lo Cascio, Mauro; Marras, Serena; Spano, Donatella; Mereu, Simone

    2016-04-01

    Lately, the important role of the soil biological crust (hereafter biocrust) in Mediterranean ecosystems is emerging from a multitude of articles. It is becoming apparent that the biocrust has an important role in regulating ecosystem functions and that it interacts with the woody and herbaceous vegetation to a degree depending on the availability of water among other factors. Here we present the first results of a wider project and focus on the contribution of the biocrust to soil CO2 efflux, and on how the respiration of the biocrust responds to soil water content and temperature. A manipulative experiment was performed in a Mediterranean shrubland ecosystem in Sardinia (Italy) to assess the contribution of the bicocrust to soil CO2 efflux and to identify the main environmental drivers of the CO2 efflux in this ecosystem. For 19 months,in situ soil CO2 efflux was measured over three different surfaces: soil deprived of biocrust (hereafter Soil), biocrust (hereafter BC) and intact soil (hereafter Soil+BC). For these surfaces, three different approaches were used to investigate the dependency of CO2 efflux on soil temperature and soil water content, e.g. a simple linear regression, a multi-linear equation, and a modified version of the most common used Lloyd and Taylor model (Lloyd and Taylor, 1994). Results showed that CO2 effluxes emitted by Soil, BC and Soil+BC were differently driven by soil moisture and temperature: BC respiration was mainly controlled by soil moisture at 5 cm depth, whereas both soil temperature and water content at 20 cm depth determined Soil CO2 efflux. Soil temperature and water content at 5 cm depth drove Soil+BC respiration. We also found that biocrust can contribute substantially (up to 60%) to the total soil respiration depending on its moisture content. This contribution persists even in periods in which deeper soil layers are inactive, as small water pulses can activate lichens, mosses and cyanobacteria associated to the biocrust as

  12. Soil disturbance increases soil microbial enzymatic activity in arid ecoregion

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Functional diversity of the soil microbial community is commonly used in the assessment of soil health as it relates to the activity of soil microflora involved in carbon cycling. Soil microbes in different microenvironments will have varying responses to different substrates, thus catabolic fingerp...

  13. Biological Dimensions of Crack Morphology in Dryland Soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeCarlo, K. F.; Spiegel, M.; Caylor, K. K.

    2014-12-01

    Macropores and cracks have an integral role in soil hydrology, and the physicochemical factors that induce them have been the subject of much laboratory research. How these processes translate to field soils, however, is often obfuscated by the biological elements present that complicate its formation and dynamics. In this study, we investigated the biological influence of herbivores and vegetation on 3D crack morphology in a dryland swelling soil (black cotton/vertisol). Fieldwork was conducted at and near the Kenya Long-Term Exclosure Experiment (KLEE) plots in Mpala, central Kenya, where three different soil regions were identified: highly vegetated areas, animal trails, and termite mounds. Crack networks were physically characterized by pouring liquid resin into the soil and excavating them when dry, after which they were imaged and quantified using medical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Cracking intensity of each cast was corrected via soil moisture and bulk density measurements at 5 cm intervals over 30 cm. 3D characterization of the soil system shows that mechanical compaction is a major influence in the formation of extensive and deep cracks in animal trails, with megaherbivores (e.g. elephants) inducing the most extreme cracks. Bioturbation is seen as a major influence in the formation of shallower cracks in termite mounds, as termites loosen and aerate the soil and reduce the soil's cohesive properties. Highly vegetated soils show a large degree of variability: small, disconnected soil patches induced by vegetative cover and a larger root network results in smaller and shallower cracks, but full vegetative cover induces deep and irregular cracks, possibly due to diverted rainfall. Our results highlight the intricate connections between the biology and physics that dictate soil processes in a complex soil system at the field scale.

  14. Rich in life but poor in data: the known knowns and known unknowns of modelling how soil biology drives soil structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hallett, Paul; Ogden, Mike

    2015-04-01

    Soil biology has a fascinating capacity to manipulate pore structure by altering or overcoming hydrological and mechanical properties of soil. Many have postulated, quite rightly, that this capacity of soil biology to 'engineer' its habitat drives its diversity, improves competitiveness and increases resilience to external stresses. A large body of observational research has quantified pore structure evolution accompanied by the growth of organisms in soil. Specific compounds that are exuded by organisms or the biological structures they create have been isolated and found to correlate well with observed changes to pore structure or soil stability. This presentation will provide an overview of basic mechanical and hydrological properties of soil that are affected by biology, and consider missing data that are essential to model how they impact soil structure evolution. Major knowledge gaps that prevent progress will be identified and suggestions will be made of how research in this area should progress. We call for more research to gain a process based understanding of structure formation by biology, to complement observational studies of soil structure before and after imposed biological activity. Significant advancement has already been made in modelling soil stabilisation by plant roots, by combining data on root biomechanics, root-soil interactions and soil mechanical properties. Approaches for this work were developed from earlier materials science and geotechnical engineering research, and the same ethos should be adopted to model the impacts of other biological compounds. Fungal hyphae likely reinforce soils in a similar way to plant roots, with successful biomechanical measurements of these micron diameter structures achieved with micromechanical test frames. Extending root reinforcement models to fungi would not be a straightforward exercise, however, as interparticle bonding and changes to pore water caused by fungal exudates could have a major impact on

  15. Behaviour of oxyfluorfen in soils amended with edaphic biostimulants/biofertilizers obtained from sewage sludge and chicken feathers. Effects on soil biological properties.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Morgado, Bruno; Gómez, Isidoro; Parrado, Juan; Tejada, Manuel

    2014-09-01

    We studied the behaviour of oxyfluorfen herbicide at a rate of 4 l ha(-1) on biological properties of a Calcaric Regosol amended with two edaphic biostimulants/biofertilizers (SS, derived from sewage sludge; and CF, derived from chicken feathers). Oxyfluorfen was surface broadcast on 11 March 2013. Two days after application of oxyfluorfen to soil, both biostimulants/biofertilizers (BS) were also applied to the soil. An unamended soil without oxyfluorfen was used as control. For 2, 4, 7, 9, 20, 30, 60, 90 and 120 days of the application of herbicide to the soil and for each treatment, the soil dehydrogenase, urease, β-glucosidase and phosphatase activities were measured. For 2, 7, 30 and 120 days of the application of herbicide to the soil and for each treatment, soil microbial community was determined. The application of both BS to soil without the herbicide increased the enzymatic activities and soil biodiversity, mainly at 7 days of beginning the experiment. However, this stimulation was higher in the soil amended with SS than for CF. The application of herbicide in organic-amended soils decreased the inhibition of soil enzymatic activities and soil biodiversity. Possibly, the low-molecular-weight protein content easily assimilated by soil microorganisms is responsible for less inhibition of these soil biological properties. PMID:24859703

  16. Mind the gap: non-biological processes contributing to soil CO2 efflux.

    PubMed

    Rey, Ana

    2015-05-01

    Widespread recognition of the importance of soil CO2 efflux as a major source of CO2 to the atmosphere has led to active research. A large soil respiration database and recent reviews have compiled data, methods, and current challenges. This study highlights some deficiencies for a proper understanding of soil CO2 efflux focusing on processes of soil CO2 production and transport that have not received enough attention in the current soil respiration literature. It has mostly been assumed that soil CO2 efflux is the result of biological processes (i.e. soil respiration), but recent studies demonstrate that pedochemical and geological processes, such as geothermal and volcanic CO2 degassing, are potentially important in some areas. Besides the microbial decomposition of litter, solar radiation is responsible for photodegradation or photochemical degradation of litter. Diffusion is considered to be the main mechanism of CO2 transport in the soil, but changes in atmospheric pressure and thermal convection may also be important mechanisms driving soil CO2 efflux greater than diffusion under certain conditions. Lateral fluxes of carbon as dissolved organic and inorganic carbon occur and may cause an underestimation of soil CO2 efflux. Traditionally soil CO2 efflux has been measured with accumulation chambers assuming that the main transport mechanism is diffusion. New techniques are available such as improved automated chambers, CO2 concentration profiles and isotopic techniques that may help to elucidate the sources of carbon from soils. We need to develop specific and standardized methods for different CO2 sources to quantify this flux on a global scale. Biogeochemical models should include biological and non-biological CO2 production processes before we can predict the response of soil CO2 efflux to climate change. Improving our understanding of the processes involved in soil CO2 efflux should be a research priority given the importance of this flux in the global

  17. Molecular characteristics versus biological activity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Applegate, Vernon C.; Smith, Manning A.; Willeford, Bennett R.

    1967-01-01

    The molecular characteristics of mononitrophenols containing halogens not only play a key role in their biological activity but provide a novel example of selective toxicity among vertebrate animals. It has been reported that efforts to control the parasitic sea lamprey in the Great Lakes are directed at present to the applications of a selective toxicant to streams inhabited by lamprey larvae. Since 1961, the larvicide that has been used almost exclusively in the control program has been 3-trifluoromethyl-4-nitrophenol (TFM). However, this is only one of about 15 closely related compounds, all halogen-containing mononitrophenols, that display a selectively toxic action upon lampreys. Although not all of the halogenated mononitrophenols are selectively toxic to lampreys (in fact, fewer than half of those tested), no other group of related compounds has displayed any useful larvicidal activity except for the substituted nitrosalicylanilides.

  18. Predicting Soil Biological and Physical Properties Using Hydrological Properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geiger, L.; Hofmockel, K.; Kaleita, A.; Hargreaves, S.

    2012-12-01

    Soil biological and chemical properties vary at different spatial scales, which make predicting processes associated with these properties difficult. However, soil biological and chemical properties are important to fertility and ecosystem functioning. In this study, we used a Self Organizing Map (SOM) to determine whether soil hydrological characteristics can be used to characterize the distribution of a suite of soil biological and chemical properties. From a row crop field in south-central Iowa, we generated 36 sampling locations via a SOM, which were grouped into three categories according to hydrological properties by the SOM. Soil samples were then analyzed for microbial biomass, carbon and nitrogen mineralization potential, and organic and inorganic pools of carbon and nitrogen. We found that sampling locations in category 1 (potholes and toe slopes) had greater microbial biomass, total carbon, total nitrogen, and extractable organic carbon than compared locations in the two well-drained categories. Nitrogen and carbon mineralization and inorganic nitrogen pools did not differ significantly among the categories. These results demonstrate that hydrological characteristics can be used to predict relatively stable biological and chemical soil properties. However, prediction of nitrogen and carbon fluxes remains a challenge.

  19. Measurement of 14CO2 Assimilation in Soils: an Experiment for the Biological Exploration of Mars

    PubMed Central

    Hubbard, Jerry S.; Hobby, George L.; Horowitz, Norman H.; Geiger, Paul J.; Morelli, Frank A.

    1970-01-01

    A method is described for the measurement of 14CO2 assimilation by microorganisms in soils. A determination involves exposing soil to 14CO2, pyrolyzing the exposed soil, trapping the organic pyrolysis products on a column of firebrick coated with CuO, combusting the trapped organics by heating, and measuring the radioactivity in the CO2 produced in the combustion. The detection of significant levels of 14C in the trapped organic fraction appears to be an unambiguous indication of biological activity. The 14CO2 which is adsorbed or exchanged into soils by nonbiological processes does not interfere. The method easily detects the 14CO2 fixed by 102 to 103 algae after light exposure for 3 to 24 hr. Assimilation of 14C is also demonstrable in dark-exposed soils containing 105 to 106 heterotrophic bacteria. Possible applications of the method in the biological exploration of Mars are discussed. Images PMID:16349879

  20. EFFECTS OF A BIOLOGICAL AMENDMENT ON CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL PROPERTIES AND MICROBIAL DIVERSITY IN SOILS RECEIVING DIFFERENT ORGANIC AMENDMENTS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Biological fertilizers consisting of suspensions of selected microorganisms are often used in conjunction with various organic materials for amending soils to improve soil quality and plant growth. The effects of a biological fertilizer on chemical and biological properties of soil were investigated...

  1. Soil biology and carbon in dryland agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The goal of this paper is to explore potential management strategies in dryland agriculture that can promote soil health and crop productivity. Traditional crop production in the semiarid Great Plains consists of conventional tillage management of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) - summer fallow....

  2. Ice nucleation by soil dusts: relative importance of mineral and biological components

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Sullivan, Daniel; Murray, Ben; Webb, Michael; Whale, Thomas; Atkinson, James; Baustian, Kelly; Malkin, Tamsin

    2013-04-01

    Dusts emitted from agricultural soils may represent a significant source of atmospheric particulates at mid-latitudes. Such dusts, which can be aerosolised by anthropogenic agricultural activities, have previously been estimated to be present in the atmosphere at sufficient number densities that they could potentially compete with other known ice nuclei. In contrast to soils from arid regions, such as the Sahara, fertile soils contain a larger fraction of biological material, which can lead to an enhancement in the ice nucleating ability of their associated dusts. However, considerable uncertainties remain regarding the relative efficacy of soil dust particles from fertile soils as IN. In particular, the relative contribution to the overall ice nucleating activity from both the biological and mineral components present remains unclear. Using a novel experimental methodology designed to increase sensitivity to a wide range of ice nucleation efficiencies, we have characterised the immersion mode ice nucleating activities of PM10 extracted from soils collected in England. By controlling droplet sizes, which ranged in volume from 10-12 to 10-6L, we have been able to characterise the ice active site densities in soils (estimated using a time-independent framework) at temperatures ranging from -5° C down to the homogeneous limit of freezing at ~ -36° C. To distinguish between biological and mineral IN in the soil dusts, we examined the effects of heat treatment and organic matter digestion with hydrogen peroxide on the ice nucleating activities of the soils. Both heat and H2O2 treatment reduced the ice nucleating ability of the soil dust particles at low supercoolings (T >-15° C) by up to two orders of magnitude, suggesting that the ice nucleating active sites are primarily biological in nature within this regime. However, below -15° C, we find that the ice active site densities tend towards those expected from the mineral components in the soils, suggesting that the

  3. Impact of river overflowing on trace element contamination of volcanic soils in south Italy: part II. Soil biological and biochemical properties in relation to trace element speciation.

    PubMed

    D'Ascoli, R; Rao, M A; Adamo, P; Renella, G; Landi, L; Rutigliano, F A; Terribile, F; Gianfreda, L

    2006-11-01

    The effect of heavy metal contamination on biological and biochemical properties of Italian volcanic soils was evaluated in a multidisciplinary study, involving pedoenvironmental, micromorphological, physical, chemical, biological and biochemical analyses. Soils affected by recurring river overflowing, with Cr(III)-contaminated water and sediments, and a non-flooded control soil were analysed for microbial biomass, total and active fungal mycelium, enzyme activities (i.e., FDA hydrolase, dehydrogenase, beta-glucosidase, urease, arylsulphatase, acid phosphatase) and bacterial diversity (DGGE characterisation). Biological and biochemical data were related with both total and selected fractions of Cr and Cu (the latter deriving from agricultural chemical products) as well as with total and extractable organic C. The growth and activity of soil microbial community were influenced by soil organic C content rather than Cu or Cr contents. In fact, positive correlations between all studied parameters and organic C content were found. On the contrary, negative correlations were observed only between total fungal mycelium, dehydrogenase, arylsulphatase and acid phosphatase activities and only one Cr fraction (the soluble, exchangeable and carbonate bound). However, total Cr content negatively affected the eubacterial diversity but it did not determine changes in soil activity, probably because of the redundancy of functions within species of soil microbial community. On the other hand, expressing biological and biochemical parameters per unit of total organic C, Cu pollution negatively influenced microbial biomass, fungal mycelium and several enzyme activities, confirming soil organic matter is able to mask the negative effects of Cu on microbial community. PMID:16406624

  4. Warming and increased precipitation frequency on the Colorado Plateau: implications for biological soil crusts and soil processes

    SciTech Connect

    Zelikova, Tamara J.; Housman, David C.; Grote, Ed E.; Neher, Deborah A.; Belnap, Jayne

    2012-01-20

    Changes in temperature and precipitation are expected to influence ecosystem processes worldwide. Despite their globally large extent, few studies to date have examined the effects of climate change in desert ecosystems, where biological soil crusts are key nutrient cycling components. The goal of this work was to assess how increased temperature and frequency of summertime precipitation affect the contributions of crust organisms to soil processes. With a combination of experimental 2°C warming and altered summer precipitation frequency applied over 2 years, we measured soil nutrient cycling and the structure and function of crust communities. We saw no change in crust cover, composition, or other measures of crust function in response to 2°C warming and no effects on any measure of soil chemistry. In contrast, crust cover and function responded to increased frequency of summer precipitation, shifting from moss to cyanobacteria-dominated crusts; however, in the short timeframe we measured, there was no accompanying change in soil chemistry. Total bacterial and fungal biomass was also reduced in watered plots, while the activity of two enzymes increased, indicating a functional change in the microbial community. Taken together, our results highlight the limited effects of warming alone on biological soil crust communities and soil chemistry, but demonstrate the substantially larger effects of altered summertime precipitation.

  5. Relevance of ammonium oxidation within biological soil crust communities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, S.L.; Budinoff, C.R.; Belnap, J.; Garcia-Pichel, F.

    2005-01-01

    Thin, vertically structured topsoil communities that become ecologically important in arid regions (biological soil crusts or BSCs) are responsible for much of the nitrogen inputs into pristine arid lands. We studied N2 fixation and ammonium oxidation (AO) at subcentimetre resolution within BSCs from the Colorado Plateau. Pools of dissolved porewater nitrate/ nitrite, ammonium and organic nitrogen in wetted BSCs were high in comparison with those typical of aridosoils. They remained stable during incubations, indicating that input and output processes were of similar magnitude. Areal N2 fixation rates (6.5-48 ??mol C2H2 m-2 h -1) were high, the vertical distribution of N2 fixation peaking close to the surface if populations of heterocystous cyanobacteria were present, but in the subsurface if they were absent. Areal AO rates (19-46 ??mol N m-2 h-1) were commensurate with N2 fixation inputs. When considering oxygen availability, AO activity invariably peaked 2-3 mm deep and was limited by oxygen (not ammonium) supply. Most probable number (MPN)-enumerated ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (6.7-7.9 ?? 103 cells g-1 on average) clearly peaked at 2-3 mm depth. Thus, AO (hence nitrification) is a spatially restricted but important process in the nitrogen cycling of BSC, turning much of the biologically fixed nitrogen into oxidized forms, the fate of which remains to be determined.

  6. Characterization of Soil Samples of Enzyme Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Freeland, P. W.

    1977-01-01

    Described are nine enzyme essays for distinguishing soil samples. Colorimetric methods are used to compare enzyme levels in soils from different sites. Each soil tested had its own spectrum of activity. Attention is drawn to applications of this technique in forensic science and in studies of soil fertility. (Author/AJ)

  7. Short-term effects of different organic amendments on soil chemical, biochemical and biological indicators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mondelli, Donato; Aly, Adel; Yirga Dagnachew, Ababu; Piscitelli, Lea; Dumontet, Stefano; Miano, Teodoro

    2014-05-01

    The limited availability of animal manure and the high cost of good quality compost lead to difficult soil quality management under organic agriculture. Therefore, it is important to find out alternative organic soil amendments and more flexible strategies that are able to sustain crop productivity and maintain and enhance soil quality. A three years study was carried out in the experimental fields of the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari located in Valenzano, Italy. The main objective of this research is to investigate the effects of different fertility management strategies on soil quality in order to estimate the role of innovative matrices for their use in organic farming. The experiment consists of seven treatments applied to a common crop rotation. The treatments include alternative organic amendments (1- olive mill wastewater OMW, 2- residues of mushroom cultivation MUS, 3- coffee chaff COF), common soil amendments (4- compost COM, 5- faba bean intercropping LEG, 6- cow manure - MAN) and as a reference treatment (7- mineral fertilizer COV). The soil quality was assessed before and after the application of the treatments, through biological (microbial biomass carbon and nitrogen, soil respiration and metabolic quotient), biochemical (soil enzymatic activities: β-glucosidase, alkaline phospatase, urease, fluorescein diacetate (FDA) hydrolysis), and chemical (pH, soil organic carbon, soil organic matter, total nitrogen, available phosphorous, exchangeable potassium, dissolved organic carbon and total dissolved nitrogen) indicators. Based on the results obtained after the second year, all treatments were able to improve various soil chemical parameters as compared to mineral fertilizer. The incorporation of COF and OMW seemed to be more effective in improving soil total N and exchangeable K, while MAN significantly increased available P. All the amendments enhance dissolved organic C, soil respiration, microbial biomass and metabolic quotient as

  8. Effects of organic carbon sequestration strategies on soil enzymatic activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Puglisi, E.; Suciu, N.; Botteri, L.; Ferrari, T.; Coppolecchia, D.; Trevisan, M.; Piccolo, A.

    2009-04-01

    Greenhouse gases emissions can be counterbalanced with proper agronomical strategies aimed at sequestering carbon in soils. These strategies must be tested not only for their ability in reducing carbon dioxide emissions, but also for their impact on soil quality: enzymatic activities are related to main soil ecological quality, and can be used as early and sensitive indicators of alteration events. Three different strategies for soil carbon sequestration were studied: minimum tillage, protection of biodegradable organic fraction by compost amendment and oxidative polimerization of soil organic matter catalyzed by biometic porfirins. All strategies were compared with a traditional agricultural management based on tillage and mineral fertilization. Experiments were carried out in three Italian soils from different pedo-climatic regions located respectively in Piacenza, Turin and Naples and cultivated with maize or wheat. Soil samples were taken for three consecutive years after harvest and analyzed for their content in phosphates, ß-glucosidase, urease and invertase. An alteration index based on these enzymatic activities levels was applied as well. The biomimetic porfirin application didn't cause changes in enzymatic activities compared to the control at any treatment or location. Enzymatic activities were generally higher in the minimum tillage and compost treatment, while differences between location and date of samplings were limited. Application of the soil alteration index based on enzymatic activities showed that soils treated with compost or subjected to minimum tillage generally have a higher biological quality. The work confirms the environmental sustainability of the carbon sequestering agronomical practices studied.

  9. Influence of Disturbance on Soil Respiration in Biologically Crusted Soil during the Dry Season

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Wei; Zhang, Yu-qing; Wu, Bin; Zha, Tian-shan; Jia, Xin; Qin, Shu-gao; Shao, Chen-xi; Liu, Jia-bin; Lai, Zong-rui; Fa, Ke-yu

    2013-01-01

    Soil respiration (Rs) is a major pathway for carbon cycling and is a complex process involving abiotic and biotic factors. Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are a key biotic component of desert ecosystems worldwide. In desert ecosystems, soils are protected from surface disturbance by BSCs, but it is unknown whether Rs is affected by disturbance of this crust layer. We measured Rs in three types of disturbed and undisturbed crusted soils (algae, lichen, and moss), as well as bare land from April to August, 2010, in Mu Us desert, northwest China. Rs was similar among undisturbed soils but increased significantly in disturbed moss and algae crusted soils. The variation of Rs in undisturbed and disturbed soil was related to soil bulk density. Disturbance also led to changes in soil organic carbon and fine particles contents, including declines of 60–70% in surface soil C and N, relative to predisturbance values. Once BSCs were disturbed, Q10 increased. Our findings indicate that a loss of BSCs cover will lead to greater soil C loss through respiration. Given these results, understanding the disturbance sensitivity impact on Rs could be helpful to modify soil management practices which promote carbon sequestration. PMID:24453845

  10. Concepts for Biologically Active Peptides

    PubMed Central

    Kastin, Abba J.; Pan, Weihong

    2012-01-01

    Here we review a unique aspect of CNS research on biologically active peptides that started against a background of prevalent dogmas but ended by exerting considerable influence on the field. During the course of refuting some doctrines, we introduced several concepts that were unconventional and paradigm-shifting at the time. We showed that (1) hypothalamic peptides can act ‘up’ on the brain as well as ‘down’ on the pituitary, (2) peripheral peptides can affect the brain, (3) peptides can cross the blood-brain barrier, (4) the actions of peptides can persist longer than their half-lives in blood, (5) perinatal administration of peptides can exert actions persisting into adulthood, (6) a single peptide can have more than one action, (7) dose-response relationships of peptides need not be linear, (8) the brain produces antiopiate as well as opiate peptides, (9) there is a selective high affinity endogenous peptide ligand for the mu-opiate receptor, (10) a peptide’s name does not restrict its effects, and (11) astrocytes assume an active role in response to metabolic disturbance and hyperleptinemia. The evolving questions in our laboratories reflect the diligent effort of the neuropeptide community to identify the roles of peptides in the CNS. The next decade is expected to see greater progress in the following areas: (a) interactions of peptides with other molecules in the CNS; (b) peptide involvement in cell-cell interactions; and (c) peptides in neuropsychiatric, autoimmune, and neurodegenerative diseases. The development of peptidomics and gene silencing approaches will expedite the formation of many new concepts in a new era. PMID:20726835

  11. Spatial Pattern of Biological Soil Crust with Fractal Geometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ospina, Abelardo; Florentino, Adriana; Tarquis, Ana M.

    2015-04-01

    Soil surface characteristics are subjected to changes driven by several interactions between water, air, biotic and abiotic components. One of the examples of such interactions is provided through biological soil crusts (BSC) in arid and semi-arid environments. BSC are communities composed of cyanobacteria, fungi, mosses, lichens, algae and liverworts covering the soil surface and play an important role in ecosystem functioning. The characteristics and formation of these BSC influence the soil hydrological balance, control the mass of eroded sediment, increase stability of soil surface, and influence plant productivity through the modification of nitrogen and carbon cycle. This study focus on characterize the spatial arrangements of the BSC based on image analysis and fractal concepts. To this end, RGB images of different types of biological soil crust where taken, each image corresponding to an area of 3.6 cm2 with a resolution of 1024x1024 pixels. For each image and channel, mass dimension and entropy were calculated. Preliminary results indicate that fractal methods are useful to describe changes associated to different types of BSC. Further research is necessary to apply these methodologies to several situations.

