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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 degradation effect on biological activity in Mediterranean calcareous soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roca-Pérez, L.; Alcover-Sáez, S.; Mormeneo, S.; Boluda, R.

    2009-04-01

    Soil degradation processes include erosion, organic matter decline, compaction, salinization, landslides, contamination, sealing and biodiversity decline. In the Mediterranean region the climatological and lithological conditions, together with relief on the landscape and anthropological activity are responsible for increasing desertification process. It is therefore considered to be extreme importance to be able to measure soil degradation quantitatively. We studied soil characteristics, microbiological and biochemical parameters in different calcareous soil sequences from Valencia Community (Easter Spain), in an attempt to assess the suitability of the parameters measured to reflect the state of soil degradation and the possibility of using the parameters to assess microbiological decline and soil quality. For this purpose, forest, scrubland and agricultural soil in three soil sequences were sampled in different areas. Several sensors of the soil biochemistry and microbiology related with total organic carbon, microbial biomass carbon, soil respiration, microorganism number and enzyme activities were determined. The results show that, except microorganism number, these parameters are good indicators of a soil biological activity and soil quality. The best enzymatic activities to use like indicators were phosphatases, esterases, amino-peptidases. Thus, the enzymes test can be used as indicators of soil degradation when this degradation is related with organic matter losses. There was a statistically significant difference in cumulative O2 uptake and extracellular enzymes among the soils with different degree of degradation. We would like to thank Spanish government-MICINN for funding and support (MICINN, project CGL2006-09776).

  3. 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

  4. Soil biological activity as affected by tillage intensity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gajda, A.; Przewłoka, B.

    2012-02-01

    The effect of tillage intensity on changes of microbiological activity and content of particulate organic matter in soil under winter wheat duirng 3 years was studied. Microbial response related to the tillage-induced changes in soil determined on the content of biomass C and N, the rate of CO2 evolution, B/F ratio, the activity of dehydrogenases, acid and alkaline phosphatases, soil C/N ratio and microbial biomass C/N ratio confirmed the high sensitivity of soil microbial populations to the tillage system applied. After three year studies, the direct sowing system enhanced the increase of labile fraction of organic matter content in soil. There were no significant changes in the labile fraction quantity observed in soil under conventional tillage. Similar response related to the tillage intensity was observed in particulate organic matter quantities expressed as a percentage of total organic matter in soil. A high correlation coefficients calculated between contents of soil microbial biomass C and N, particulate organic matter and potentially mineralizable N, and the obtained yields of winter wheat grown on experimental fields indicated on a high importance of biological quality of status of soil for agricultural crop production.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  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. 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.

  10. Biological activity and biodegradation of organic matter in sandy peat soils

    SciTech Connect

    Zimenko, T.G.; Bambalov, N.N.; Belkovskii, V.I.; Gavrilkina, N V.

    1986-11-01

    Various techniques for sandy reclaimed peat soils act differently on the microbiochemical processes responsible for peat biodegradation. Mixing the upper layer of peat with sand increases its biogenicity and intensifies biodegradation. These processes are greatly inhibited by creating a mineral screen (sand without mixing) on the surface of the peat soil. Deep reclamational tilling of thin peatbogs, which produces from the underlying mineral substrate a thicker (20-25 cm) organic-mineral plowed layer, ensures a high biological activity and fertility of the new soil. Mixing the peat layer into the soil profile by tilling promotes its preservation from rapid biodegradation.

  11. 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 density

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Impact of fungicide mancozeb at different application rates on soil microbial populations, soil biological processes, and enzyme activities in soil.

    PubMed

    Walia, Abhishek; 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.

  15. 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

  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.

  17. 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.

  18. Exoenzyme activity in contaminated soils before and after soil washing: ß-glucosidase activity as a biological indicator of soil health.

    PubMed

    Chae, Yooeun; Cui, Rongxue; Woong Kim, Shin; An, Gyeonghyeon; Jeong, Seung-Woo; An, Youn-Joo

    2017-01-01

    It is essential to remediate or amend soils contaminated with various heavy metals or pollutants so that the soils may be used again safely. Verifying that the remediated or amended soils meet soil quality standards is an important part of the process. We estimated the activity levels of eight soil exoenzymes (acid phosphatase, arylsulfatase, catalase, dehydrogenase, fluorescein diacetate hydrolase, protease, urease, and ß-glucosidase) in contaminated and remediated soils from two sites near a non-ferrous metal smelter, using colorimetric and titrimetric determination methods. Our results provided the levels of activity of soil exoenzymes that indicate soil health. Most enzymes showed lower activity levels in remediated soils than in contaminated soils, with the exception of protease and urease, which showed higher activity after remediation in some soils, perhaps due to the limited nutrients available in remediated soils. Soil exoenzymes showed significantly higher activity in soils from one of the sites than from the other, due to improper conditions at the second site, including high pH, poor nutrient levels, and a high proportion of sand in the latter soil. Principal component analysis revealed that ß-glucosidase was the best indicator of soil ecosystem health, among the enzymes evaluated. We recommend using ß-glucosidase enzyme activity as a prior indicator in estimating soil ecosystem health.

  19. 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.

  20. [Effects of biological organic fertilizer on microbial community's metabolic activity in a soil planted with chestnut (Castanea mollissima)].

    PubMed

    Chen, Lin; Gu, Jie; Hu, Ting; Gao, Hua; Chen, Zhi-Xue; Qin, Qing-Jun; Wang, Xiao-Juan

    2013-06-01

    A field experiment was conducted in Zhashui County of Shaanxi Province, Northwest China in 2011 to study the effects of biological organic fertilizer on the microbial community's metabolic activity in a soil planted with chestnut (Castanea mollissima). Three treatments were installed, i. e., control, compound fertilizer, and biological organic fertilizer. Soil samples were collected at harvest, and the metabolic activity was tested by Biolog method. In the treatment of biological organic fertilizer, the average well color development, Shannon evenness, richness, and McIntosh indices of microbial community were all significantly higher than the other two treatments. As compared with the control, applying biological organic fertilizer improved the ability of soil microbes in utilizing the carbon sources of carbohydrates and polymers, while applying compound fertilizer was in opposite. The principal component analysis demonstrated that there was an obvious difference in the soil microbial community among different treatments, mainly depending on the species of carbohydrates and amino acids.

  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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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 ...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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

  9. [Effects of applying endophytic fungi on the soil biological characteristics and enzyme activities under continuously cropped peanut].

    PubMed

    Wang, Hong-Wei; Wang, Xing-Xiang; Lü, Li-Xin; Xiao, Yi; Dai, Chuan-Chao

    2012-10-01

    A pot experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of applying endophytic fungi Phomopsis liquidambari strain B3, Phomopsis sp. strain NJ4.1, and Ceratobasidum stevensii strain B6 on the soil biological characteristics and enzyme activities under continuously cropped peanut at its different growth stages. Compared with the control, applying B3 increased the peanut yield significantly by 19.8%, and applying NJ4.1, B3 and B6 increased the peanut nodule number significantly by 20.4%, 29.3% and 27.6%, respectively. In the three treatments of applying endophytic fungi, the average population of soil bacteria and actinomycetes in the whole growth period of peanut was higher than that of the control, and the soil microbial biomass carbon was significantly greater at germination and seedling stages. The soil microbial biomass nitrogen increased at germination stage, but decreased at flowering stage. The DGGE analysis indicated that at flowering stage, the soil bacteria and fungi in treatment B3 had the largest band number and diversity. From germination stage to maturing stage, the three treatments of applying endophytic fungi had higher activities of soil invertase and catalase than the control, but less difference in soil urease activity. It was suggested that applying endophytic fungi could improve the peanut continuous cropping soil environment, and applying B3 had the best effect.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

    2015-09-23

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. Evaluation of some biological tests as parameters for microbial activities in soils. II. Field investigations.

    PubMed

    Abd-El-Malek, Y; Monib, M; Rizk, S G; Shehata, S M

    1976-01-01

    Investigations were designed to study the effect of certain factors on the microbial activities in soil. The parameters, used as an index of the microbial activities, were total bacterial counts, dehydrogenase activity, oxidation of organic carbon, and CO2 evolved/7 days. Bahteem Farm clay soil was examined for determining the effects of depth, type of fertilization, and crop rotation on the microbial activities. It appears that the microbial activities, as indicated by the tested parameters, were more pronounced in the surface 15 cm-layer than in the subsurface layer (15-30 cm). Results of all the parameters tested showed markedly higher increases with farmyard manure than with nitrogenous fertilizer and in the control, without significant differences between the latter two. Moreover, the time of sampling had no effect on the results obtained for all parameters. Different types of rotations did not exert significant variation in total bacterial counts, though more than one crop per year increased the organic carbon content of soil and mostly the dehydrogenase activity, whereas the evolution of CO2 tended to decrease. At Gabal el-Asfar Farm, the effect of irrigation with sewage effluent, for long periods, on the microbial activities of sandy soil was investigated. Sewage water stimulated the total bacteria, raised the dehydrogenase activity, the organic carbon, and the production of CO2. In North El Tahreer and Mariut Sectors, the effect of both the type and age of cultivation on the microbial activities in the calcareous soils were examined. Cultivation raised the figures of all the tested parameters progressively with time of cultivation. It was also noticed that crops exerted more beneficial effects on microbial activities than orchards, and the dehydrogenase test was the most reliable parameter to reveal this fact.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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 niche role according to

  19. Soil amendment with Pseudomonas fluorescens CHA0: lasting effects on soil biological properties in soils low in microbial biomass and activity.

    PubMed

    Fliessbach, Andreas; Winkler, Manuel; Lutz, Matthias P; Oberholzer, Hans-Rudolf; Mäder, Paul

    2009-05-01

    Pseudomonas fluorescens strains are used in agriculture as plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR). Nontarget effects of released organisms should be analyzed prior to their large-scale use, and methods should be available to sensitively detect possible changes in the environments the organism is released to. According to ecological theory, microbial communities with a greater diversity should be less susceptible to disturbance by invading organisms. Based on this principle, we laid out a pot experiment with field-derived soils different in their microbial biomass and activity due to long-term management on similar parent geological material (loess). We investigated the survival of P. fluorescens CHA0 that carried a resistance toward rifampicin and the duration of potential changes of the soil microflora caused by the inoculation with the bacterium at the sowing date of spring wheat. Soil microbial biomass (C(mic), N(mic)) basal soil respiration (BR), qCO(2), dehydrogenase activity (DHA), bacterial plate counts, mycorrhiza root colonization, and community level substrate utilization were analyzed after 18 and 60 days. At the initial stage, soils were clearly different with respect to most of the parameters measured, and a time-dependent effect between the first and the second set point were attributable to wheat growth and the influence of roots. The effect of the inoculum was small and merely transient, though significant long-term changes were found in soils with a relatively low level of microbial biomass. Community level substrate utilization as an indicator of changes in microbial community structure was mainly changed by the growth of wheat, while other experimental factors were negligible. The sensitivity of the applied methods to distinguish the experimental soils was in decreasing order N(mic), DHA, C(mic), and qCO(2). Besides the selective enumeration of P. fluorescens CHA0 rif(+), which was only found in amended soils, methods to distinguish the

  20. 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.

  1. 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).

  2. 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.

  3. Bulk soil and rhizosphere bacterial community PCR-DGGE profiles and beta-galactosidase activity as indicators of biological quality in soils contaminated by heavy metals and cultivated with Silene vulgaris (Moench) Garcke.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Iñigo, M J; Pérez-Sanz, A; Ortiz, I; Alonso, J; Alarcón, R; García, P; Lobo, M C

    2009-06-01

    The biological quality of two heavy metal contaminated soils (soil C: Typic Calcixerept, pH 8.3 and soil H: Typic Haploxeraf, pH 7.3) was investigated after growing the metal-tolerant plant Silene vulgaris (Moench) Garcke for two vegetative periods. The activity of the enzyme beta-galactosidase, which is sensitive to the presence of contaminants in soil, and the polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) profiles of 16S rRNA gene fragments of culturable bacteria from bulk soil and rhizosphere were determined. The microbial enzymatic activity was higher in planted soils than in bare soils at the contamination level of 600 mg of total heavy metals kg(-1) soil. After growing S. vulgaris, beta-galactosidase activity was almost recovered in the calcareous soil. In this soil new bands appeared in the PCR-DGGE profiles of the rhizosphere bacterial community as a response to the exposure to heavy metals.

  4. Screening and biological activities of pedopeptins, novel inhibitors of LPS produced by soil bacteria.

    PubMed

    Kozuma, Shiho; Hirota-Takahata, Yuki; Fukuda, Daisuke; Kuraya, Nahoki; Nakajima, Mutsuo; Ando, Osamu

    2014-03-01

    Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is a strong endotoxin and is delivered to the cell surface signaling receptor, Toll-like receptor 4 and MD-2 complex, via soluble cluster of differentiation (CD) 14 or membranous CD14, resulting in the induction of the inflammatory response. To obtain new compounds that block LPS binding to CD14, we designed a high-throughput screening based on time-resolved intermolecular fluorescence resonance energy transfer. This cell-free screening system successfully led to the discovery of novel inhibitors of LPS-CD14 interaction from the library of the secondary metabolites of microorganisms. We identified the novel compounds pedopeptin A, B and C from a culture broth of Pedobacter sp. SANK 72003. Pedopeptins blocked LPS binding to CD14 in vitro with IC50 values of 20, 11 and 47 nM, respectively, and also inhibited LPS binding to the cells expressing CD14, leading to the suppression of cytokine production. Moreover, they showed antimicrobial activities against Escherichia coli with minimum inhibitory concentration ranging from 2 to 4 μg ml(-1).

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Viking Biology Experiments and the Martian soil

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Banin, Amos

    1989-01-01

    The Viking Biology Experiments (VBE) are the most informative database on the wet chemistry and reactivity of the Martian soil available today. The simulation and chemical interpretation of the results have given valuable hints towards the characterization of the soils' mineralogy, adsorption properties, pH and redox. The characterization of Mars' soil on the basis of ten years of labelled release (LR) and other VBE simulations are reviewed.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. [Biological properties of lateritic red soil and their relationships with soil fertility in Southern China under different land use types].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jing; Gao, Yun-Hua; Zhang, Chi; Zhou, Bo; Li, Jing-Juan; Yang, Xiao-Xue; Xu, Huan; Dai, Jun

    2013-12-01

    Taking the lateritic red soil on a typical slopeland in Southern China as test object, this paper studied the soil microbial properties, enzyme activities, and their relationships with soil fertility under four land use types (newly cultivated dryland, shrub land, Eucalyptus land, and orchard). There existed significant differences in the soil biological properties under different land use types, among which, orchard soil had the highest microbial quantity and enzyme activities, newly cultivated dryland soil had the fastest soil respiration rate, the fewest soil microorganism quantity, and the lowest enzyme activities, whereas shrub land and woodland soils had the biological properties ranged between newly cultivated dryland and orchard soils, and there was a high similarity in the biological properties between shrub land and woodland soils. Under different land use types, the soil microbial quantity and enzyme activities were positively correlated with soil organic carbon and most of the soil nutrients. It was suggested the soils with high soil organic matter content and high fertility level were beneficial to the soil microbial growth and enzyme activities.

  13. 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.

  14. Biological soil crusts as soil stabilizers: Chapter 16

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, Jayne; Buedel, Burkhard; Weber, Bettina; Buedel, Burkhard; Belnap, Jayne

    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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. [Biological activity of Spirulina].

    PubMed

    Blinkova, L P; Gorobets, O B; Baturo, A P

    2001-01-01

    In this review information of Spirulina platensis (SP), a blue-green alga (photosynthesizing cyanobacterium) having diverse biological activity is presented. Due to high content of highly valuable proteins, indispensable amino acids, vitamins, beta-carotene and other pigments, mineral substances, indispensable fatty acids and polysaccharides, PS has been found suitable for use as bioactive additive. SP produces an immunostimulating effect by enhancing the resistance of humans, mammals, chickens and fish to infections, the capacity of influencing hemopoiesis, stimulating the production of antibodies and cytokines. Under the influence of SP macrophages, T and B cells are activated. SP sulfolipids have proved to be effective against HIV. Preparations obtained from SP biomass have also been found active against herpesvirus, cytomegalovirus, influenza virus, etc. SP extracts are capable in inhibiting cancerogenesis. SP preparations are regarded as functional products contributing to the preservation of the resident intestinal microflora, especially lactic acid bacilli and bifidobacteria, and to a decrease in the level of Candida albicans. The biological activity of SP with respect to microorganisms holds good promise for using these microalgae as components of culture media.

  19. Soil biological indicators of soil health for a national soil health assessment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil is one of our nation's most valuable resources that provides life-sustaining functions. Billions of organisms live belowground and perform critical soil processes to support plant, animal, and human health aboveground. By shifting our view of soils from an inert growing material to a biological...