  12. Environmental implications of herbicide resistance: soil biology and ecology

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil microbial community structure and activity are clearly linked to plant communities established in natural and agricultural ecosystems. A limited number of studies confirm that weeds alter their soil environment and select for specific microbial communities in the rhizosphere. Such rhizosphere m...

  13. A review exploring biological activities of hydrazones

    PubMed Central

    Verma, Garima; Marella, Akranth; Shaquiquzzaman, Mohammad; Akhtar, Mymoona; Ali, Mohammad Rahmat; Alam, Mohammad Mumtaz

    2014-01-01

    The development of novel compounds, hydrazones has shown that they possess a wide variety of biological activities viz. antimicrobial, anticonvulsant, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antiplatelet, antimalarial, anticancer, antifungal, antitubercular, antiviral, cardio protective etc., Hydrazones/azomethines/imines possess-NHN = CH- and constitute an important class of compounds for new drug development. A number of researchers have synthesized and evaluated the biological activities of hydrazones. This review aims at highlighting the diverse biological activities of hydrazones. PMID:24741273

  14. Biochar and biological carbon cycling in temperate soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCormack, S. A.; Vanbergen, A. J.; Bardgett, R. D.; Hopkins, D. W.; Ostle, N.

    2012-04-01

    Production of biochar, the recalcitrant residue formed by pyrolysis of plant matter, is suggested as a means of increasing storage of stable carbon (C) in the soil (1). Biochar has also been shown to act as a soil conditioner, increasing the productivity of certain crops by reducing nutrient leaching and improving soil water-holding capacity. However, the response of soil carbon pools to biochar addition is not yet well understood. Studies have shown that biochar has highly variable effects on microbial C cycling and thus on soil C storage (2,3,4). This discrepancy may be partially explained by the response of soil invertebrates, which occupy higher trophic levels and regulate microbial activity. This research aims to understand the role of soil invertebrates (i.e. Collembola and nematode worms) in biochar-mediated changes to soil C dynamics across a range of plant-soil communities. An open-air, pot-based mesocosm experiment was established in May, 2011 at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Edinburgh. Three treatments were included in a fully-factorial design: biochar (presence [2 % w/w] or absence), soil type (arable sandy, arable sandy loam, grassland sandy loam), and vegetation type (Hordeum vulgare, Lolium perenne, unvegetated). Monitored parameters include: invertebrate and microbial species composition, soil C fluxes (CO2 and trace gas evolution, leachate C content, primary productivity and soil C content), and soil conditions (pH, moisture content and water-holding capacity). Preliminary results indicate that biochar-induced changes to soil invertebrate communities and processes are affected by pre-existing soil characteristics, and that soil texture in particular may be an important determinant of soil response to biochar addition. 1. Lehmann, 2007. A handful of carbon. Nature 447, 143-144. 2. Liang et al., 2010. Black carbon affects the cycling of non-black carbon in soil. Organic Geochemistry 41, 206-213. 3. Van Zwieten et al., 2010. Influence of

  15. Assessing microbial activities in metal contaminated agricultural volcanic soils - An integrative approach.

    PubMed

    Parelho, C; Rodrigues, A S; Barreto, M C; Ferreira, N G C; Garcia, P

    2016-07-01

    Volcanic soils are unique naturally fertile resources, extensively used for agricultural purposes and with particular physicochemical properties that may result in accumulation of toxic substances, such as trace metals. Trace metal contaminated soils have significant effects on soil microbial activities and hence on soil quality. The aim of this study is to determine the soil microbial responses to metal contamination in volcanic soils under different agricultural land use practices (conventional, traditional and organic), based on a three-tier approach: Tier 1 - assess soil microbial activities, Tier 2 - link the microbial activity to soil trace metal contamination and, Tier 3 - integrate the microbial activity in an effect-based soil index (Integrative Biological Response) to score soil health status in metal contaminated agricultural soils. Our results showed that microbial biomass C levels and soil enzymes activities were decreased in all agricultural soils. Dehydrogenase and β-glucosidase activities, soil basal respiration and microbial biomass C were the most sensitive responses to trace metal soil contamination. The Integrative Biological Response value indicated that soil health was ranked as: organic>traditional>conventional, highlighting the importance of integrative biomarker-based strategies for the development of the trace metal "footprint" in Andosols. PMID:27057992

  16. Biological Soil Crusts: Webs of Life in the Desert

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, Jayne

    2001-01-01

    Although the soil surface may look like dirt to you, it is full of living organisms that are a vital part of desert ecosystems. This veneer of life is called a biological soil crust. These crusts are found throughout the world, from hot deserts to polar regions. Crusts generally cover all soil spaces not occupied by green plants. In many areas, they comprise over 70% of the living ground cover and are key in reducing erosion, increasing water retention, and increasing soil fertility. In most dry regions, these crusts are dominated by cyanobacteria (previously called blue-green algae), which are one of the oldest known life forms. Communities of soil crusts also include lichens, mosses, microfungi, bacteria, and green algae. These living organisms and their by-products create a continuous crust on the soil surface. The general color, surface appearance, and amount of coverage of these crusts vary depending on climate and disturbance patterns. Immature crusts are generally flat and the color of the soil, which makes them difficult to distinguish from bare ground. Mature crusts, in contrast, are usually bumpy and dark-colored due to the presence of lichens, mosses, and high densities of cyanobacteria and other organisms.

  17. Linking biological soil crust diversity to ecological functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glaser, Karin; Borchhardt, Nadine; Schulz, Karoline; Mikhailyuk, Tatiana; Baumann, Karen; Leinweber, Peter; Ulf, Karsten

    2016-04-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are an association of different microorganisms and soil particles in the top millimeters of the soil. They are formed by algae, cyanobacteria, microfungi, bacteria, bryophytes and lichens in various compositions. Our aim was to determine and compare the biodiversity of all occurring organisms in biogeographically different habitats, ranging from polar (both Arctic and Antarctic), subpolar (Scandinavia), temperate (Germany) to dry regions (Chile). The combination of microscopy and molecular techniques (next-generation sequencing) revealed highly diverse crust communities, whose composition clustered by region and correlates with habitat characteristics such as water content. The BSC biodiversity was then linked to the ecological function of the crusts. The functional role of the BSCs in the biogeochemical cycles of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous is evaluated using an array of state of the art soil chemistry methods including Py-FIMS (pyrolysis field ionization mass spectrometry) and XANES (x-ray absorbance near edge structure). Total P as well as P fractions were quantified in all BSCs, adjacent soil underneath and comparable nearby soil of BSC-free areas revealing a remarkable accumulation of total phosphorous and a distinct pattern of P fractions in the crust. Further, we observed an indication of a different P-speciation composition in the crust compared with BSC-free soil. The data allow answering the question whether BSCs act as sink or source for these compounds, and how biodiversity controls the biogeochemical function of BSCs.

  18. Impact of biological soil crusts and desert plants on soil microfaunal community composition

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Darby, B.J.; Neher, D.A.; Belnap, J.

    2010-01-01

    Carbon and nitrogen are supplied by a variety of sources in the desert food web; both vascular and non-vascular plants and cyanobacteria supply carbon, and cyanobacteria and plant-associated rhizosphere bacteria are sources of biological nitrogen fixation. The objective of this study was to compare the relative influence of vascular plants and biological soil crusts on desert soil nematode and protozoan abundance and community composition. In the first experiment, biological soil crusts were removed by physical trampling. Treatments with crust removed had fewer nematodes and a greater relative ratio of bacterivores to microphytophages than treatments with intact crust. However, protozoa composition was similar with or without the presence of crusts. In a second experiment, nematode community composition was characterized along a spatial gradient away from stems of grasses or shrubs. Although nematodes generally occurred in increasing abundance nearer to plant stems, some genera (such as the enrichment-type Panagrolaimus) increased disproportionately more than others (such as the stress-tolerant Acromoldavicus). We propose that the impact of biological soil crusts and desert plants on soil microfauna, as reflected in the community composition of microbivorous nematodes, is a combination of carbon input, microclimate amelioration, and altered soil hydrology. ?? Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2009.

  19. In situ phytoextraction of copper and cadmium and its biological impacts in acidic soil.

    PubMed

    Cui, Hongbiao; Fan, Yuchao; Yang, John; Xu, Lei; Zhou, Jing; Zhu, Zhenqiu

    2016-10-01

    Phytoremediation is a potential cost-effective technology for remediating heavy metal-contaminated soils. In this study, we evaluated the biomass and accumulation of copper (Cu) and cadmium (Cd) of plant species grown in a contaminated acidic soil treated with limestone. Five species produced biomass in the order: Pennisetum sinese > Elsholtzia splendens > Vetiveria zizanioides > Setaria pumila > Sedum plumbizincicola. Over one growing season, the best accumulators for Cu and Cd were Pennisetum sinese and Sedum plumbizincicola, respectively. Overall, Pennisetum sinese was the best species for Cu and Cd removal when biomass was considered. However, Elsholtzia splendens soil had the highest enzyme activities and microbial populations, while the biological properties in Pennisetum sinese soil were moderately enhanced. Results would provide valuable insights for phytoremediation of metal-contaminated soils. PMID:27434253

  20. Restoring the biological crust cover of soils across biomes in arid North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garcia-Pichel, Ferran; Antoninka, Anita; Bowker, Matthew; Giraldo Silva, Ana; Nelson, Corey; Velasco Ayuso, Sergio; Barger, Nichole; Belnap, Jayne; Reed, Sasha; Duniway, Michael

    2015-04-01

    Biological soil crust communities provide important ecosystem services to arid lands, particularly regarding soil fertility and stability against erosion. In North America, and in many other areas of the globe, increasingly intense human activities, ranging from cattle grazing to military training, have resulted in the significant deterioration of biological soil surface cover of soils. With the intent of attaining sustainable land use practices, we are conducting a 5-year, multi-institutional research effort to develop feasible soil crusts restoration strategies for US military lands. We are including field sites of varying climatic regions (warm and cold deserts, in the Chihuahuan Desert and in the Great Basin, respectively) and varying edaphic characteristics (sandy and silty soils in each). We have multiple aims. First, we aim to establishing effective "biocrust nurseries" that produce viable and pedigreed inoculum, as a supply center for biocrust restoration and for research and development. Second, we aim to develop optimal field application methods of biocrust inoculum in a series of field trials. Currently in our second year of research, we will be reporting on significant advances made on optimizing methodologies for the large-scale supply of inoculum based on a) pedigreed laboratory cultures that match the microbial community structure of the original sites, and b) "in soil" biomass enhancement, whereby small amounts of local crusts are nursed under greenhouse conditions to yield hundred-fold increases in biomass without altering significantly community structure. We will also report on field trials for methodologies in field application, which included shading, watering, application of chemical polymers, and soil surface roughening. In a soon-to-be-initiated effort we also aim to evaluate soil and plant responses to biocrust restoration with respect to plant community structure, soil fertility, and soil stability, in multi-factorial field experiments. An

  1. [Impact of biological soil crusts on soil water repellence in the hilly Loess Plateau region, China].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Pei-Pei; Zhao, Yun-Ge; Wang, Yuan; Yao, Chun-Zhu

    2014-03-01

    By using water drop penetration time (WDPT) and molarity of ethanol droplet (MED) methods, the soil water repellence of undisturbed biological soil crusts (biocrusts) in five successional stages, from the hilly Loess Plateau region of China was tested. The five stages of biocrusts were light cyanobacterial crust, dark cyanobacterial crust, cyanobacterial with sparse moss crust, moss and tiny cyanobacteria patches crust and moss dominated crust. The results showed that 1) the soil water repellence was markedly increased both in the intensity and persistence since the formation of biocrusts. 2) The soil water repellence showed a decrease trend along with the successional stages of biocrusts. The soil water repellence of the biocrusts with the moss coverage above 20% was significantly lower than that of the cyanobacterial crusts. 3) The soil water repellence of the biocrusts was closely related to soil moisture and the dominant organism. The soil water repellence increased with the decrease of soil water content for the moss dominated biocrusts, while changed in a bimodal curve with the decrease of soil water content for the cyanobacterial biocrusts. PMID:24984480

  2. Synthesis and biological activity of enantiomeric pairs of phosphosulfonate herbicides.

    PubMed

    Spangler, L A; Mikolajczyk, M; Burdge, E L; Kielbasiński, P; Smith, H C; Lyzwa, P; Fisher, J D; Omelańczuk, J

    1999-01-01

    The phosphosulfonates are a new class of soil-active herbicides which control a variety of annual grass and broadleaf weeds. Chirality at the phosphorus atom afforded the opportunity to explore stereospecific requirements for herbicidal activity. Chiral (hydroxymethyl)phosphinate intermediates were enzymatically resolved (Pseudomonas fluorescens lipase) from the racemic mixtures and then used to prepare two pairs of enantiomeric phosphosulfonates. Biological testing of the enantiomeric phosphosulfonate herbicides demonstrated that, in each case, the herbicidal activity was attributed to the (+) enantiomer and that the (+) enantiomer is more active than the racemate. PMID:10563892

  3. Atmospheric ice nucleation by fertile soil dusts particles: Relative importance of mineral and biological components

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Sullivan, Daniel; Murray, B. J.; Malkin, T. L.; Webb, M. E.; Whale, T. F.; Atkinson, J. D.; Baustian, K. J.

    2013-05-01

    Dusts emitted from agricultural soils may represent a significant source of atmospheric particulates at mid-latitudes. Such dusts, which can be aerosolised by anthropogenic agricultural activities, have previously been estimated to be present in the atmosphere at sufficient number densities that they could potentially compete with other known ice nuclei (IN). In contrast to soils from arid regions, such as the Sahara, fertile soils contain a larger fraction of biological material, which can lead to an enhancement in the ice nucleating ability of their associated dusts. However, considerable uncertainties remain regarding the relative efficacy of soil dust particles from fertile soils as IN. Using an experimental methodology designed to increase sensitivity to a wide range of ice nucleation efficiencies, we have characterized the immersion mode ice nucleating activities of sub 11 μm particles extracted from surface soils collected in four locations around England. By using a variety of droplet sizes, from pico-to micro-litre, we have been able to characterize the ice active site densities in soils (estimated using a time-independent framework) at temperatures ranging from -5°C down to the homogeneous limit of freezing at ˜ -36°C. At temperatures below -15°C, we find that the ice active site densities tend towards those expected from the mineral components in the soils, suggesting that the inorganic fraction of soil dusts becomes increasingly important in the initiation of the ice phase at large supercoolings. Conversely, above -15°C we find that the ice nucleating activity of the soils dusts was larger than expected from the mineral composition of the soils. The sites responsible for this high temperature ice nucleating activity were sensitive to heat treatment and digestion with hydrogen peroxide, suggesting that they are biological in origin. We conclude that although only being a relatively minor contributor to the global atmospheric dust burden, the

  4. Plant diversity increases soil microbial activity and soil carbon storage.

    PubMed

    Lange, Markus; Eisenhauer, Nico; Sierra, Carlos A; Bessler, Holger; Engels, Christoph; Griffiths, Robert I; Mellado-Vázquez, Perla G; Malik, Ashish A; Roy, Jacques; Scheu, Stefan; Steinbeiss, Sibylle; Thomson, Bruce C; Trumbore, Susan E; Gleixner, Gerd

    2015-01-01

    Plant diversity strongly influences ecosystem functions and services, such as soil carbon storage. However, the mechanisms underlying the positive plant diversity effects on soil carbon storage are poorly understood. We explored this relationship using long-term data from a grassland biodiversity experiment (The Jena Experiment) and radiocarbon ((14)C) modelling. Here we show that higher plant diversity increases rhizosphere carbon inputs into the microbial community resulting in both increased microbial activity and carbon storage. Increases in soil carbon were related to the enhanced accumulation of recently fixed carbon in high-diversity plots, while plant diversity had less pronounced effects on the decomposition rate of existing carbon. The present study shows that elevated carbon storage at high plant diversity is a direct function of the soil microbial community, indicating that the increase in carbon storage is mainly limited by the integration of new carbon into soil and less by the decomposition of existing soil carbon. PMID:25848862

  5. Visually assessing the level of development and soil surface stability of cyanobacterially dominated biological soil crusts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, J.; Phillips, S.L.; Witwicki, D.L.; Miller, M.E.

    2008-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are an integral part of dryland ecosystems and often included in long-term ecological monitoring programs. Estimating moss and lichen cover is fairly easy and non-destructive, but documenting cyanobacterial level of development (LOD) is more difficult. It requires sample collection for laboratory analysis, which causes soil surface disturbance. Assessing soil surface stability also requires surface disturbance. Here we present a visual technique to assess cyanobacterial LOD and soil surface stability. We define six development levels of cyanobacterially dominated soils based on soil surface darkness. We sampled chlorophyll a concentrations (the most common way of assessing cyanobacterial biomass), exopolysaccharide concentrations, and soil surface aggregate stability from representative areas of each LOD class. We found that, in the laboratory and field, LOD classes were effective at predicting chlorophyll a soil concentrations (R2=68-81%), exopolysaccharide concentrations (R2=71%), and soil aggregate stability (R2=77%). We took representative photos of these classes to construct a field guide. We then tested the ability of field crews to distinguish these classes and found this technique was highly repeatable among observers. We also discuss how to adjust this index for the different types of BSCs found in various dryland regions.

  6. Evaluation-of soil enzyme activities as soil quality indicators in sludge-amended soils.

    PubMed

    Dindar, Efsun; Şağban, Fatma Olcay Topaç; Başkaya, Hüseyin Savaş

    2015-07-01

    Soil enzymatic activities are commonly used as biomarkers of soil quality. Several organic and inorganic compounds found in municipal wastewater sludges can possibly be used as fertilizers. Monitoring and evaluating the quality of sludge amended soils with enzyme activities accepted as a beneficial practice with respect to sustainable soil management. In the present study, variation of some enzyme activities (Alkaline phosphatase, dehydrogenase, urease and beta-glucosidase activities) in soils amended with municipal wastewater sludge at different application rates (50, 100 and 200 t ha(-1) dry sludge) was evaluated. Air dried sludge samples were applied to soil pots and sludge-soil mixtures were incubated during a period of three months at 28 degrees C. The results of the study showed that municipal wastewater sludge amendment apparently increased urease, dehydrogenase, alkaline phosphatase and P-glucosidase activities in soil by 48-70%, 14-47%, 33-66% and 9-14%, respectively. The maximum activity was generally observed in sludge amended soil with dose of 200 t ha(-1). Urease activity appeared to be a better indicator of soil enhancement with wastewater sludge, as its activity was more strongly increased by sludge amendment. Accordingly, urease activity is suggested to be soil quality indicator best suited for measuring existing conditions and potential changes in sludge-amended soil. PMID:26364470

  7. Lichen-moss interactions within biological soil crusts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruckteschler, Nina; Williams, Laura; Büdel, Burkhard; Weber, Bettina

    2015-04-01

    Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) create well-known hotspots of microbial activity, being important components of hot and cold arid terrestrial regions. They colonize the uppermost millimeters of the soil, being composed of fungi, (cyano-) bacteria, algae, lichens, bryophytes and archaea in varying proportions. Biocrusts protect the (semi-) arid landscape from wind and water erosion, and also increase water holding capacity and nutrient content. Depending on location and developmental stage, composition and species abundance vary within biocrusts. As species live in close contact, they are expected to influence each other, but only a few interactions between different organisms have so far been explored. In the present study, we investigated the effects of the lichen Fulgensia fulgens whilst growing on the moss Trichostomum crispulum. While 77% of Fulgensia fulgens thalli were found growing associated with mosses in a German biocrust, up to 95% of Fulgensia bracteata thalli were moss-associated in a Swedish biocrust. In 49% (Germany) and in 78% (Sweden) of cases, thalli were observed on the moss T. crispulum and less frequently on four and three different moss species. Beneath F. fulgens and F. bracteata thalli, the mosses were dead and in close vicinity to the lichens the mosses appeared frail, bringing us to the assumption that the lichens may release substances harming the moss. We prepared a water extract from the lichen F. fulgens and used this to water the moss thalli (n = 6) on a daily basis over a time-span of three weeks. In a control setup, artificial rainwater was applied to the moss thalli (n = 6). Once a week, maximum CO2 gas exchange rates of the thalli were measured under constant conditions and at the end of the experiment the chlorophyll content of the moss samples was determined. In the course of the experiment net photosynthesis (NP) of the treatment samples decreased concurrently with an increase in dark respiration (DR). The control samples

  8. Reconciling apparent variability in effects of biochar amendment on soil enzyme activities by assay optimization

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We studied the effects of a biochar made from switchgrass on four soil enzymes (ß- glucosidase, ß-N-acetylglucosaminidase, lipase, and leucine aminopeptidase) to determine if biochar would consistently modify soil biological activities. Inconsistent results from enzyme assays of char-amended soils s...

  9. Biological functioning of PAH-polluted and thermal desorption-treated soils assessed by fauna and microbial bioindicators.

    PubMed

    Cébron, Aurélie; Cortet, Jérôme; Criquet, Stéven; Biaz, Asmaa; Calvert, Virgile; Caupert, Cécile; Pernin, Céline; Leyval, Corinne

    2011-11-01

    A large number of soil bioindicators were used to assess biological diversity and activity in soil polluted with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and the same soil after thermal desorption (TD) treatment. Abundance and biodiversity of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes and microarthropods, as well as functional parameters such as enzymatic activities and soil respiration, were assessed during a two year period of in situ monitoring. We investigated the influence of vegetation (spontaneous vegetation and Medicago sativa) and TD treatment on biological functioning. Multivariate analysis was performed to analyze the whole data set. A principal response curve (PRC) technique was used to evaluate the different treatments (various vegetation and contaminated vs. TD soil) contrasted with control (bare) soil over time. Our results indicated the value of using a number of complementary bioindicators, describing both diversity and functions, to assess the influence of vegetation on soil and discriminate polluted from thermal desorption (TD)-treated soil. Plants had an influence on the abundance and activity of all organisms examined in our study, favoring the whole trophic chain development. However, although TD-treated soil had a high abundance and diversity of microorganisms and fauna, enzymatic activities were weak because of the strong physical and chemical modifications of this soil. PMID:21392572

  10. Pesticide influence on soil enzymatic activities.

    PubMed

    Sannino, F; Gianfreda, L

    2001-11-01

    The influence of four pesticides, e.g. glyphosate, paraquat, atrazine, and carbaryl, on the activities of invertase, urease and phosphatase of twenty-two soils, numbered as 1-22, was investigated. Soils displayed a general variability of enzyme activities with invertase being more abundant than urease and phosphatase in the order listed. The addition of glyphosate and paraquat activated invertase and urease activities in several soils. Increments of invertase activity ranged from a very low increase (+4%) up to +204% in soils 11 and 14, respectively. Smaller increases were measured for urease. A general inhibitory effect (from 5% to 98%) was observed for phosphatase in the presence of glyphosate. The effects of atrazine and carbaryl on the three soil enzymes were evaluated against that exhibited by methanol, the solvent used for their solubilization. In almost all soils, atrazine further inhibited invertase activity with respect to the inhibitory effect shown by methanol. By contrast, consistent activation effects (from 61% to 10217%) were measured for urease with methanol alone and/or methanol-pesticide mixtures. Contradictory results were observed with phosphatase. Similarities found between the results obtained with enzymes in soils and those measured with synthetic enzyme complexes (e.g. free enzymes and/or clay-, organo-, and organo-clay-enzyme complexes) exposed to the same pesticides allowed some relationships between responses of soil enzymes to pesticides and soil properties to be hypothesized. PMID:11680737

  11. The effect of biochar in soil enzyme activities: Latest advances and future directions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paz-Ferreiro, Jorge; Méndez, Ana; Gascó, Gabriel

    2014-05-01

    In the last years there has been an increasing interest in biochar research. Soil biological and biochemical properties have a preeminent role driving nutrient cycling and can be considered as indicators of soil quality. The information on the effects of biochar addition in soil biological activities in still scarce, although an influential number of articles have appeared lately. The aim of this work is to provide an overview of those articles dealing with the biological impact of biochar addition to soil. Studies conducted in soils in different countries differing in forming factors and fertility status are presented. The focus of this work is on how biochar interacts with soil fauna, on changes in soil biological and biochemical properties following heavy metal immobilization after biochar addition and on how these changes are important in relation to global change. Priority areas were research is needed are identified.

  12. [Effects of biological soil crust at different succession stages in hilly region of Loess Plateau on soil CO2 flux].

    PubMed

    Wang, Ai-Guo; Zhao, Yun-Ge; Xu, Ming-Xiang; Yang, Li-Na; Ming, Jiao

    2013-03-01

    Biological soil crust (biocrust) is a compact complex layer of soil, which has photosynthetic activity and is one of the factors affecting the CO2flux of soil-atmosphere interface. In this paper, the soil CO, flux under the effects of biocrust at different succession stages on the re-vegetated grassland in the hilly region of Loess Plateau was measured by a modified LI-8100 automated CO, flux system. Under light condition, the soil CO2 flux under effects of cyanobacteria crust and moss crust was significantly decreased by 92% and 305%, respectively, as compared with the flux without the effects of the biocrusts. The decrement of the soil CO, flux by the biocrusts was related to the biocrusts components and their biomass. Under the effects of dark colored cyanobacteria crust and moss crust, the soil CO2 flux was decreased by 141% and 484%, respectively, as compared with that in bare land. The diurnal curve of soil CO2 flux under effects of biocrusts presented a trend of 'drop-rise-drop' , with the maximum carbon uptake under effects of cyanobacteria crust and moss crust being 0.13 and -1.02 micromol CO2.m-2.s-1 and occurred at about 8:00 and 9:00 am, respectively, while that in bare land was unimodal. In a day (24 h) , the total CO2 flux under effects of cyanobacteria crust was increased by 7.7% , while that under effects of moss crust was decreased by 29.6%, as compared with the total CO2 flux in bare land. This study suggested that in the hilly region of Loess Plateau, biocrust had significant effects on soil CO2 flux, which should be taken into consideration when assessing the carbon budget of the 'Grain for Green' eco-project. PMID:23755478

  13. Isotopic Composition of Organic and Inorganic Carbon in Desert Biological Soil Crust Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alexander, K.; Hartnett, H.; Anbar, A.; Beraldi, H.; Garcia-Pichel, F.

    2006-12-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are microbial communities that colonize soil surfaces in many arid regions. BSCs are important sources for fixed carbon and nitrogen in these ecosystems, and they greatly influence the structure, function, and appearance of desert soils. Biological activity of BSCs occurs during pulses of hydration requiring desert crusts to tolerate extremes in UV radiation, temperature, and desiccation. These characteristics make desert crusts unique systems that have received little consideration in the study of biogeochemical processes in extreme environments. This project investigates the impact of BSCs on carbon dynamics within desert soils. Soil cores ranging in depth from 8 to 12 cm were taken in March, 2006 from deserts near Moab, Utah. Two major BSC classes were identified: lichen-dominated (dark and pinnacled) soil crusts and cyanobacteria-dominated (light and flat) soil crusts. These two surface morphologies are related to the different biological communities. Carbon content and stable carbon isotopic composition were determined for the bulk carbon pool, as well as for the organic and inorganic carbon fractions of the soils. Expectedly, there was a net decrease in organic carbon content with depth (0.39-0.27 percent). Stable carbon isotope values for the organic fraction ranged from -5.8 per mil to -24.0 per mil (Avg: -14.4 per mil, S.D: 6.42 per mil). Stable carbon isotope values for the inorganic fraction ranged from 0.3 per mil to -3.6 per mil (Avg: -2.4 per mil, S.D.: 1.05 per mil). The variation in the isotopic composition of the organic carbon was due to a strong depletion below the surface soil value occurring between 3 and 5 cm depth, with an enrichment above the original surface value at depths below 6 to 10 cm. These data suggest that within desert soil crust systems the carbon isotopic signal is complex with both a clear biological imprint (lighter organic carbon) as well as evidence for some mechanism that results in

  14. Ice Nucleation Activity in the Widespread Soil Fungus Mortierella alpina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fröhlich-Nowoisky, J.; Hill, T. C. J.; Pummer, B. G.; Franc, G. D.; Pöschl, U.

    2014-08-01

    Biological residues in soil dust are a potentially strong source of atmospheric ice nuclei (IN). So far, however, the abundance, diversity, sources, seasonality, and role of biological - in particular, fungal - IN in soil dust have not been characterized. By analysis of the culturable fungi in topsoils, from a range of different land use and ecosystem types in south-east Wyoming, we found ice nucleation active (INA) fungi to be both widespread and abundant, particularly in soils with recent inputs of decomposable organic matter. Across all investigated soils, 8% of fungal isolates were INA. All INA isolates initiated freezing at -5 to -6 °C, and belonged to a single zygomycotic species, Mortierella alpina (Mortierellales, Mortierellomycotina). By contrast, the handful of fungal species so far reported as INA all belong within the Ascomycota or Basidiomycota phyla. M. alpina is known to be saprobic, widespread in soil and present in air and rain. Sequencing of the ITS region and the gene for γ-linolenic-elongase revealed four distinct clades, affiliated to different soil types. The IN produced by M. alpina seem to be proteinaceous, <300 kDa in size, and can be easily washed off the mycelium. Ice nucleating fungal mycelium will ramify topsoils and probably also release cell-free IN into it. If these IN survive decomposition or are adsorbed onto mineral surfaces, their contribution might accumulate over time, perhaps to be transported with soil dust and influencing its ice nucleating properties.

  15. [Biological activity of probiotic microorganisms].

    PubMed

    Novik, G I; Samartsev, A A; Astapovich, N I; Kavrus, M A; Mikhaliuk, A N

    2006-01-01

    Adaptation of bifidobacteria and lactic acid bacteria to nutrient media with increased concentrations of bile (1%) and protein substrates of animal origin allowed the variants resistant to bile and displaying a high production of proteolytic enzymes (active within the pH range of 2.5-9.0) to be selected. Administration of the preparations involving the selected bifidobacteria and lactic acid bacteria assisted in the normalization of the intestinal microflora and activation of protein metabolism in the organism of animals. Specifically, it increased the total protein level in blood serum and redistributed protein fractions, increasing the content of globulins and decreasing albumin concentration. PMID:16761572

  16. County-Scale Spatial Distribution of Soil Enzyme Activities and Enzyme Activity Indices in Agricultural Land: Implications for Soil Quality Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Baoni; Wang, Junxing; He, Wenxiang; Wang, Xudong; Wei, Gehong

    2014-01-01

    Here the spatial distribution of soil enzymatic properties in agricultural land was evaluated on a county-wide (567 km2) scale in Changwu, Shaanxi Province, China. The spatial variations in activities of five hydrolytic enzymes were examined using geostatistical methods. The relationships between soil enzyme activities and other soil properties were evaluated using both an integrated total enzyme activity index (TEI) and the geometric mean of enzyme activities (GME). At the county scale, soil invertase, phosphatase, and catalase activities were moderately spatially correlated, whereas urease and dehydrogenase activities were weakly spatially correlated. Correlation analysis showed that both TEI and GME were better correlated with selected soil physicochemical properties than single enzyme activities. Multivariate regression analysis showed that soil OM content had the strongest positive effect while soil pH had a negative effect on the two enzyme activity indices. In addition, total phosphorous content had a positive effect on TEI and GME in orchard soils, whereas alkali-hydrolyzable nitrogen and available potassium contents, respectively, had negative and positive effects on these two enzyme indices in cropland soils. The results indicate that land use changes strongly affect soil enzyme activities in agricultural land, where TEI provides a sensitive biological indicator for soil quality. PMID:25610908

  17. The biological factors influence on the conversion of mineral components of Extremely Arid Desert Soils (Kazakhstan)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kutovaya, Olga; Vasilenko, Elena; Lebedeva, Marina; Tkhakakhova, Azida

    2013-04-01

    Extremely arid soils of stony deserts (hamadas) along the southern periphery of the Ili Depression are considered to be analogous to extremely arid soils of Mongolia, also named as "ultra-arid primitive gray-brown soils." In general, the morphology of extremely arid soils of hamadas in the Ili Depression is similar to that of the soils of stony deserts in other parts of the world, including the Gobi, Atacama, and Tarim deserts. The diagnostics of the active communities of microorganisms were performed according to the method of Rybalkina-Kononenko. The exact identification of the living forms of microorganisms to the species level is not always possible with the use of this method. However, it allows us to study the physiological role of the microorganisms and their ecological functions, including the relationships with the soil matrix and other organisms. In particular, it is possible to estimate the contribution of the microorganisms to the transformation of mineral soil components. The obtained materials allow us to conclude that the extremely arid desert soils are characterized by the very high biological activity during short periods of the increased soil moistening after rare and strong rains. The diversity of living forms is very considerable; both prokaryotes (cyanobacteria, actinomycetes, and iron bacteria) and protists (green algae, diatoms, and dinoflagellates) are developed in the soil. Thus, during a short period after the rains, these microorganisms pass from the stage of anabiosis to the stage of active growth and reproduction. Then, upon drying of the soil, the biotic activity of the soil slows down and, finally, terminates. The organisms remain in the state of anabiosis until the next rain. During the period of active growth, the microorganisms compose a specific consortium of different species and exert a profound impact on the soil properties. They participate in the transformation of the soil minerals with the formation of amorphous substances

  18. Large-scale experience with biological treatment of contaminated soil

    SciTech Connect

    Schulz-Berendt, V.; Poetzsch, E.

    1995-12-31

    The efficiency of biological methods for the cleanup of soil contaminated with total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) was demonstrated by a large-scale example in which 38,000 tons of TPH- and PAH-polluted soil was treated onsite with the TERRAFERM{reg_sign} degradation system to reach the target values of 300 mg/kg TPH and 5 mg/kg PAH. Detection of the ecotoxicological potential (Microtox{reg_sign} assay) showed a significant decrease during the remediation. Low concentrations of PAH in the ground were treated by an in situ technology. The in situ treatment was combined with mechanical measures (slurry wall) to prevent the contamination from dispersing from the site.

  19. Biological activities of heparan sulfate.

    PubMed

    Arumugam, Muthuvel; Giji, Sadhasivam

    2014-01-01

    Heparan sulfate was isolated from two bivalve mollusks such as Tridacna maxima and Perna viridis. The isolated heparin was quantified in crude as well as purified samples and they were estimated as 2.72 and 2.2g/kg (crude) and 260 and 248 mg/g (purified) in T. maxima and P. viridis, respectively. Both the bivalves showed the anticoagulant activity of the crude and purified sample as 20,128 USP units/kg and 7.4 USP units/mg, 39,000 USP units/kg and 75 USP units/mg, 9460 USP units/kg and 4.3 USP units/mg, and 13,392 USP units/kg and 54 USP units/mg correspondingly in T. maxima and P. viridis. The antiproliferative activity that was studied with pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells using RPMI media reported that the result is in a dose-dependent manner. Among the two clams, P. viridis showed more antiproliferative activity than that of T. maxima. PMID:25081081

  20. How does biological and anthropogenic soil mixing contribute to morphologic evolution of landscapes and terrestrial carbon cycles? (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoo, K.; Mudd, S. M.; Chen, C.; Aufdenkampe, A. K.; Weinman, B.; Ji, J.; Hurst, M. D.; Klaminder, J.

    2009-12-01

    The generation of sediment and its transport occurs within and at the boundaries of colluvial soils. Models that predict the evolution of soil mantled landscapes are most commonly based on statements of mass conservation that quantify mass fluxes (i.e., sediment transport) and mass sources (e.g., soil production) within colluvial soil. Traditionally these models consider soil mixing to be an internal process which does not affect sediment transport and therefore has no impact on landscape evolution. It is known, however, that physical, biological, and anthropogenic soil mixing triggers the lateral movement of soil. Here, by emphasizing that the boundary between physically mobile colluvium and immobile saprolite is defined by the depth that mixing agents are able to penetrate, we provide theoretical and empirical supports that animal burrowing, tree throw, and agricultural plowing have distinct impacts on the morphologic evolution of landscapes and the terrestrial carbon cycles. First, where colluvial flux is proportional to both colluvial thickness and slope gradient, soil mixing agents, by affecting the thickness, contribute to determining the flux. Second, soil mixing drives the physical production of colluvium in thin soils where mixing agents actively disturb underlying saprolite. In this case the depth to which mixing agents are active determines colluvial thickness and increased soil erosion rates may not translate to reduced colluvial thickness. Furthermore, by simultaneously assessing soil mixing and erosion accelerated by agricultural activities, we can better predict how land use changes may affect the contacts between organic matter and minerals during their travel from hillslopes to channels and to floodplains, which may control the production of mineral-bound carbon pools with longer turnover times and thus carbon sequestration. In biologically productive landscapes, soil mixing agents may hold important keys to unlock the black box of colluvial

  1. Impact of HydroPolymers on the soil biological components in mediterranean drylands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dvořáčková, Helena; Hueso González, Paloma; Záhora, Jaroslav; Mikajlo, Irina; Damián Ruiz Sinoga, Jose

    2016-04-01

    Soil degradation affects more than 52 million ha of land in counties of the European Union. This problem is particularly serious in Mediterranean areas, where the effects of anthropogenic activities (tillage on slopes, deforestation, and pasture production) add to problems caused by prolonged periods of drought and intense and irregular rainfall. Soil microbiota can be used as an indicator of the soil healthy in degraded areas. This is because soil microbiota participates in the cycle elements and in the organic matter decomposition. All this helps to the young plants establishment and in long term protect the soils against the erosion. During dry periods in the Mediterranean areas, the lack of water entering the soil matrix leads to a loss of soil microbiological activity and it turns into a lower soil production capabilities. Under these conditions, the aim of this study was to evaluate the positive effect on soil biological components produced by an hydro absorbent polymer (Terracottem). The aim of the experiment was to evaluate the impact assessment of an hydropolymer (Terracottem) on the soil biological components. An experimental flowerpot layout was established in June 2015 and 12 variants with different amount of Terracottem were applied as follow: i) 3.0 kg.m3 ; ii) 1.5 kg.m3 and; iii) 0 kg.m3. In all the variants were tested the further additives: a) 1% of glucose, b) 50 kg N.ha-1 of Mineral nitrogen, c) 1% of Glucose + 50 kg N.ha-1 of Mineral nitrogen d) control (no additive). According to natural conditions, humidity have been kept at 15% in all the variants. During four weeks, mineral nitrogen leaching and soil respiration have been measured in each flowerplot. Respiration has been quantified four times every time while moistening containers and alkaline soda lime has been used as a sorbent. The amount of CO2 increase has been measured with the sorbent. Leaching of mineral nitrogen has been quantified by ion exchange resins (IER). IER pouches have been

  2. Elsholtzia: phytochemistry and biological activities

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Plants of the genus Elsholtzia (Lamiaceae) have a long history of medicinal use in folk. The phytochemical investigations revealed the presence of flavonoids, phenylpropanoids, terpenoids, and other compounds. Abundant volatile components are also identified. Pure compounds, volatile constituents and crude extracts from the genus exhibited a wide spectrum of in vitro and in vivo pharmacological activities. The aims of this review hopefully provide comprehensive information on the distribution, phytochemistry, volatile components, and pharmacological research of Elsholtzia for exploring the potential and advance researches. PMID:23216850

  3. Assessment of soil biological quality index (QBS-ar) in different crop rotation systems in paddy soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nadimi-Goki, Mandana; Bini, Claudio; haefele, Stephan

    2013-04-01

    New methods, based on soil microarthropods for soil quality evaluation have been proposed by some Authors. Soil microarthropods demonstrated to respond sensitively to land management practices and to be correlated with beneficial soil functions. QBS Index (QBS-ar) is calculated on the basis of microarthropod groups present in a soil sample. Each biological form found in the sample receives a score from 1 to 20 (eco-morphological index, EMI), according to its adaptation to soil environment. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of various rotation systems and sampling periods on soil biological quality index, in paddy soils. For the purpose of this study surface soil samples (0-15 cm depth) were collected from different rotation systems (rice-rice-rice, soya-rice-rice, fallow-rice and pea-soya-rice) with three replications, and four sampling times in April (after field preparation), June (after seedling), August (after tillering stage) and October (after rice harvesting). The study area is located in paddy soils of Verona area, Northern Italy. Soil microarthropods from a total of 48 samples were extracted and classified according to the Biological Quality of Soil Index (QBS-ar) method. In addition soil moisture, Cumulative Soil Respiration and pH were measured in each site. More diversity of microarthropod groups was found in June and August sampling times. T-test results between different rotations did not show significant differences while the mean difference between rotation and different sampling times is statistically different. The highest QBS-ar value was found in the fallow-rice rotation in the forth soil sampling time. Similar value was found in soya-rice-rice rotation. Result of linear regression analysis indicated that there is significant correlation between QBS-ar values and Cumulative Soil Respiration. Keywords: soil biological quality index (QBS-ar), Crop Rotation System, paddy soils, Italy

  4. Soil biological attributes in arsenic-contaminated gold mining sites after revegetation.

    PubMed

    Dos Santos, Jessé Valentim; de Melo Rangel, Wesley; Azarias Guimarães, Amanda; Duque Jaramillo, Paula Marcela; Rufini, Márcia; Marra, Leandro Marciano; Varón López, Maryeimy; Pereira da Silva, Michele Aparecida; Fonsêca Sousa Soares, Cláudio Roberto; de Souza Moreira, Fatima Maria

    2013-12-01

    Recovery of arsenic contaminated areas is a challenge society faces throughout the world. Revegetation associated with microbial activity can play an essential role in this process. This work investigated biological attributes in a gold mining area with different arsenic contents at different sites under two types of extant revegetation associated with cover layers of the soil: BS, Brachiaria sp. and Stizolobium sp., and LEGS, Acacia crassicarpa, A. holosericea, A. mangium, Sesbania virgata, Albizia lebbeck and Pseudosamanea guachapele. References were also evaluated, comprising the following three sites: B1, weathered sulfide substrate without revegetation; BM, barren material after gold extraction and PRNH (private reserve of natural heritage), an uncontaminated forest site near the mining area. The organic and microbial biomass carbon contents and substrate-induced respiration rates for these sites from highest to lowest were: PRNH > LEGS > BS > B1 and BM. These attributes were negatively correlated with soluble and total arsenic concentration in the soil. The sites that have undergone revegetation (LEGS and BS) had higher densities of bacteria, fungi, phosphate solubilizers and ammonium oxidizers than the sites without vegetation. Principal component analysis showed that the LEGS site grouped with PRNH, indicating that the use of leguminous species associated with an uncontaminated soil cover layer contributed to the improvement of the biological attributes. With the exception of acid phosphatase, all the biological attributes were indicators of soil recovery, particularly the following: microbial carbon, substrate-induced respiration, density of culturable bacteria, fungi and actinobacteria, phosphate solubilizers and metabolic quotient. PMID:24114185

  5. Patterns and controls on nitrogen cycling of biological soil crusts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barger, Nichole N.; Zaady, Eli; Weber, Bettina; Garcia-Pichel, Ferran; Belnap, Jayne

    2016-01-01

    Biocrusts play a significant role in the nitrogen [N ] cycle within arid and semi-arid ecosystems, as they contribute major N inputs via biological fixation and dust capture, harbor internal N transformation processes, and direct N losses via N dissolved, gaseous and erosional loss processes (Fig. 1). Because soil N availability in arid and semi-arid ecosystems is generally low and may limit net primary production (NPP), especially during periods when adequate water is available, understanding the mechanisms and controls of N input and loss pathways in biocrusts is critically important to our broader understanding of N cycling in dryland environments. In particular, N cycling by biocrusts likely regulates short-term soil N availability to support vascular plant growth, as well as long-term N accumulation and maintenance of soil fertility. In this chapter, we review the influence of biocrust nutrient input, internal cycling, and loss pathways across a range of biomes. We examine linkages between N fixation capabilities of biocrust organisms and spatio-temporal patterns of soil N availability that may influence the longer-term productivity of dryland ecosystems. Lastly, biocrust influence on N loss pathways such as N gas loss, leakage of N compounds from biocrusts, and transfer in wind and water erosion are important to understand the maintenance of dryland soil fertility over longer time scales. Although great strides have been made in understanding the influence of biocrusts on ecosystem N cycling, there are important knowledge gaps in our understanding of the influence of biocrusts on ecosystem N cycling that should be the focus of future studies. Because work on the interaction of N cycling and biocrusts was reviewed in Belnap and Lange (2003), this chapter will focus primarily on research findings that have emerged over the last 15 years (2000-2015).

  6. Stabilization of labile organic C along a chronosequence of soil development: mineralogical vs. biological controls

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McFarland, J. W.; Waldrop, M. P.; Strawn, D.; Harden, J. W.

    2010-12-01

    Soil organic matter (SOM) represents an important reservoir for carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and other essential nutrients. Consequently, variation in SOM turnover rates regulates resource availability for soil microbial activity and plant growth. Long-term SOM stabilization generally involves restricted microbial access to SOM through a variety of processes including complexation with soil minerals. These organo-mineral interactions are influenced by mineral composition and texture, often related to soil age. Soil microorganisms also influence the stabilization of C inputs to the pedosphere through the production of refractory residues controlled in part by C allocation patterns during metabolism. In this study we examined, simultaneously, the contribution of these two C stabilizing mechanisms by ‘tracing’ the fate of two 13C-labeled substrates (glucose and p-hydroxybenzoic acid) along a 1600Kya chronosequence of soil development along the Cowlitz River in southwest Washington. Our objective was to evaluate the relationship between mineralogical and biological controls over C sequestration in soils. Mineralogical analyses were done using the selective dissolutions ammonium oxalate (AOD), and dithionite-citrate extraction (CBD). In this cool, humid environment, intermediate aged soils derived from the late Wisconsin Evans Creek drift (24ka) had the highest AOD extractable Al, Fe, and Si, indicating a higher concentration of poorly crystalline minerals relative to other terraces. Correspondingly, CBD extractable Fe increases with soil age, further supporting the idea that crystalline iron oxides are also more prevalent with weathering. Turnover of both 13C-labeled substrates was rapid (< 12.5 hrs) However, the proportion of substrate mineralized to CO2 varied among terraces. Mineralization to CO2 was significantly lower at 24ka than that for the other three age classes (0.25k, 220k, and 1,600k years bp), corresponding to higher recovery of 13C in bulk soil for this

  7. Xanthane sesquiterpenoids: structure, synthesis and biological activity.

    PubMed

    Vasas, Andrea; Hohmann, Judit

    2011-04-01

    The aim of this review is to survey the naturally occurring xanthanes and xanthanolides, their structures, biological activities, structure–activity relationships and synthesis. There has been no comprehensive review of this topic previously. On the basis of 126 references, 112 compounds are summarized. PMID:21321751

  8. Marine Biology Activities. Ocean Related Curriculum Activities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pauls, John

    The ocean affects all of our lives. Therefore, awareness of and information about the interconnections between humans and oceans are prerequisites to making sound decisions for the future. Project ORCA (Ocean Related Curriculum Activities) has developed interdisciplinary curriculum materials designed to meet the needs of students and teachers…

  9. Biological soil crusts: a fundamental organizing agent in global drylands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belnap, J.; Zhang, Y.

    2013-12-01

    Ecosystem function is profoundly affected by plant community composition, which is ultimately determined by factors that govern seed retention. Dryland ecosystems constitute ~35% of terrestrial surfaces, with most soils in these regions covered by biological soil crusts (biocrusts), a community whose autotrophs are dominated by cyanobacteria, lichens, and mosses. Studies at 550 sites revealed that plant community composition was controlled by the interaction among biocrust type, disturbance regime, and external morphology of seeds. In bare soils (due to disturbance), all seed types were present in the seedbank and plant community. As biocrusts became better developed (i.e., the cover of lichens and mosses increased), they more strongly filtered out seeds with appendages. Thus, soils under late successional biocrusts contained seedbanks dominated by smooth seeds and vascular plants growing in late successional biocrusts were dominated by those with smooth seeds. Therefore, the tension between the removal of biocrusts by soil surface disturbance and their recovery creates a shifting mosaic of plant patch types in both space and time. Because changes in vascular plant communities reverberate throughout both below ground and above ground food webs and thus affect multiple trophic levels, we propose that biocrusts are a fundamental organizing agent in drylands worldwide. Future increased demand for resources will intensify land use both temporally and spatially, resulting in an increased rate of biocrust loss across larger areas. As a result, we can expect shifts in the composition and distribution of plant communities, accompanied by concomitant changes in many aspects of dryland ecosystems. Conceptual model of shifting dryland plant mosaics through space and time. Within the large circles, soil surface type changes with time in the same space, going from bare uncrusted soil (B) to cyanobacterial biocrust (C) to lichen/moss (L/M) biocrust. Disturbance (D) drives the

  10. Metatranscriptomic census of active protists in soils.

    PubMed

    Geisen, Stefan; Tveit, Alexander T; Clark, Ian M; Richter, Andreas; Svenning, Mette M; Bonkowski, Michael; Urich, Tim

    2015-10-01

    The high numbers and diversity of protists in soil systems have long been presumed, but their true diversity and community composition have remained largely concealed. Traditional cultivation-based methods miss a majority of taxa, whereas molecular barcoding approaches employing PCR introduce significant biases in reported community composition of soil protists. Here, we applied a metatranscriptomic approach to assess the protist community in 12 mineral and organic soil samples from different vegetation types and climatic zones using small subunit ribosomal RNA transcripts as marker. We detected a broad diversity of soil protists spanning across all known eukaryotic supergroups and revealed a strikingly different community composition than shown before. Protist communities differed strongly between sites, with Rhizaria and Amoebozoa dominating in forest and grassland soils, while Alveolata were most abundant in peat soils. The Amoebozoa were comprised of Tubulinea, followed with decreasing abundance by Discosea, Variosea and Mycetozoa. Transcripts of Oomycetes, Apicomplexa and Ichthyosporea suggest soil as reservoir of parasitic protist taxa. Further, Foraminifera and Choanoflagellida were ubiquitously detected, showing that these typically marine and freshwater protists are autochthonous members of the soil microbiota. To the best of our knowledge, this metatranscriptomic study provides the most comprehensive picture of active protist communities in soils to date, which is essential to target the ecological roles of protists in the complex soil system. PMID:25822483

  11. Dynamics of the biological properties of soil and the nutrient release of Amorpha fruticosa L. litter in soil polluted by crude oil.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiaoxi; Liu, Zengwen; Luc, Nhu Trung; Liang, Xiao; Liu, Xiaobo

    2015-11-01

    Litter from Amorpha fruticosa, a potential phytoremediating plant, was collected and used in a decomposition experiment that involved the litterbag in soil polluted by crude oil. The dynamics of the biological properties of soil and the nutrient release of the litter were detected. The results indicated that (1) in lightly polluted soil (LP, petroleum concentration was 15 g kg(-1)), the bacteria (including actinomycetes), and fungi populations were significant higher than those in unpolluted soil (CK) at the 1st month after pollution, and the bacteria (including actinomycetes) populations were higher than those in the CK at the 6th and 12th months. In moderately polluted soil (MP, 30 g kg(-1)), the bacteria (including actinomycetes) populations were higher than those in the CK at the 1st and 6th months, whereas only the actinomycetes population was greater than that in the CK at the 12th month. In seriously polluted soil (SP, 45 g kg(-1)), only the fungi population was higher than that in the CK at the 6th month. (2) The activities of soil protease, carboxymethyl cellulase, and sucrase were generally inhibited in polluted soil. Peroxidase activity was generally inhibited in the LP and MP soil, and polyphenol oxidase activity was inhibited in the SP soil at 6-12 months. (3) At the end of litter decomposition, the LP soil significantly increased the release rate of all nutrients, except for K. The MP soil reduced the release rate of Fe and Mn, whereas it increased that of C and Cu. The SP soil decreased the release rate of all nutrients except for Cu and Zn. In conclusion, SP by crude oil would lead to limitations in the release of nutrients from the litter and to decreases in the community stability of a phytoremediating plant. A. fruticosa could only be used in phytoremediation of polluted soil at concentrations below 45 g kg(-1) (crude). PMID:26087933

  12. Fractal Scaling of Particle Size Distribution and Relationships with Topsoil Properties Affected by Biological Soil Crusts

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Guang-Lei; Ding, Guo-Dong; Wu, Bin; Zhang, Yu-Qing; Qin, Shu-Gao; Zhao, Yuan-Yuan; Bao, Yan-Feng; Liu, Yun-Dong; Wan, Li; Deng, Ji-Feng

    2014-01-01

    Background Biological soil crusts are common components of desert ecosystem; they cover ground surface and interact with topsoil that contribute to desertification control and degraded land restoration in arid and semiarid regions. Methodology/Principal Findings To distinguish the changes in topsoil affected by biological soil crusts, we compared topsoil properties across three types of successional biological soil crusts (algae, lichens, and mosses crust), as well as the referenced sandland in the Mu Us Desert, Northern China. Relationships between fractal dimensions of soil particle size distribution and selected soil properties were discussed as well. The results indicated that biological soil crusts had significant positive effects on soil physical structure (P<0.05); and soil organic carbon and nutrients showed an upward trend across the successional stages of biological soil crusts. Fractal dimensions ranged from 2.1477 to 2.3032, and significantly linear correlated with selected soil properties (R2 = 0.494∼0.955, P<0.01). Conclusions/Significance Biological soil crusts cause an important increase in soil fertility, and are beneficial to sand fixation, although the process is rather slow. Fractal dimension proves to be a sensitive and useful index for quantifying changes in soil properties that additionally implies desertification. This study will be essential to provide a firm basis for future policy-making on optimal solutions regarding desertification control and assessment, as well as degraded ecosystem restoration in arid and semiarid regions. PMID:24516668

  13. Microbiological activity of soils populated by Lasius niger ants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Golichenkov, M. V.; Neimatov, A. L.; Kiryushin, A. V.