  20. 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...

  1. Soil management of copper mine tailing soils--sludge amendment and tree vegetation could improve biological soil quality.

    PubMed

    Asensio, Verónica; Covelo, Emma F; Kandeler, Ellen

    2013-07-01

    Mine soils at the depleted copper mine in Touro (Northwest Spain) are physico-chemically degraded and polluted by chromium and copper. To increase the quality of these soils, some areas at this mine have been vegetated with eucalyptus or pines, amended with sludges, or received both treatments. Four sites were selected at the Touro mine tailing in order to evaluate the effect of these different reclamation treatments on the biological soil quality: (1) Control (untreated), (2) Forest (vegetated), (3) Sludge (amended with sludges) and (4) Forest+Sludge (vegetated and amended). The new approach of the present work is that we evaluated the effect of planting trees or/and amending with sludges on the biological soil quality of mine sites polluted by metals under field conditions. The addition of sludges to mine sites recovered the biological quality of the soil, while vegetating with trees did not increase microbial biomass and function to the level of unpolluted sites. Moreover, amending with sludges increased the efficiency of the soil's microbial community to metabolize C and N, which was indicated by the decrease of the specific enzyme activities and the increase in the ratio Cmic:Nmic (shift towards predominance of fungi instead of bacteria). However, the high Cu and Cr concentrations still have negative influence on the microorganisms in all the treated soils. For the future remediation of mine soils, we recommend periodically adding sludge and planting native legume species.

  2. 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.

  3. [Biological soil crust nitrogenase activity and its responses to hydro-thermic factors in different erosion regions on the Loess Plateau, China].

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

    Based on field survey, the biological soil crusts at their stable development stage were collected from the water erosion region, water-wind erosion region, and wind erosion region on the Loess Plateau, aimed to study the effects of the variations of moisture and temperature on the crusts nitrogenase activity (NA). The NA of the crusts in the erosion regions decreased in the order of water erosion region (127.7 micromol x m(-2) x h(-1)) > water-wind erosion region (34.6 micromol x m(-2) x h(-1)) > wind erosion region (6.0 micromol x m(-2) x h(-1)), and the optimal temperature for the crust nitrogen fixation was 35 degrees C, 25 degrees C, and 15 degrees C, respectively. At the optimal temperature and 100% -40% field water-holding capacity, the NA of the crusts from the water erosion and water-wind erosion regions had no significant difference. The NA of the crusts from the wind erosion region was more sensitive to the variation of moisture, showing a dramatic decline when the moisture decreased to 80% field water-holding capacity, and totally lost when the moisture decreased to 20% field water-holding capacity. The differences in the NA of the crusts from the three erosion regions and the responses of the NA to the variations of moisture and temperature were likely associated with the climate, environment, and the crust species composition.

  4. 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.

  5. [Ecological effect of hygroscopic and condensate water on biological soil crusts in Shapotou region of China].

    PubMed

    Pan, Yan-Xia; Wang, Xin-Ping; Zhang, Ya-Feng; Hu, Rui

    2013-03-01

    By the method of field experiment combined with laboratory analysis, this paper studied the ecological significance of hygroscopic and condensate water on the biological soil crusts in the vegetation sand-fixing area in Shapotou region of China. In the study area, 90% of hygroscopic and condensate water was within the 3 cm soil depth, which didn' t affect the surface soil water content. The hygroscopic and condensate water generated at night involved in the exchange process of soil surface water and atmosphere water vapor, made up the loss of soil water due to the evaporation during the day, and made the surface soil water not reduced rapidly. The amount of the generated hygroscopic and condensate water had a positive correlation with the chlorophyll content of biological soil crusts, indicating that the hygroscopic and condensate water could improve the growth activity of the biological soil crusts, and thus, benefit the biomass accumulation of the crusts.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Biological and Physico-chemical Processes of Soil Organic Matter Cycling in Diverse Soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jagadamma, S.; Mayes, M. A.; Steinweg, J. M.; Post, W. M.; Wang, G.

    2011-12-01

    Soils comprise the largest biologically active terrestrial pool of organic carbon (OC). The top meter of soil contains 1500 Pg of OC which is 3 times that present in vegetation and two times the CO2-C present in atmosphere. Current soil C models simulate soil C pool sizes and turnover rates on post-hoc basis and the mechanisms governing soil OC cycling have not been integrated in such models. Therefore the scale of applicability and accuracy of predictions of current C models are questionable. Our current efforts are focused on developing a mechanistic framework of soil C cycling processes and its linkage to global C model. As part of this effort, we seek to understand the important cycling and interactive processes of OC compounds with the soil minerals and microbial community on a global suite of soils from temperate, tropical and arctic ecosystems. The selected OC compounds are glucose, cellulose, stearic acid and vanillic acid which are representative of SOM composition that contains 5-15% sugars, 20-50% starch, 10% proteins, 20-30% lignin and 2-5% lipids. We hypothesize that physico-chemical interactions between OC compounds and soil minerals determines the biological stability and distribution of such compounds in soils. Cycling of the selected 14C-labeled OC compounds were investigated as a function of soil type, soil depth and functional components of SOM (dissolved organic carbon, DOC; particulate organic matter, POM; and mineral associated organic matter, MAOM). This presentation will consist of the results from sorption and long-term incubation experiments conducted on diverse soils by the addition of 14C-glucose. Sorption of 14C-glucose on soil minerals was determined by batch equilibration experiments of MAOM fraction at a solid-to-solution ratio of 1:60 for 8 hours. A series of initial glucose solutions containing 0-100 mg C/L unlabeled C and 4000 dpm/ml labeled C were used. Maximum sorption capacity (Qmax) and affinity coefficient (K) were determined

  12. 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,…

  13. 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...

  14. Fertilization regimes affect the soil biological characteristics of a sudangrass and ryegrass rotation system.

    PubMed

    Li, WenXi; Lu, JianWei; Li, FangBai; Wang, Yan; Lu, JunMing; Li, XiaoKun

    2011-06-01

    The sudangrass (Sorghum sudanense) and ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum L.) rotation is an intensive and new cropping system in Central China. Nutrient management practices in this rotation system may influence soil fertility, the important aspects of which are soil biological properties and quality. As sensitive soil biological properties and quality indicators, soil microbial community activity, microbial biomass, enzyme activities, soil organic matter (SOM) and total N resulting from different fertilization regimes in this rotation system were studied through a four-year field experiment from April 2005 to May 2009. Treatments included control (CK), fertilizer phosphorus and potassium (PK), fertilizer nitrogen and potassium (NK), fertilizer nitrogen and phosphorus (NP) and a fertilizer nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium combination (NPK). Soil microbial community activities in the NK, NP and NPK treatments were significantly lower than those in the CK and PK treatments after the sudangrass and ryegrass trial. The highest microbial biomass C, microbial biomass N, SOM, total N, sucrase and urease activities were found in the NPK treatment, and these soil quality indicators were significantly higher in the NK, NP and NPK treatments than in the PK and CK treatments. Soil microbial biomass and enzyme activities were positively associated with SOM in the sudangrass and ryegrass rotation system, indicating that fertilization regimes, especially N application, reduced microbial community activity in the soil. Proper fertilization regimes will increase microbial biomass, enzyme activity and SOM and improve soil fertility.

  15. 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

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. Application of MCPA herbicide on soils amended with biostimulants: short-time effects on soil biological properties.

    PubMed

    Tejada, Manuel; García-Martínez, Ana M; Gómez, Isidoro; Parrado, Juan

    2010-08-01

    In this paper we studied in the laboratory the effect of MCPA herbicide at a rate of 1.5lha(-1) (manufactures rate recommended) on biological properties of a Plagic Antrosol amended with four biostimulants (WCDS, wheat condensed distillers soluble; PA-HE, hydrolyzed poultry feathers; CGHE, carob germ enzymatic extract; and RB, rice bran extract). Seven hundred grams of soil were mixed with WCDS at a rate of 10%, CGHE at a rate of 4.7%, PA-HE at a rate of 4.3%, and RB at a rate of 4.4%, respectively, in order to applying the same amount of organic matter to the soil (16.38 g organic matter). An unamended polluted and amended non-polluted soil were used as control. For all treatments, the soil ergosterol, dehydrogenase, urease, and phosphatase activities were measured at two incubation times (0 and 60 d). The 16S rDNA-DGGE profiles in all treatments were determined at the beginning and end of the incubation period. The results indicated that at the end of the incubation period and compared with the control soil, the dehydrogenase, urease and phosphatase activities and ergosterol decreased 39.3%, 20%, 15.7% and 56.5%, respectively in the non-organic amended polluted soil. The application of organic matter to unpolluted soil increased the enzymatic activities and ergosterol. However, this stimulation was higher in the soil amended with RB, followed by PA-HE, WCDS and CGHE. The application of herbicide in organic-amended soils decreased the enzymatic activities and ergosterol content. However, this decrease was lower than for the non-amended herbicide polluted soil. Possibly the low molecular weight protein content easily assimilated by soil microorganisms and the adsorption capacity of humic substances are responsible for less inhibition of these enzyme activities and soil ergosterol. The 16S rDNA-DGGE profiles indicated that herbicide did not negatively affect soil bacterial biodiversity.

  19. Impact of an intensive management on soil biochemical and biological properties in an agricultural soil of Southern Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scotti, R.; D'Ascoli, R.; Rao, M. A.; Marzaioli, R.; Rutigliano, F. A.; Gianfreda, L.

    2009-04-01

    An intensive management of agricultural soils is widely carried out to increase vegetation productivity. Nevertheless, the large use of machineries, chemical fertilizers and pesticides can often cause, in time, a substantial decline in soil fertility by affecting soil physical and chemical properties and, in turn, growth and activity of soil microbial community. In fact, alteration in soil structure, nutrient losses and, in particular, changes in quality and quantity of soil organic matter are some of the principal soil degradation processes deriving from an intensive agricultural management that can affect, in different ways, soil biochemical and biological properties. The aim of this research was to assess the impact of intensive management on agricultural soils by measuring soil physical, chemical and biochemical/biological properties. The use of appropriate indicators as quantitative tools could allow to assess soil quality. Moreover, although soil physical and chemical properties have received great attention, soil biochemical/biological properties, such as enzyme activities and microbial biomass, functionally related properties involved in the nutrient cycles, can be considered as sensitive indicators of soil quality and health changes because, they show a faster turn over compared to soil organic matter. Our attention was focused on the Plane of Sele river (Campania region, Italy), an area characterized by an intensive agriculture and greenhouse cultures. Twenty-five farms were chosen, with the aid of regional soil map, in order to get soils with different physical and chemical properties. As common trait, the selected farms, all with greenhouse cultures, used no organic amendments but only mineral compounds to fertilize soils. Moreover, to better understand the impact of intensive agricultural practices on soil of each farm, control soils from orchards or uncultivated plots were chosen. In each farm soil samples were collected in three different plots

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Effects of biological weathering on mine soil genesis and fertility

    SciTech Connect

    Everett, C.J.

    1981-01-01

    Strip mine spoils derived from overburden rocks of the Pennsylvanian Wise Formation in Buchanan County, Virginia, commonly contain 40% less than 2 mm sized soil material. The physical and chemical properties of these soil materials are related to their rock origin. The soil materials are alkaline due to the presence of carbonates. The principal source of P in the soil materials is apatite, and the principal source of K is mica. A greenhouse experiment was conducted to determine the short-term plant availability of P and K in these soil materials. Growth of sericea lespedeza over a 60-day period was found to be limited by P availability and not to be limited by K availability. Uptake of P by servicea lespedeza from P fertilized and unfertilized soil materials was found to be correlated with NaHCO3 extractable P from pots which received the same fertilizer treatments but did not contain plants. The correlations obtained were soil material specific. A separate greenhouse experiment was conducted in order to identify the effects of biological weathering on soil material properties. Sericea lespedeza and black locust were grown on unfertilized brown sandstone soil material for one year. Soil material pH was uniformly reduced by plant action regardless of proximity to roots. The P present in the soil material, however, was not uniformly depleted. Over half of the P removed from the soil material by sericea lespedeza and black locust was P which cannot be extracted using dilute HCl-H2SO4, but can be extracted using concentrated HCl. The results of the two experiments indicate that the plant availability of P and K in the soil materials is influenced by biological weathering. Acidification of the soil material increases the availability of P present in apatite particles. Uptake of K insures that the soil solution is constantly replenished with K from mica and that mica is transformed into vermiculite.

  5. 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…

  6. 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.

  7. Nitrogen fixation in biological soil crusts from southeast Utah, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, J.

    2002-01-01

    Biological soil crusts can be the dominant source of N for arid land ecosystems. We measured potential N fixation rates biweekly for 2 years, using three types of soil crusts: (1) crusts whose directly counted cells were >98% Microcoleus vaginatus (light crusts); (2) crusts dominated by M. vaginatus, but with 20% or more of the directly counted cells represented by Nostoc commune and Scytonema myochrous (dark crusts); and (3) the soil lichen Collema sp. At all observation times, Collema had higher nitrogenase activity (NA) than dark crusts, which had higher NA than light crusts, indicating that species composition is critical when estimating N inputs. In addition, all three types of crusts generally responded in a similar fashion to climate conditions. Without precipitation within a week of collection, no NA was recorded, regardless of other conditions being favorable. Low (26??C) temperatures precluded NA, even if soils were moist. If rain or snow melt had occurred 3 or less days before collection, NA levels were highly correlated with daily average temperatures of the previous 3 days (r2=0.93 for Collema crusts; r2=0.86 for dark crusts and r2=0.83 for light crusts) for temperatures between 1??C and 26??C. If a precipitation event followed a long dry period, NA levels were lower than if collection followed a time when soils were wet for extended periods (e.g., winter). Using a combination of data from a recording weather datalogger, time-domain reflectometry, manual dry-down curves, and N fixation rates at different temperatures, annual N input from the different crust types was estimated. Annual N input from dark crusts found at relatively undisturbed sites was estimated at 9 kg ha-1 year-1. With 20% cover of the N-fixing soil lichen Collema, inputs are estimated at 13 kg ha-1 year-1. N input from light crusts, generally indicating soil surface disturbance, was estimated at 1.4 kg ha-1 year-1. The rates in light crusts are expected to be highly variable, as

  8. Effects of transgenic Bt cotton on soil fertility and biology under field conditions in subtropical inceptisol.

    PubMed

    Singh, Raman Jeet; Ahlawat, I P S; Singh, Surender

    2013-01-01

    Although there is large-scale adoption of Bt cotton by the farmers because of immediate financial gain, there is concern that Bt crops release Bt toxins into the soil environment which reduces soil chemical and biological activities. However, the majorities of such studies were mainly performed under pot experiments, relatively little research has examined the direct and indirect effects of associated cover crop of peanut with fertilization by combined application of organic and inorganic sources of nitrogen under field conditions. We compared soil chemical and biological parameters of Bt cotton with pure crop of peanut to arrive on a valid conclusion. Significantly higher dehydrogenase enzyme activity and KMnO(4)-N content of soil were observed in Bt cotton with cover crop of peanut over pure Bt cotton followed by pure peanut at all the crop growth stages. However, higher microbial population was maintained by pure peanut over intercropped Bt cotton, but these differences were related to the presence of high amount of KMnO(4)-N content of soil. By growing cover crop of peanut between Bt cotton rows, bacteria, fungi, and actinomycetes population increased by 60%, 14%, and 10%, respectively, over Bt cotton alone. Bt cotton fertilized by combined application of urea and farm yard manure (FYM) maintained higher dehydrogenase enzyme activity, KMnO(4)-N content of soil and microbial population over urea alone. Significant positive correlations were observed for dry matter accumulation, dehydrogenase enzyme activity, KMnO(4)-N content, and microbial population of soil of Bt cotton, which indicates no harmful effects of Bt cotton on soil biological parameters and associated cover crop. Our results suggest that inclusion of cover crop of peanut and FYM in Bt cotton enhanced soil chemical and biological parameters which can mask any negative effect of the Bt toxin on microbial activity and thus on enzymatic activities.

  9. 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.

  10. Diverse biological activities of dandelion.

    PubMed

    González-Castejón, Marta; Visioli, Francesco; Rodriguez-Casado, Arantxa

    2012-09-01

    Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale Weber) is a member of the Asteraceae (Compositae) family, native to Europe but widely distributed in the warmer temperate zones of the Northern Hemisphere. Dandelion and its parts are habitually consumed as plant foods in several areas of the world, where they are also employed in phytotherapy. Indeed, dandelion contains a wide array of phytochemicals whose biological activities are actively being explored in various areas of human health. In particular, emerging evidence suggests that dandelion and its constituents have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities that result in diverse biological effects. The present review provides a comprehensive analysis of the constituents of dandelion, an assessment of the pharmacological properties of dandelion, and a description of relevant studies that support the use of dandelion as a medicinal plant.