    2009-07-01

    Ants are the most widespread colonial insects assigned to the Hymenoptera order. They actively use soil as a habitat; being numerous, they create a specific microrelief. It is shown that ants affect microbiological processes of the carbon and nitrogen cycles. The carbon content in anthills remains stable throughout the growing season, and the respiration intensity is about three times higher as compared with that in the control soil. The highest methane production (0.08 nmol of CH4/g per day) in the anthill is observed at the beginning of the growing season and exceeds that in the control soil by four times. The most active nitrogen fixation (about 4 nmol of C2H4/g per h) in the anthill takes place in the early growing season, whereas, in the control soil, it is observed in the middle of the growing season. At the same time, the diazotrophic activity is higher in the control soil. The lowest denitrification in the anthill is observed at the beginning and end of the growing season. The dynamics of the denitrification in the anthill are opposite to the dynamics of the diazotrophic activity. We suppose that these regularities of the biological activity in the anthill are related to the ecology of the ants and the changes in their food preferences during the growing season.

  14. Changes in the biological diversity and concentration of total DNA under the influence of mineral fertilizers in agrochernozemic soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tkhakakhova, Azida; Kutovaya, Olga; Ivanova, Ekaterina; Pavlyuchenko, Anatoly

    2014-05-01

    Chernozems represent the most valuable soil resource for Russian agriculture. Their sustainable use in intensive farming systems with preservation of the biological diversity and biological activity of these soils is of crucial importance for the agri-environmental security of Russia. We studied the influence of different rates of mineral fertilizers on the biological activity of chernozems on experimental fields of the Dokuchaev Research Institute of Agriculture in Kamennaya Steppe (Voronezh oblast). Soil samples were taken at the end of April 2013 from the plow horizon on trials with different rates of fertilization: NPK-0, NPK-60, and NPK-120 (kg/ha); a long-term fallow plot was used as an absolute control. The biological activity was analyzed by routine inoculation methods and by the molecular biology techniques based on DNA isolation from the soil samples. Quantitative parameters of the isolated and purified DNA were determined by measuring the fluorescence of the DNA preparations with added intercalating dyes; GelDoc XR system and Image Lab and TotalLab Quant. software were used. Microbiological studies showed the high biological activity of the chernozems soil in all the trials. No significant differences were found between the trials for the microbiological processes of the carbon cycle. There was a weakly expressed tendency for an increase in the activity of actinomycetes from the soil with zero fertilization (5.11 log10CFU/g) to the soil with maximum (NPK-120) fertilization (5.69 log10CFU/g) and the fallow soil (5.73 log10CFU/g); the number of cultivated micromycetes decreased from the soil with zero fertilization (4.76 log10CFU/g) to the soil with maximum fertilization (4.14 log10CFU/g) and to the fallow soil (4.1 log10CFU/g). A less equilibrium state is typical of the microorganisms participating in the nitrogen cycle. The number of cultivated aerobic and anaerobic nitrogen-fixing bacteria somewhat increased in the fertilized trials (NPK-60, NPK-120

  15. Six Siderophore-Producing Microorganisms Identified in Biological Soil Crusts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noonan, K.; Anbar, A. D.; Garcia-Pichel, F.; Poret-peterson, A. T.; Hartnett, H. E.

    2011-12-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are diverse microbial communities that colonize soils in arid and semi-arid environments. Cyanobacteria in BSCs are pioneer organisms that increase ecosystem habitability by providing fixed carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) as well as by reducing water run-off and increasing infiltration. Photosynthesis and N fixation, in particular, require a variety of metals in large quantities, and yet, metals are predominantly insoluble in the environments where BSCs thrive. Therefore, BSC organisms must have efficient strategies for extracting metals from soil minerals. We hypothesized that BSC microbes, particularly the cyanobacteria, produce siderophores to serve their metal-acquisition needs. Siderophores are small organic compounds that bind Fe with high affinity and are produced by a variety of microorganisms, including cyanobacteria. Most siderophores bind Fe, primarily; however, some can also bind Mo, V, and Cu. Soil siderophores are released by microbes to increase the solubility of metals from minerals and to facilitate microbial uptake. Thus, siderophores serve as chemical weathering agents and provide a direct link between soil microbes and minerals. Studying siderophore production in BSCs provides insight into how BSCs tackle the challenge of acquiring insoluble metals, and may help conservationists determine useful fertilizers for BSC growth by facilitating metal acquisition. Biological soil crusts were collected near Moab, UT. Soil slurries were prepared in deionized water and transferred to modified BG-11 agar plates. The O-CAS agar plate assay was used to screen organisms for siderophore production. Siderophore producing microbes were isolated and identified by16S rRNA gene sequencing. Cultures were then grown in 3 L batch cultures under metal limitation, and siderophore presence was monitored using the traditional liquid CAS assay. After siderophore detection, cells were removed by centrifugation, organic compounds were separated using

  16. Perylenequinones: Isolation, Synthesis, and Biological Activity

    PubMed Central

    Mulrooey, Carol A.; O'Brien, Erin M.; Morgan, Barbara J.

    2013-01-01

    The perylenequinones are a novel class of natural products characterized by pentacyclic conjugated chromophore giving rise to photoactivity. Potentially useful light-activated biological activity, targeting protein kinase C (PKC), has been identified for several of the natural products. Recently discovered new members of this class of compound, as well as several related phenanthroperylenequinones, are reviewed. Natural product modifications that improve biological profiles, and avenues for the total synthesis of analogs, which are not available from the natural product series, are outlined. An overview of structure/function relationships is provided. PMID:24039544

  17. Biological soil crusts in subtropical China and their influence on initial soil erosion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seitz, Steffen; Goebes, Philipp; Kühn, Peter; Scholten, Thomas

    2014-05-01

    Soil is one of the most valuable resources we have on our planet. The erosion of this resource is a major environmental problem, in particular in subtropical China where high rainfall intensity causes severe and continuous soil losses. One of the main mechanisms controlling soil erosion is surface coverage, typically by vegetation, litter, stones and biological soil crusts (BSCs). BSCs play significant functional roles in soil systems, such as accelerating soil formation, changing water and nutrient cycling rates, enhancing soil stability and thus preventing erosion by wind or water. In initial ecosystems, cyanobacteria, algae, fungi, mosses and lichens are the first organisms to colonize the substrate; they form a biological crust within the first millimetres of the surface. BSCs and their effect on erosion are rarely mentioned in literature and most of the work done focussed on arid and semi-arid environments. This study aims to investigate the role of BSCs controlling the amount of runoff generated and sediment detached during soil erosion events in an initial ecosystem in subtropical China. The study took place on a deforested experimental site (BEF China) near Xingangshan, Jiangxi Province, PR China. We used a total number of 350 runoff plots (ROP, 40cmx40cm) to measure sediment discharge and surface runoff. BSC cover in each ROP was determined photogrammetrically in 4 time steps (autumn 2011, spring 2012, summer 2012 and summer 2013). Perpendicular images were taken and then processed to measure the coverage of BSCs using a 1 cm² digital grid overlay. Additionally BSCs were sampled in the field and identified by their taxonomy. In our ROPs we found 65 different moos, algae and lichen species, as well as cyanobacteria's. Mean BSC cover per ROP in 2013 was 17 % with a maximum of 62 % and a minimum of 0 %. Compared to stone cover with 3 %, our findings highlight the role of BSC in soil erosion processes. The total BSC covered area is slightly decreasing since

  18. Factors affecting chemical and biological reduction of hexavalent chromium in soil

    SciTech Connect

    Losi, M.E.; Amrhein, C.; Frankenberger, W.T. Jr. . Dept. of Soil and Environmental Sciences)

    1994-11-01

    Hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)] is a common environmental pollutant that is mobile in soils and is a known mutagen. The trivalent form [Cr(III)] has not known mutagenic properties and is highly insoluble and immobile above pH 5.5. Reduction to the trivalent state thus represents an effective mechanism for detoxification and immobilization of Cr(VI) in soil/water systems. In this study, the authors conducted experiments to examine various parameters involving aerobic reduction of Cr(VI) in a field soil. They found that organic matter content, bioactivity, and oxygen status were important factors. Under optimum conditions, the soil reduced 96% of added Cr(VI) under aerobic, field-moist conditions. The pH of the system was shown to have little effect. Both biological and nonbiological processes were influential, and, of 20 chromate-resistant bacterial cultures isolated from soils, 9 were found to actively reduce Cr(VI) to Cr(III) in liquid media. Their study suggests that organic-amended soils can readily reduce Cr(VI) and could promote excellent removal efficiency either as a primary treatment technique, or in conjunction with bioreactor-type wastewater treatment systems.

  19. Rain pulse response of soil CO2 exchange by biological soil crusts and grasslands of the semiarid Colorado Plateau, United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowling, D. R.; Grote, E. E.; Belnap, J.

    2011-09-01

    Biological activity in arid grasslands is strongly dependent on moisture. We examined gas exchange of biological soil crusts (biocrusts), the underlying soil biotic community, and the belowground respiratory activity of C3 and C4 grasses over 2 years in southeast Utah, USA. We used soil surface CO2 flux and the amount and carbon isotope composition (δ13C) of soil CO2 as indicators of belowground and soil surface activity. Soil respiration was always below 2 μmol m-2 s-1 and highly responsive to soil moisture. When moisture was available, warm spring and summer temperature was associated with higher fluxes. Moisture pulses led to enhanced soil respiration lasting for a week or more. Biological response to rain was not simply dependent on the amount of rain, but also depended on antecedent conditions (prior moisture pulses). The short-term temperature sensitivity of respiration was very dynamic, showing enhancement within 1-2 days of rain, and diminishing each day afterward. Carbon uptake occurred by cyanobacterially dominated biocrusts following moisture pulses in fall and winter, with a maximal net carbon uptake of 0.5 μmol m-2 s-1, although typically the biocrusts were a net carbon source. No difference was detected in the seasonal activity of C3 and C4 grasses, contrasting with studies from other arid regions (where warm- versus cool-season activity is important), and highlighting the unique biophysical environment of this cold desert. Contrary to other studies, the δ13C of belowground respiration in the rooting zone of each photosynthetic type did not reflect the δ13C of C3 and C4 physiology.

  20. Rain pulse response of soil CO2 exchange by biological soil crusts and grasslands of the semiarid Colorado Plateau, United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bowling, David R.; Grote, E.E.; Belnap, J.

    2011-01-01

    Biological activity in arid grasslands is strongly dependent on moisture. We examined gas exchange of biological soil crusts (biocrusts), the underlying soil biotic community, and the belowground respiratory activity of C3 and C4 grasses over 2 years in southeast Utah, USA. We used soil surface CO2 flux and the amount and carbon isotope composition (δ13C) of soil CO2 as indicators of belowground and soil surface activity. Soil respiration was always below 2 μmol m-2s-1 and highly responsive to soil moisture. When moisture was available, warm spring and summer temperature was associated with higher fluxes. Moisture pulses led to enhanced soil respiration lasting for a week or more. Biological response to rain was not simply dependent on the amount of rain, but also depended on antecedent conditions (prior moisture pulses). The short-term temperature sensitivity of respiration was very dynamic, showing enhancement within 1-2 days of rain, and diminishing each day afterward. Carbon uptake occurred by cyanobacterially dominated biocrusts following moisture pulses in fall and winter, with a maximal net carbon uptake of 0.5 μmol m-2s-1, although typically the biocrusts were a net carbon source. No difference was detected in the seasonal activity of C3 and C4 grasses, contrasting with studies from other arid regions (where warm- versus cool-season activity is important), and highlighting the unique biophysical environment of this cold desert. Contrary to other studies, the δ13C of belowground respiration in the rooting zone of each photosynthetic type did not reflect the δ13C of C3 and C4 physiology.

  1. In-situ LIF Analysis of Biological and Petroleum-based Hydraulic Oils on Soil

    PubMed Central

    Lemke, Matthias; Fernández-Trujillo, Rebeca; Löhmannsröben, Hans-Gerd

    2005-01-01

    Absorption and fluorescence properties of 4 hydraulic oils (3 biological and 1 petroleum-based) were investigated. In-situ LIF (laser-induced fluorescence) analysis of the oils on a brown sandy loam soil was performed. With calibration, quantitative detection was achieved. Estimated limits of detection were below ca. 500 mg/kg for the petroleum-based oil and ca. 2000 mg/kg for one biological oil. A semi-quantitative classification scheme is proposed for monitoring of the biological oils. This approach was applied to investigate the migration of a biological oil in soil-containing compartments, namely a soil column and a soil bed.

  2. Ice nucleation activity in the widespread soil fungus Mortierella alpina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fröhlich-Nowoisky, J.; Hill, T. C. J.; Pummer, B. G.; Yordanova, P.; Franc, G. D.; Pöschl, U.

    2015-02-01

    Biological residues in soil dust are a potentially strong source of atmospheric ice nuclei (IN). So far, however, the abundance, diversity, sources, seasonality, and role of biological - in particular, fungal - IN in soil dust have not been characterized. By analysis of the culturable fungi in topsoils, from a range of different land use and ecosystem types in southeast Wyoming, we found ice-nucleation-active (INA) fungi to be both widespread and abundant, particularly in soils with recent inputs of decomposable organic matter. Across all investigated soils, 8% of fungal isolates were INA. All INA isolates initiated freezing at -5 to -6 °C, and belonged to a single zygomycotic species, Mortierella alpina (Mortierellales, Mortierellomycotina). To our knowledge this is the first report of ice nucleation activity in a zygomycotic fungi because the few known INA fungi all belong to the phyla Ascomycota and Basidiomycota. M. alpina is known to be saprobic and widespread in soil, and Mortierella spores are present in air and rain. Sequencing of the ITS region and the gene for γ-linolenic elongase revealed four distinct clades, affiliated to different soil types. The IN produced by M. alpina seem to be proteinaceous, < 300 kDa in size, and can be easily washed off the mycelium. Ice nucleating fungal mycelium will ramify topsoils and probably also release cell-free IN into it. If these IN survive decomposition or are adsorbed onto mineral surfaces, their contribution might accumulate over time, perhaps to be transported with soil dust and influencing its ice nucleating properties.

  3. Stereochemical Assignment of Strigolactone Analogues Confirms Their Selective Biological Activity.

    PubMed

    Artuso, Emma; Ghibaudi, Elena; Lace, Beatrice; Marabello, Domenica; Vinciguerra, Daniele; Lombardi, Chiara; Koltai, Hinanit; Kapulnik, Yoram; Novero, Mara; Occhiato, Ernesto G; Scarpi, Dina; Parisotto, Stefano; Deagostino, Annamaria; Venturello, Paolo; Mayzlish-Gati, Einav; Bier, Ariel; Prandi, Cristina

    2015-11-25

    Strigolactones (SLs) are new plant hormones with various developmental functions. They are also soil signaling chemicals that are required for establishing beneficial mycorrhizal plant/fungus symbiosis. In addition, SLs play an essential role in inducing seed germination in root-parasitic weeds, which are one of the seven most serious biological threats to food security. There are around 20 natural SLs that are produced by plants in very low quantities. Therefore, most of the knowledge on SL signal transduction and associated molecular events is based on the application of synthetic analogues. Stereochemistry plays a crucial role in the structure-activity relationship of SLs, as compounds with an unnatural D-ring configuration may induce biological effects that are unrelated to SLs. We have synthesized a series of strigolactone analogues, whose absolute configuration has been elucidated and related with their biological activity, thus confirming the high specificity of the response. Analogues bearing the R-configured butenolide moiety showed enhanced biological activity, which highlights the importance of this stereochemical motif. PMID:26502774

  4. Resistance of Undisturbed Soil Microbiomes to Ceftriaxone Indicates Extended Spectrum β-Lactamase Activity

    PubMed Central

    Gatica, Joao; Yang, Kun; Pagaling, Eulyn; Jurkevitch, Edouard; Yan, Tao; Cytryn, Eddie

    2015-01-01

    Emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance, and specifically resistance to third generation cephalosporins associated with extended spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) activity, is one of the greatest epidemiological challenges of our time. In this study we addressed the impact of the third generation cephalosporin ceftriaxone on microbial activity and bacterial community composition of two physically and chemically distinct undisturbed soils in highly regulated microcosm experiments. Surprisingly, periodical irrigation of the soils with clinical doses of ceftriaxone did not affect their microbial activity; and only moderately impacted the microbial diversity (α and β) of the two soils. Corresponding slurry experiments demonstrated that the antibiotic capacity of ceftriaxone rapidly diminished in the presence of soil, and ∼70% of this inactivation could be explained by biological activity. The biological nature of ceftriaxone degradation in soil was supported by microcosm experiments that amended model Escherichia coli strains to sterile and non-sterile soils in the presence and absence of ceftriaxone and by the ubiquitous presence of ESBL genes (blaTEM, blaCTX-M, and blaOXA) in soil DNA extracts. Collectively, these results suggest that the resistance of soil microbiomes to ceftriaxone stems from biological activity and even more, from broad-spectrum β-lactamase activity; raising questions regarding the scope and clinical implications of ESBLs in soil microbiomes. PMID:26617578

  5. The effect of model soil contamination with Cr, Cu, Ni, and Pb on the biological properties of soils in the dry steppe and semidesert regions of southern Russia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kolesnikov, S. I.; Spivakova, N. A.; Kazeev, K. Sh.

    2011-09-01

    Model soil contamination with Cr, Cu, Ni, and Pb in the dry steppes and semideserts of southern Russia has worsened the biological soil properties. With respect to the degree of deterioration of the biological properties, the soils can be arranged in the following sequence: dark chestnut soils > chestnut soils > light chestnut soils > brown semidesert soils > sandy brown semidesert soils. The sequence of metal oxides according to the adverse effect on the biological soil properties is as follows: CrO3 > CuO ≥ PbO ≥ NiO.

  6. New biologically active hydrogen sulfide donors.

    PubMed

    Roger, Thomas; Raynaud, Francoise; Bouillaud, Frédéric; Ransy, Céline; Simonet, Serge; Crespo, Christine; Bourguignon, Marie-Pierre; Villeneuve, Nicole; Vilaine, Jean-Paul; Artaud, Isabelle; Galardon, Erwan

    2013-11-25

    Generous donors: The dithioperoxyanhydrides (CH3 COS)2 , (PhCOS)2 , CH3 COSSCO2 Me and PhCOSSCO2 Me act as thiol-activated hydrogen sulfide donors in aqueous buffer solution. The most efficient donor (CH3 COS)2 can induce a biological response in cells, and advantageously replace hydrogen sulfide in ex vivo vascular studies. PMID:24115650

  7. [Biologically Active Peptides of King Crab Hepatopancreas].

    PubMed

    Bogdanov, V V; Berezin, B B; Il'ina, A P; Yamskova, V P; Yamskov, I A

    2015-01-01

    Substances of a peptide nature isolated from the hepatopancreas of the king crab Paralithodes camtschaticus exhibited physicochemical properties and membranotropic and specific activities similar to those of membranotropic homeostatic tissue-specific bioregulators previously found in different mammalian and plant tissues. Their biological effect on vertebrate tissues was demonstrated on a model of roller organotypic cultivation of Pleurodeles waltl newt liver tissue. PMID:26353409

  8. Evidence for a lack of biological P-cycling in a Cambrian soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, Z.; Peng, Y.; Bao, H.

    2015-12-01

    The earliest fossil land plants are known to exist in the Mid-Ordovician at 472 to 468 Ma and protein sequence analyses suggest that the onset of land colonization may have begun at as early as ca. 700-1000 million years ago (Ma) . However, fully established soil ecosystem may not be in place until after the Devonian (ca. 400 Ma) or even later. Dearth of fossil record on possible fungi- and/or bacteria-dominated early land biota renders it difficult to establish the early history of land colonization on Earth. Here we present a proxy for soil biological P- cycling. Igneous rock contains typically 0.005-0.4% (wt) phosphate (PO4-3). In a biologically active soil weathering profile, phosphorus (P) is cycled by land biota including by those of the most primitive kingdoms. During, for example, pyrophosphate hydrolysis, the P-O bonds in PO4-3 breaks and exchange oxygen with ambient water. The biologically processed PO4-3 will have typically much higher δ18Ovalues (15-24‰ VSMOW) than the ones inherited from igneous sources (ca. 6‰). Therefore, an increase in the δ18OPO4 from pristine igneous rocks to the upper more weathered ones should be expected if there was an active soil biological P-cycling. An igneous-PO4 δ18O value in the more weathered rocks would otherwise indicate a lack of biologically-mediated P-cycling, thus a lack of or very limited land colonization. We examined a weathering profile in the Elk Point Formation (520-503Ma), South Dakota, a paleosol developed on a metagabbro in a subtropical climate of the Mid-Cambrian. Phosphate was extracted from a drill core of this profile and was analyzed for δ18OPO4. The δ18OPO4 for the weathered and un-weathered igneous rocks are all within a narrow range of 4.8-8.2‰, suggesting that biological P-cycling was insignificant during the weathering of Elk Point metagabbro at ca. 500 Ma. Subaerial, biologically mediated weathering probably did not play a role in geochemical cycling on Earth until much later in

  9. Impacts of off-road vehicles on nitrogen cycles in biological soil crusts: Resistance in different U.S. deserts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, J.

    2002-01-01

    Biological soil crusts are an important component of desert ecosystems, as they influence soil stability and fertility. This study examined and compared the short-term vehicular impacts on lichen cover and nitrogenase activity (NA) of biological soil crusts. Experimental disturbance was applied to different types of soil in regions throughout the western U.S. (Great Basin, Colorado Plateau, Sonoran, Chihuahuan, and Mojave deserts). Results show that pre-disturbance cover of soil lichens is significantly correlated with the silt content of soils, and negatively correlated with sand and clay. While disturbance appeared to reduce NA at all sites, differences were statistically significant at only 12 of the 26 sites. Cool desert sites showed a greater decline than hot desert sites, which may indicate non-heterocystic cyanobacterial species are more susceptible to disturbance than non-heterocystic species. Sandy soils showed greater reduction of NA as sand content increased, while fine-textured soils showed a greater decline as sand content increased. At all sites, higher NA before the disturbance resulted in less impact to NA post-disturbance. These results may be useful in predicting the impacts of off-road vehicles in different regions and different soils. ?? 2002 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.