  11. 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

  12. The influence of carbonates in parent rocks on the biological properties of mountain soils of the Northwest Caucasus region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kazeev, K. Sh.; Kutrovskii, M. A.; Dadenko, E. V.; Vezdeneeva, L. S.; Kolesnikov, S. I.; Val'kov, V. F.

    2012-03-01

    The biological activity of different subtypes of soddy-calcareous soils (rendzinas) of the Northwest Caucasus region was studied. In the Novorossiisk-Abrau-Dyurso region (dry subtropics), typical soddy-calcareous soils with the high content of carbonates predominate; in the more humid conditions of the Lagonaki Plateau (Republic of Adygeya), leached soddy-calcareous soils carbonate-free down to the parent rock are spread. The number of microarthropods, the populations of fungi and bacteria, and the enzyme activity (catalase, dehydrogenase, and invertase) testify that the biological activity of these soils significantly differs. In the typical soddy-calcareous soils of the dry subtropics, the content of carbonates does not affect the characteristics mentioned; in the more humid conditions of the West Caucasus region, the presence of carbonates in the parent rocks intensifies the biological activity of the soddy-calcareous soils.

  13. Effect of long-term application of manure and fertilizer on biological and biochemical activities in soil during crop development stages.

    PubMed

    Mandal, Asit; Patra, Ashok K; Singh, Dhyan; Swarup, Anand; Ebhin Masto, R

    2007-12-01

    A field experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of six long-term (34-year) fertilizer and farmyard manure (FYM) treatments (Control, N, NP, NPK, NPK+S, NPK+FYM) and three physiological stages of wheat growth on the microbial biomass carbon (MBC), nitrogen (MBN) and dehydrogenase, mineralizable N and phosphatase activities in soil. It was found that a balanced application of NPK+FYM gave the highest values for the measured parameters and lowest at the control. Values were generally highest at tillering, followed by the flowering and dough stages. A significant positive interaction between fertilizer treatments and physiological stages of wheat growth was observed, being highest at maximum tillering due to application of NPK+FYM. Stepwise regressions have revealed that grain yield of wheat was significantly associated with mineralizable N at tillering (R(2)=0.80), MBC at flowering (R(2)=0.90) and alkaline phosphatase activity (R(2)=0.70) at dough stages of wheat growth.

  14. Soil microbial diversity and activity linked to crop yield and quality in a dryland organic wheat production system

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    One of the primary goals of organic agriculture is increasing soil quality through the enhancement of soil biological diversity and activity. Greater soil microbial activity and diversity increase soil organic matter turnover and contribute to soil fertility, one of the main challenges associated wi...

  15. Response of soil microbial activity and biodiversity in soils polluted with different concentrations of cypermethrin insecticide.

    PubMed

    Tejada, Manuel; García, Carlos; Hernández, Teresa; Gómez, Isidoro

    2015-07-01

    We performed a laboratory study into the effect of cypermethrin insecticide applied to different concentrations on biological properties in two soils [Typic Xerofluvent (soil A) and Xerollic Calciorthid (soil B)]. Two kg of each soil were polluted with cypermethrin at a rate of 60, 300, 600, and 1,200 g ha(-1) (C1, C2, C3, and C4 treatments). A nonpolluted soil was used as a control (C0 treatment). For all treatments and each experimental soil, soil dehydrogenase, urease, β-glucosidase, phosphatase, and arylsulphatase activities and soil microbial community were analysed by phospholipid fatty acids, which were measured at six incubation times (3, 7, 15, 30, 60, and 90 days). The behavior of the enzymatic activities and microbial population were dependent on the dose of insecticide applied to the soil. Compared with the C0 treatment, in soil A, the maximum inhibition of the enzymatic activities was at 15, 30, 45, and 90 days for the C1, C2, C3, and C4 treatments, respectively. However, in soil B, the maximum inhibition occurred at 7, 15, 30, and 45 days for the C1, C2, C3, and C4 treatments, respectively. These results suggest that the cypermethrin insecticide caused a negative effect on soil enzymatic activities and microbial diversity. This negative impact was greater when a greater dose of insecticide was used; this impact was also greater in soil with lower organic matter content. For both soils, and from these respective days onward, the enzymatic activities and microbial populations progressively increased by the end of the experimental period. This is possibly due to the fact that the insecticide or its breakdown products and killed microbial cells, subsequently killed by the insecticide, are being used as a source of energy or as a carbon source for the surviving microorganisms for cell proliferation.

  16. 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)

  17. Diversity and activity of denitrifiers of chilean arid soil ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Orlando, Julieta; Carú, Margarita; Pommerenke, Bianca; Braker, Gesche

    2012-01-01

    The Chilean sclerophyllous matorral is a Mediterranean semiarid ecosystem affected by erosion, with low soil fertility, and limited by nitrogen. However, limitation of resources is even more severe for desert soils such as from the Atacama Desert, one of the most extreme arid deserts on Earth. Topsoil organic matter, nitrogen and moisture content were significantly higher in the semiarid soil compared to the desert soil. Although the most significant loss of biologically preferred nitrogen from terrestrial ecosystems occurs via denitrification, virtually nothing is known on the activity and composition of denitrifier communities thriving in arid soils. In this study we explored denitrifier communities from two soils with profoundly distinct edaphic factors. While denitrification activity in the desert soil was below detection limit, the semiarid soil sustained denitrification activity. To elucidate the genetic potential of the soils to sustain denitrification processes we performed community analysis of denitrifiers based on nitrite reductase (nirK and nirS) genes as functional marker genes for this physiological group. Presence of nirK-type denitrifiers in both soils was demonstrated but failure to amplify nirS from the desert soil suggests very low abundance of nirS-type denitrifiers shedding light on the lack of denitrification activity. Phylogenetic analysis showed a very low diversity of nirK with only three distinct genotypes in the desert soil which conditions presumably exert a high selection pressure. While nirK diversity was also limited to only few, albeit distinct genotypes, the semiarid matorral soil showed a surprisingly broad genetic variability of the nirS gene. The Chilean matorral is a shrub land plant community which form vegetational patches stabilizing the soil and increasing its nitrogen and carbon content. These islands of fertility may sustain the development and activity of the overall microbial community and of denitrifiers in particular.

  18. Diversity and Activity of Denitrifiers of Chilean Arid Soil Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Orlando, Julieta; Carú, Margarita; Pommerenke, Bianca; Braker, Gesche

    2012-01-01

    The Chilean sclerophyllous matorral is a Mediterranean semiarid ecosystem affected by erosion, with low soil fertility, and limited by nitrogen. However, limitation of resources is even more severe for desert soils such as from the Atacama Desert, one of the most extreme arid deserts on Earth. Topsoil organic matter, nitrogen and moisture content were significantly higher in the semiarid soil compared to the desert soil. Although the most significant loss of biologically preferred nitrogen from terrestrial ecosystems occurs via denitrification, virtually nothing is known on the activity and composition of denitrifier communities thriving in arid soils. In this study we explored denitrifier communities from two soils with profoundly distinct edaphic factors. While denitrification activity in the desert soil was below detection limit, the semiarid soil sustained denitrification activity. To elucidate the genetic potential of the soils to sustain denitrification processes we performed community analysis of denitrifiers based on nitrite reductase (nirK and nirS) genes as functional marker genes for this physiological group. Presence of nirK-type denitrifiers in both soils was demonstrated but failure to amplify nirS from the desert soil suggests very low abundance of nirS-type denitrifiers shedding light on the lack of denitrification activity. Phylogenetic analysis showed a very low diversity of nirK with only three distinct genotypes in the desert soil which conditions presumably exert a high selection pressure. While nirK diversity was also limited to only few, albeit distinct genotypes, the semiarid matorral soil showed a surprisingly broad genetic variability of the nirS gene. The Chilean matorral is a shrub land plant community which form vegetational patches stabilizing the soil and increasing its nitrogen and carbon content. These islands of fertility may sustain the development and activity of the overall microbial community and of denitrifiers in particular

  19. Humic acid toxicity in biologically treated soil contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and pentachlorophenol.

    PubMed

    Nieman, J K C; Sims, R C; Sorensen, D L; McLean, J E

    2005-10-01

    Contaminated soil from a land treatment unit at the Libby Groundwater Superfund Site in Libby, MT, was amended with 14C pyrene and incubated for 396 days to promote biodegradation and the formation of soil-associated bound residues. Humic and fulvic acids were extracted from the treated soil microcosms and analyzed for the presence of pyrene residues. Biologic activity promoted 14C association with the fulvic acid fraction, but humic acid-associated 14C did not increase with biologic activity. The Aboatox flash toxicity assay was used to assess the toxicity of humic and fulvic acid fractions. The fulvic acid gave no toxic response, but the humic acid showed significant toxicity. The observed toxicity was likely associated with pentachlorophenol, a known contaminant of the soil that was removed by solvent extraction of the humic acid and that correlated well with toxicity reduction.

  20. Untangling the biological contributions to soil stability in semiarid shrublands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chaudhary, V. Bala; Bowker, Matthew A.; O'Dell, Thomas E.; Grace, James B.; Redman, Andrea E.; Rillig, Matthias C.; Johnson, Nancy C.

    2009-01-01

    Communities of plants, biological soil crusts (BSCs), and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are known to influence soil stability individually, but their relative contributions, interactions, and combined effects are not well understood, particularly in arid and semiarid ecosystems. In a landscape-scale field study we quantified plant, BSC, and AM fungal communities at 216 locations along a gradient of soil stability levels in southern Utah, USA. We used multivariate modeling to examine the relative influences of plants, BSCs, and AM fungi on surface and subsurface stability in a semiarid shrubland landscape. Models were found to be congruent with the data and explained 35% of the variation in surface stability and 54% of the variation in subsurface stability. The results support several tentative conclusions. While BSCs, plants, and AM fungi all contribute to surface stability, only plants and AM fungi contribute to subsurface stability. In both surface and subsurface models, the strongest contributions to soil stability are made by biological components of the system. Biological soil crust cover was found to have the strongest direct effect on surface soil stability (0.60; controlling for other factors). Surprisingly, AM fungi appeared to influence surface soil stability (0.37), even though they are not generally considered to exist in the top few millimeters of the soil. In the subsurface model, plant cover appeared to have the strongest direct influence on soil stability (0.42); in both models, results indicate that plant cover influences soil stability both directly (controlling for other factors) and indirectly through influences on other organisms. Soil organic matter was not found to have a direct contribution to surface or subsurface stability in this system. The relative influence of AM fungi on soil stability in these semiarid shrublands was similar to that reported for a mesic tallgrass prairie. Estimates of effects that BSCs, plants, and AM fungi have

  1. 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

  2. Biological and abiotic losses of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from soils freshly amended with sewage sludge

    SciTech Connect

    Wild, S.R.; Jones, K.C. )

    1993-01-01

    Sewage sludge containing typical indigenous concentrations of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) was applied to several different soils in glass microcosms. Biologically active and sterilized soils were monitored for PAH content over a period of approximately 205 d. Agricultural soils with and without previous exposure to sewage sludge were tested, together with a forest soil and a soil from a major roadside. Loss of PAHs from a soil spike with a PAH standard solution was also investigated. Results indicate the PAH compounds with less than four benzene rings are susceptible to abiotic loss processes. However, losses by these mechanisms were insignificant for compounds with four or more benzene rings. Half-lives for the sludge-applied PAHs were derived and indicated a strong dependence of persistence on chemical structure. Half-lives for phenanthrene and benzo[ghi]perylene were between 83 and 193 d and 282 and 535 d, respectively. Mean half-lives correlate directly with log K[sub ow] and inversely with log water solubility. Behavior of PAHs was different in each soil, probably due to different soil characteristics and history of PAH exposure. The soil spiked with PAHs provided the lowest half-life values for most PAH compounds, suggesting a higher susceptibility of spiked PAHs to both abiotic and biological degradation.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Biological activation of carbon filters.

    PubMed

    Seredyńska-Sobecka, Bozena; Tomaszewska, Maria; Janus, Magdalena; Morawski, Antoni W

    2006-01-01

    To prepare biological activated carbon (BAC), raw surface water was circulated through granular activated carbon (GAC) beds. Biological activity of carbon filters was initiated after about 6 months of filter operation and was confirmed by two methods: measurement of the amount of biomass attached to the carbon and by the fluorescein diacetate (FDA) test. The effect of carbon pre-washing on WG-12 carbon properties was also studied. For this purpose, the nitrogen adsorption isotherms at 77K and Fourier transform-infrared (FT-IR) spectra analyses were performed. Moreover, iodine number, decolorizing power and adsorption properties of carbon in relation to phenol were studied. Analysis of the results revealed that after WG-12 carbon pre-washing its BET surface increased a little, the pH value of the carbon water extract decreased from 11.0 to 9.4, decolorizing power remained at the same level, and the iodine number and phenol adsorption rate increased. In preliminary studies of the ozonation-biofiltration process, a model phenol solution with concentration of approximately 10mg/l was applied. During the ozonation process a dose of 1.64 mg O(3)/mg TOC (total organic carbon) was employed and the contact time was 5 min. Four empty bed contact times (EBCTs) in the range of 2.4-24.0 min were used in the biofiltration experiment. The effectiveness of purification was measured by the following parameters: chemical oxygen demand (COD(Mn)), TOC, phenol concentration and UV(254)-absorbance. The parameters were found to decrease with EBCT.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. [Responses of soil enzyme activities to re-vegetation in gully Loess Plateau of Northwest China].

    PubMed

    Li, Lin-Hai; Qiu, Li-Ping; Meng, Meng

    2012-12-01

    In combining field investigation with laboratory analysis, this paper studied the distribution characteristics of soil enzyme activities along the soil profiles and natural slopes with different re-vegetation treatments in gully Loess Plateau, aimed to assess the responses of the soil enzyme activities to re-vegetation. In the study area, the activities of soil urease, invertase and alkaline phosphatase along natural slopes were highly varied, but the activity of soil catalase was in adverse. The profile distribution of the soil enzyme activities varied significantly with vegetation type, and with increasing soil depth, the activities of soil urease, invertase and alkaline phosphatase decreased while the catalase activity increased. There existed significant positive correlation among the three hydrolases activities. The activities of the three hydrolases were all significantly negatively correlated with soil physical properties and positively correlated with soil chemical properties, while the soil catalase activity was positively correlated with soil moisture content and pH and negatively correlated with other soil physiochemical properties. It was suggested that the activities of soil urease, invertase and alkaline phosphatase in gully Loess Plateau could be used as the sensitive indicators for the soil responses to the re-vegetation in the Plateau, and re-vegetation could improve the biological properties in both surface and deeper soil layers.

  12. Synthesis on biological soil crust research

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Weber, Bettina; Belnap, Jayne; Buedel, Burkhard

    2016-01-01

    In this closing chapter, we summarize the advances in biocrust research made during the last 1.5 decades. In the first part of the chapter, we discuss how in some research fields, such as the microbial diversity of fungi, bacteria, and microfauna; the interaction between biocrusts and vascular plants; and in the rehabilitation of biocrusts; particularly large achievements have been made. In other fields, previously established knowledge of overall patterns has been corroborated and refined by additional studies, e.g., in the fields of soil stabilization and disturbance effects. In the second part of the chapter, we outline the research gaps and challenges foreseen by us. We identify multiple knowledge gaps, including many understudied geographic regions, the largely missing link between genetic and morphological species identification data, and the answers to some mechanistic questions, such as the overall role of biocrusts in hydrology and nutrient cycles. With some ideas on promising new research questions and approaches we close this chapter and the overall book.

  13. 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.

  14. Quantitative assessment on soil enzyme activities of heavy metal contaminated soils with various soil properties.

    PubMed

    Xian, Yu; Wang, Meie; Chen, Weiping

    2015-11-01

    Soil enzyme activities are greatly influenced by soil properties and could be significant indicators of heavy metal toxicity in soil for bioavailability assessment. Two groups of experiments were conducted to determine the joint effects of heavy metals and soil properties on soil enzyme activities. Results showed that arylsulfatase was the most sensitive soil enzyme and could be used as an indicator to study the enzymatic toxicity of heavy metals under various soil properties. Soil organic matter (SOM) was the dominant factor affecting the activity of arylsulfatase in soil. A quantitative model was derived to predict the changes of arylsulfatase activity with SOM content. When the soil organic matter content was less than the critical point A (1.05% in our study), the arylsulfatase activity dropped rapidly. When the soil organic matter content was greater than the critical point A, the arylsulfatase activity gradually rose to higher levels showing that instead of harm the soil microbial activities were enhanced. The SOM content needs to be over the critical point B (2.42% in our study) to protect its microbial community from harm due to the severe Pb pollution (500mgkg(-1) in our study). The quantitative model revealed the pattern of variation of enzymatic toxicity due to heavy metals under various SOM contents. The applicability of the model under wider soil properties need to be tested. The model however may provide a methodological basis for ecological risk assessment of heavy metals in soil.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Copper activity in soil solutions of calcareous soils.

    PubMed

    Ponizovsky, Alexander A; Allen, Herbert E; Ackerman, Amanda J

    2007-01-01

    Copper partitioning was studied in seven calcareous soils at moisture content corresponding to 1.2 times the field moisture content (soil water potential 7.84 J kg(-1)). Copper retention was accompanied by the release in soil solution of Ca(2+), Mg(2+), Na(+), and H(+), and the total amount of these cations released was 0.8 to 1.09 times the amount of Cu sorbed (mol(c):mol(c)). The relationships between Cu activity and pH, and the balance of cations in soils correspond with the surface precipitation of CuCO(3) as the main mechanism of Cu retention. The values of ion activity product of surface precipitate were close for all studied soils with the average log(IAP(CuCO(3)))=-15.51. The relationship between copper activity in soil solutions and soil properties is well fit by a regression relating pCu (-log copper ion activity) with soil pH, total Cu, and carbonate content.

  18. Strigolactones: structures and biological activities.

    PubMed

    Yoneyama, Koichi; Xie, Xiaonan; Yoneyama, Kaori; Takeuchi, Yasutomo

    2009-05-01

    Strigolactones released from plant roots induce seed germination of root parasitic weeds, witchweeds (Striga spp.) and broomrapes (Orobanche spp.), and hyphal branching of symbiotic arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. In addition to these functions in the rhizosphere, strigolactones have recently been shown to be a novel class of plant hormones regulating shoot outgrowth. The natural strigolactones identified so far have the common C-D ring moiety, which is thought to be the essential structure for exhibiting biological activity. The introduction of substitutions on the A-B ring moiety of 5-deoxystrigol, the basic strigolactone, affords various strigolactones, e.g. hydroxylation on C-4, C-5 and C-9 leads to orobanchol, strigol and sorgomol respectively. Then, acetylation and probably other derivatisations of these hydroxy-strigolactones would occur. Although the C-2'-(R) stereochemistry was thought to be an important structural feature for potent germination stimulation activity, 2'-epi-strigolactones were found in root exudates of tobacco, rice, pea and other plant species, indicating that at least some plants produce both epimers.

  19. Biological Activity of Masked Endotoxin

    PubMed Central

    Schwarz, Harald; Gornicec, Jan; Neuper, Theresa; Parigiani, Maria Alejandra; Wallner, Michael; Duschl, Albert; Horejs-Hoeck, Jutta

    2017-01-01

    Low endotoxin recovery (LER) is a recently discovered phenomenon describing the inability of limulus amebocyte lysate (LAL)-based assays to detect lipopolysaccharide (LPS) because of a “masking effect” caused by chelators or detergents commonly used in buffer formulations for medical products and recombinant proteins. This study investigates the masking capacities of different buffer formulations and whether masked endotoxin is biologically active. We show that both naturally occurring endotoxin as well as control standard endotoxin can be affected by LER. Furthermore, whereas masked endotoxin cannot be detected in Factor C based assays, it is still detectable in a cell-based TLR4-NF-κB-luciferase reporter gene assay. Moreover, in primary human monocytes, masked LPS induces the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and surface activation markers even at very low concentrations. We therefore conclude that masked LPS is a potent trigger of immune responses, which emphasizes the potential danger of masked LPS, as it may pose a health threat in pharmaceutical products or compromise experimental results. PMID:28317862

  20. 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

    2015-04-07

    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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Carbondioxide exchange of biological soil crusts compared to disturbed soil / sand in semi arid areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilske, B.; Yakir, D.; Burgheimer, J.; Karnieli, A.; Zaady, E.; Kesselmeier, J.

    2003-04-01

    Sparse vegetation in semi arid and arid lands is associated with low productivity and minor contribution to biosphere-atmosphere exchange of greenhouse gases, on an area basis. Dryland ecosystems, however, cover large land areas that are continuously increasing. Two third of global population live in semi arid and arid regions and its direct impact contributes to the expansion of dryland ecosystems. Satellite images at the start of the wet season in natural dryland ecosystems clearly show significant photosynthetic activity at a time when most vascular plants are yet inactive or undeveloped, indicating a possibly neglected CO_2 sink. This can likely be assigned to the so-called biological soil crusts (BSC) that consist of poikilohydric microphytes such as cyanobacteria, lichens, green algae, and mosses, which can rapidly recover photosynthesis in response to the earliest water supply. Such non-vascular vegetation activities are an important feature of dryland ecosystems worldwide, often complementary to that of vascular plants. We report on the rates of CO_2 exchange of BSC as measured at two field sites in the northern Negev desert during six months during 2001/2002. Peak rates of net photosynthesis (1.5 - 2 μmol m-2 s-1) were in the range observed in vascular plants, but periods with low or no activities were considerable. Rates of CO_2 exchange of BSC was always compared with that of bare soil / sand. This allowed both estimating net local land surface exchange, and assessing the influence of disturbance, mainly by uncontrolled land use, of the highly vulnerable BSC ecosystems. Simultaneous measurements of spectral reflectance properties of BSC in this study aim to allow calibration of airborne remote sensing for large-scale BSC activity studies.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Biological spectra analysis: Linking biological activity profiles to molecular structure

    PubMed Central

    Fliri, Anton F.; Loging, William T.; Thadeio, Peter F.; Volkmann, Robert A.

    2005-01-01

    Establishing quantitative relationships between molecular structure and broad biological effects has been a longstanding challenge in science. Currently, no method exists for forecasting broad biological activity profiles of medicinal agents even within narrow boundaries of structurally similar molecules. Starting from the premise that biological activity results from the capacity of small organic molecules to modulate the activity of the proteome, we set out to investigate whether descriptor sets could be developed for measuring and quantifying this molecular property. Using a 1,567-compound database, we show that percent inhibition values, determined at single high drug concentration in a battery of in vitro assays representing a cross section of the proteome, provide precise molecular property descriptors that identify the structure of molecules. When broad biological activity of molecules is represented in spectra form, organic molecules can be sorted by quantifying differences between biological spectra. Unlike traditional structure–activity relationship methods, sorting of molecules by using biospectra comparisons does not require knowledge of a molecule's putative drug targets. To illustrate this finding, we selected as starting point the biological activity spectra of clotrimazole and tioconazole because their putative target, lanosterol demethylase (CYP51), was not included in the bioassay array. Spectra similarity obtained through profile similarity measurements and hierarchical clustering provided an unbiased means for establishing quantitative relationships between chemical structures and biological activity spectra. This methodology, which we have termed biological spectra analysis, provides the capability not only of sorting molecules on the basis of biospectra similarity but also of predicting simultaneous interactions of new molecules with multiple proteins. PMID:15625110

  7. 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...

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

    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.

  9. 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

  10. Microbial Nursery Production of High-Quality Biological Soil Crust Biomass for Restoration of Degraded Dryland Soils.

    PubMed

    Velasco Ayuso, Sergio; Giraldo Silva, Ana; Nelson, Corey; Barger, Nichole N; Garcia-Pichel, Ferran

    2017-02-01

    Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are slow-growing, phototroph-based microbial assemblages that develop on the topsoils of drylands. Biocrusts help maintain soil fertility and reduce erosion. Because their loss through human activities has negative ecological and environmental health consequences, biocrust restoration is of interest. Active soil inoculation with biocrust microorganisms can be an important tool in this endeavor. We present a culture-independent, two-step process to grow multispecies biocrusts in open greenhouse nursery facilities, based on the inoculation of local soils with local biocrust remnants and incubation under seminatural conditions that maintain the essence of the habitat but lessen its harshness. In each of four U.S. Southwest sites, we tested and deployed combinations of factors that maximized growth (gauged as chlorophyll a content) while minimizing microbial community shifts (assessed by 16S rRNA sequencing and bioinformatics), particularly for crust-forming cyanobacteria. Generally, doubling the frequency of natural wetting events, a 60% reduction in sunlight, and inoculation by slurry were optimal. Nutrient addition effects were site specific. In 4 months, our approach yielded crusts of high inoculum quality reared on local soil exposed to locally matched climates, acclimated to desiccation, and containing communities minimally shifted in composition from local ones. Our inoculum contained abundant crust-forming cyanobacteria and no significant numbers of allochthonous phototrophs, and it was sufficient to treat ca. 6,000 m(2) of degraded dryland soils at 1 to 5% of the typical crust biomass concentration, having started from a natural crust remnant as small as 6 to 30 cm(2) IMPORTANCE: Soil surface crusts can protect dryland soils from erosion, but they are often negatively impacted by human activities. Their degradation causes a loss of fertility, increased production of fugitive dust and intensity of dust storms with associated

  11. Biologically active proteins from natural product extracts.

    PubMed

    O'Keefe, B R

    2001-10-01

    The term "biologically active proteins" is almost redundant. All proteins produced by living creatures are, by their very nature, biologically active to some extent in their homologous species. In this review, a subset of these proteins will be discussed that are biologically active in heterologous systems. The isolation and characterization of novel proteins from natural product extracts including those derived from microorganisms, plants, insects, terrestrial vertebrates, and marine organisms will be reviewed and grouped into several distinct classes based on their biological activity and their structure.

  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.

  13. 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

  14. Combined chemical and biological treatment of oil contaminated soil.

    PubMed

    Goi, Anna; Kulik, Niina; Trapido, Marina

    2006-06-01

    Combined chemical (Fenton-like and ozonation) and biological treatment for the remediation of shale oil and transformer oil contaminated soil has been under study. Chemical treatment of shale oil and transformer oil adsorbed in peat resulted in lower contaminants' removal and required higher addition of chemicals than chemical treatment of contaminants in sand matrix. The acidic pH (3.0) conditions favoured Fenton-like oxidation of oil in soil. Nevertheless, it was concluded that remediation of contaminated soil using in situ Fenton-like treatment will be more feasible at natural soil pH. Both investigated chemical processes (Fenton-like and ozonation) allowed improving the subsequent biodegradability of oil. Moderate doses of chemical oxidants (hydrogen peroxide, ozone) should be applied in combination of chemical treatment (both, Fenton-like or ozonation) and biotreatment. For remediation of transformer oil and shale oil contaminated soil Fenton-like pre-treatment followed by biodegradation was found to be the most efficient.

  15. 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.

  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. Influence of Oil Contamination on Physical and Biological Properties of Forest Soil After Chainsaw Use.

    PubMed

    Klamerus-Iwan, Anna; Błońska, Ewa; Lasota, Jarosław; Kalandyk, Agnieszka; Waligórski, Piotr

    Forestry works using chainsaws result in up to 7 million liters of various mineral oils being soaked annually into forest soils. These substances, containing a complex mixture of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), are highly toxic. The aim of the study was to determine the effect of oil contamination with PAHs on the physical and biological properties of forest soils. The study area was located in southern Poland in the Miechów forest district. The experiment was conducted on four treatment blocks with various amounts of oil addition. The study included the determination of PAH content, dehydrogenase and urease activity, and biomass of earthworms. Physical properties were determined using the dryer method and Kopecky rings of 250 cm(3) volume. The results obtained confirmed the hypothesis that oil contamination with PAHs modified the physical properties of forest soils and oil had a negative impact on enzyme activity in soil. Enzyme activity in the studied soils was negatively correlated with PAH content. Earthworm population density reflected the contamination level of oil-contaminated soils.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. [Study on soil enzyme activities and microbial biomass carbon in greenland irrigated with reclaimed water].

    PubMed

    Pan, Neng; Hou, Zhen-An; Chen, Wei-Ping; Jiao, Wen-Tao; Peng, Chi; Liu, Wen

    2012-12-01

    The physicochemical properties of soils might be changed under the long-term reclaimed water irrigation. Its effects on soil biological activities have received great attentions. We collected surface soil samples from urban green spaces and suburban farmlands of Beijing. Soil microbial biomass carbon (SMBC), five types of soil enzyme activities (urease, alkaline phosphatase, invertase, dehydrogenase and catalase) and physicochemical indicators in soils were measured subsequently. SMBC and enzyme activities from green land soils irrigated with reclaimed water were higher than that of control treatments using drinking water, but the difference is not significant in farmland. The SMBC increased by 60.1% and 14.2% than those control treatments in 0-20 cm soil layer of green land and farmland, respectively. Compared with their respective controls, the activities of enzymes in 0-20 cm soil layer of green land and farmland were enhanced by an average of 36.7% and 7.4%, respectively. Investigation of SMBC and enzyme activities decreased with increasing of soil depth. Significantly difference was found between 0-10 cm and 10-20 cm soil layer in green land. Soil biological activities were improved with long-term reclaimed water irrigation in Beijing.

  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. [Effects of Hg on soil enzyme activity].

    PubMed

    Yang, Chun-Lu; Sun, Tie-Heng; He, Wen-Xiang; Chen, Su

    2007-03-01

    With simulation test, this paper studied the effects of Hg on the activities of urease, invertase and neutral phosphotase in four soils. The results showed that Hg inhibited soil urease and invertase activities markedly, but its inhibitory effect differed with test soils. There was a significant logarithmic correlation between the concentration of HgCl2 and the activities of these two enzymes (P < 0.05). In test soils, the ED50 of urease activity was 87.99, 5.47, 24.05 and 19.88 mg x kg(-1), and that of invertase activity was 76.68, 727.49, 236.52 and 316.59 mg x kg(-1), respectively. Urease was more sensitive than invertase to Hg contamination, while organic matter had a protective effect on soil enzymes. Soil neutral phosphatase was not sensitive to Hg contamination, except that it was significantly activated by Hg in the meadow brown soil applied with plenty of organic fertilizer.

  3. Metatranscriptomic census of active protists in soils

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  4. 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).

  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. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. [Relationships between soil nutrient contents and soil enzyme activities in Pinus massoniana stands with different ages in Three Gorges Reservoir Area].

    PubMed

    Ge, Xiao-Gai; Xiao, Wen-Fa; Zeng, Li-Xiong; Huang, Zhi-Lin; Huang, Ling-Ling; Tan, Ben-Wang

    2012-02-01

    Based on the measurements of soil nutrient contents and enzyme activities and the canonical correspondence analysis (CCA), this paper studied the relationships between soil nutrient contents and soil enzyme activities in different age Pinus massoniana stands in Three Gorges Reservoir Area. Among the test stands, mature stand had the highest contents of organic matter, total nitrogen, ammonium nitrogen, and available phosphorus in 0-20 cm soil layer, followed by middle-aged stand, and nearly-mature stand. With the increase of the stand age, soil invertase activity increased after an initial decrease, cellulase and polyphenoloxidase activities decreased gradually, while urease and peroxidase activities decreased after an initial increase. CCA analysis showed that the effects of the main soil parameters on the soil enzyme activities in the stands ranked in the sequence of total nitrogen > organic matter > pH > bulk density > ammonium nitrogen > available phosphorus. Soil invertase activity had significant positive correlations with soil organic matter, total nitrogen, and total phosphorus, while soil peroxidase activity significantly negatively correlated with soil organic matter, total nitrogen, total phosphorus, and bulk density. The soil was rich in main nutrients, invertase activity was relatively high, while peroxidase activity was relatively low. The activities of soil invertase, cellulase and peroxidase could be used as the good biological indicators in evaluating soil quality and fertility.

  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. 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

  11. 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

  12. Integrated treatment of PAH contaminated soil by soil washing, ozonation and biological treatment.

    PubMed

    Haapea, Pia; Tuhkanen, Tuula

    2006-08-21

    The aim of the study was to optimise three different treatment methods and to find out if the integration of soil washing, ozonation and biological treatment could be a feasible method for the remediation of aged oil contaminated with PAHs. Three different ozone doses and soil washing were studied in different pHs in order to assess their effect to the degradation and enhancement of biodegradability of PAH in the soil and water phase. Main target of the study was to find out a method with which the PAH concentrations could be decreased below the Finnish guideline level for total PAHs. In this case, the initial concentration of PAHs was 1200 mg kg(-1) and therefore almost 85% degradation of PAHs was required. Any of the methods studied was not able to reach this target level alone, but by several combinations of the methods studied achieved 90% reduction of PAHs. The consumption of ozone was 5-10 times lower in the integrated treatments of soil washing, ozonation and biological treatment than without prewashing.