  10. Ice Nucleation Activity of Various Agricultural Soil Dust Aerosol Particles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schiebel, Thea; Höhler, Kristina; Funk, Roger; Hill, Thomas C. J.; Levin, Ezra J. T.; Nadolny, Jens; Steinke, Isabelle; Suski, Kaitlyn J.; Ullrich, Romy; Wagner, Robert; Weber, Ines; DeMott, Paul J.; Möhler, Ottmar

    2016-04-01

    Recent investigations at the cloud simulation chamber AIDA (Aerosol Interactions and Dynamics in the Atmosphere) suggest that agricultural soil dust has an ice nucleation ability that is enhanced up to a factor of 10 compared to desert dust, especially at temperatures above -26 °C (Steinke et al., in preparation for submission). This enhancement might be caused by the contribution of very ice-active biological particles. In addition, soil dust aerosol particles often contain a considerably higher amount of organic matter compared to desert dust particles. To test agricultural soil dust as a source of ice nucleating particles, especially for ice formation in warm clouds, we conducted a series of laboratory measurements with different soil dust samples to extend the existing AIDA dataset. The AIDA has a volume of 84 m3 and operates under atmospherically relevant conditions over wide ranges of temperature, pressure and humidity. By controlled adiabatic expansions, the ascent of an air parcel in the troposphere can be simulated. As a supplement to the AIDA facility, we use the INKA (Ice Nucleation Instrument of the KArlsruhe Institute of Technology) continuous flow diffusion chamber based on the design by Rogers (1988) to expose the sampled aerosol particles to a continuously increasing saturation ratio by keeping the aerosol temperature constant. For our experiments, soil dust was dry dispersed into the AIDA vessel. First, fast saturation ratio scans at different temperatures were performed with INKA, sampling soil dust aerosol particles directly from the AIDA vessel. Then, we conducted the AIDA expansion experiment starting at a preset temperature. The combination of these two different methods provides a robust data set on the temperature-dependent ice activity of various agriculture soil dust aerosol particles with a special focus on relatively high temperatures. In addition, to extend the data set, we investigated the role of biological and organic matter in more

  11. Loranthus micranthus Linn.: Biological Activities and Phytochemistry

    PubMed Central

    Zorofchian Moghadamtousi, Soheil; Hajrezaei, Maryam; Abdul Kadir, Habsah

    2013-01-01

    Loranthus micranthus Linn. is a medicinal plant from the Loranthaceae family commonly known as an eastern Nigeria species of the African mistletoe and is widely used in folkloric medicine to cure various ailments and diseases. It is semiparasitic plant because of growing on various host trees and shrubs and absorbing mineral nutrition and water from respective host. Hence, the phytochemicals and biological activities of L. micranthus demonstrated strong host and harvesting period dependency. The leaves have been proved to possess immunomodulatory, antidiabetic, antimicrobial, antihypertensive, antioxidant, antidiarrhoeal, and hypolipidemic activities. This review summarizes the information and findings concerning the current knowledge on the biological activities, pharmacological properties, toxicity, and chemical constituents of Loranthus micranthus. PMID:24109490

  12. Influence of development stage and disturbance of physical and biological soil crusts on soil water erosion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chamizo, S.; Cantón, Y.; Lázaro, R.; Solé-Benet, A.; Calvo-Cases, A.; Miralles, I.; Domingo, F.

    2009-04-01

    Most soils exposed to rainfall are prone to sealing and crusting processes causing physical soil crusts (PSCs). When climate and soil stability conditions are suitable, PSCs can be consolidated by a complex community consisting of cyanobacteria, bacteria, green algae, microfungi, lichens and bryophytes, which are collectively known as biological soil crust (BSC). The influence of soil crusts on erosion processes is complex: crusts may reduce detachment, increasing soil stability and protecting soil against raindrop impact, although that protection will depend on the type of soil crust and the stage of development; they can also build up runoff, suggesting that downstream erosion may actually be increased or favoured water harvesting to vegetated areas. On the other hand, BSCs have been demonstrated to be very vulnerable to disturbance which in turn can lead to accelerate soil erosion and other forms of land degradation. Incorporation of the response of different type of soil crusts and the effects of their disturbance is highly likely to improve the prediction of runoff and water erosion models in arid and semi-arid catchments. The objective of this work is to analyse the erosional response of PSCs and BSCs in different stages of their development and subject to distinct disturbances when extreme rainfalls intensities are applied at plot scale in semiarid environments. Small plots on the most representative crust types, corresponding to different stages of crust development, in two semiarid ecosystems in SE Spain, El Cautivo (in the Tabernas Desert) and Amoladeras (in the Natural Park Cabo de Gata-Níjar), were selected and three disturbance treatments were applied on each crust type: a) no disturbance (control), b) trampling, stepping 100 times over the crust and c) scraping. Two consecutive rainfall simulation experiments (50 mm/h rainfall intensity) were carried out on each plot: the first on dry soil and the second, 30 minutes later, on wet soil conditions

  13. Ice nucleation activity in the widespread soil fungus Mortierella alpina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fröhlich-Nowoisky, Janine; Hill, Thomas C. J.; Pummer, Bernhard G.; Yordanova, Petya; Franc, Gary D.; Pöschl, Ulrich

    2015-04-01

    Biological residues in soil dust are a potentially strong source of atmospheric ice nucleators (IN). However, the sources and characteristics of biological - in particular, fungal - IN in soil dust have not been characterized. By analysis of the culturable fungi in topsoils, from a range of different land use and ecosystem types in south-east Wyoming, we found ice nucleation active (INA, i.e., inducing ice formation in the probed range of temperature and concentration) fungi to be both widespread and abundant, particularly in soils with recent inputs of decomposable organic matter. For example, in harvested and ploughed sugar beet and potato fields, and in the organic horizon beneath Lodgepole pine forest, their relative abundances and concentrations among the cultivable fungi were 25% (8 x 103 CFU g-1), 17% (4.8 x 103 CFU g-1) and 17% (4 x 103 CFU g-1), respectively. Across all investigated soils, 8% (2.9 x 103 CFU g-1) of fungal isolates were INA. All INA isolates initiated freezing at -5° C to -6° C and all belonged to a single zygomycotic species, Mortierella alpina (Mortierellales, Mortierellomycotina). By contrast, the handful of fungal species so far reported as INA all belong within the Ascomycota or Basidiomycota phyla. Mortierella alpina is known to be saprobic (utilizing non-living organic matter), widespread in soil and present in air and rain. Sequencing of the ITS region and the gene for γ-linolenic elongase revealed four distinct clades, affiliated to different soil types. The IN produced by M. alpina seem to be extracellular proteins of 100-300 kDa in size which are not anchored in the fungal cell wall. Ice nucleating fungal mycelium will ramify topsoils and probably also release cell-free IN into it. If these IN survive decomposition or are adsorbed onto mineral surfaces, these small cell-free IN might contribute to the as yet uncharacterized pool of atmospheric IN released by soils as dusts.

  14. Glycosides from Marine Sponges (Porifera, Demospongiae): Structures, Taxonomical Distribution, Biological Activities and Biological Roles

    PubMed Central

    Kalinin, Vladimir I.; Ivanchina, Natalia V.; Krasokhin, Vladimir B.; Makarieva, Tatyana N.; Stonik, Valentin A.

    2012-01-01

    Literature data about glycosides from sponges (Porifera, Demospongiae) are reviewed. Structural diversity, biological activities, taxonomic distribution and biological functions of these natural products are discussed. PMID:23015769

  15. Glycosides from marine sponges (Porifera, Demospongiae): structures, taxonomical distribution, biological activities and biological roles.

    PubMed

    Kalinin, Vladimir I; Ivanchina, Natalia V; Krasokhin, Vladimir B; Makarieva, Tatyana N; Stonik, Valentin A

    2012-08-01

    Literature data about glycosides from sponges (Porifera, Demospongiae) are reviewed. Structural diversity, biological activities, taxonomic distribution and biological functions of these natural products are discussed. PMID:23015769

  16. Application of activated sludge to purify urban soils of Baku city from oil contamination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Babaev, M. P.; Nadzhafova, S. I.; Ibragimov, A. G.

    2015-07-01

    A biopreparation inducing oil destruction and increasing the biological activity of soils was developed on the basis of activated sludge. Its oxidative activity towards hydrocarbons was studied. The application of this biopreparation to oil-contaminated soil increased the population density of microorganisms, including destroyers of hydrocarbons, and accelerated oil decomposition. The degree of destruction of oil and oil products in the case of a single treatment of the soil with this biopreparation comprised 30 to 50% within 60 days. The presence of cellulose-decomposing microorganisms in this biopreparation also favored an accelerated decomposition of plant substances, including plant litter and sawdust applied to the urban soils as an adsorbent.

  17. Effects of Soil Property Uncertainty on Projected Active Layer Thickness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harp, D. R.; Atchley, A. L.; Coon, E.; Painter, S. L.; Wilson, C. J.; Romanovsky, V. E.; Liljedahl, A.

    2014-12-01

    Uncertainty in future climate is often assumed to contribute the largest uncertainty to active layer thickness (ALT) projections. However, the impact of soil property uncertainty on these projections may be significant. In this research, we evaluate the contribution of soil property uncertainty on ALT projections at the Barrow Environmental Observatory, Alaska. The effect of variations in porosity, thermal conductivity, saturation, and water retention properties of peat and mineral soil are evaluated. The micro-topography of ice wedge polygons present at the site is included in the analysis using three 1D column models to represent polygon center, rim and trough features. The Arctic Terrestrial Simulator (ATS) is used to model multiphase thermal and hydrological processes in the subsurface. We apply the Null-Space Monte Carlo (NSMC) algorithm to identify an ensemble of soil property combinations that produce simulated temperature profiles that are consistent with temperature measurements available from the site. ALT is simulated for the ensemble of soil property combinations for four climate scenarios. The uncertainty in ALT due to soil properties within and across climate scenarios is evaluated. This work was supported by LANL Laboratory Directed Research and Development Project LDRD201200068DR and by the The Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE Arctic) project. NGEE-Arctic is supported by the Office of Biological and Environmental Research in the DOE Office of Science.

  18. Isoflavones: estrogenic activity, biological effect and bioavailability.

    PubMed

    Vitale, Daniela Cristina; Piazza, Cateno; Melilli, Barbara; Drago, Filippo; Salomone, Salvatore

    2013-03-01

    Isoflavones are phytoestrogens with potent estrogenic activity; genistein, daidzein and glycitein are the most active isoflavones found in soy beans. Phytoestrogens have similarity in structure with the human female hormone 17-β-estradiol, which can bind to both alpha and beta estrogen receptors, and mimic the action of estrogens on target organs, thereby exerting many health benefits when used in some hormone-dependent diseases. Numerous clinical studies claim benefits of genistein and daidzein in chemoprevention of breast and prostate cancer, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis as well as in relieving postmenopausal symptoms. The ability of isoflavones to prevent cancer and other chronic diseases largely depends on pharmacokinetic properties of these compounds, in particular absorption and distribution to the target tissue. The chemical form in which isoflavones occur is important because it influences their bioavailability and, therefore, their biological activity. Glucose-conjugated isoflavones are highly polar, water-soluble compounds. They are hardly absorbed by the intestinal epithelium and have weaker biological activities than the corresponding aglycone. Different microbial families of colon can transform glycosylated isoflavones into aglycones. Clinical studies show important differences between the aglycone and conjugated forms of genistein and daidzein. The evaluation of isoflavone metabolism and bioavailability is crucial to understanding their biological effects. Lipid-based formulations such as drug incorporation into oils, emulsions and self-microemulsifying formulations have been introduced to increase bioavailability. Complexation with cyclodextrin also represent a valid method to improve the physicochemical characteristics of these substances in order to be absorbed and distributed to target tissues. We review and discuss pharmacokinetic issues that critically influence the biological activity of isoflavones. PMID:23161396

  19. Biological activities of selected basidiomycetes from Yemen.

    PubMed

    Al-Fatimi, M; Schröder, G; Kreisel, H; Lindequist, U

    2013-03-01

    In a previous paper we demonstrated the results of biological screening of Yemeni basidiomycetes. The present study was aimed to investigate the antimicrobial and the antioxidant activity of further basidiomycetes collected in Yemen. Dichloromethane, methanol and aqueous extracts of the fruiting bodies of 25 species were screened in vitro for their antibacterial activities against three Gram-positive bacteria (Staphyloccocus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Micrococcus flavus) and two Gram-negative bacteria (Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa), against six human fungal pathogens (Candida albicans, Candida krusei, Aspergillus fumigatus, Mucor sp., Microsporum gypseum, Trichophyton mentagrophytes) and against one non human pathogenic fungus (Candida maltosa). The results indicated that 75 extracts exhibited activity against one or more of the bacteria. The methanol extracts of Agaricus cf. bernardii, Agrocybe pediades, Chlorophyllum molybdites, Coriolopsis polyzona, Ganoderma xylonoides, Pycnoporus sanguineus, Trametes lactinea and Trametes cingulata showed activity against all tested bacteria. The highest antibacterial activity was exhibited by methanol extracts from Chlorophyllum molybdites, Ganoderma xylonoides and Trametes cingulata and Agaricus cf. bernardii, Agrocybe pediades, Coriolopsis polyzona, Pycnoporus sanguineus and Trametes lactinea. The methanol extracts of Chlorophyllum molybdites, Ganoderma xylonoides and Pycnoporus sanguineus showed considerable antifungal activities against the tested fungal strains. Strong antioxidative effects employing the DPPH assay were exhibited by methanol extracts from Chlorophyllum molybdites, Ganoderma xylonoides, Hexagonia velutina, Pycnoporus sanguineus, Trametes lactinea and Trametes cingulata. Our previous and presented studies about 48 basidiomycetes collected in Yemen provide evidence that basidiomycetes from the Arabic region so far should attract more attention as potential source for new biologically active

  20. Phenol oxidase activity in secondary transformed peat-moorsh soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Styła, K.; Szajdak, L.

    2009-04-01

    et al. (2000). In peat the highest activities of phenol oxidase was observed in the combinations marked as Shelterbelt and whereas the lowest - in Zbechy, Bridge and Hirudo. Activities of this enzyme in peat ranged from 15.35 to 38.33 μmol h-1g d.m soil. Increased activities of phenol oxidase have been recorded on the depth 50-100cm - catotelm (21.74-38.33 μmol h-1g d.m soil) in comparison with the depth 0-50cm - acrotelm (15.35-28.32 μmol h-1g d.m soil). References Freeman, C., Ostle N.J., Fener, N., Kang H. 2004. A regulatory role for phenol oxidase during decomposition in peatlands. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 36, 1663-1667. Matocha Ch.J., Haszler G.R., Grove J.H. 2004. Nitrogen fertilization suppresses soil phenol oxidase enzyme activity in no-tillage systems. Soil Science, 169/10, 708-714. Perucci P., Casucci C., Dumontet S. 2000. An improved method to evaluate the o-diphenol oxidase activity of soil. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 32, 1927-1933. Sokolowska Z., Szajdak L., Matyka-Sarzyńska D. 2005. Impact of the degree of secondary transformation on amid-base properties of organic compounds in mucks. Geoderma, 127, 80-90. Szajdak L., Szczepański M., Bogacz A. 2007. Impact of secondary transformation of peat-moorsh soils on the decrease of nitrogen and carbon compounds in ground water. Agronomy Research, 5/2, 189-200.

  1. Biologically active compounds from Aphyllophorales (polypore) fungi.

    PubMed

    Zjawiony, Jordan K

    2004-02-01

    This review describes biologically active natural products isolated from Aphyllophorales, many of which are known as polypores. Polypores are a large group of terrestrial fungi of the phylum Basdiomycota (basidiomycetes), and they along with certain Ascomycota are a major source of pharmacologically active substances. There are about 25 000 species of basidiomycetes, of which about 500 are members of the Aphyllophorales, a polyphyletic group that contains the polypores. Many of these fungi have circumboreal distributions in North America, Europe, and Asia and broad distributions on all inhabited continents and Africa; only a small number of the most common species with the most obvious fruiting bodies (basidiocarps) have been evaluated for biological activity. An estimated 75% of polypore fungi that have been tested show strong antimicrobial activity, and these may constitute a good source for developing new antibiotics. Numerous compounds from these fungi also display antiviral, cytotoxic, and/or antineoplastic activities. Additional important components of this vast arsenal of compounds are polysaccharides derived from the fungal cell walls. These compounds have attracted significant attention in recent years because of their immunomodulatory activities, resulting in antitumor effects. These high molecular weight compounds, often called biological response modifiers (BRM), or immunopotentiators, prevent carcinogenesis, show direct anticancer effects, and prevent tumor metastasis. Some of the protein-bound polysaccharides from polypores and other basidiomycetes have found their way to the market in Japan as anticancer drugs. Finally, numerous compounds with cardiovascular, phytotoxic, immunomodulatory, analgesic, antidiabetic, antioxidant, insecticidal, and nematocidal activities, isolated from polypores, are also presented. In fact many of the fungi mentioned in this paper have long been used in herbal medicine, including polypores such as Ganoderma lucidum

  2. Short term recovery of soil biological functions in a new vineyard cultivated in organic farming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Costantini, Edoardo; Agnelli, Alessandro; Fabiani, Arturo; Gagnarli, Elena; Mocali, Stefano; Priori, Simone; Simoni, Sauro; Valboa, Giuseppe

    2014-05-01

    soil biological classes). Physical soil characteristics remained unchanged after the first year from the earthworks and did not change under grass cover. Chemical analysis only indicated a significant effect of earthworks. Over the 2010-2013 period, the new vineyard showed a slight increase of TOC and total N contents; as compared to the old vineyard, it averaged lower TOC and total N, and higher CaCO3 contents, suggesting still evolving equilibrium conditions. Microarthropod analysis showed significant different abundances and communities' structures both by management system and by year, increasing where the land use pressure was reduced by permanent grass cover and along with the aging of vineyard. Though the euedaphic forms, well adapted to soil life, were always rare. Microbiological analysis showed a different structure of eubacterial communities and a lower microbial activity in the new vineyard, especially during 2010-2012. In contrast, significant differences were not observed between the two vineyards in 2013, and grass cover effect was controversial. To sum up, the consequence of deep earthworks on chemical and biological properties were still evident after four years from planting and more time was needed to recover soil functions. Permanent grass cover did not always show a consistent positive effect.

  3. Perspectives on Biologically Active Camptothecin Derivatives

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Ying-Qian; Li, Wen-Qun; Morris-Natschke, Susan L.; Qian, Keduo; Yang, Liu; Zhu, Gao-Xiang; Wu, Xiao-Bing; Chen, An-Liang; Zhang, Shao-Yong; Song, Zi-Long; Lee, Kuo-Hsiung

    2015-01-01

    Camptothecins (CPTs) are cytotoxic natural alkaloids that specifically target DNA topoisomerase I. Research on CPTs has undergone a significant evolution from the initial discovery of CPT in the late 1960s through the study of synthetic small molecule derivatives to investigation of macromolecular constructs and formulations. Over the past years, intensive medicinal chemistry efforts have generated numerous CPT derivatives. Three derivatives, topotecan, irinotecan, and belotecan, are currently prescribed as anticancer drugs, and several related compounds are now in clinical trials. Interest in other biological effects, besides anticancer activity, of CPTs is also growing exponentially, as indicated by the large number of publications on the subject during the last decades. Therefore, the main focus of the present review is to provide an ample but condensed overview on various biological activities of CPT derivatives, in addition to continued up-to-date coverage of anticancer effects. PMID:25808858

  4. Monitoring Biological Activity at Geothermal Power Plants

    SciTech Connect

    Peter Pryfogle

    2005-09-01

    The economic impact of microbial growth in geothermal power plants has been estimated to be as high as $500,000 annually for a 100 MWe plant. Many methods are available to monitor biological activity at these facilities; however, very few plants have any on-line monitoring program in place. Metal coupon, selective culturing (MPN), total organic carbon (TOC), adenosine triphosphate (ATP), respirometry, phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA), and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) characterizations have been conducted using water samples collected from geothermal plants located in California and Utah. In addition, the on-line performance of a commercial electrochemical monitor, the BIoGEORGE?, has been evaluated during extended deployments at geothermal facilities. This report provides a review of these techniques, presents data on their application from laboratory and field studies, and discusses their value in characterizing and monitoring biological activities at geothermal power plants.

  5. Biological soil crust succession impact on soil moisture and temperature in the sub-surface along a rainfall gradient

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zaady, E.; Yizhaq, H.; Ashkenazy, Y.

    2012-04-01

    Biological soil crusts produce mucilage sheets of polysaccharides that cover the soil surface. This hydrophobic coating can seal the soil micro-pores and thus cause reduction of water permeability and may influence soil temperature. This study evaluates the impact of crust composition on sub-surface water and temperature over time. We hypothesized that the successional stages of biological soil crusts, affect soil moisture and temperature differently along a rainfall gradient throughout the year. Four experimental sites were established along a rainfall gradient in the western Negev Desert. At each site three treatments; crust removal, pure sand (moving dune) and natural crusted were monitored. Crust successional stage was measured by biophysiological and physical measurements, soil water permeability by field mini-Infiltrometer, soil moisture by neutron scattering probe and temperature by sensors, at different depths. Our main interim conclusions from the ongoing study along the rainfall gradient are: 1. the biogenic crust controls water infiltration into the soil in sand dunes, 2. infiltration was dependent on the composition of the biogenic crust. It was low for higher successional stage crusts composed of lichens and mosses and high with cyanobacterial crust. Thus, infiltration rate controlled by the crust is inverse to the rainfall gradient. Continuous disturbances to the crust increase infiltration rates, 3. despite the different rainfall amounts at the sites, soil moisture content below 50 cm is almost the same. We therefore predict that climate change in areas that are becoming dryer (desertification) will have a positive effect on soil water content and vice versa.

  6. In Search of a Better Bean: A Simple Activity to Introduce Plant Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spaccarotella, Kim; James, Roxie

    2014-01-01

    Measuring plant stem growth over time is a simple activity commonly used to introduce concepts in growth and development in plant biology (Reid & Pu, 2007). This Quick Fix updates the activity and incorporates a real-world application: students consider possible effects of soil substrate and sunlight conditions on plant growth without needing…

  7. Short-Term Effect of Vermicompost Application on Biological Properties of an Alkaline Soil with High Lime Content from Mediterranean Region of Turkey

    PubMed Central

    Uz, Ilker; Tavali, Ismail Emrah

    2014-01-01

    This study was conducted to investigate direct short-term impact of vermicompost on some soil biological properties by monitoring changes after addition of vermicompost as compared to farmyard manure in an alkaline soil with high lime content from semiarid Mediterranean region of Turkey. For this purpose, mixtures of soil and organic fertilizers in different doses were incubated under greenhouse condition. Soil samples collected in regular intervals were analyzed for biological parameters including dehydrogenase, β-glucosidase, urease, alkaline phosphatase activities, and total number of aerobic mesophilic bacteria. Even though soil dehydrogenase activity appeared to be dose-independent based on overall evaluation, organic amendments were found to elevate dehydrogenase activity when sampling periods are evaluated individually. β-glucosidase, urease, alkaline phosphatase activity, and aerobic mesophilic bacterial numbers in vermicompost treatments fluctuated but remained significantly above the control. A slight but statistically significant difference was detected between organic amendments in terms of urease activity. Vermicompost appeared to more significantly increase bacterial number in soil. Clearly, vermicompost has a potential to be used as an alternative to farmyard manure to improve and maintain soil biological activity in alkaline calcareous soils from the Mediterranean region of Turkey. Further studies are needed to assess its full potential for these soils. PMID:25254238

  8. Short-term effect of vermicompost application on biological properties of an alkaline soil with high lime content from Mediterranean region of Turkey.

    PubMed

    Uz, Ilker; Tavali, Ismail Emrah

    2014-01-01

    This study was conducted to investigate direct short-term impact of vermicompost on some soil biological properties by monitoring changes after addition of vermicompost as compared to farmyard manure in an alkaline soil with high lime content from semiarid Mediterranean region of Turkey. For this purpose, mixtures of soil and organic fertilizers in different doses were incubated under greenhouse condition. Soil samples collected in regular intervals were analyzed for biological parameters including dehydrogenase, β-glucosidase, urease, alkaline phosphatase activities, and total number of aerobic mesophilic bacteria. Even though soil dehydrogenase activity appeared to be dose-independent based on overall evaluation, organic amendments were found to elevate dehydrogenase activity when sampling periods are evaluated individually. β-glucosidase, urease, alkaline phosphatase activity, and aerobic mesophilic bacterial numbers in vermicompost treatments fluctuated but remained significantly above the control. A slight but statistically significant difference was detected between organic amendments in terms of urease activity. Vermicompost appeared to more significantly increase bacterial number in soil. Clearly, vermicompost has a potential to be used as an alternative to farmyard manure to improve and maintain soil biological activity in alkaline calcareous soils from the Mediterranean region of Turkey. Further studies are needed to assess its full potential for these soils. PMID:25254238

  9. Biological soil crusts reduce soil erosion in early successional subtropical forests in PR China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seitz, Steffen; Goebes, Philipp; Käppeler, Kathrin; Nebel, Martin; Webber, Carla; Scholten, Thomas

    2016-04-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) have major influences on terrestrial ecosystems and play significant functional roles in soil systems, such as accelerating soil formation, changing water flows or enhancing soil stability. By that, they have the potential to protect soil surfaces against erosive forces by wind or water. However, the effect of BSCs on erosion processes is rarely mentioned in literature and most of the work done focused on arid and semi-arid environments. Furthermore, compared to the structure and function of BSCs, less attention was paid to their temporal and topographical distribution. This study aims to investigate the influence of BSCs on initial soil erosion, and their topographical development over time in initial subtropical forest ecosystems. Therefore, measurements have been conducted within a biodiversity and ecosystem functioning experiment (BEF China) near Xingangshan, Jiangxi Province, PR China. Interrill erosion was measured on 220 microscale run-off plots (ROPs, 0.4 m × 0.4 m) and the occurrence, distribution and development of BSCs within the measuring setup were recorded. BSC cover in each ROP was determined photogrammetrically in four time steps (autumn 2011, summer 2012, summer 2013 and summer 2014). BSC species were identified by morphological characteristics and classified to higher taxonomic levels. Higher BSC cover led to reduced sediment discharge and runoff volume due to its protection against splash energy, the adherence of soil particles and enhanced infiltration. Canopy ground cover and leaf area index had a positive effect on the development of BSC cover at this initial stage of the forest ecosystem. Moreover, BSC cover decreased with increasing slope, as we presume that developing BSCs are washed away more easily at steep gradients. Elevation and aspect did not show an influence. BSCs in this study were moss-dominated and 26 different moos species were found. Mean BSC cover on ROPs was 14 % in the 3rd year of the tree

  10. The chemical activities of the Viking biology experiments and the arguments for the presence of superoxides, peroxides, gamma-Fe2O3 and carbon suboxide polymer in the Martian soil

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oyama, V. I.; Berdahl, B. J.; Woeller, F.; Lehwalt, M.

    1978-01-01

    The evolution of N2, Ar, O2, and CO2 from Martian soil as a function of humidity in the Gas Exchange Experiment are correlated with the mean level of water vapor in the Martian atmosphere. All but O2 are associated with desorption. The evolution of oxygen is consistent with the presence of alkaline earth and alkali metal superoxides; and their peroxides and the gamma-Fe2O3 in the soil can account for the generation of radioactive gas in the Labeled Release Experiment. The slower evolution of CO2 from both the Gas Exchange Experiment and the Labeled Release Experiment are associated with the direct oxidation of organics by gamma-Fe2O3. The Pyrolytic Release Experiment's second peak may be carbon suboxide as demonstrated by laboratory experiments. A necessary condition is that the polymer exists in the Martian soil. We ascribe the activity of the surface samples to the reaction of Martian particulates with an anhydrous CO2 atmosphere activated by uv and ionizing radiations. The surface particles are ultimately altered by exposure to small but significant amounts of water at the sites. From the working model, we have predicted the peculiar nature of the chemical entities and demonstrated that the model is justified by laboratory data. The final confirmation of this model will entail a return to Mars, but the nature and implications of this chemistry for the Martian surface is predicted to reveal even more about Mars with further simulations in the laboratory.

  11. Microbial and enzymatic activity of soil contaminated with azoxystrobin.

    PubMed

    Baćmaga, Małgorzata; Kucharski, Jan; Wyszkowska, Jadwiga

    2015-10-01

    The use of fungicides in crop protection still effectively eliminates fungal pathogens of plants. However, fungicides may dissipate to various elements of the environment and cause irreversible changes. Considering this problem, the aim of the presented study was to evaluate changes in soil biological activity in response to contamination with azoxystrobin. The study was carried out in the laboratory on samples of sandy loam with a pH of 7.0 in 1 Mol KCl dm(-3). Soil samples were treated with azoxystrobin in one of four doses: 0.075 (dose recommended by the manufacturer), 2.250, 11.25 and 22.50 mg kg(-1) soil DM (dry matter of soil). The control soil sample did not contain fungicide. Bacteria were identified based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing, and fungi were identified by internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region sequencing. The study revealed that increased doses of azoxystrobin inhibited the growth of organotrophic bacteria, actinomycetes and fungi. The fungicide also caused changes in microbial biodiversity. The lowest values of the colony development (CD) index were recorded for fungi and the ecophysiological (EP) index for organotrophic bacteria. Azoxystrobin had an inhibitory effect on the activity of dehydrogenases, catalase, urease, acid phosphatase and alkaline phosphatase. Dehydrogenases were found to be most resistant to the effects of the fungicide, while alkaline phosphatase in the soil recovered the balance in the shortest time. Four species of bacteria from the genus Bacillus and two species of fungi from the genus Aphanoascus were isolated from the soil contaminated with the highest dose of azoxystrobin (22.50 mg kg(-1)). PMID:26343782

  12. Physical, chemical, and biological properties of soils in the city of Mariupol, Ukraine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shekhovtseva, O. G.; Mal'tseva, I. A.

    2015-12-01

    Physicochemical and biological properties of urbanized soils in the city of Mariupol have been considered in comparison with the background soils. The parametrical characteristics (abundance and biomass) of soil algal groups, the content of humus, the reaction of soil solution, the content of heavy metals, and the particle size distributions of soils under different anthropogenic impacts have been assessed. The physicochemical properties of soils developing under urboecosystem conditions affect the number of structure-forming species, biomass, and proportions of soil algae. According to the particle size distribution, urban soils are classified among the medium and heavy loamy soils with the predominance of the clay and coarse silt fractions. The fractions of physical clay and clay are of highest importance for the existence of algae. The accumulation of heavy metals in the surface horizons of soils can stimulate or inhibit the development of algae depending on the metal concentration.

  13. Rehabilitation of European Biological Soil Crusts - The SCIN project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, Laura; Zheng, Lingjuan; Maier, Stefanie; Weber, Bettina; Büdel, Burkhard

    2015-04-01

    The ''Soil Crust INternational'' (SCIN) Project aims to improve the appreciation and understanding of European Biological Soil Crusts (BSC) with the goal of developing biodiversity conservation and sustainable management strategies. Our objective is to study the uniqueness of European BSC on a local scale and investigate how these communities thrive in areas with such great macroclimatic differences. In order to cover a wide diversity of European BSC a latitudinal transect was established, extending from the Great Alvar of Öland, Sweden in the north, down to Gössenheim, Central Germany and Hochtor in the Hohe Tauern National Park, Austria, continuing to the Badlands of Tabernas, in southern Spain. The transect stretches over 20° latitude and 2,300 m in altitude and includes natural and also semi-natural sites that require maintenance, for instance, by grazing. Within the SCIN project a rehabilitation study was initiated in order to investigate the recovery potential of BSC under different environmental conditions. This entailed the construction of 10 times 1m2 plots, alongside control plots, at each of the 4 sites, where the BSC was completely removed. Over the course of 2 years (2012-2014) the plots were sampled regularly to assess recovery in the form of returning organisms (cyanobacteria, algae, lichens, bryophytes, higher plants), soil stability, chlorophyll and carbon content and nutrient composition. Cyanobacteria are considered as the pioneering functional group of BSC establishment in many regions, especially arid, and may be critical for the successful formation of any of the further BSC successional stages. Therefore, the cyanobacterial assemblages of recovering plots are being investigated to shed light on the importance of cyanobacteria in the rehabilitation of BSC and whether individual species or specific communities can be ascribed to a local or wide geographical range. It also has to be considered the proximity of recovering BSC to established

  14. Geomorphic controls on biological soil crust distribution: A conceptual model from the Mojave Desert (USA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, Amanda J.; Buck, Brenda J.; Soukup, Deborah A.; Merkler, Douglas J.

    2013-08-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are bio-sedimentary features that play critical geomorphic and ecological roles in arid environments. Extensive mapping, surface characterization, GIS overlays, and statistical analyses explored relationships among BSCs, geomorphology, and soil characteristics in a portion of the Mojave Desert (USA). These results were used to develop a conceptual model that explains the spatial distribution of BSCs. In this model, geologic and geomorphic processes control the ratio of fine sand to rocks, which constrains the development of three surface cover types and biogeomorphic feedbacks across intermontane basins. (1) Cyanobacteria crusts grow where abundant fine sand and negligible rocks form saltating sand sheets. Cyanobacteria facilitate moderate sand sheet activity that reduces growth potential of mosses and lichens. (2) Extensive tall moss-lichen pinnacled crusts are favored on early to late Holocene surfaces composed of mixed rock and fine sand. Moss-lichen crusts induce a dust capture feedback mechanism that promotes further crust propagation and forms biologically-mediated vesicular (Av) horizons. The presence of thick biogenic vesicular horizons supports the interpretation that BSCs are long-lived surface features. (3) Low to moderate density moss-lichen crusts grow on early Holocene and older geomorphic surfaces that display high rock cover and negligible surficial fine sand. Desert pavement processes and abiotic vesicular horizon formation dominate these surfaces and minimize bioturbation potential. The biogeomorphic interactions that sustain these three surface cover trajectories support unique biological communities and soil conditions, thereby sustaining ecological stability. The proposed conceptual model helps predict BSC distribution within intermontane basins to identify biologically sensitive areas, set reference conditions for ecological restoration, and potentially enhance arid landscape models, as scientists address impacts

  15. [Heidaigou Opencast Coal Mine: Soil Enzyme Activities and Soil Physical and Chemical Properties Under Different Vegetation Restoration].

    PubMed

    Fang, Ying; Ma, Ren-tian; An, Shao-shan; Zhao, Jun-feng; Xiao, Li

    2016-03-15

    Choosing the soils under different vegetation recovery of Heidaigou dump as the research objects, we mainly analyzed their basic physical and chemical properties and enzyme activities with the method of Analysis of Variance as well as their relations using Pearson correlation analysis and path analysis hoping to uncover the driving factors of the differences between soil enzyme activities under different vegetation restoration, and provide scientific suggestions for the plant selection as well as make a better evaluation to the reclamation effect. The results showed that: (1) Although the artificial vegetation restoration improved the basic physical and chemical properties of the soils while increasing their enzyme activities to a certain extent, the soil conditions still did not reach the level of the natural grassland; (2) Contents of soil organic carbon (SOC) and soil total nitrogen (TN) of the seabuckthorns were the nearest to those of the grassland, which reached 54. 22% and 70. 00% of those of the grassland. In addition, the soil bulk density of the seabuckthorns stand was 17. 09% lower than the maximum value of the amorpha fruitcosa land. The SOC and TN contents as well as the bulk density showed that seabuckthorns had advantages as the species for land reclamation of this dump; Compared with the seabuckthorn, the pure poplar forest had lower contents of SOC and TN respectively by 35.64% and 32.14% and displayed a 16.79% higher value of soil bulk density; (3) The activities of alkaline phosphotase under different types of vegetation rehabilitation had little variation. But soil urease activities was more sensitive to reflect the effects of vegetation restoration on soil properties; (4) Elevation of the SOC and TN turned out to be the main cause for soil fertility restoration and increased biological activities of the dump. PMID:27337909

  16. Carbon accumulation by biological soil crusts in relation to relief and sampling depth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jetter, Stefan; Drahorad, Sylvie; Felix-Henningsen, Peter

    2010-05-01

    In arid and semiarid ecosystems the soil surface is covered by biological soil crusts (BSC). These BSC are microbial communities of cyanobacteria, lichens and mosses. Due to the photosynthetic activity of these microorganisms, BSC are main carbon contributors to arid ecosystems. The cover is related to ecosystem functions like surface stabilization, water redistribution and nutrient fixation. These functions rely on the microbial community composition of the BSC. Cyanobacteria and cyanolichens excrete exopolysaccharides, which build microaggregates with soil particles. This stabilizes and seals the soil surface. Therefore cyanobacteria and cyanolichen dominated crusts introduce runoff, which affects the distribution of carbon. The total amount of soil organic carbon was determined in relation to the relief position and BSC thickness showing a strong correlation between relief, sampling depth and carbon amounts. At the Arid Ecosystem Research Center (AERC) station of the Nizzana sand dunes (NW Negev, Israel) the dunes and the interdune corridor are covered by BSC up to 80% of the total area. The BSC are composed of a thin topcrust section and a mineral subcrust section. The overall thickness changes in relation to the relief position. Along a dune transect topcrust and subcrust samples were taken and analyzed on their C_org, C_carb, and C_total concentration. The total amount of carbon (g m^-2) was calculated from the carbon concentrations, the BSC bulk density and the sampling depth. Comparing the topcrust and subcrust values of the sampling points the topcrust sections showed 3-4 times higher concentrations of organic carbon than the subcrust sections. The light intensity decreases with soil depth, resulting in a higher biological activity and carbon fixation in the topcrust sections. The subcrust showed relative higher amounts of C_carb contributing to the soil surface stability. Depending on the relief position the total amount of accumulated carbon was 4 times

  17. Effects of oyster shell on soil chemical and biological properties and cabbage productivity as a liming materials.

    PubMed

    Lee, Chang Hoon; Lee, Do Kyoung; Ali, Muhammad Aslam; Kim, Pil Joo

    2008-12-01

    Oyster shell, a byproduct of shellfish-farming in Korea and containing a high amount of CaCO(3), has a high potential to be used as a liming material in agriculture. However, the agricultural utilization of oyster shell is limited due to its high concentration NaCl. The oyster-shell meal collected had a low concentration of water soluble NaCl (mean 2.7 g kg(-1)), which might be a result of stacking the material for 6 months in the open field. It has a very similar liming potential with calcium carbonate, with 3.4 and 3.8 Mg ha(-1) for silt loam (SiL, pH 6.2) and sandy loam (SL, pH 5.8) to bring the soil pH to 6.5, respectively. To determine the effect of crushed oyster-shell meal on improving soil chemical and biological properties and crop plant productivity, oyster-shell meal was applied at rates of 0, 4, 8, 12, and 16 Mg ha(-1) before transplanting Chinese cabbage (Brassica campestris L.) in the two soils mentioned above. Soil pH was significantly increased to 6.9 and 7.4 by 16 Mg ha(-1) shell meal application (4 times higher level than the recommendation) in SiL and SL, respectively, at harvesting stage. The effect of liming was found higher in SL compared to SiL soil, probably due to the different buffering capacity of the two soils. The concentration of NaCl and EC value of soils were found slightly increased with shell meal applications, but no salt damage was observed. Oyster-shell meal application increased soil organic matter, available P, and exchangeable cations concentrations. The improved soil pH and nutrient status significantly increased the microbial biomass C and N concentrations and stimulated soil enzyme activities. With the exception of acid phosphomonoesterase (PMEase) activity, which decreased with increasing soil pH in SL but slightly increased in SiL, the activities of urease and alkali PMEase increased markedly with increasing soil pH by shell meal application. The improved soil chemical and biological properties resulted in increased crop

  18. Soil Moisture Active Passive Validation Experiment 2008

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil Moisture Active Passive Validation Experiment 2008 (SMAPVEX08) was conducted to address specific issues identified by the SMAP satellite mission (launch 2013). SMAP is currently addressing issues related to the development and selection of retrieval algorithms as well as refining the mission de...

  19. Soil and Water Conservation Activities for Scouts.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Soil Conservation Service (USDA), Washington, DC.

    The purpose of the learning activities outlined in this booklet is to help Scouts understand some conservation principles which hopefully will lead to the development of an attitude of concern for the environment and a commitment to help with the task of using and managing soil, water, and other natural resources for long range needs as well as…

  20. Potential of Biological Agents in Decontamination of Agricultural Soil.

    PubMed

    Javaid, Muhammad Kashif; Ashiq, Mehrban; Tahir, Muhammad

    2016-01-01

    Pesticides are widely used for the control of weeds, diseases, and pests of cultivated plants all over the world, mainly since the period after the Second World War. The use of pesticides is very extensive to control harm of pests all over the globe. Persistent nature of most of the synthetic pesticides causes serious environmental concerns. Decontamination of these hazardous chemicals is very essential. This review paper elaborates the potential of various biological agents in decontamination of agricultural soils. The agricultural crop fields are contaminated by the periodic applications of pesticides. Biodegradation is an ecofriendly, cost-effective, highly efficient approach compared to the physical and chemical methods which are expensive as well as unfriendly towards environment. Biodegradation is sensitive to the concentration levels of hydrogen peroxide and nitrogen along with microbial community, temperature, and pH changes. Experimental work for optimum conditions at lab scale can provide very fruitful results about specific bacterial, fungal strains. This study revealed an upper hand of bioremediation over physicochemical approaches. Further studies should be carried out to understand mechanisms of biotransformation. PMID:27293964

  1. Potential of Biological Agents in Decontamination of Agricultural Soil

    PubMed Central

    Javaid, Muhammad Kashif; Ashiq, Mehrban; Tahir, Muhammad

    2016-01-01

    Pesticides are widely used for the control of weeds, diseases, and pests of cultivated plants all over the world, mainly since the period after the Second World War. The use of pesticides is very extensive to control harm of pests all over the globe. Persistent nature of most of the synthetic pesticides causes serious environmental concerns. Decontamination of these hazardous chemicals is very essential. This review paper elaborates the potential of various biological agents in decontamination of agricultural soils. The agricultural crop fields are contaminated by the periodic applications of pesticides. Biodegradation is an ecofriendly, cost-effective, highly efficient approach compared to the physical and chemical methods which are expensive as well as unfriendly towards environment. Biodegradation is sensitive to the concentration levels of hydrogen peroxide and nitrogen along with microbial community, temperature, and pH changes. Experimental work for optimum conditions at lab scale can provide very fruitful results about specific bacterial, fungal strains. This study revealed an upper hand of bioremediation over physicochemical approaches. Further studies should be carried out to understand mechanisms of biotransformation. PMID:27293964

  2. Soil nematode communities are ecologically more mature beneath late- than early-successional stage biological soil crusts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Darby, B.J.; Neher, D.A.; Belnap, J.

    2007-01-01

    Biological soil crusts are key mediators of carbon and nitrogen inputs for arid land soils and often represent a dominant portion of the soil surface cover in arid lands. Free-living soil nematode communities reflect their environment and have been used as biological indicators of soil condition. In this study, we test the hypothesis that nematode communities are successionally more mature beneath well-developed, late-successional stage crusts than immature, early-successional stage crusts. We identified and enumerated nematodes by genus from beneath early- and late-stage crusts from both the Colorado Plateau, Utah (cool, winter rain desert) and Chihuahuan Desert, New Mexico (hot, summer rain desert) at 0-10 and 10-30 cm depths. As hypothesized, nematode abundance, richness, diversity, and successional maturity were greater beneath well-developed crusts than immature crusts. The mechanism of this aboveground-belowground link between biological soil crusts and nematode community composition is likely the increased food, habitat, nutrient inputs, moisture retention, and/or environmental stability provided by late-successional crusts. Canonical correspondence analysis of nematode genera demonstrated that nematode community composition differed greatly between geographic locations that contrast in temperature, precipitation, and soil texture. We found unique assemblages of genera among combinations of location and crust type that reveal a gap in scientific knowledge regarding empirically derived characterization of dominant nematode genera in deserts soils and their functional role in a crust-associated food web. ?? 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Thiol-derivatized minihepcidins retain biological activity.

    PubMed

    Fung, Eileen; Chua, Kristine; Ganz, Tomas; Nemeth, Elizabeta; Ruchala, Piotr

    2015-02-15

    Minihepcidins are small peptides that mimic biological activity of the iron-regulatory hormone hepcidin. Structurally, they contain thiol-free-cysteine residue in position 7 which is crucial for their bioactivity. Nonetheless, free sulfhydryl group is not desirable in pharmaceutical entities as it may lead to dermatological side effects. Moreover free thiol moiety is quite reactive and depending on conditions/reagents may be alkylated and/or oxidized giving various Cys-derivatives: S-alkyl cysteines, sulfoxides, sulfones, disulfides, cysteinesulfinic and cysteic acids. To limit such reactivity and maintain bioactivity of minihepcidin(s) we used thiol-protection strategy based on activated vinyl thioethers. Novel S-protected analogs of physiologically active minihepcidin PR73 were synthesized and tested in vitro showing activity comparable to parental molecule. The most active compound, PR73SH was also tested in vivo showing activity profile analogous to PR73. Collectively, our findings suggest that S-vinyl-derivatization of minihepcidin(s) may be a suitable approach in the development of physiologically active agonists of hepcidin. PMID:25599838

  4. Ecology and population biology of aflatoxigenic fungi in soil

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil serves as a reservoir for Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus, fungi that produce carcinogenic aflatoxins in agricultural commodities. Populations in soil are genetically diverse and individual genotypes show a clustered distribution pattern within fields. Surveys over large geographic region...

  5. Synthesis and biological activity of polyprenols.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qiong; Huang, Lixin; Zhang, Caihong; Xie, Pujun; Zhang, Yaolei; Ding, Shasha; Xu, Feng

    2015-10-01

    The polyprenols and their derivatives are highlighted in this study. These lipid linear polymers of isoprenoid residues are widespread in nature from bacteria to human cells. This review primarily presents the synthesis and biological activities of polyprenyl derivatives. Attention is focused on the synthesis and biological activity of dolichols, polyprenyl ester derivatives and polyprenyl amines. Other polyprenyl derivatives, such as oxides of polyprenols, aromatic polyprenols, polyprenyl bromide and polyprenyl sulphates, are mentioned. It is noted that polyprenyl phosphates and polyprenyl-linked glycosylation have better antibacterial, gene therapy and immunomodulating performance, whereas polyprenyl amines have better for antibacterial and antithrombotic activity. Dolichols, polyprenyl acetic esters, polyprenyl phosphates and polyprenyl-linked glycosylation have pharmacological anti-tumour effects. Finally, the postulated prospect of polyprenols and their derivatives are discussed. Further in vivo studies on the above derivatives are needed. The compatibility of polyprenols and their derivatives with other drugs should be studied, and new preparations of polyprenyl derivatives, such as hydrogel glue and release-controlled drugs, are suggested for future research and development. PMID:26358482

  6. Biological Activities of Polyphenols from Grapes

    PubMed Central

    Xia, En-Qin; Deng, Gui-Fang; Guo, Ya-Jun; Li, Hua-Bin

    2010-01-01

    The dietary consumption of grape and its products is associated with a lower incidence of degenerative diseases such as cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancers. Most recent interest has focused on the bioactive phenolic compounds in grape. Anthocyanins, flavanols, flavonols and resveratrol are the most important grape polyphenols because they possess many biological activities, such as antioxidant, cardioprotective, anticancer, anti-inflammation, antiaging and antimicrobial properties. This review summarizes current knowledge on the bioactivities of grape phenolics. The extraction, isolation and identification methods of polyphenols from grape as well as their bioavailability and potential toxicity also are included. PMID:20386657

  7. Fungal proteinaceous compounds with multiple biological activities.

    PubMed

    Ng, Tzi Bun; Cheung, Randy Chi Fai; Wong, Jack Ho; Chan, Yau Sang; Dan, Xiuli; Pan, Wenliang; Wang, Hexiang; Guan, Suzhen; Chan, Ki; Ye, Xiuyun; Liu, Fang; Xia, Lixin; Chan, Wai Yee

    2016-08-01

    Fungi comprise organisms like molds, yeasts and mushrooms. They have been used as food or medicine for a long time. A large number of fungal proteins or peptides with diverse biological activities are considered as antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and anticancer agents. They encompass proteases, ribosome inactivating proteins, defensins, hemolysins, lectins, laccases, ribonucleases, immunomodulatory proteins, and polysaccharopeptides. The target of the present review is to update the status of the various bioactivities of these fungal proteins and peptides and discuss their therapeutic potential. PMID:27338574

  8. Simultaneous analysis of biologically active aminoalkanephosphonic acids.

    PubMed

    Kudzin, Zbigniew H; Gralak, Dorota K; Andrijewski, Grzegorz; Drabowicz, Józef; Luczak, Jerzy

    2003-05-23

    A new approach for simultaneous analysis of biologically active aminoalkanephosphonic acids, namely glyphosate, phosphonoglycine, phosphonosarcosine, phosphonoalanine, phosphono-beta-alanine, phosphonohomoalanine, phosphono-gamma-homoalanine and glufosinate, is presented. This includes a preliminary 31p NMR analysis of these amino acids, their further derivatization to volatile phosphonates (phosphinates) by means of trifluoroacetic acid-trifluoroacetic anhydride-trimethyl orthoacetate reagent and subsequent analysis of derivatization products using MS and/or GC-MS (chemical ionization and/or electron impact ionization). PMID:12862383

  9. Reconstructing Causal Biological Networks through Active Learning.

    PubMed

    Cho, Hyunghoon; Berger, Bonnie; Peng, Jian

    2016-01-01

    Reverse-engineering of biological networks is a central problem in systems biology. The use of intervention data, such as gene knockouts or knockdowns, is typically used for teasing apart causal relationships among genes. Under time or resource constraints, one needs to carefully choose which intervention experiments to carry out. Previous approaches for selecting most informative interventions have largely been focused on discrete Bayesian networks. However, continuous Bayesian networks are of great practical interest, especially in the study of complex biological systems and their quantitative properties. In this work, we present an efficient, information-theoretic active learning algorithm for Gaussian Bayesian networks (GBNs), which serve as important models for gene regulatory networks. In addition to providing linear-algebraic insights unique to GBNs, leading to significant runtime improvements, we demonstrate the effectiveness of our method on data simulated with GBNs and the DREAM4 network inference challenge data sets. Our method generally leads to faster recovery of underlying network structure and faster convergence to final distribution of confidence scores over candidate graph structures using the full data, in comparison to random selection of intervention experiments. PMID:26930205

  10. Reconstructing Causal Biological Networks through Active Learning

    PubMed Central

    Cho, Hyunghoon; Berger, Bonnie; Peng, Jian

    2016-01-01

    Reverse-engineering of biological networks is a central problem in systems biology. The use of intervention data, such as gene knockouts or knockdowns, is typically used for teasing apart causal relationships among genes. Under time or resource constraints, one needs to carefully choose which intervention experiments to carry out. Previous approaches for selecting most informative interventions have largely been focused on discrete Bayesian networks. However, continuous Bayesian networks are of great practical interest, especially in the study of complex biological systems and their quantitative properties. In this work, we present an efficient, information-theoretic active learning algorithm for Gaussian Bayesian networks (GBNs), which serve as important models for gene regulatory networks. In addition to providing linear-algebraic insights unique to GBNs, leading to significant runtime improvements, we demonstrate the effectiveness of our method on data simulated with GBNs and the DREAM4 network inference challenge data sets. Our method generally leads to faster recovery of underlying network structure and faster convergence to final distribution of confidence scores over candidate graph structures using the full data, in comparison to random selection of intervention experiments. PMID:26930205

  11. Spatiotemporal analysis of soil moisture in using active and passive remotely sensed data and ground observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, H.; Fang, B.; Lakshmi, V.