  13. Biological reduction of uranium in groundwater and subsurface soil.

    PubMed

    Abdelouas, A; Lutze, W; Gong, W; Nuttall, E H; Strietelmeier, B A; Travis, B J

    2000-04-24

    Biological reduction of uranium is one of the techniques currently studied for in situ remediation of groundwater and subsurface soil. We investigated U(VI) reduction in groundwaters and soils of different origin to verify the presence of bacteria capable of U(VI) reduction. The groundwaters originated from mill tailings sites with U concentrations as high as 50 mg/l, and from other sites where uranium is not a contaminant, but was added in the laboratory to reach concentrations up to 11 mg/l. All waters contained nitrate and sulfate. After oxygen and nitrate reduction, U(VI) was reduced by sulfate-reducing bacteria, whose growth was stimulated by ethanol and trimetaphosphate. Uranium precipitated as hydrated uraninite (UO2 x xH2O). In the course of reduction of U(VI), Mn(IV) and Fe(III) from the soil were reduced as well. During uraninite precipitation a comparatively large mass of iron sulfides formed and served as a redox buffer. If the excess of iron sulfide is large enough, uraninite will not be oxidized by oxygenated groundwater. We show that bacteria capable of reducing U(VI) to U(IV) are ubiquitous in nature. The uranium reducers are primarily sulfate reducers and are stimulated by adding nutrients to the groundwater.

  14. 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

  15. Assessing level of development and successional stages in biological soil crusts with biological indicators.

    PubMed

    Lan, Shubin; Wu, Li; Zhang, Delu; Hu, Chunxiang

    2013-08-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) perform vital ecosystem services, but the difference in biological components or developmental level still affects the rate and type of these services. In order to differentiate crust successional stages in quantity and analyze the relationship between crust developmental level and successional stages, this work determined several biological indicators in a series of different developmental BSCs in the Shapotou region of China. The results showed that crust developmental level (level of development index) can be well indicated by crust biological indicators. Photosynthetic biomass was the most appropriate to differentiate crust successional stages, although both photosynthetic biomass and respiration intensity increased with the development and succession of BSCs. Based on of the different biological compositions, BSCs were quantificationally categorized into different successional stages including cyanobacterial crusts (lichen and moss coverages <20 %), lichen crusts (lichen coverage >20 % but moss coverage <20 %), semi-moss crusts (moss coverage >20 % but <75 %), and moss crusts (moss coverage >75 %). In addition, it was found that cyanobacterial and microalgal biomass first increased as cyanobacterial crusts formed, then decreased when lots of mosses emerged on the crust surface; however nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria and heterotrophic microbes increased in the later developmental BSCs. The structural adjustment of biological components in the different developmental BSCs may reflect the requirement of crust survival and material transition.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Emerging Patterns In The Isotopic Composition Of Soil CO2 Concentrations, Soil CO2 Production, And Soil-Atmosphere CO2 Exchange At The Watershed Scale: On The Intersection Between Hydrology And Biology In The Critical Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riveros-Iregui, D. A.; Liang, L.; Lorenzo, T. M.

    2014-12-01

    Stable isotopes are commonly used to understand how physical and biological processes mediate the exchange of carbon between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere. Numerous studies have described fundamental relationships between environmental variables, the carbon isotopic composition (δ13C) of recently assimilated sugars in plants, litter, soil carbon, or recently respired CO2. However, studies that examine the spatial variability of the 13C content of forest soils at the landscape scale are lacking. We report on measurements of the carbon isotopic composition of soil CO2 concentrations (δ13CC), soil CO2 production (δ13CP), and soil-atmosphere CO2 exchange (δ13CD) across a subalpine forest of the northern Rocky Mountains of Montana over two growing seasons. We evaluate the variability of these measurements across different landscape positions. Our analysis demonstrates that soil moisture and the lateral redistribution of soil water are strong predictors of the spatial variability of δ13CC, δ13CP, and δ13CD at the watershed scale. We suggest that there are concomitant yet independent effects of soil water on physical (i.e., soil gas diffusivity) and biological (i.e., photosynthetic activity) processes that mediate the 13C composition of forest soils. We show systematic spatial variability in the δ13C of forest soils at the landscape scale that can be useful to accurately predict and model land-atmosphere CO2 exchange over complex terrain.

  19. Smectite clays in Mars soil: evidence for their presence and role in Viking biology experimental results.

    PubMed

    Banin, A; Rishpon, J

    1979-12-01

    Various chemical, physical and geological observations indicate that smectite clays are probably the major components of the Martian soil. Satisfactory ground-based chemical simulation of the Viking biology experimental results was obtained with the smectite clays nontronite and montmorillonite when they contained iron and hydrogen as adsorbed ions. Radioactive gas was released from the medium solution used in the Viking Labeled Release (LR) experiment when interacted with the clays, at rates and quantities similar to those measured by Viking on Mars. Heating of the active clay (mixed with soluble salts) to 160 degrees C in CO2 atmosphere reduced the decomposition activity considerably, again, as was observed on Mars. The decomposition reaction in LR experiment is postulated to be iron-catalyzed formate decomposition on the clay surface. The main features of the Viking Pyrolytic Release (PR) experiment were also simulated recently (Hubbard, 1979) which the iron clays, including a relatively low '1st peak' and significant '2nd peak'. The accumulated observations on various Martian soil properties and the results of simulation experiments, thus indicate that smectite clays are major and active components of the Martian soil. It now appears that many of the results of the Viking biology experiments can be explained on the basis of their surface activity in catalysis and adsorption.

  20. Biological activity of liposomal vanillin.

    PubMed

    Castan, Leniher; Del Toro, Grisel; Fernández, Adolfo A; González, Manuel; Ortíz, Emilia; Lobo, Daliana

    2013-06-01

    This article presents a study of vanillin encapsulation inside multilamellar liposomes, with emphasis on the evaluation of antioxidant activity, the hemolytic effect, and the antisickling properties of these products. Egg phosphatidylcholine-cholesterol and egg phosphatidylcholine-cholesterol-1-O-decylglycerol liposomes were prepared by mechanical dispersion, all with vanillin included. Vesicles were characterized by determination of encapsulation efficiency and vanillin retention capacity. Antioxidant activity was determined by the 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) method. The hemolytic effect of liposomes was also evaluated by spectrophotometry, as well as the antisickling activity by the Huck test using optical microscopy. Results showed that the lipid composition of liposomes did not significantly affect the encapsulation efficiency. Stable vesicles were obtained with a high retention percentage of vanillin. Liposomes exhibited a high capture of the DPPH radical compared to free vanillin and 1-O-decylglycerol (C10) in solution. Vesicles caused no significant hemolisys in normal erythrocytes, nor in those coming from patients with sickle cell anemia. Vanillin encapsulated in liposomes retained its antisickling activity, with a greater effect for C10-containing vesicles. Our results show that vanillin encapsulation in liposomes is a way to enhance the pharmacologic properties of this molecule using a suitable vehicle.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. [Effects of heavy metals pollution on soil microbial communities metabolism and soil enzyme activities in coal mining area of Tongchuan, Shaanxi Province of Northwest China].

    PubMed

    Guo, Xing-Liang; Gu, Jie; Chen, Zhi-Xue; Gao, Hua; Qin, Qing-Jun; Sun, Wei; Zhang, Wei-Juan

    2012-03-01

    This paper studied the metabolism of soil microbes, functions of soil microbial communities, and activities of soil enzymes in a coal mining area of Tongchuan. In the coal mining area, the concentrations of soil Cu, Zn, Cd, and Pb were significantly higher than those in the non-mining area, of which, Cd contributed most to the heavy metals pollution. By adopting Biolog method combining with principal component analysis (PCA) and cluster analysis, it was found that the metabolic characteristics of different soil microbial communities varied significantly with increasing soil heavy metals pollution, and the variation was mainly manifested in the metabolic patterns of carbon sources such as saccharides and amino acids. In slightly and moderately polluted soils, the utilization of carbon sources by soil microbial communities was activated; while in heavily polluted soils, the carbon sources utilization was inhibited. The activities of soil urease, protease, alkaline phosphatase, and catalase all tended to decline with intensifying soil heavy metals pollution. The soil urease, protease, alkaline phosphatase, and catalase activities in the coal mining area were 50.5%-65.1%, 19.1%-57.1%, 87.2%-97.5%, and 77.3%-86.0% higher than those in the non-mining area, respectively. The activities of soil sucrase and cellulase were activated in slightly and moderately polluted soils, but inhibited in heavily polluted soils.

  5. Persistence of biologically active compounds in aquatic systems: Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Boelter, A.M.; Fernandez, J.D.; Meyer, J.S.; Sanchez, D.A.; Bergman, H.L.

    1986-11-01

    Waters collected from two study sites were tested for persistence of biologically active compounds as the waters percolated through experimental media. At the first site, the Paraho Lysimeter in Anvil Points, Colorado, two leachate samples (early and late flow in Spring 1983) were collected from each of four piles of processed oil shale overlain by different thicknesses of soil. Although water quality differed among samples, six of eight lysimeter leachates tested were acutely toxic to an aquatic invertebrate, Daphnia magna, and five were acutely toxic to fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas). Water collected from a modified in situ (MIS) retort was percolated through columns containing three different types of soil. Raw leachate from the MIS spent shale was acutely toxic to an aquatic invertebrate, Ceriodaphnia dubia. The toxicity of samples from nine pore volumes of retort water percolating through a column containing a sandy soil increased with successive pore volumes, but leachate toxicity never equaled the toxicity of the retort water. In contrast, the first pore volumes of retort water or reconstituted water leached through a sandy loam soil were more toxic than the retort water; however, the second pore volumes of leachates were not toxic. First pore volume leachates of retort water percolating through a sandy clay loam soil were much less toxic than the retort water; second pore volume leachates were not toxic.

  6. Soil type is the primary determinant of the composition of the total and active bacterial communities in arable soils.

    PubMed

    Girvan, Martina S; Bullimore, Juliet; Pretty, Jules N; Osborn, A Mark; Ball, Andrew S

    2003-03-01

    Degradation of agricultural land and the resulting loss of soil biodiversity and productivity are of great concern. Land-use management practices can be used to ameliorate such degradation. The soil bacterial communities at three separate arable farms in eastern England, with different farm management practices, were investigated by using a polyphasic approach combining traditional soil analyses, physiological analysis, and nucleic acid profiling. Organic farming did not necessarily result in elevated organic matter levels; instead, a strong association with increased nitrate availability was apparent. Ordination of the physiological (BIOLOG) data separated the soil bacterial communities into two clusters, determined by soil type. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analyses of 16S ribosomal DNA identified three bacterial communities largely on the basis of soil type but with discrimination for pea cropping. Five fields from geographically distinct soils, with different cropping regimens, produced highly similar profiles. The active communities (16S rRNA) were further discriminated by farm location and, to some degree, by land-use practices. The results of this investigation indicated that soil type was the key factor determining bacterial community composition in these arable soils. Leguminous crops on particular soil types had a positive effect upon organic matter levels and resulted in small changes in the active bacterial population. The active population was therefore more indicative of short-term management changes.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Marine Pyridoacridine Alkaloids: Biosynthesis and Biological Activities.

    PubMed

    Ibrahim, Sabrin R M; Mohamed, Gamal A

    2016-01-01

    Pyridoacridines are a class of strictly marine-derived alkaloids that constitute one of the largest chemical families of marine alkaloids. During the last few years, both natural pyridoacridines and their analogues have constituted excellent targets for synthetic works. They have been the subject of intense study due to their significant biological activities; cytotoxic, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, insecticidal, anti-HIV, and anti-parasitic activities. In the present review, 95 pyridoacridine alkaloids isolated from marine organisms are discussed in term of their occurrence, biosynthesis, biological activities, and structural assignment.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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…

  15. Biological activity of acetylated phenolic compounds.

    PubMed

    Fragopoulou, Elizabeth; Nomikos, Tzortzis; Karantonis, Haralabos C; Apostolakis, Constantinos; Pliakis, Emmanuel; Samiotaki, Martina; Panayotou, George; Antonopoulou, Smaragdi

    2007-01-10

    In recent years an effort has been made to isolate and identify biologically active compounds that are included in the Mediterranean diet. The existence of naturally occurring acetylated phenolics, as well as studies with synthetic ones, provide evidence that acetyl groups could be correlated with their biological activity. Platelet activating factor (PAF) is implicated in atherosclerosis, whereas its inhibitors seem to play a protective role against cardiovascular disease. The aim of this study was to examine the biological activity of resveratrol and tyrosol and their acetylated derivatives as inhibitors of PAF-induced washed rabbit platelet aggregation. Acetylation of resveratrol and tyrosol was performed, and separation was achieved by HPLC. Acetylated derivatives were identified by negative mass spectrometry. The data showed that tyrosol and its monoacetylated derivatives act as PAF inhibitors, whereas diacetylated derivatives induce platelet aggregation. Resveratrol and its mono- and triacetylated derivatives exert similar inhibitory activity, whereas the diacetylated ones are more potent inhibitors. In conclusion, acetylated phenolics exert the same or even higher antithrombotic activity compared to the biological activity of the initial one.

  16. 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.

  17. [Biologically active metabolites of the marine actinobacteria].

    PubMed

    Sobolevskaia, M P; Kuznetsova, T A

    2010-01-01

    This review systematically data on the chemical structure and biological activity of metabolites of obligate and facultative marine actinobacteria, published from 2000 to 2007. We discuss some structural features of the five groups of metabolites related to macrolides and compounds containing lactone, quinone and diketopiperazine residues, cyclic peptides, alkaloids, and compounds of mixed biosynthesis. Survey shows a large chemical diversity of metabolites actinobacteria isolated from marine environment. It is shown that, along with metabolites, identical to previously isolated from terrestrial actinobacteria, marine actinobacteria synthesize unknown compounds not found in other natural sources, including micro organisms. Perhaps the biosynthesis of new chemotypes bioactive compounds in marine actinobacteria is one manifestation of chemical adaptation of microorganisms to environmental conditions at sea. Review stresses the importance of the chemical study of metabolites of marine actinobacteria. These studies are aimed at obtaining new data on marine microorganisms producers of biologically active compounds and chemical structure and biological activity of new low-molecular bioregulators of natural origin.

  18. Long-term effects of fertilizer on soil enzymatic activity of wheat field soil in Loess Plateau, China.

    PubMed

    Hu, Weigang; Jiao, Zhifang; Wu, Fasi; Liu, Yongjun; Dong, Maoxing; Ma, Xiaojun; Fan, Tinglu; An, Lizhe; Feng, Huyuan

    2014-12-01

    The effects of long-term (29 years) fertilization on local agro-ecosystems in the Loess Plateau of northwest China, containing a single or combinations of inorganic (Nitrogen, N; Phosphate, P) and organic (Mature, M Straw, S) fertilizer, including N, NP, SNP, M, MNP, and a control. The soil enzymes, including dehydrogenase, urease, alkaline phosphatase, invertase and glomalin, were investigated in three physiological stages (Jointing, Dough, and Maturity) of wheat growth at three depths of the soil profile (0-15, 16-30, 31-45 cm). We found that the application of farmyard manure and straw produced the highest values of soil enzymatic activity, especially a balanced applied treatment of MNP. Enzymatic activity was lowest in the control. Values were generally highest at dough, followed by the jointing and maturity stages, and declined with soil profile depth. The activities of the enzymes investigated here are significantly correlated with each other and are correlated with soil nutrients, in particular with soil organic carbon. Our results suggest that a balanced application of fertilizer nutrients and organic manure (especially those containing P) has positive effects on multiple soil chemical parameters, which in turn enhances enzyme activity. We emphasize the role of organic manure in maintaining soil organic matter and promoting biological activity, as its application can result in a substantial increase in agricultural production and can be sustainable for many years.

  19. 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

  20. Nutrient cycling and soil biology in row crop systems under intensive tillage

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Recent interest in management of the soil biological component to improve soil health requires a better understanding on how management practices (e.g., tillage) and environmental conditions influence soil organisms. Intensive tillage often results in reduced organic matter content in the surface so...

  1. 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.

  2. The plasminogen activator system: biology and regulation.

    PubMed

    Irigoyen, J P; Muñoz-Cánoves, P; Montero, L; Koziczak, M; Nagamine, Y

    1999-10-01

    The regulation of plasminogen activation involves genes for two plasminogen activators (tissue type and urokinase type), two specific inhibitors (type 1 and type 2), and a membrane-anchored urokinase-type plasminogen-activator-specific receptor. This system plays an important role in various biological processes involving extracellular proteolysis. Recent studies have revealed that the system, through interplay with integrins and the extracellular matrix protein vitronectin, is also involved in the regulation of cell migration and proliferation in a manner independent of proteolytic activity. The genes are expressed in many different cell types and their expression is under the control of diverse extracellular signals. Gene expression reflects the levels of the corresponding mRNA, which should be the net result of synthesis and degradation. Thus, modulation of mRNA stability is an important factor in overall regulation. This review summarizes current understanding of the biology and regulation of genes involved in plasminogen activation at different levels.

  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.

  4. The potential roles of biological soil crusts in dryland hydrologic cycles

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, J.

    2006-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are the dominant living cover in many drylands of the world. They possess many features that can influence different aspects of local hydrologic cycles, including soil porosity, absorptivity, roughness, aggregate stability, texture, pore formation, and water retention. The influence of biological soil crusts on these factors depends on their internal and external structure, which varies with climate, soil, and disturbance history. This paper presents the different types of biological soil crusts, discusses how crust type likely influences various aspects of the hydrologic cycle, and reviews what is known and not known about the influence of biological crusts on sediment production and water infiltration versus runoff in various drylands around the world. Most studies examining the effect of biological soil crusts on local hydrology are done by comparing undisturbed sites with those recently disturbed by the researchers. Unfortunately, this greatly complicates interpretation of the results. Applied disturbances alter many soil features such as soil texture, roughness, aggregate stability, physical crusting, porosity, and bulk density in ways that would not necessarily be the same if crusts were not naturally present. Combined, these studies show little agreement on how biological crusts affect water infiltration or runoff. However, when studies are separated by biological crust type and utilize naturally occurring differences among these types, results indicate that biological crusts in hyperarid regions reduce infiltration and increase runoff, have mixed effects in and regions, and increase infiltration and reduce runoff in semiarid cool and cold drylands. However, more studies are needed before broad generalizations can be made on how biological crusts affect infiltration and runoff. We especially need studies that control for sub-surface soil features such as bulk density, micro- and macropores, and biological crust structure. Unlike

  5. Soil fertility in deserts: a review on the influence of biological soil crusts and the effect of soil surface disturbance on nutrient inputs and losses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reynolds, R.; Phillips, S.; Duniway, M.; Belnap, J.

    2003-01-01

    Sources of desert soil fertility include parent material weathering, aeolian deposition, and on-site C and N biotic fixation. While parent materials provide many soil nutrients, aeolian deposition can provide up to 75% of plant-essential nutrients including N, P, K, Mg, Na, Mn, Cu, and Fe. Soil surface biota are often sticky, and help retain wind-deposited nutrients, as well as providing much of the N inputs. Carbon inputs are from both plants and soil surface biota. Most desert soils are protected by cyanobacterial-lichen-moss soil crusts, chemical crusts and/or desert pavement. Experimental disturbances applied in US deserts show disruption of soil surfaces result in decreased N and C inputs from soil biota by up to 100%. The ability to glue aeolian deposits in place is compromised, and underlying soils are exposed to erosion. The ability to withstand wind increases with biological and physical soil crust development. While most undisturbed sites show little sediment production, disturbance by vehicles or livestock produce up to 36 times more sediment production, with soil movement initiated at wind velocities well below commonly-occurring wind speeds. Soil fines and flora are often concentrated in the top 3 mm of the soil surface. Winds across disturbed areas can quickly remove this material from the soil surface, thereby potentially removing much of current and future soil fertility. Thus, disturbances of desert soil surfaces can both reduce fertility inputs and accelerate fertility losses.

  6. [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.

  7. 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

  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.

  9. 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

  10. The biological activity of silicon carbide whiskers

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, N.F.

    1989-01-01

    Size characteristics of SiC whiskers are similar to asbestos and contain potentially carcinogenic long thin fibers. Size distribution suggests that it is highly respirable, with majority of particles having diameters <3.0 [mu]m. Cytotoxic activity of SiC whiskers in cultured cells is [ge] than that of crocidolite asbestos. Inhalation exposures are needed to further delineate the biological activity; while SiC whiskers were as or more cytotoxic than crocidolite, JM Code 100 also displays such activity but results in no increased risk of lung cancer, pulmonary fibrosis or mesothelioma. PRD-166, a coarse continuous glass filament, displays little in vitro biological activity. It is recommended that SiC whiskers be treated as asbestos, and to continue investigating the potential health effects of SiC whiskers, in particular conducting animal experiments with acute and chronic inhalation exposures. 17 refs., 11 tabs., 18 figs.

  11. [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.

  12. 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…

  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. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Estrogenic flavonoids: structural requirements for biological activity.

    PubMed

    Miksicek, R J

    1995-01-01

    A systematic survey of polycyclic phenols has been performed to identify members of this chemical group with estrogenic activity. Twelve compounds were found to be able to stimulate the transcriptional activity of the human estrogen receptor expressed in cultured cells by transient transfection. These natural estrogens belong to several distinct, but chemically related classes including chalcones, flavanones, flavones, flavonols, and isoflavones. Selected examples of estrogenic flavonoids were further analyzed to determine their biological potencies and their relative affinities for binding to the estrogen receptor. These data are interpreted with respect to the molecular structure of polycyclic phenols required for hormonal activity as nonsteroidal estrogens.

  3. 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

  4. Effect of the polarity reversal frequency in the electrokinetic-biological remediation of oxyfluorfen polluted soil.

    PubMed

    Barba, Silvia; Villaseñor, José; Rodrigo, Manuel A; Cañizares, Pablo

    2017-03-03

    This work studies the feasibility of the periodic polarity reversal strategy (PRS) in a combined electrokinetic-biological process for the remediation of clayey soil polluted with a herbicide. Five two-weeks duration electrobioremediation batch experiments were performed in a bench scale set-up using spiked clay soil polluted with oxyfluorfen (20 mg kg(-1)) under potentiostatic conditions applying an electric field between the electrodes of 1.0 V cm(-1) (20.0 V) and using PRS with five frequencies (f) ranging from 0 to 6 d(-1). Additionally, two complementary reference tests were done: single bioremediation and single electrokinetic. The microbial consortium used was obtained from an oil refinery wastewater treatment plant and acclimated to oxyfluorfen degradation. Main soil conditions (temperature, pH, moisture and conductivity) were correctly controlled using PRS. On the contrary, the electroosmotic flow clearly decreased as f increased. The uniform soil microbial distribution at the end of the experiments indicated that the microbial activity remained in every parts of the soil after two weeks when applying PRS. Despite the adapted microbial culture was capable of degrade 100% of oxyfluorfen in water, the remediation efficiency in soil in a reference test, without the application of electric current, was negligible. However, under the low voltage gradients and polarity reversal, removal efficiencies between 5% and 15% were obtained, and it suggested that oxyfluorfen had difficulties to interact with the microbial culture or nutrients and that PRS promoted transport of species, which caused a positive influence on remediation. An optimal f value was observed between 2 and 3 d(-1).

  5. 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

  6. Effects of Prochloraz fungicide on soil enzymatic activities and bacterial communities.

    PubMed

    Tejada, Manuel; Gómez, Isidoro; García-Martínez, Ana María; Osta, Paloma; Parrado, Juan

    2011-09-01

    We studied in the laboratory the effect of Prochloraz fungicide on the biological properties (soil enzymatic activities and soil bacterial communities) of a Plaggic Anthrosol. Five hundred grams of soil (<2mm) was mixed with three dosages of Prochloraz (1, 2, and 4 l ha(-1)) for 83 days. A non-Prochloraz polluted soil was used as control. Following commercial recommendations, fungicide was applied four times during the incubation experiment. For all treatments, the soil ergosterol and levels of dehydrogenase, urease, β-glucosidase, and phosphatase activity were measured at nine different times (0, 1, 21, 22, 41, 42, 62, 63, and 83 days). The 16S rDNA-DGGE profiles in all treatments were determined at the beginning and end of the incubation period. At the end of the experiment, a significant decrease in ergosterol by 72.3%, 80.8%, and 83.1%, compared with control soil, was observed when 1, 2, and 4 l ha(-1), respectively, was added. Soil enzymatic activities increased when the Prochloraz applied to the soil increased, possibly because the fungicide is used by bacterial communities as a source of energy and nutrients. The 16S rDNA-DGGE profiles indicated that the fungicide did not negatively affect soil bacterial biodiversity. These results suggested that the fungicide Prochloraz has a very interesting agronomic effect, possibly due to the negative effect on soil fungal population stimulating the growth of soil bacterial activity.

  7. 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…

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  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. [Physicochemical and biological characteristics of coastal saline soil under different vegetation cover].

    PubMed

    Zhou, Jian; Li, Gang; Zhou, Jian; Qin, Pei

    2011-04-01

    Taking seven plots of coastal saline soil under different vegetation cover in North Jiangsu as study sites, this paper studied the seasonal fluctuations of soil basic physicochemical and biological characteristics, and analyzed the relationships between these fluctuations and vegetation cover. In the test plots, there was a greater variability of soil basic physicochemical and biological characteristics. The average soil electrical conductivity was lower in crop plots (0.95 dS m(-1)) than in natural vegetation plots (2.77 dS m(-1)), but parts of the crop plots showed an increased soil electrical conductivity compared with pre-planting. Overall, the soil fertility of the plots was generally at a low level, with the hydrolysable nitrogen content averagely lower than 50 mg kg(-1), available phosphorus content (except fertilized plots) lower than 3 mg kg(-1), and organic matter content less than 1%. Due to fertilization, the soil conditions in crop plots somewhat improved. For the test coastal saline soil, its electrical conductivity and nutrient level were the key factors affecting the vegetation distribution and plant growth, and soil electrical conductivity was most important. There existed close correlations between soil nitrogen and phosphorus contents and soil microbial amount. The seasonal fluctuations of soil characteristics were closely related with vegetation type and human disturbance, being relatively stable under higher vegetation coverage and lesser human disturbance, and dramatic in bare land and castor experimental plots.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Rapid Recovery of Cyanobacterial Pigments in Desiccated Biological Soil Crusts following Addition of Water

    PubMed Central

    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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. [Effects of earthworm on soil microbes and biological fertility: A review].

    PubMed

    Cao, Jia; Wang, Chong; Huang, Yan; Ji, Ding-ge; Lou, Yi

    2015-05-01

    Earthworms are considered as 'ecosystem engineers', as they affect soil microbial community and function by improving micro-habitat, increasing surface area of organic compound, feeding, and transporting microorganisms. Multi-scale cavities created through earthworm movements help improve soil porosity and aeration, thus supporting microbial growth and reproduction. Earthworms also break down complex organic compounds into microbe-accessible nutrients by means of feeding on, crushing, and mixing soil. This results in elevated mineralization and improvement of cycling of key soil nutrients including carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus, overall enhancing the soil biological fertility.

  7. 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).

  8. Effects of electrokinetic treatment of a heavy metal contaminated soil on soil enzyme activities.

    PubMed

    Cang, Long; Zhou, Dong-Mei; Wang, Quan-Ying; Wu, Dan-Ya

    2009-12-30

    There is a growing concern on the potential application of a direct current (DC) electric field to soil for removing contaminants, but little is known about its impact on soil enzyme activities. This study investigated the change of enzyme activities of a heavy metal contaminated soil before and after electrokinetic (EK) treatments at lab-scale and the mechanisms of EK treatment to affect soil enzyme activities were explored. After treatments with 1-3 V cm(-1) of voltage gradient for 420 h, soil pH, electrical conductivity (EC), soil organic carbon, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), soil heavy metal concentration and enzyme activities were analyzed. The results showed that the average removal efficiencies of soil copper were about 65% and 83% without and with pH control of catholyte, respectively, and all the removal efficiencies of cadmium were above 90%. The soil invertase and catalase activities increased and the highest invertase activity was as 170 times as the initial one. The activities of soil urease and acidic phosphatase were lower than the initial ones. Bivariate correlation analyses indicated that the soil invertase and acidic phosphatase activities were significantly correlated with soil pH, EC, and DOC at P<0.05, but the soil urease activities had no correlation with the soil properties. On the other hand, the effects of DC electric current on solution invertase and catalase enzyme protein activities indicated that it had negative effect on solution catalase activity and little effect on solution invertase activity. From the change of invertase and catalase activities in soil and solution, the conclusion can be drawn that the dominant effect mechanism is the change of soil properties by EK treatments.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Nonclassical biological activities of quinolone derivatives.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, Abeer; Daneshtalab, Mohsen

    2012-01-01

    Quinolones are considered as a big family of multi-faceted drugs; their chemical synthesis is flexible and can be easily adapted to prepare new congeners with rationally devised structures. This is shown by the description of many thousands of derivatives in the literature. Scientists could accurately describe their QSAR, which is essential for effective drug design. This also gave them the chance to discover new and unprecedented activities, which makes quinolones an endless source of hope and enables further development of new clinically useful drugs. Quinolones are among the most common frameworks present in the bioactive molecules that have dominated the market for more than four decades. Since 1962, 4(1H)-quinolone-3-carboxylic acid derivatives are widely used as antibacterial agents. Quinolones have a broad and potent spectrum of activity and are also used as second-line drugs to treat tuberculosis (TB). Recently, quinolones have been reported to display "nonclassical" biological activities, such as antitumor, anti-HIV-1 integrase, anti-HCV-NS3 helicase and -NS5B-polymerase activities. The present review focuses on the structural modifications responsible for the transformation of an antibacterial into an anticancer agent and/or an antiviral agent. Indeed, quinolones' antimicrobial action is distinguishable among antibacterial agents, because they target different type II topoisomerase enzymes. Many derivatives of this family show high activity against bacterial topoisomerases and eukaryotic topoisomerases, and are also toxic to cultured mammalian cells and in vivo tumor models. Moreover, quinolones have shown antiviral activity against HIV and HCV viruses. In this context the quinolones family of drugs seem to link three different biological activities (antibacterial, anticancer, and the antiviral profiles) and the review will also provide an insight into the different mechanisms responsible for these activities among different species.

  12. 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.

  13. Long-term impact of acid resin waste deposits on soil quality of forest areas II. Biological indicators.

    PubMed

    Pérez-de-Mora, Alfredo; Madejón, Engracia; Cabrera, Francisco; Buegger, Franz; Fuss, Roland; Pritsch, Karin; Schloter, Michael

    2008-11-15

    In this study, we evaluated the effects of two acid resin deposits on the soil microbiota of forest areas by means of biomass, microbial activity-related estimations and simple biological ratios. The determinations carried out included: total DNA yield, basal respiration, intracellular enzyme activities (dehydrogenase and catalase) and extracellular enzyme activities involved in the cycles of C (beta-glucosidase and chitinase), N (protease) and P (acid-phosphatase). The calculated ratios were: total DNA/total N; basal respiration/total DNA; dehydrogenase/total DNA and catalase/total DNA. Total DNA yield was used to estimate soil microbial biomass. Results showed that microbial biomass and activity were severely inhibited in the deposits, whilst resin effects on contaminated zones were variable and site-dependant. Correlation analysis showed no clear effect of contaminants on biomass and activities outside the deposits, but a strong interdependence with natural organic matter related parameters such as total N. In contrast, by using simple ratios we could detect more stressful conditions in terms of organic matter turnover and basal metabolism in contaminated areas compared to their uncontaminated counterparts. These results stress that developed ecosystems such as forests can buffer the effects of pollutants and preserve high functionality via natural attenuation mechanisms, but also that acid resins can be toxic to biological targets negatively affecting soil dynamics. Acid resin deposits can therefore act as contaminant sources adversely altering soil processes and reducing the environmental quality of affected areas despite the solid nature of these wastes.

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. Modification of soil microbial activity and several hydrolases in a forest soil artificially contaminated with copper

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bellas, Rosa; Leirós, Mā Carmen; Gil-Sotres, Fernando; Trasar-Cepeda, Carmen

    2010-05-01

    Soils have long been exposed to the adverse effects of human activities, which negatively affect soil biological activity. As a result of their functions and ubiquitous presence microorganisms can serve as environmental indicators of soil pollution. Some features of soil microorganisms, such as the microbial biomass size, respiration rate, and enzyme activity are often used as bioindicators of the ecotoxicity of heavy metals. Although copper is essential for microorganisms, excessive concentrations have a negative influence on processes mediated by microorganisms. In this study we measured the response of some microbial indicators to Cu pollution in a forest soil, with the aim of evaluating their potential for predicting Cu contamination. Samples of an Ah horizon from a forest soil under oakwood vegetation (Quercus robur L.) were contaminated in the laboratory with copper added at different doses (0, 120, 360, 1080 and 3240 mg kg-1) as CuCl2×2H2O. The soil samples were kept for 7 days at 25 °C and at a moisture content corresponding to the water holding capacity, and thereafter were analysed for carbon and nitrogen mineralization capacity, microbial biomass C, seed germination and root elongation tests, and for urease, phosphomonoesterase, catalase and ß-glucosidase activities. In addition, carbon mineralization kinetics were studied, by plotting the log of residual C against incubation time, and the metabolic coefficient, qCO2, was estimated. Both organic carbon and nitrogen mineralization were lower in polluted samples, with the greatest decrease observed in the sample contaminated with 1080 mg kg-1. In all samples carbon mineralization followed first order kinetics; the C mineralization constant was lower in contaminated than in uncontaminated samples and, in general, decreased with increasing doses of copper. Moreover, it appears that copper contamination not only reduced the N mineralization capacity, but also modified the N mineralization process, since in

  17. 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

  18. NASA Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orr, Barron; Moran, M. Susan; Escobar, Vanessa; Brown, Molly E.