    2015-12-01

    Abstract: Soil moisture plays a vital role in ecosystem, biological processes, climate, weather and agriculture. The Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) improves data by combining the advantages and avoiding the limitation of passive microwave remote sensing (low resolution), and active microwave (challenge of soil moisture retrieval). This study will advance the knowledge of the application of soil moisture by using the Soil Moisture Active Passive Validation Experiment 2012 (SMAPVEX12) data as well as data collected at Walnut Gulch Arizona in August 2015 during SMAPVEX15. Specifically, we will analyze the 5m radar data from Unmanned Airborne Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR) to study spatial variability within the PALS radiometer pixel. SMAPVEX12/15 and SMAP data will also be analyzed to evaluate disaggregation algorithms. The analytical findings will provide valuable information for policy-makers to initiate and adjust protocols and regulations for protecting land resources and improving environmental conditions. Keywords: soil moisture, Remote Sensing (RS), spatial statistic

  12. Biological activities of Morus celtidifolia leaf extracts.

    PubMed

    Viveros-Valdez, Ezequiel; Oranday-Cárdenas, Azucena; Rivas-Morales, Catalina; Verde-Star, María Julia; Carranza-Rosales, Pilar

    2015-07-01

    The aims of this research were to examine the antibacterial, cytotoxic and antiradical/antioxidant activities of the organic extracts obtained from the leaves of the medicinal plant Morus celtidifolia (Family: Moraceae). To evaluate its antimicrobial properties, M. celtidifolia was tested against the bacteria of medical importance: Bacillus subtilis, Staphyloccocus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, Escherichia coli, Enterobacter cloacae and Enterobacter aerogenes. Cytotoxic activity was assessed by using the brine shrimp (Artemia salina) lethality assay and also by toxicity screening against human cancer cell lines: MCF-7 (human breast adenocarcinoma) and HeLa (cervix adenocarcinoma). The free radical-scavenging activity was determined by the 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radical (DPPH) assay. Results revealed that the hexanic extract has antibacterial activity only against Gram positive strains, while the methanolic extract showed better cytotoxic and antioxidant activities than the non- polar extract with a median lethal dose (LD₅₀) of 125μg/ml, 90μg/ml and 75μg/ml against A. salina, MCF-7 and HeLa cells respectively, and median effective concentration (EC₅₀) of 152μg/ml on radical scavenging assay. This is the first study reporting the biological activities of leaves of Morus celtidifolia. PMID:26142508

  13. SORPTION ON WASTEWATER SOLIDS: ELIMINATION OF BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Sorption was found to be greatly affected by the biological activity in wastewater solids. wo experimental techniques, cyanide treatment and pasteurization, were developed for eliminating the biological activity during isotherm measurements. oth methods are effective; however, pa...

  14. Carbon and nitrogen fixation differ between successional stages of biological soil crusts in the Colorado Plateau and Chihuahuan Desert

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Housman, D.C.; Powers, H.H.; Collins, A.D.; Belnap, J.

    2006-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (cyanobacteria, mosses and lichens collectively) perform essential ecosystem services, including carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) fixation. Climate and land-use change are converting later successional soil crusts to early successional soil crusts with lower C and N fixation rates. To quantify the effect of such conversions on C and N dynamics in desert ecosystems we seasonally measured diurnal fixation rates in different biological soil crusts. We classified plots on the Colorado Plateau (Canyonlands) and Chihuahuan Desert (Jornada) as early (Microcoleus) or later successional (Nostoc/Scytonema or Placidium/Collema) and measured photosynthesis (Pn), nitrogenase activity (NA), and chlorophyll fluorescence (Fv/Fm) on metabolically active (moist) soil crusts. Later successional crusts typically had greater Pn, averaging 1.2-1.3-fold higher daily C fixation in Canyonlands and 2.4-2.8-fold higher in the Jornada. Later successional crusts also had greater NA, averaging 1.3-7.5-fold higher daily N fixation in Canyonlands and 1.3-25.0-fold higher in the Jornada. Mean daily Fv/Fm was also greater in later successional Canyonlands crusts during winter, and Jornada crusts during all seasons except summer. Together these findings indicate conversion of soil crusts back to early successional stages results in large reductions of C and N inputs into these ecosystems.

  15. Effect of soil type and soil management on soil physical, chemical and biological properties in commercial organic olive orchards in Southern Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gomez, Jose Alfonso; Auxiliadora Soriano, Maria; Montes-Borrego, Miguel; Navas, Juan Antonio; Landa, Blanca B.

    2014-05-01

    One of the objectives of organic agriculture is to maintain and improve soil quality, while simultaneously producing an adequate yield. A key element in organic olive production is soil management, which properly implemented can optimize the use of rainfall water enhancing infiltration rates and controlling competition for soil water by weeds. There are different soil management strategies: eg. weed mowing (M), green manure with surface tillage in spring (T), or combination with animal grazing among the trees (G). That variability in soil management combined with the large variability in soil types on which organic olive trees are grown in Southern Spain, difficult the evaluation of the impact of different soil management on soil properties, and yield as well as its interpretation in terms of improvement of soil quality. This communications presents the results and analysis of soil physical, chemical and biological properties on 58 soils in Southern Spain during 2005 and 2006, and analyzed and evaluated in different studies since them. Those 58 soils were sampled in 46 certified commercial organic olive orchards with four soil types as well as 12 undisturbed areas with natural vegetation near the olive orchards. The four soil types considered were Eutric Regosol (RGeu, n= 16), Eutric Cambisol (CMeu, n=16), Calcaric Regosol (RGca, n=13 soils sampled) and Calcic Cambisol (CMcc), and the soil management systems (SMS) include were 10 light tillage (LT), 16 sheep grazing (G), 10 tillage (T), 10 mechanical mowing (M), and 12 undisturbed areas covered by natural vegetation (NV-C and NV-S). Our results indicate that soil management had a significant effect on olive yield as well as on key soil properties. Among these soil properties are physical ones, such as infiltration rate or bulk density, chemical ones, especially organic carbon concentration, and biological ones such as soil microbial respiration and bacterial community composition. Superimpose to that soil

  16. Comparison of methods for measuring soil microbial activity using cotton strips and a respirometer.

    PubMed

    Nachimuthu, Gunasekhar; King, Kathleen; Kristiansen, Paul; Lockwood, Peter; Guppy, Chris

    2007-05-01

    In order to develop a method of measuring the level of microbial activity in soil that is suitable for use by farmers, land managers, and other non-scientists, a simple method for determining soil microbial activity was evaluated and compared with two standard techniques. Soils sampled from vegetable farms in south east Queensland were incubated in the laboratory under controlled moisture and temperature conditions. Three methods were used to measure soil microbial activity, a respirometry method and two methods using the cotton strip assay (CSA) technique (image analysis and tensometer). The standard CSA method measured loss of tensile strength over a 35 day incubation period of buried cotton strips using a tensometer. The new CSA technique measured the intensity of staining by microbes using a flatbed scanner to create an image of the cotton strip whose staining percentage was determined using Photoshop software. The respirometry method used the substrate induced respiration rate (SIR) to determine microbial biomass in the soil at day 12 of incubation. The strong correlation between the image analysis method and the tensometer method (r(2)=0.81), a technique used by scientific researchers, suggests that the image analysis method could be used to monitor aspects of soil biological health by general community land-care groups and farmers. The image analysis method uses equipment which is readily available and, while not strongly correlated with more precise measurements of soil biological activity such as microbial biomass (r(2)=0.26), it can detect gross trends in biological health in a soil monitoring program. The CSA method using image analysis was the cheapest technique to measure soil microbial activity. CSA using image analysis can be a valuable tool in conjunction with other simple indicators of soil physical and chemical health such as slaking and pH to monitor soil amelioration or rehabilitation programs. PMID:17376552

  17. Development, calibration, and performance of a novel biocrust wetness probe (BWP) measuring the water content of biological soil crusts and surface soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weber, Bettina; Berkemeier, Thomas; Ruckteschler, Nina; Caesar, Jennifer; Ritter, Holger; Heintz, Henno; Brass, Henning

    2015-04-01

    The surface layer of soils as transition zone between pedosphere and atmosphere plays a crucial role in exchange processes of nutrients, atmospheric gases and water. In arid and semiarid regions, this uppermost soil layer is commonly colonized by biological soil crusts (biocrusts), which cover about 46 million km2 worldwide being highly relevant in the global terrestrial carbon and nitrogen cycles. Their water status is of major concern, as activity of these poikilohydric organisms is directly controlled by their water content. On-site analyses of both bare and crusted soils thus are urgently needed to correctly model exchange processes of water, nutrients and trace gases at the soil surface. In this study we present the biocrust wetness probe (BWP), which is the first low-cost sensor to reliably measure the water content within biocrusts or the uppermost 5 mm of the substrate. Using a weak alternating current, the electrical conductivity is assessed and an automatic calibration routine allows calculating the water content and precipitation equivalent of the surface layer over time. During one year of continuous field measurements, 60 BWPs were installed in different types of biocrusts and bare soil to measure at 5-minute intervals in the Succulent Karroo, South Africa. All sensors worked reliably and responded immediately and individually upon precipitation events. Upon completion of field measurements, soil and biocrust samples were collected from all measurement spots to compile calibration curves in the lab. In most soil and biocrust samples the water content rose linearly with increasing electrical conductivity values and only for few samples an exponential relationship was observed. Measurements revealed characteristic differences in biocrust and soil wetness patterns, which affect both the water regime and physiological processes in desert regions. Thus BWPs turned out to be well suited sensors for spatio-temporal monitoring of soil water content, allowing

  18. Smectite clays in Mars soil - Evidence for their presence and role in Viking biology experimental results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Banin, A.; Rishpon, J.

    1979-01-01

    Evidence for the presence of smectite clays in Martian soils is reviewed and results of experiments with certain active clays simulating the Viking biology experiments are reported. Analyses of Martian soil composition by means of X-ray fluorescence spectrometry and dust storm spectroscopy and Martian geological history strongly suggest the presence of a mixture of weathered ferro-silicate minerals, mainly nontronite and montmorillonite, accompanied by soluble sulphate salts, as major constituents. Samples of montmorillonite and nontronite incubated with (C-14)-formate or the radioactive nutrient medium solution used in the Viking Labeled Release experiment, were found to produce patterns of release of radioactive gas very similar to those observed in the Viking experiments, indicating the iron-catalyzed decomposition of formate as the reaction responsible for the Viking results. The experimental results of Hubbard (1979) simulating the results of the Viking Pyrolytic Release experiment using iron montmorillonites are pointed out, and it is concluded that many of the results of the Viking biology experiments can be explained in terms of the surface activity of smectite clays in catalysis and adsorption.

  19. Impact of different tillage treatments on soil respiration and microbial activity for different agricultural used soils in Austria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klik, Andreas; Scholl, Gerlinde; Baatar, Undrakh-Od

    2015-04-01

    Soils can act as a net sink for sequestering carbon and thus attenuating the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide if appropriate soil and crop management is applied. Adapted soil management strategies like less intensive or even no tillage treatments may result in slower mineralization of soil organic carbon and enhanced carbon sequestration. In order to assess the impact of different soil tillage systems on carbon dioxide emissions due to soil respiration and on soil biological activity parameters, a field study of three years duration (2007-2010)has been performed at different sites in Austria. Following tillage treatments were compared: 1) conventional tillage (CT) with plough with and without cover crop during winter period, 2) reduced tillage (RT) with cultivator with cover crop, and 3) no-till (NT) with cover crop. Each treatment was replicated three times. At two sites with similar climatic conditions but different soil textures soil CO2 efflux was measured during the growing seasons in intervals of one to two weeks using a portable soil respiration system consisting of a soil respiration chamber attached to an infrared gas analyzer. Additionally, concurrent soil temperature and soil water contents of the top layer (0-5 cm)were measured. For these and additional three other sites with different soil and climatic conditions soil samples were taken to assess the impact of tillage treatment on soil biological activity parameters. In spring, summer and autumn samples were taken from each plot at the soil depth of 0-10, 10-20, and 20-30 cm to analyze soil microbial respiration (MR), substrate induced respiration (SIR), beta-glucasidase activity (GLU) and dehydrogenase (BHY). Samples were sieved (2 mm) and stored at 4 °C in a refrigerator. Analyses of were performed within one month after sampling. The measurements show a high spatial variability of soil respiration data even within one plot. Nevertheless, the level of soil carbon dioxide efflux was similar for

  20. [Bergenia genus - content matters and biological activity].

    PubMed

    Hendrychová, Helena; Tůmová, Lenka

    2012-10-01

    Bergenia, a genus included in the family Saxifragaceae, is a valuable source of healing matters. About 30 Bergenia species are known all over the world. Scientific research is focused on five species mainly distributed in the mountains of Central and East Asia: Bergenia ciliata (Haw.) Sternb., Bergenia stracheyi Engl., Bergenia crassifolia (L.) Fritsch, Bergenia ligulata (Wall.) Engl. and Bergenia himalaica Boriss. These taxons belong to the widely used medicinal herbs in the traditional Chinese, Nepalese and Indian medicine, for therapy of cough and pulmonary diseases, to stop bleeding, to increase immunity and to dissolve kidney or bladder stones. Bergenia consists of many different active compounds including bergenin, norbergenin, catechin, gallic acid, arbutin and other polyphenols. In the Czech Republic this species is commonly grown but it is not used for medical therapy. Individual parts of this plant demonstrate an interesting biological activity, and antibacterial, antiviral, cytoprotective and antioxidant effects. PMID:23256653

  1. Biologically Active Metabolites Synthesized by Microalgae

    PubMed Central

    de Morais, Michele Greque; Vaz, Bruna da Silva; de Morais, Etiele Greque; Costa, Jorge Alberto Vieira

    2015-01-01

    Microalgae are microorganisms that have different morphological, physiological, and genetic traits that confer the ability to produce different biologically active metabolites. Microalgal biotechnology has become a subject of study for various fields, due to the varied bioproducts that can be obtained from these microorganisms. When microalgal cultivation processes are better understood, microalgae can become an environmentally friendly and economically viable source of compounds of interest, because production can be optimized in a controlled culture. The bioactive compounds derived from microalgae have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant activities, among others. Furthermore, these microorganisms have the ability to promote health and reduce the risk of the development of degenerative diseases. In this context, the aim of this review is to discuss bioactive metabolites produced by microalgae for possible applications in the life sciences. PMID:26339647

  2. Aminoderivatives of cycloalkanespirohydantoins: synthesis and biological activity.

    PubMed

    Naydenova, Emilia; Pencheva, Nevena; Popova, Julita; Stoyanov, Neyko; Lazarova, Maria; Aleksiev, Boris

    2002-03-01

    3-Aminocycloalkanespiro-5-hydantoins were synthesized and their biological activity was studied. In contrast to hydantoins, these compounds failed to induce either anticonvulsive effects in the central nervous system or inhibitory effects on cholinergic contractions in the enteric nervous system. However, they exerted well pronounced, atropinsensitive, contractile effects on the guinea-pig ileum longitudinal muscle preparations. Structure-activity relationships established allow the assumption that: (i) the reduction of the ring size in the molecule of the spirohydantoins leads to an increase in the potency of the respective analogue to induce contractile effect; (ii) the introduction of -NH2 in position 3 increases the ability of all the compounds studied to exert contractions; (iii) the enlargement of the ring leads to: (1) an increase of the degree of desensitization of the preparations; and (2) a decrease (except 1a) of the potency of the analogues to exert contractile effects. PMID:11989796

  3. Carbon nanomaterials: Biologically active fullerene derivatives.

    PubMed

    Bogdanović, Gordana; Djordjević, Aleksandar

    2016-01-01

    Since their discovery, fullerenes, carbon nanotubes, and graphene attract significant attention of researches in various scientific fields including biomedicine. Nano-scale size and a possibility for diverse surface modifications allow carbon nanoallotropes to become an indispensable nanostructured material in nanotechnologies, including nanomedicine. Manipulation of surface chemistry has created diverse populations of water-soluble derivatives of fullerenes, which exhibit different behaviors. Both non-derivatized and derivatized fullerenes show various biological activities. Cellular processes that underline their toxicity are oxidative, genotoxic, and cytotoxic responses.The antioxidant/cytoprotective properties of fullerenes and derivatives have been considered in the prevention of organ oxidative damage and treatment. The same unique physiochemical properties of nanomaterials may also be associated with potential health hazards. Non-biodegradability and toxicity of carbon nanoparticles still remain a great concern in the area of biomedical application. In this review, we report on basic physical and chemical properties of carbon nano-clusters--fullerenes, nanotubes, and grapheme--their specificities, activities, and potential application in biological systems. Special emphasis is given to our most important results obtained in vitro and in vivo using polyhydroxylated fullerene derivative C₆₀(OH)₂₄. PMID:27483572

  4. Spectroscopic study of biologically active glasses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szumera, M.; Wacławska, I.; Mozgawa, W.; Sitarz, M.

    2005-06-01

    It is known that the chemical activity phenomenon is characteristic for some inorganic glasses and they are able to participate in biological processes of living organisms (plants, animals and human bodies). An example here is the selective removal of silicate-phosphate glass components under the influence of biological solutions, which has been applied in designing glasses acting as ecological fertilizers of controlled release rate of the nutrients for plants. The structure of model silicate-phosphate glasses containing the different amounts of the glass network formers, i.e. Ca 2+ and Mg 2+, as a binding components were studied. These elements besides other are indispensable of the normal growth of plants. In order to establish the function and position occupied by the particular components in the glass structure, the glasses were examined by FTIR spectroscopy (with spectra decomposition) and XRD methods. It has been found that the increasing amount of MgO in the structure of silicate-phosphate glasses causes the formation of domains the structure of which changes systematically from a structure of the cristobalite type to a structure corresponding to forsterite type. Whilst the increasing content of CaO in the structure of silicate-phosphate glasses causes the formation of domains the structure of which changes from a structure typical for cristobalite through one similar to the structure of calcium orthophosphate, to a structure corresponding to calcium silicates. The changing character of domains structure is the reason of different chemical activity of glasses.

  5. Vulnerability of desert biological soil crusts to wind erosion: The influences of crust development, soil texture, and disturbance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, J.; Gillette, Dale A.

    1998-01-01

    Biological soil crusts, consisting of cyanobacteria, green algae, lichens, and mosses, are important in stabilizing soils in semi-arid and arid lands. Integrity of these crusts is compromised by compressional disturbances such as foot, vehicle, or livestock traffic. Using a portable wind tunnel, we found threshold friction velocities (TFVs) of undisturbed crusts well above wind forces experienced at these sites; consequently, these soils are not vulnerable to wind erosion. However, recently disturbed soils or soils with less well-developed crusts frequently experience wind speeds that exceed the stability thresholds of the crusts. Crustal biomass is concentrated in the top 3 mm of soils. Sandblasting by wind can quickly remove this material, thereby reducing N and C inputs from these organisms. This loss can result in reduced site productivity, as well as exposure of unprotected subsurface sediments to wind and water erosion. Actions to reduce impacts to these crusts can include adjustments in type, intensity, and timing of use.

  6. The influence of biological soil crusts on mineral uptake by associated vascular plants

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harper, K.T.; Belnap, Jayne

    2001-01-01

    Soil surfaces dominated by cyanobacteria and cyanolichens (such as Collema sp.) are widespread in deserts of the world. The influence of these biological soil crusts on the uptake of bioessential elements is reported for the first time for six seed plants of the deserts of Utah. This sample almost doubles the number of species for which the influence of biological soil crusts on mineral uptake of associated vascular plants is known. These new case studies, and others previously published, demonstrate that cyanobacterial or cyanobacteria- Collema crusts significantly alter uptake by plants of many bioessential elements. In studies now available, these crusts always increase the N content of associated seed plants. Uptake of Cu, K, Mg, and Zn is usually (>70% of reported cases) increased in the presence of the biological soil crusts. Soil crusts are generally negatively associated with Fe and P levels in associated seed plant tissue, while plant tissue levels of Ca, Mn, and Na are positively as often as negatively associated with the presence of soil crusts. Increases in bioessential elements in vascular plant tissue from biologically-crusted areas are greatest for short-lived herbs that are rooted primarily within the surface soil, the horizon most influenced by crustal organisms. The mineral content of a deeply rooted shrub (Coleogyne ramosissima) was less influenced by co-occurrence of biological soil crusts.

  7. Biochemical activities in soil overlying Paraho processed oil shale

    SciTech Connect

    Sorensen, D.L.

    1982-01-01

    Microbial activity development in soil materials placed over processed oil shale is vital to the plant litter decomposition, cycling of nutrients, and soil organic matter accumulation and maintenance. Samples collected in the summers of 1979, 1980, and 1981 from revegetated soil 30-, 61-, and 91-cm deep overlying spent oil shale in the Piceance Basin of northwestern Colorado were assayed for dehydrogenease activity with glucose and without glucose, for phosphatase activity, and for acetylene reduction activity. Initial ammonium and nitrite nitrogen oxidation rates and potential denitrification rates were determined in 1981. Zymogenous dehydrogenase activity, phosphatase activity, nitrogenase activity, potential denitrification rates, and direct microscopic counts were lower in surface soil 30 cm deep, and were frequently lower in surface soil 61 cm deep over processed shale than in a surface-disturbed control area soil. Apparently, microbial activities are stressed in these more shallow replaced soils. Soil 61 cm deep over a coarse-rock capillary barrier separating the soil from the spent shale, frequently had improved biochemical activity. Initial ammonium and nitrite nitrogen oxidation rates were lower in all replaced soils than in the disturbed control soil. Soil core samples taken in 1981 were assayed for dehydrogenase and phosphatase activities, viable bacteria, and viable fungal propagules. In general, microbial activity decreased quickly below the surface. At depths greater than 45 cm, microbial activities were similar in buried spent shale and surface-disturbed control soil.

  8. Biological soil crusts accelerate the nitrogen cycle through large NO and HONO emissions in drylands

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Dianming; Tamm, Alexandra; Ruckteschler, Nina; Rodríguez-Caballero, Emilio; Meusel, Hannah; Elbert, Wolfgang; Behrendt, Thomas; Sörgel, Matthias; Cheng, Yafang; Crutzen, Paul J.; Su, Hang; Pöschl, Ulrich

    2015-01-01

    Reactive nitrogen species have a strong influence on atmospheric chemistry and climate, tightly coupling the Earth’s nitrogen cycle with microbial activity in the biosphere. Their sources, however, are not well constrained, especially in dryland regions accounting for a major fraction of the global land surface. Here, we show that biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are emitters of nitric oxide (NO) and nitrous acid (HONO). Largest fluxes are obtained by dark cyanobacteria-dominated biocrusts, being ∼20 times higher than those of neighboring uncrusted soils. Based on laboratory, field, and satellite measurement data, we obtain a best estimate of ∼1.7 Tg per year for the global emission of reactive nitrogen from biocrusts (1.1 Tg a−1 of NO-N and 0.6 Tg a−1 of HONO-N), corresponding to ∼20% of global nitrogen oxide emissions from soils under natural vegetation. On continental scales, emissions are highest in Africa and South America and lowest in Europe. Our results suggest that dryland emissions of reactive nitrogen are largely driven by biocrusts rather than the underlying soil. They help to explain enigmatic discrepancies between measurement and modeling approaches of global reactive nitrogen emissions. As the emissions of biocrusts strongly depend on precipitation events, climate change affecting the distribution and frequency of precipitation may have a strong impact on terrestrial emissions of reactive nitrogen and related climate feedback effects. Because biocrusts also account for a large fraction of global terrestrial biological nitrogen fixation, their impacts should be further quantified and included in regional and global models of air chemistry, biogeochemistry, and climate. PMID:26621714

  9. Stabilization of Desert Surfaces and Accumulation of Dust Under Biological Soil Crusts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finstad, K. M.; Mcnicol, G.; Pfeiffer, M.; Amundson, R.

    2014-12-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSC) are known to play a critical role in the stabilization of desert surfaces by helping to protect sediment from wind and water erosion and aiding in the trapping of airborne particles. The crusts are often composed of cyanobacteria, algae, and fungi, and occupy the upper few cm of a soil. Due to their high tolerance of desiccation and ability to utilize fog and dew sources, BSC are able to exist in environments that may otherwise be too dry for vascular plants. In the hyperarid Atacama Desert, decades or more between measurable precipitation events has created a landscape devoid of macroscopic life. While precipitation is rare, coastal fog occurs regularly and microbial communities capable of utilizing fog and dew water are able to persist. Here we found cyanobacteria and lichen living in association with a thin sulfate and dust crust (~2 cm) covering the surface of 'dust plateaus'. Topographically the region is highly irregular and part of a largely erosional landscape. We hypothesized that these flat-topped plateaus are accretionary features that have been able to maintain dust accumulation for thousands of years as a result of the surface crusts. To test this hypothesis we conducted radiocarbon analysis of crusts and soil profiles at two sites approximately 30 km apart, one in a high fog zone and another in lower fog frequency zone. The radiocarbon analysis shows that sediment has been accumulating in the 'plateaus' for the past 15,000 years and that biological activity and rates of C cycling in the crust increase with increasing fog frequency and intensity. The ages of organic material in the dust decrease monotonically with decreasing soil thickness, suggestive of progressive upward growth by dust accumulation. Our data indicate that the BSC are capable of surviving in hyperarid the Atacama Desert, a Mars analogue, through the utilization of fog water, and that their presence can leave a visible geomorphic imprint on the landscape.