    2014-05-01

    The launch of the NASA Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission in 2014 will provide global soil moisture and freeze-thaw measurements at moderate resolution (9 km) with latency as short as 24 hours. The resolution, latency and global coverage of SMAP products will enable new applications in the fields of weather, climate, drought, flood, agricultural production, human health and national security. To prepare for launch, the SMAP mission has engaged more than 25 Early Adopters. Early Adopters are users who have a need for SMAP-like soil moisture or freeze-thaw data, and who agreed to apply their own resources to demonstrate the utility of SMAP data for their particular system or model. In turn, the SMAP mission agreed to provide Early Adopters with simulated SMAP data products and pre-launch calibration and validation data from SMAP field campaigns, modeling, and synergistic studies. The applied research underway by Early Adopters has provided fundamental knowledge of how SMAP data products can be scaled and integrated into users' policy, business and management activities to improve decision-making efforts. This presentation will cover SMAP applications including weather and climate forecasting, vehicle mobility estimation, quantification of greenhouse gas emissions, management of urban potable water supply, and prediction of crop yield. The presentation will end with a discussion of potential international applications with focus on the ESA/CEOS TIGER Initiative entitled "looking for water in Africa", the United Nations (UN) Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) which carries a specific mandate focused on Africa, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which lists soil moisture as an Essential Climate Variable (ECV), and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) which reported a food and nutrition crisis in the Sahel.

  19. Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Web Academy Webinar: Compost from Food Waste: Understanding Soil Chemistry and Soil Biology on a College/University Campus

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This page contains information about the Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Web Academy Webinar Series titled Compost from Food Waste:Understanding Soil Chemistry and Soil Biology on a College/University Campus

  20. Response of desert biological soil crusts to alterations in precipitation frequency.

    PubMed

    Belnap, Jayne; Phillips, Susan L; Miller, Mark E

    2004-10-01

    Biological soil crusts, a community of cyanobacteria, lichens, and mosses that live on the soil surface, occur in deserts throughout the world. They are a critical component of desert ecosystems, as they are important contributors to soil fertility and stability. Future climate scenarios predict alteration of the timing and amount of precipitation in desert environments. Because biological soil crust organisms are only metabolically active when wet, and as soil surfaces dry quickly in deserts during late spring, summer, and early fall, the amount and timing of precipitation is likely to have significant impacts on the physiological functioning of these communities. Using the three dominant soil crust types found in the western United States, we applied three levels of precipitation frequency (50% below-average, average, and 50% above-average) while maintaining average precipitation amount (therefore changing both timing and size of applied events). We measured the impact of these treatments on photosynthetic performance (as indicated by dark-adapted quantum yield and chlorophyll a concentrations), nitrogenase activity, and the ability of these organisms to maintain concentrations of radiation-protective pigments (scytonemin, beta-carotene, echinenone, xanthophylls, and canthaxanthin). Increased precipitation frequency produced little response after 2.5 months exposure during spring (1 April-15 June) or summer (15 June-31 August). In contrast, most of the above variables had a large, negative response after exposure to increased precipitation frequency for 6 months spring-fall (1 April-31 October) treatment. The crusts dominated by the soil lichen Collema, being dark and protruding above the surface, dried the most rapidly, followed by the dark surface cyanobacterial crusts (Nostoc- Scytonema- Microcoleus), and then by the light cyanobacterial crusts (Microcoleus). This order reflected the magnitude of the observed response: crusts dominated by the lichen Collema

  1. Response of desert biological soil crusts to alterations in precipitation frequency

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

    Biological soil crusts, a community of cyanobacteria, lichens, and mosses that live on the soil surface, occur in deserts throughout the world. They are a critical component of desert ecosystems, as they are important contributors to soil fertility and stability. Future climate scenarios predict alteration of the timing and amount of precipitation in desert environments. Because biological soil crust organisms are only metabolically active when wet, and as soil surfaces dry quickly in deserts during late spring, summer, and early fall, the amount and timing of precipitation is likely to have significant impacts on the physiological functioning of these communities. Using the three dominant soil crust types found in the western United States, we applied three levels of precipitation frequency (50% below-average, average, and 50% above-average) while maintaining average precipitation amount (therefore changing both timing and size of applied events). We measured the impact of these treatments on photosynthetic performance (as indicated by dark-adapted quantum yield and chlorophyll a concentrations), nitrogenase activity, and the ability of these organisms to maintain concentrations of radiation-protective pigments (scytonemin, beta-carotene, echinenone, xanthophylls, and canthaxanthin). Increased precipitation frequency produced little response after 2.5 months exposure during spring (1 April-15 June) or summer (15 June-31 August). In contrast, most of the above variables had a large, negative response after exposure to increased precipitation frequency for 6 months spring-fall (1 April-31 October) treatment. The crusts dominated by the soil lichen Collema, being dark and protruding above the surface, dried the most rapidly, followed by the dark surface cyanobacterial crusts (Nostoc-Scytonema-Microcoleus), and then by the light cyanobacterial crusts (Microcoleus). This order reflected the magnitude of the observed response: crusts dominated by the lichen Collema

  2. Intrinsic and induced isoproturon catabolic activity in dissimilar soils and soils under dissimilar land use.

    PubMed

    Reid, Brian J; Papanikolaou, Niki D; Wilcox, Ronah K

    2005-02-01

    The catabolic activity with respect to the systemic herbicide isoproturon was determined in soil samples by (14)C-radiorespirometry. The first experiment assessed levels of intrinsic catabolic activity in soil samples that represented three dissimilar soil series under arable cultivation. Results showed average extents of isoproturon mineralisation (after 240 h assay time) in the three soil series to be low. A second experiment assessed the impact of addition of isoproturon (0.05 microg kg(-1)) into these soils on the levels of catabolic activity following 28 days of incubation. Increased catabolic activity was observed in all three soils. A third experiment assessed levels of intrinsic catabolic activity in soil samples representing a single soil series managed under either conventional agricultural practice (including the use of isoproturon) or organic farming practice (with no use of isoproturon). Results showed higher (and more consistent) levels of isoproturon mineralisation in the soil samples collected from conventional land use. The final experiment assessed the impact of isoproturon addition on the levels of inducible catabolic activity in these soils. The results showed no significant difference in the case of the conventional farm soil samples while the induction of catabolic activity in the organic farm soil samples was significant.

  3. Efficiency of soil organic and inorganic amendments on the remediation of a contaminated mine soil: II. Biological and ecotoxicological evaluation.

    PubMed

    Pardo, T; Clemente, R; Alvarenga, P; Bernal, M P

    2014-07-01

    The feasibility of two organic materials (pig slurry and compost) in combination with hydrated lime for the remediation of a highly acidic trace elements (TEs) contaminated mine soil was assessed in a mesocosm experiment. The effects of the amendments on soil biochemical and ecotoxicological properties were evaluated and related with the main physicochemical characteristics of soil and soil solution. The original soil showed impaired basic ecological functions due to the high availability of TEs, its acidic pH and high salinity. The three amendments slightly reduced the direct and indirect soil toxicity to plants, invertebrates and microorganisms as a consequence of the TEs' mobility decrease in topsoil, reducing therefore the soil associated risks. The organic amendments, especially compost, thanks to the supply of essential nutrients, were able to improve soil health, as they stimulated plant growth and significantly increased enzyme activities related with the key nutrients in soil. Therefore, the use of compost or pig slurry, in combination with hydrated lime, decreased soil ecotoxicity and seems to be a suitable management strategy for the remediation of highly acidic TEs contaminated soils.

  4. Milk inhibits the biological activity of ricin.

    PubMed

    Rasooly, Reuven; He, Xiaohua; Friedman, Mendel

    2012-08-10

    Ricin is a highly toxic protein produced by the castor plant Ricinus communis. The toxin is relatively easy to isolate and can be used as a biological weapon. There is great interest in identifying effective inhibitors for ricin. In this study, we demonstrated by three independent assays that a component of reconstituted powdered milk has a high binding affinity to ricin. We discovered that milk can competitively bind to and reduce the amount of toxin available to asialofetuin type II, which is used as a model to study the binding of ricin to galactose cell-surface receptors. Milk also removes ricin bound to the microtiter plate. In parallel experiments, we demonstrated by activity assay and by immuno-PCR that milk can bind competitively to 1 ng/ml ricin, reducing the amount of toxin uptake by the cells, and thus inhibit the biological activity of ricin. The inhibitory effect of milk on ricin activity in Vero cells was at the same level as by anti-ricin antibodies. We also found that (a) milk did not inhibit ricin at concentrations of 10 or 100 ng/ml; (b) autoclaving 10 and 100 ng/ml ricin in DMEM at 121 °C for 30 min completely abolished activity; and (c) milk did not affect the activity of another ribosome inactivating protein, Shiga toxin type 2 (Stx2), produced by pathogenic Escherichia coli O157:H7. Unlike ricin, which is internalized into the cells via a galactose-binding site, Stx2 is internalized through the cell surface receptor glycolipid globotriasylceramides Gb3 and Gb4. These observations suggest that ricin toxicity may possibly be reduced at room temperature by a widely consumed natural liquid food.

  5. Rapidly restoring biological soil crusts and ecosystem functions in a severely disturbed desert ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Chiquoine, Lindsay P; Abella, Scott R; Bowker, Matthew A

    2016-06-01

    Restoring biological soil crusts (biocrusts) in degraded drylands can contribute to recovery of ecosystem functions that have global implications, including erosion resistance and nutrient cycling. To examine techniques for restoring biocrusts, we conducted a replicated, factorial experiment on recently abandoned road surfaces by applying biocrust inoculation (salvaged and stored dry for two years), salvaged topsoil, an abiotic soil amendment (wood shavings), and planting of a dominant perennial shrub (Ambrosia dumosa). Eighteen months after treatments, we measured biocrust abundance and species composition, soil chlorophyll a content and fertility, and soil resistance to erosion. Biocrust addition significantly accelerated biocrust recovery on disturbed soils, including increasing lichen and moss cover and cyanobacteria colonization. Compared to undisturbed controls, inoculated plots had similar lichen and moss composition, recovered 43% of total cyanobacteria density, had similar soil chlorophyll content, and exhibited recovery of soil fertility and soil stability. Inoculation was the only treatment that generated lichen and moss cover. Topsoil application resulted in partial recovery of the cyanobacteria community and soil properties. Compared to untreated disturbed plots, topsoil application without inoculum increased cyanobacteria density by 186% and moderately improved soil chlorophyll and ammonium content and soil stability. Topsoil application produced 22% and 51% of the cyanobacteria density g⁻¹ soil compared to undisturbed and inoculated plots, respectively. Plots not treated with either topsoil or inoculum had significantly lower cyanobacteria density, soil chlorophyll and ammonium concentrations, and significantly higher soil nitrate concentration. Wood shavings and Ambrosia had no influence on biocrust lichen and moss species recovery but did affect cyanobacteria composition and soil fertility. Inoculation of severely disturbed soil with native

  6. Biological Treatment of Petroleum in Radiologically Contaminated Soil

    SciTech Connect

    BERRY, CHRISTOPHER

    2005-11-14

    This chapter describes ex situ bioremediation of the petroleum portion of radiologically co-contaminated soils using microorganisms isolated from a waste site and innovative bioreactor technology. Microorganisms first isolated and screened in the laboratory for bioremediation of petroleum were eventually used to treat soils in a bioreactor. The bioreactor treated soils contaminated with over 20,000 mg/kg total petroleum hydrocarbon and reduced the levels to less than 100 mg/kg in 22 months. After treatment, the soils were permanently disposed as low-level radiological waste. The petroleum and radiologically contaminated soil (PRCS) bioreactor operated using bioventing to control the supply of oxygen (air) to the soil being treated. The system treated 3.67 tons of PCRS amended with weathered compost, ammonium nitrate, fertilizer, and water. In addition, a consortium of microbes (patent pending) isolated at the Savannah River National Laboratory from a petroleum-contaminated site was added to the PRCS system. During operation, degradation of petroleum waste was accounted for through monitoring of carbon dioxide levels in the system effluent. The project demonstrated that co-contaminated soils could be successfully treated through bioventing and bioaugmentation to remove petroleum contamination to levels below 100 mg/kg while protecting workers and the environment from radiological contamination.

  7. 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...

  8. Biological soil crusts emit large amounts of NO and HONO affecting the nitrogen cycle in drylands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

    Dryland systems currently cover ˜40% of the world's land surface and are still expanding as a consequence of human impact and global change. In contrast to that, information on their role in global biochemical processes is limited, probably induced by the presumption that their sparse vegetation cover plays a negligible role in global balances. However, spaces between the sparse shrubs are not bare, but soils are mostly covered by biological soil crusts (biocrusts). These biocrust communities belong to the oldest life forms, resulting from an assembly between soil particles and cyanobacteria, lichens, bryophytes, and algae plus heterotrophic organisms in varying proportions. Depending on the dominating organism group, cyanobacteria-, lichen-, and bryophyte-dominated biocrusts are distinguished. Besides their ability to restrict soil erosion they fix atmospheric carbon and nitrogen, and by doing this they serve as a nutrient source in strongly depleted dryland ecosystems. In this study we show that a fraction of the nitrogen fixed by biocrusts is metabolized and subsequently returned to the atmosphere in the form of nitric oxide (NO) and nitrous acid (HONO). These gases affect the radical formation and oxidizing capacity within the troposphere, thus being of particular interest to atmospheric chemistry. Laboratory measurements using dynamic chamber systems showed that dark cyanobacteria-dominated crusts emitted the largest amounts of NO and HONO, being ˜20 times higher than trace gas fluxes of nearby bare soil. We showed that these nitrogen emissions have a biogenic origin, as emissions of formerly strongly emitting samples almost completely ceased after sterilization. By combining laboratory, field, and satellite measurement data we made a best estimate of global annual emissions amounting to ˜1.1 Tg of NO-N and ˜0.6 Tg of HONO-N from biocrusts. This sum of 1.7 Tg of reactive nitrogen emissions equals ˜20% of the soil release under natural vegetation according

  9. Biological responses of agricultural soils to fly-ash amendment.

    PubMed

    Singh, Rajeev Pratap; Sharma, Bhavisha; Sarkar, Abhijit; Sengupta, Chandan; Singh, Pooja; Ibrahim, Mahamad Hakimi

    2014-01-01

    The volume of solid waste produced in the world is increasing annually, and disposing of such wastes is a growing problem. Fly ash (FA) is a form of solid waste that is derived from the combustion of coal. Research has shown that fly ash may be disposed of by using it to amend agricultural soils. This review addresses the feasibility of amending agricultural field soils with fly ash for the purpose of improvings oil health and enhancing the production of agricultural crops. The current annual production of major coal combustion residues (CCRs) is estimated to be -600 million worldwide, of which about 500 million t (70-80%) is FA (Ahmaruzzaman 2010). More than 112 million t of FA is generated annually in India alone, and projections show that the production (including both FA and bottom ash) may exceed 170 million t per annum by 2015 (Pandey et al. 2009; Pandey and Singh 20 I 0). Managing this industrial by-product is a big challenge, because more is produced each year, and disposal poses a growing environmental problem.Studies on FA clearly shows that its application as an amendment to agricultural soils can significantly improve soil quality, and produce higher soil fertility. What FA application method is best and what level of application is appropriate for any one soil depends on the following factors: type of soil treated, crop grown, the prevailing agro climatic condition and the character of the FA used. Although utilizing FA in agricultural soils may help address solid waste disposal problems and may enhance agricultural production, its use has potential adverse effects also. In particular, using it in agriculture may enhance amounts of radionuclides and heavy metals that reach soils, and may therefore increase organism exposures in some instances.

  10. Soil Physicochemical and Biological Properties of Paddy-Upland Rotation: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Lv, Teng-Fei; Chen, Yong; Westby, Anthony P.; Ren, Wan-Jun

    2014-01-01

    Paddy-upland rotation is an unavoidable cropping system for Asia to meet the increasing demand for food. The reduction in grain yields has increased the research interest on the soil properties of rice-based cropping systems. Paddy-upland rotation fields are unique from other wetland or upland soils, because they are associated with frequent cycling between wetting and drying under anaerobic and aerobic conditions; such rotations affect the soil C and N cycles, make the chemical speciation and biological effectiveness of soil nutrient elements varied with seasons, increase the diversity of soil organisms, and make the soil physical properties more difficult to analyze. Consequently, maintaining or improving soil quality at a desirable level has become a complicated issue. Therefore, fully understanding the soil characteristics of paddy-upland rotation is necessary for the sustainable development of the system. In this paper, we offer helpful insight into the effect of rice-upland combinations on the soil chemical, physical, and biological properties, which could provide guidance for reasonable cultivation management measures and contribute to the improvement of soil quality and crop yield. PMID:24995366

  11. 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

  12. Potential biological activity of acacia honey.

    PubMed

    Muhammad, Aliyu; Odunola, Oyeronke A; Ibrahim, Mohammed A; Sallau, Abdullahi B; Erukainure, Ochuko L; Aimola, Idown A; Malami, Ibrahim

    2016-01-01

    Recent advances in functional foods-based research have increasingly become an area of major interest because it affects human health and activities. Functional foods are classes of foods with health promoting and disease preventing properties in addition to multiple nutritional values and of such type is honey. Acacia honey is a type of honey produced by bees (Apis mellifera) fed on Acacia flowers, hence the name. This review focuses on the potential biological activities of Acacia honey which includes quality, antioxidant, immuno-modulatory, antiproliferative and neurological properties at in vitro and in vivo levels. Based on our review, Acacia honey used from various researches is of high purity, contains some bioactive compounds ranging from vitamins, phenolics, flavonoids and fatty acids. It's highly nutritional with strong antioxidant and immuno-modulatory potentials which may therefore be considered a potential candidate for both cancer prevention and treatment. Neurologically, it may be considered as a viable therapeutic agent in the management of Alzheimer's disease.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Giant reed growth and effects on soil biological fertility in assisted phytoremediation of an industrial polluted soil.