  10. Biological soil crusts accelerate the nitrogen cycle through large NO and HONO emissions in drylands.

    PubMed

    Weber, Bettina; Wu, Dianming; Tamm, Alexandra; Ruckteschler, Nina; Rodríguez-Caballero, Emilio; Steinkamp, Jörg; Meusel, Hannah; Elbert, Wolfgang; Behrendt, Thomas; Sörgel, Matthias; Cheng, Yafang; Crutzen, Paul J; Su, Hang; Pöschl, Ulrich

    2015-12-15

    Reactive nitrogen species have a strong influence on atmospheric chemistry and climate, tightly coupling the Earth's nitrogen cycle with microbial activity in the biosphere. Their sources, however, are not well constrained, especially in dryland regions accounting for a major fraction of the global land surface. Here, we show that biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are emitters of nitric oxide (NO) and nitrous acid (HONO). Largest fluxes are obtained by dark cyanobacteria-dominated biocrusts, being ∼20 times higher than those of neighboring uncrusted soils. Based on laboratory, field, and satellite measurement data, we obtain a best estimate of ∼1.7 Tg per year for the global emission of reactive nitrogen from biocrusts (1.1 Tg a(-1) of NO-N and 0.6 Tg a(-1) of HONO-N), corresponding to ∼20% of global nitrogen oxide emissions from soils under natural vegetation. On continental scales, emissions are highest in Africa and South America and lowest in Europe. Our results suggest that dryland emissions of reactive nitrogen are largely driven by biocrusts rather than the underlying soil. They help to explain enigmatic discrepancies between measurement and modeling approaches of global reactive nitrogen emissions. As the emissions of biocrusts strongly depend on precipitation events, climate change affecting the distribution and frequency of precipitation may have a strong impact on terrestrial emissions of reactive nitrogen and related climate feedback effects. Because biocrusts also account for a large fraction of global terrestrial biological nitrogen fixation, their impacts should be further quantified and included in regional and global models of air chemistry, biogeochemistry, and climate. PMID:26621714

  11. Rapid recovery of cyanobacterial pigments in desiccated biological soil crusts following addition of water.

    PubMed

    Abed, Raeid M M; Polerecky, Lubos; Al-Habsi, Amal; Oetjen, Janina; Strous, Marc; de Beer, Dirk

    2014-01-01

    We examined soil surface colour change to green and hydrotaxis following addition of water to biological soil crusts using pigment extraction, hyperspectral imaging, microsensors and 13C labeling experiments coupled to matrix-assisted laser desorption and ionization time of flight-mass spectrometry (MALD-TOF MS). The topsoil colour turned green in less than 5 minutes following water addition. The concentrations of chlorophyll a (Chl a), scytonemin and echinenon rapidly increased in the top <1 mm layer while in the deeper layer, their concentrations remained low. Hyperspectral imaging showed that, in both wet and dehydrated crusts, cyanobacteria formed a layer at a depth of 0.2-0.4 mm and this layer did not move upward after wetting. 13C labeling experiments and MALDI TOF analysis showed that Chl a was already present in the desiccated crusts and de novo synthesis of this molecule started only after 2 days of wetting due to growth of cyanobacteria. Microsensor measurements showed that photosynthetic activity increased concomitantly with the increase of Chl a, and reached a maximum net rate of 92 µmol m-2 h-1 approximately 2 hours after wetting. We conclude that the colour change of soil crusts to green upon water addition was not due to hydrotaxis but rather to the quick recovery and reassembly of pigments. Cyanobacteria in crusts can maintain their photosynthetic apparatus intact even under prolonged periods of desiccation with the ability to resume their photosynthetic activities within minutes after wetting. PMID:25375172

  12. Hymenobacter terrenus sp. nov., isolated from biological soil crusts.

    PubMed

    Tang, Kai; Yuan, Bo; Lai, Qiliang; Wang, Ruigang; Bao, Haizhu; Feng, Fu Ying

    2015-12-01

    A Gram-stain-negative, non-spore-forming, short rod-shaped, non-motile, light-pink bacterial strain, MIMtkLc17T, was isolated from biological soil crusts collected in Liangcheng, Inner Mongolia. Growth of strain MIMtkLc17T was observed at 2-35 °C and in the presence of 1% (w/v) NaCl. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences showed that sequence similarities between strain MIMtkLc17T and the type strains of species of the genus Hymenobacter ranged from 89.93% to 96.49%. Strain MIMtkLc17T can secrete mass polysaccharide. The major fatty acids of strain MIMtkLc17T were iso-C15 : 0, summed feature 3 (C16 : 1ω7c/C16 : 1ω6c), C16 : 1ω5c and summed feature 4 (iso-C17 : 1 I/anteiso-C17 : 1 B). The sole respiratory quinone was menaquinone MK-7. The G+C content of the chromosomal DNA was 57.8 mol%. The results of phylogenetic, chemotaxonomic and phenotypic characterization indicated that strain MIMtkLc17T can be distinguished from all known species of the genus Hymenobacter and represents a novel species of this genus, for which the name Hymenobacter terrenus sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is MIMtkLc17T ( = MCCC 1K00507T = KCTC 42636T). PMID:26373667

  13. Microbial activity and soil organic matter decay in roadside soils polluted with petroleum hydrocarbons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mykhailova, Larysa; Fischer, Thomas; Iurchenko, Valentina

    2015-04-01

    positively correlated with the carbohydrate fraction and negatively correlated with the aliphatic fraction of the soil C, while carbohydrate-C and alkyl-C increased and decreased with distance from the road, respectively. It is proposed that petroleum hydrocarbons supress soil biological activity at concentrations above 1500 mg kg-1, and that soil organic matter priming primarily affects the carbohydrate fraction of soil organic matter. It can be concluded that the abundance of solid carbohydrates (O-alkyl C) is of paramount importance for the hydrocarbon mineralization under natural conditions, compared to more recalcitrant SOM fractions (mainly aromatic and alkyl C). References Mykhailova, L., Fischer, T., Iurchenko, V. (2013) Distribution and fractional composition of petroleum hydrocarbons in roadside soils. Applied and Environmental Soil Science, vol. 2013, Article ID 938703, 6 pages, DOI 10.1155/2013/938703 Mykhailova, L., Fischer, T., Iurchenko, V. (2014) Deposition of petroleum hydrocarbons with sediment trapped in snow in roadside areas. Journal of Environmental Engineering and Landscape Management 22(3):237-244, DOI 10.3846/16486897.2014.889698 Nelson P.N. and Baldock J.A. (2005) Estimating the molecular composition of a diverse range of natural organic materials from solid-state 13C NMR and elemental analyses, 2005, Biogeochemistry (2005) 72: 1-34, DOI 10.1007/s10533-004-0076-3 Zyakun, A., Nii-Annang, S., Franke, G., Fischer, T., Buegger, F., Dilly, O. (2011) Microbial Actvity and 13C/12C Ratio as Evidence of N-Hexadecane and N-Hexadecanoic Acid Biodegradation in Agricultural and Forest Soils. Geomicrobiology Journal 28:632-647, DOI 10.1080/01490451.2010.489922

  14. Increased temperature and altered summer precipitation have differential effects on biological soil crusts in a dryland ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, Shannon L.; Kuske, Cheryl R.; Carney, Travis D.; Housman, David C.; Gallegos-Graves, La Verne; Belnap, Jayne

    2012-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are common and ecologically important members of dryland ecosystems worldwide, where they stabilize soil surfaces and contribute newly fixed C and N to soils. To test the impacts of predicted climate change scenarios on biocrusts in a dryland ecosystem, the effects of a 2–3 °C increase in soil temperature and an increased frequency of smaller summer precipitation events were examined in a large, replicated field study conducted in the cold desert of the Colorado Plateau, USA. Surface soil biomass (DNA concentration), photosynthetically active cyanobacterial biomass (chlorophyll a concentration), cyanobacterial abundance (quantitative PCR assay), and bacterial community composition (16S rRNA gene sequencing) were monitored seasonally over 2 years. Soil microbial biomass and bacterial community composition were highly stratified between the 0–2 cm depth biocrusts and 5–10 cm depth soil beneath the biocrusts. The increase in temperature did not have a detectable effect on any of the measured parameters over 2 years. However, after the second summer of altered summer precipitation pattern, significant declines occurred in the surface soil biomass (avg. DNA concentration declined 38%), photosynthetic cyanobacterial biomass (avg. chlorophyll a concentration declined 78%), cyanobacterial abundance (avg. gene copies g−1 soil declined 95%), and proportion of Cyanobacteria in the biocrust bacterial community (avg. representation in sequence libraries declined 85%). Biocrusts are important contributors to soil stability, soil C and N stores, and plant performance, and the loss or reduction of biocrusts under an altered precipitation pattern associated with climate change could contribute significantly to lower soil fertility and increased erosion and dust production in dryland ecosystems at a regional scale.

  15. Physicochemical and biological quality of soil in hexavalent chromium-contaminated soils as affected by chemical and microbial remediation.

    PubMed

    Liao, Yingping; Min, Xiaobo; Yang, Zhihui; Chai, Liyuan; Zhang, Shujuan; Wang, Yangyang

    2014-01-01

    Chemical and microbial methods are the main remediation technologies for chromium-contaminated soil. These technologies have progressed rapidly in recent years; however, there is still a lack of methods for evaluating the chemical and biological quality of soil after different remediation technologies have been applied. In this paper, microbial remediation with indigenous bacteria and chemical remediation with ferrous sulphate were used for the remediation of soils contaminated with Cr(VI) at two levels (80 and 1,276 mg kg(-1)) through a column leaching experiment. After microbial remediation with indigenous bacteria, the average concentration of water-soluble Cr(VI) in the soils was reduced to less than 5.0 mg kg(-1). Soil quality was evaluated based on 11 soil properties and the fuzzy comprehensive assessment method, including fuzzy mathematics and correlative analysis. The chemical fertility quality index was improved by one grade using microbial remediation with indigenous bacteria, and the biological fertility quality index increased by at least a factor of 6. Chemical remediation with ferrous sulphate, however, resulted in lower levels of available phosphorus, dehydrogenase, catalase and polyphenol oxidase. The result showed that microbial remediation with indigenous bacteria was more effective for remedying Cr(VI)-contaminated soils with high pH value than chemical remediation with ferrous sulphate. In addition, the fuzzy comprehensive evaluation method was proven to be a useful tool for monitoring the quality change in chromium-contaminated soils. PMID:23784058

  16. BIOLOGICAL AMENDMENTS AND CROP ROTATIONS FOR MANAGING SOIL MICROBIAL COMMUNITIES AND SOILBORNE DISEASES OF POTATO

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Various biological amendments, including commercial biocontrol agents, microbial inoculants, mycorrhizae, and an aerobic compost tea (CT), were evaluated, alone and in conjunction with different crop rotations, for their efficacy in introducing beneficial microorganisms, affecting soil microbial com...

  17. ADSORPTION, MOVEMENT, AND BIOLOGICAL DEGRADATION OF LARGE CONCENTRATIONS OF SELECTED PESTICIDES IN SOILS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Because of the importance of soil in biologically reducing the quantity and retarding the rate of pollutant movement into groundwater, this laboratory study was initiated to evaluate the adsorption, mobility, and degradation of large concentrations of the pesticide atrazine, meth...

  18. NO gas loss from biologically crusted soils in Canyonlands National Park, Utah

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barger, N.N.; Belnap, J.; Ojima, D.S.; Mosier, A.

    2005-01-01

    In this study, we examined N gas loss as nitric oxide (NO) from N-fixing biologically crusted soils in Canyonlands National Park, Utah. We hypothesized that NO gas loss would increase with increasing N fixation potential of the biologically crusted soil. NO fluxes were measured from biologically crusted soils with three levels of N fixation potential (Scytonema-Nostoc-Collema spp. (dark)>Scytonema-Nostoc-Microcoleus spp. (medium)>Microcoleus spp. (light)) from soil cores and field chambers. In both cores and field chambers there was a significant effect of crust type on NO fluxes, but this was highly dependent on season. NO fluxes from field chambers increased with increasing N fixation potential of the biologically crusted soils (dark>medium>light) in the summer months, with no differences in the spring and autumn. Soil chlorophyllasis Type a content (an index of N fixation potential), percent N, and temperature explained 40% of the variability in NO fluxes from our field sites. Estimates of annual NO loss from dark and light crusts was 0.04-0.16 and 0.02-0.11-N/ha/year. Overall, NO gas loss accounts for approximately 3-7% of the N inputs via N fixation in dark and light biologically crusted soils. Land use practices have drastically altered biological soil crusts communities over the past century. Livestock grazing and intensive recreational use of public lands has resulted in a large scale conversion of dark cyanolichen crusts to light cyanobacterial crusts. As a result, changes in biologically crusted soils in arid and semi-arid regions of the western US may subsequently impact regional NO loss. ?? Springer 2005.

  19. Litchi flavonoids: isolation, identification and biological activity.

    PubMed

    Li, Jiangrong; Jiang, Yueming

    2007-01-01

    The current status of the isolation, identification, biological activity, utilization and development prospects of flavonoids found in litchi fruit pericarp (LFP) tissues is reviewed. LFP tissues account for approximately 15% by weight of the whole fresh fruit and are comprised of significant amount of flavonoids. The major flavonoids in ripe LFP include flavonols and anthocyanins. The major flavanols in the LFP are reported to be procyanidin B4, procyanidin B2 and epicatechin, while cyanindin-3-rutinside, cyanidin-3-glucoside, quercetin-3-rutinosde and quercetin-3-glucoside are identified as the important anthocyanins. Litchi flavanols and anthocyanins exhibit good potential antioxidant activity. The hydroxyl radical and superoxide anion scavenging activities of procyanidin B2 are greater than those of procyanidin B4 and epicatechin, while epicatechin has the highest alpha,alpha-diphenyl-beta-picrylhydrazyl radical (DPPH*) scavenging activity. In addition to the antioxidant activity, LFP extract displays a dose- and time-dependent inhibitory effect on human breast cancer, which could be attributed, in part, to its inhibition of proliferation and induction of apoptosis in cancer cells through upregulation and down-regulation of multiple genes. Furthermore, various anticancer activities are observed for epicatechin, procyanidin B2, procyanidin B4 and the ethyl acetate fraction of LFP tissue extracts. Procyanidin B4 and the ethyl acetate fraction show a stronger inhibitory effect on HELF than MCF-7 proliferation, while epicatechin and procyanidin B2 have lower cytotoxicities towards MCF-7 and HELF than paclitaxel. It is therefore suggested that flavonoids from LFP might be potentially useful components for functional foods and/or anti-breast cancer drugs. PMID:17851427

  20. Biological activity of ruthenium nitrosyl complexes.

    PubMed

    Tfouni, Elia; Truzzi, Daniela Ramos; Tavares, Aline; Gomes, Anderson Jesus; Figueiredo, Leonardo Elias; Franco, Douglas Wagner

    2012-01-01

    Nitric oxide plays an important role in various biological processes, such as neurotransmission, blood pressure control, immunological responses, and antioxidant action. The control of its local concentration, which is crucial for obtaining the desired effect, can be achieved with exogenous NO-carriers. Coordination compounds, in particular ruthenium(III) and (II) amines, are good NO-captors and -deliverers. The chemical and photochemical properties of several ruthenium amine complexes as NO-carriers in vitro and in vivo have been reviewed. These nitrosyl complexes can stimulate mice hippocampus slices, promote the lowering of blood pressure in several in vitro and in vivo models, and control Trypanosoma cruzi and Leishmania major infections, and they are also effective against tumor cells in different models of cancer. These complexes can be activated chemically or photochemically, and the observed biological effects can be attributed to the presence of NO in the compound. Their efficiencies are explained on the basis of the [Ru(II)NO(+)](3+)/[Ru(II)NO(0)](2+) reduction potential, the specific rate constant for NO liberation from the [RuNO](2+) moiety, and the quantum yield of NO release. PMID:22178685

  1. Soil enzyme activities as affected by anthropogenic alterations: intensive agricultural practices and organic pollution.

    PubMed

    Gianfreda, Liliana; Antonietta Rao, Maria; Piotrowska, Anna; Palumbo, Giuseppe; Colombo, Claudio

    2005-04-01

    The activity of a range of enzymes related to the cycling of the main biologically important nutrients C, N, P and S was investigated in cultivated and non-cultivated soils from various parts of Europe. Two agricultural sites from North Italy under continuous corn (Zea mays L.) with and without organic fertilization were compared. Two other agricultural sites from South Italy under hazel (Corylus avellana L.) never flooded or repeatedly flooded over by uncontrolled urban and industrial wastes were investigated. The non-cultivated soils were from Middle and South Europe with different pollution history such as no-pollution and pollution with organic contaminants, which is phenanthrene and other polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Agricultural soils showed significant differences in some of physical-chemical properties (i.e. organic C, total and labile phosphate contents, available Ca and Mg) between the two sites studied. Enzyme activities of hazel sites periodically flooded by wastes were mainly higher than in the hazel sites never flooded. Sites under many years of continuous corn showed dehydrogenase, invertase, arylsulphatase and beta-glucosidase activities generally lower than the soils under hazel either flooded or not by wastes. As compared to agricultural soils, non-cultivated soils heavily or moderately polluted by organic contaminants displayed much lower values or complete absence of enzymatic activities. Dissimilar, contradictory correlations between soil enzyme activities and the majority of soil properties were observed separately in the two groups of soils. When the whole set of enzyme activities and soil properties were considered, all significant correlations found separately for the groups of soils were lost. The overall results seem to confirm that no direct cause-effect relationships can be derived between the changes of a soil in response to a given factor and both the variations of the activity and the behaviour of the enzymes in soil

  2. Effect of activated carbon on microbial bioavailability of phenanthrene in soils

    SciTech Connect

    Yang, Y.; Hunter, W.; Tao, S.; Crowley, D.; Gan, J.

    2009-11-15

    Bioavailability is a governing factor that controls the rate of biological degradation of hydrophobic organic contaminants in soil. Among the solid phases that can adsorb hydrophobic organic contaminants in soil, black carbon (BC) exerts a particularly significant effect on phase distribution. However, knowledge on the effect of BC on the microbial availability of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in soil is still limited. In the present study, the effect of a coal-derived activated carbon on the bioavailability of phenanthrene (PHE) during its degradation by Mycobacterium vanbaalenii PYR-1 was measured in three soils. The freely dissolved concentration of PHE was concurrently determined in soil solutions using disposable polydimethylsiloxane fibers. The results showed that PHE mineralization was significantly inhibited after addition of activated carbon in all test soils. After 216 h, only 5.20, 5.83, and 6.85% of PHE was degraded in the 0.5% BC-amended soils initially containing organic carbon at 0.23, 2.1, and 7.1%, respectively. Significant correlation was found between PHE degradability and freely dissolved concentration, suggesting that BC affected PHE bioavailability by decreasing chemical activity. The effect of activated carbon in the amended soils was attributed to its enhancement of soil surface areas and pore volumes. Results from the present study clearly highlighted the importance of BC for influencing the microbial availability of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in soils.

  3. Biologically Active and Antimicrobial Peptides from Plants

    PubMed Central

    Salas, Carlos E.; Badillo-Corona, Jesus A.; Ramírez-Sotelo, Guadalupe; Oliver-Salvador, Carmen

    2015-01-01

    Bioactive peptides are part of an innate response elicited by most living forms. In plants, they are produced ubiquitously in roots, seeds, flowers, stems, and leaves, highlighting their physiological importance. While most of the bioactive peptides produced in plants possess microbicide properties, there is evidence that they are also involved in cellular signaling. Structurally, there is an overall similarity when comparing them with those derived from animal or insect sources. The biological action of bioactive peptides initiates with the binding to the target membrane followed in most cases by membrane permeabilization and rupture. Here we present an overview of what is currently known about bioactive peptides from plants, focusing on their antimicrobial activity and their role in the plant signaling network and offering perspectives on their potential application. PMID:25815307

  4. Soil Biological Engineering to Enhance your Bottom Line

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Despite the importance of soil to all life on Earth, soil is the not-well-understood ‘big black box’. Therefore, the next revolution in agriculture needs not to be a green revolution or an iron (i.e. equipment) revolution; it needs to be a brown revolution. In this brown revolution, the root of th...

  5. Soil Biological Parameters Influenced By Cocoa Management Systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cropping systems have a profound influence on the soil micro-fauna and they are responsible for nutrient cycling, and add stability to the soil. At Tarapoto, Peru, two field experiments were established on acidic medium fertility Alfisol to assess the influence of management systems on cacao rhizosp...

  6. [Nonequilibrium state of electrochemically activated water and its biological activity].

    PubMed

    Petrushanko, I Iu; Lobyshev, V I

    2001-01-01

    Changes in the physicochemical parameters (pH, redox potential and electroconductivity) of catholyte and anolyte produced by membrane electrolysis of distilled water and dilute (c < 10(-3) M) sodium chloride solutions were studied. The relaxation of these parameters after electrolysis and the influence of catholyte and anolyte on the growth of roots of Tradescantia viridis grafts, the development of duckweed, and the motive activity of infusoria Spirostomum ambiguum were investigated. It was found that the anolyte of distilled water stimulated development of these biological objects. The direction of shift of physicochemical parameters of catholyte and anolyte from equilibrium values and the type of their biological activity (stimulation or inhibition) depend on salt concentration in initial solution. Barbotage of initial distilled water with argon or nitrogen leads to a greater decrease in the redox potential of catholyte during electrolysis. The physicochemical parameters relax to equilibrium values, and the biological activity of catholite and anolyte decreases with time and practically disappears by the end of the day. It was found that the oxidation of reducing agent by atmospheric oxygen is not the sole cause of the relaxation of catalyte redox potential. The increase in the ionic strength of catholite and anolyte by the addition of concentrated sodium chloride after electrolysis decreases the rate of redox potential relaxation several times. The redox potential can be maintained for long periods by freezing. PMID:11449536

  7. Soil CO2 constrain and distinction of root respiration and microbial activity by soil CO2 and CH4 profile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ji, S.; Breecker, D.; Nie, J.

    2015-12-01

    Profiles of soil pore space CO2 and CH4 concentrations are rarely reported, especially from the same soils, yet are important for a number of applications. First, quantifying the component of respired CO2 in the soil pore spaces improves paleosol-based paleo-atmospheric CO2 estimates. Second, profiles can be used to estimate the average depth of biological activity (e.g. respiration and CH4 oxidation). Third, CH4 profiles, by identifying microbial activity, may help distinguish root/rhizosphere respiration from microbial decomposition. Here, we report soil CO2 and CH4 profiles measured at the Semi-Arid Climate Observatory and Laboratory (SACOL) on the Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP) at Lanzhou University, Gansu, China. Soil parent material on the site is mainly Quaternary aeolian loess and classifies as an Entisol. Soil respired CO2 (S(z) = soil CO2 - atmospheric CO2) is the most uncertain variable required to reconstruct ancient atmospheric CO2 concentrations from paleosol carbonates. Our direct soil pore space CO2 measurements show that S(z) values varied from ~100ppmV during the spring to ~2200ppmV during the summer. S(z) average 390 ± 30ppmV during May before the summer monsoon begins when soil temperature is increasing, soil water content is at a minimum and pedogenic carbonate may be forming. This value lies in the range of S(z) values previously estimated for surface Inceptisols (300 ± 100ppmV, Breecker 2013) and is lower than Pleistocene CLP paleosols (Da et al.,2015) in similar parent material. Our direct measurements of soil pore space CO2 thus support these previous independent S(z) estimates. We also investigate the average depth of CH4 oxidation and soil respiration, which range from 3-10cm and at least 20cm, respectively, using the shapes of soil gas profiles. Fitting observed soil CO2 and CH4 profiles with a production-diffusion model show that the average depth of CH4 oxidation was always at least 10 cm shallower than the average depth of respiration

  8. Revisiting classic water erosion models in drylands: The strong impact of biological soil crusts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bowker, M.A.; Belnap, J.; Bala, Chaudhary V.; Johnson, N.C.

    2008-01-01

    Soil erosion and subsequent degradation has been a contributor to societal collapse in the past and is one of the major expressions of desertification in arid regions. The revised universal soil loss equation (RUSLE) models soil lost to water erosion as a function of climate erosivity (the degree to which rainfall can result in erosion), topography, soil erodibility, and land use/management. The soil erodibility factor (K) is primarily based upon inherent soil properties (those which change slowly or not at all) such as soil texture and organic matter content, while the cover/management factor (C) is based on several parameters including biological soil crust (BSC) cover. We examined the effect of two more precise indicators of BSC development, chlorophyll a and exopolysaccharides (EPS), upon soil stability, which is closely inversely related to soil loss in an erosion event. To examine the relative influence of these elements of the C factor to the K factor, we conducted our investigation across eight strongly differing soils in the 0.8 million ha Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. We found that within every soil group, chlorophyll a was a moderate to excellent predictor of soil stability (R2 = 0.21-0.75), and consistently better than EPS. Using a simple structural equation model, we explained over half of the variance in soil stability and determined that the direct effect of chlorophyll a was 3?? more important than soil group in determining soil stability. Our results suggest that, holding the intensity of erosive forces constant, the acceleration or reduction of soil erosion in arid landscapes will primarily be an outcome of management practices. This is because the factor which is most influential to soil erosion, BSC development, is also among the most manageable, implying that water erosion in drylands has a solution. ?? 2008 Elsevier Ltd.

  9. The Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) applications activity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission is one of the first-tier satellite missions recommended by the U.S. National Research Council Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space. The SMAP mission 1 is under development by NASA and is scheduled for launch late in 2014. The SMAP mea...

  10. Daily dynamics of cellulase activity in arable soils depending on management practices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lavrent'eva, E. V.; Semenov, A. M.; Zelenev, V. V.; Chzhun, Yu.; Semenova, E. V.; Semenov, V. M.; Namsaraev, B. B.; van Bruggen, A. H. C.

    2009-08-01

    The daily dynamics of cellulase activity was studied during 27 days by the cellophane membrane method on soils managed using the conventional high-input farming system (application of mineral fertilizers and pesticides) and the biological conservation farming system (application of organic fertilizers alone) in a microfield experiment. The regular oscillatory dynamics of the cellulase activity were revealed and confirmed by the harmonic (Fourier) analysis. The oscillatory dynamics of the cellulase activity had a self-oscillatory nature and was not directly caused by the disturbing impacts of both the uncontrolled (natural) changes in the temperature and moisture (rainfall) and the controlled ones (the application of different fertilizers). The disturbing impacts affected the oscillation amplitude of the cellulase activity but not the frequency (periods) of the oscillations. The periodic oscillations of the cellulase activity were more significant in the soil under the high-input management compared to the soil under the biological farming system.