    PubMed

    Fiorentino, N; Ventorino, V; Rocco, C; Cenvinzo, V; Agrelli, D; Gioia, L; Di Mola, I; Adamo, P; Pepe, O; Fagnano, M

    2017-01-01

    Phytoremediation is a cost-effective "green technology" that uses plants to improve the soil properties of polluted sites, preventing the dispersion of pollutants and reducing the mobility of potentially toxic elements (PTEs) through their adsorption and accumulation by roots or precipitation within the root zone. Being highly tolerant to pollutants and other abiotic stresses, giant reed (Arundo donax L.) is a suitable biomass crop for phytoremediation of contaminated soils. We report the results of a two-year open-air lysimeter study aimed at assessing the adaptability of giant reed to grow on industrial substrates polluted by Pb and Zn and at testing commercial humic acids from leonardite as improvers of plant performance. We evaluated giant reed potential for: 1) biomass production for energy or biomaterial recovery; 2) PTE phytoextraction and 3) soil fertility restoration. Chemical fertility was monitored by measuring soil C while soil biological fertility was estimated by quantifying the abundance of bacterial functional genes regulating nitrogen fixation (nifH) and nitrification (amoA). Giant reed above-ground growth on the polluted soils was slightly lower (-16%) than on a non-polluted soil, with a preferential storage of biomass in the rhizome acting as a survival strategy in limiting growing conditions. Humic acids improved plant stress tolerance and production levels. As aerial biomass (shoots) did not accumulate PTEs, the plant in question can be used for bioenergy or biopolymer production. In contrast, below-ground biomass (rhizomes) accumulated PTEs, and can thus be harvested and removed from soil to improve phytoremediation protocols and also used as industrial biofuel. Giant reed growth increased the abundance of N-cycling bacteria and soil C in the rhizospheric soil, as well as reduced soil Pb and Zn EDTA extractable fraction.

  16. Natural physical and biological processes compromise the long-term performance of compacted soil caps

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, E.D.

    1995-12-01

    Compacted soil barriers are components of essentially all caps placed on closed waste disposal sites. The intended functions of soil barriers in waste facility caps include restricting infiltration of water and release of gases and vapors, either independently or in combination with synthetic membrane barriers, and protecting other manmade or natural barrier components. Review of the performance of installed soil barriers and of natural processes affecting their performance indicates that compacted soil caps may function effectively for relatively short periods (years to decades), but natural physical and biological processes can be expected to cause them to fail in the long term (decades to centuries). This paper addresses natural physical and biological processes that compromise the performance of compacted soil caps and suggests measures that may reduce the adverse consequences of these natural failure mechanisms.

  17. Changes of soil organic matter and microbial activity in irrigated and non irrigated olive groves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kavvadias, Victor; Papadopoulou, Maria; Theocharopoulos, Sideris; Vavoulidou, Evagelia; Doula, Maria; Reppas, Spiros

    2014-05-01

    The implementation of olive cultivation techniques in Greece has not been systematically tested under the prevailing Mediterranean conditions. A LIFE+ project was initiated (oLIVE-CLIMA; LIFE 11/ENV/000942) aiming to introduce new management practices in olive tree crops that lead to increased carbon dioxide uptake by plants as well as carbon sequestration from the atmosphere and reverse the trend of soil organic matter decline, erosion and desertification. This paper presents data on soil organic matter and microbial activity from a soil campaign in a pilot region in Greece, and particularly in the area of Chora, prefecture of Messinia, South west Peloponnese. The soil campaign took place during the period December 2012-February 2013. Twelve soil parcels of olive groves were selected (6 irrigated and 6 rainfed) and in each soil parcel six composite soil samples were taken from 0-10 cm depth at equal intervals along a straight line of the trunk of the tree to the middle of the distance from the nearest tree of the next tree series. The first three samples were under olive tree canopy. An additional composite sample was taken at depth of 10-40 cm. Soil samples were analyzed for soil physicochemical and biological properties. In this study results for total organic carbon (TOC), soil basal microbial respiration (BR), microbial biomass C (MB-C) from the region of Messinia, are presented. Organic matter was determined by dichromate oxidation. The microbial activity was measured by the amount of CO2 evolution, while microbial biomass C was determined by substrate-induced respiration, after the addition of glucose. The results showed considerable differences in TOC, BR and MB-C associated with the sampling position and soil depth. The higher TOC, BR and MB-C values, in most cases, were determined in samples taken from points under the canopy, but not close to the tree trunk compared to the sampling points outside the canopy. This indicates the positive effect of

  18. Biological interactions between soil saprotrophic fungi and Ascaris suum eggs.

    PubMed

    Blaszkowska, Joanna; Wojcik, Anna; Kurnatowski, Piotr; Szwabe, Katarzyna

    2013-09-23

    The in vitro effect of saprotrophic soil fungi on the embryonic development of Ascaris suum was evaluated. The fungi tested were Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus terreus, Penicillium citrinum, Penicillium expansum, Fusarium oxysporum and Trichothecium roseum, isolated from children's recreation areas in the city of Lodz (Poland). Each species was co-cultured with A. suum egg suspension (6 × 10(3)eggs/ml) at 25 ± 2°C for 60 days. Each day, 100 eggs were randomly collected and their developmental stage was classified macroscopically. Additionally, at days 4, 7, 14, 28, 42 and 60 of incubation, the viability and the percentage of eggs with morphological altered embryo/larva were determined in each sample. Microscopic examination revealed that exposure of eggs to the mycelium of examined fungi inhibited embryogenesis of A. suum. All control culture eggs reached L2 larval stage after 26 days of incubation, while the experimental cultures did so after 32-51 days, depending on the fungal species. Three species were found to exhibit very high inhibitory activity on A. suum egg development: A. terreus, P. expansum and F. oxysporum. Embryopathies and non-viable embryos/larvae were observed significantly more frequently in the eggs co-cultured with fungal species than in control cultures. The fungus-exposed eggs revealed morphological alternations in the early zygotic cleavage, blastula, gastrula and larval stages. After 60 days of incubation with mycelia of P. expansum, A. terreus and F. oxysporum, the mortality of the larvae reached 55.3-60.3%. P. expansum and F. oxysporum showed hyphal penetration and internal egg colonization of A. suum eggs.

  19. Soil microbial activity as influenced by compaction and straw mulching

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siczek, A.; Frąc, M.

    2012-02-01

    Field study was performed on Haplic Luvisol soil to determine the effects of soil compaction and straw mulching on microbial parameters of soil under soybean. Treatments with different compaction were established on unmulched and mulched with straw soil. The effect of soil compaction and straw mulching on the total bacteria number and activities of dehydrogenases, protease, alkaline and acid phosphatases was studied. The results of study indicated the decrease of enzymes activities in strongly compacted soil and their increase in medium compacted soil as compared to no-compacted treatment. Mulch application caused stimulation of the bacteria total number and enzymatic activity in the soil under all compaction levels. Compaction and mulch effects were significant for all analyzed microbial parameters (P<0.001).

  20. Biological activity of some conjugated gibberellins.

    PubMed

    Sembdner, G; Borgmann, E; Schneider, G; Liebisch, H W; Miersch, O; Adam, G; Lischewski, M; Schrefber, K

    1976-01-01

    The biological activity of several gibberellin (GA) conjugates was studied and compared with that of the corresponding free GAs. The following conjugates were included: O(3)-β-D-glucopyranosides of GA1, GA3 and GA4; O(13)-β-D-glucopyranosides of GA1, GA3 and GA5; O(13)-β-D-glucopyranosyl-GA5-β-D-glucopyranosyl ester; GA3-β-D-glucopyranosyl ester and GA3-α-D-glucopyranosyl ester; N-GA3-oyl-glycine, its methyl ester, N-GA3-oyl-glycylglycine, and N-GA3-oyl-proline. All compounds were synthesized chemically but some of them are known to occur as endogenous plant products, or to be formed in plants upon application of a free GA. Activity was determined in the dwarf pea, dwarf corn, dwarf rice, and lettuce hypocotyl bioassays. The GA conjugates were found to posses different relative activities depending on the chemical structure, the bioassay system, and the site of application (shoot or roots). It is concluded that the activity of GA conjugates as measured in different bioassays is based upon the ability of plant enzymes and possibly of certain microorganisms to hydrolyze glucosidic, glucosyl ester, and amide-like linkages.

  1. Soil microbial activity and structure in mineralized terranes of the Western US

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blecker, S. W.; Stillings, L. L.; Decrappeo, N.; Ippolito, J.

    2009-12-01

    Mineralized terranes (areas enriched in metal-bearing minerals) occur throughout the Western US, and are characterized by highly variable soil trace metal concentrations across small spatial scales. Assuming that non-lithologic (extrinsic) soil forming factors are relatively constant between mineralized and unmineralized zones, these mineralized areas allowed us to evaluate the effect of lithology on soil microbial activity. We established the following study sites: 1) sage-grassland on a Mo/Cu deposit (Battle Mountain, NV); 2) pine-chaparral on Ni/Cr bearing rocks (Chinese Camp, CA); and 3) two pine woodland sites on acid-sulfate altered rocks (Reno, NV; Bridgeport, CA). Microbial, physical and chemical measurements were performed on soils from undisturbed mineralized areas and adjacent unmineralized areas to determine baseline conditions for comparison to sites disturbed by mining. A host of abiotic soil parameters, along with bioavailable (diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA)-extractable) and total metals, were measured to examine their correlation with the following measures of microbial activity: enzyme assays (arylsulfatase, phosphatase, fluorescein diacetate hydrolysis), C/N mineralization potential, C substrate utilization (Biolog Ecoplate), and microbial biomass and community structure (phospholipid fatty acid analysis). Within the Battle Mountain study area, both microbial activity and structure were statistically similar between mineralized and unmineralized soils. Nutrient and metal concentrations were also similar; the only differences being higher Cu and lower P in the mineralized soils. Within the Chinese Camp study area, soil organic carbon and total nitrogen concentrations were similar between the serpentine (Ni/Cr bearing) and adjacent andesite soils, while differences were noted for other nutrients (S, P, Ca, Mg). For the serpentine soils, Co, Fe, Mn, and Ni showed the strongest correlations with microbial activity, where Cr, Mn showed the

  2. [Effects and Biological Response on Bioremediation of Petroleum Contaminated Soil].

    PubMed

    Yang, Qian; Wu, Man-li; Nie, Mai-qian; Wang, Ting-ting; Zhang, Ming-hui

    2015-05-01

    Bioaugmentation and biostimulation were used to remediate petroleum-contaminated soil which were collected from Zichang city in North of Shaanxi. The optimal bioremediation method was obtained by determining the total petroleum hydrocarbon(TPH) using the infrared spectroscopy. During the bioremediation, number of degrading strains, TPH catabolic genes, and soil microbial community diversity were determined by Most Probable Number (MPN), polymerase chain reaction (PCR) combined agarose electrophoresis, and PCR-denaturing gradient electrophoresis (DGGE). The results in different treatments showed different biodegradation effects towards total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH). Biostimulation by adding N and P to soils achieved the best degradation effects towards TPH, and the bioaugmentation was achieved by inoculating strain SZ-1 to soils. Further analysis indicated the positive correlation between catabolic genes and TPH removal efficiency. During the bioremediation, the number of TPH and alkanes degrading strains was higher than the number of aromatic degrading strains. The results of PCR-DGGE showed microbial inoculums could enhance microbial community functional diversity. These results contribute to understand the ecologically microbial effects during the bioremediation of petroleum-polluted soil.

  3. The soil moisture active passive experiments (SMAPEx): Towards soil moisture retrieval from the SMAP mission

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission, scheduled for launch in 2014, will carry the first combined L-band radar and radiometer system with the objective of mapping near surface soil moisture and freeze/thaw state globally at near-daily time step (2-3 days). SMAP will provide three soil ...

  4. Non-destructive measurement of carbonic anhydrase activity and the oxygen isotope composition of soil water

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, Sam; Sauze, Joana; Ogée, Jérôme; Wohl, Steven; Bosc, Alexandre; Wingate, Lisa

    2016-04-01

    Carbonic anhydrases are a group of metalloenzymes that catalyse the hydration of aqueous carbon dioxide (CO2). The expression of carbonic anhydrase by bacteria, archaea and eukarya has been linked to a variety of important biological processes including pH regulation, substrate supply and biomineralisation. As oxygen isotopes are exchanged between CO2 and water during hydration, the presence of carbonic anhydrase in plants and soil organisms also influences the oxygen isotope budget of atmospheric CO2. Leaf and soil water pools have distinct oxygen isotope compositions, owing to differences in pool sizes and evaporation rates, which are imparted on CO2during hydration. These differences in the isotopic signature of CO2 interacting with leaves and soil can be used to partition the contribution of photosynthesis and soil respiration to net terrestrial CO2 exchange. However, this relies on our knowledge of soil carbonic anhydrase activity and currently, the prevalence and function of these enzymes in soils is poorly understood. Isotopic approaches used to estimate soil carbonic anhydrase activity typically involve the inversion of models describing the oxygen isotope composition of CO2 fluxes to solve for the apparent, potentially catalysed, rate of oxygen exchange during hydration. This requires information about the composition of CO2 in isotopic equilibrium with soil water obtained from destructive, depth-resolved soil water sampling. This can represent a significant challenge in data collection given the considerable potential for spatial and temporal variability in the isotopic composition of soil water and limited a priori information with respect to the appropriate sampling resolution and depth. We investigated whether we could circumvent this requirement by constraining carbonic anhydrase activity and the composition of soil water in isotopic equilibrium with CO2 by solving simultaneously the mass balance for two soil CO2 steady states differing only in the

  5. 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

  6. Biotransformations and biological activities of hop flavonoids.

    PubMed

    Karabin, Marcel; Hudcova, Tereza; Jelinek, Lukas; Dostalek, Pavel

    2015-11-01

    Female hop cones are used extensively in the brewing industry, but there is now increasing interest in possible uses of hops for non-brewing purposes, especially in the pharmaceutical industry. Among pharmaceutically important compounds from hops are flavonoids, having proven anticarcinogenic, antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and estrogenic effects. In this review we aim to present current knowledge on the biotransformation of flavonoids from hop cones with respect to products, catalysis and conversion. A list of microbial enzymatic reactions associated with gastrointestinal microbiota is presented. A comparative analysis of the biological activities of hop flavonoids and their biotransformation products is described, indicating where further research has potential for applications in the pharmaceutical industry.

  7. Biologically active and antimicrobial peptides from plants.

    PubMed

    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.

  8. [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.

  9. Effects of Zero Tillage (No-Till) Conservation Agriculture on soil physical and biological properties and their contributions to sustainability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Landers, John N.; Rass, Gerard; de Freitas, Pedro L.; Basch, Gottlieb; González Sanchez, Emilio J.; Tabaglio, Vincenzo; Kassan, Amir; Derpsch, Rolf; Friedrich, Theodor; Giupponi, Luca

    2013-04-01

    Not cultivating soil, rotating crops over the years, and leaving crop residues on the surface in the practice of zero tillage/conservation agriculture (ZT/CA) reverses the historically accelerating degradation of soil organic matter (SOM) and soil structure, while increasing soil biological activity by a factor of 2 to 4. The results of this are many: (a) not cultivating reduces soil compaction, leaving old root holes to facilitate internal drainage, averts the pulverization of soil aggregates and formation of pans, reduces draft power for planting and gives shelter, winter food and nesting sites for fauna, (b) crop residues on the surface practically eliminate wind and water erosion, reduce soil moisture loss through the mulch effect, slow spring warm-up (possibly offset by a lower specific heat demand with less water retention in surface soil) and act as a reserve of organically-compounded nutrients (as they decompose to humus), (c) more SOM means higher available water and nutrient retention, higher biological activity year round (enhancing biological controls), higher levels of water-stable aggregates and a positive carbon sink in incremental SOM. The positive impacts for society are: (i) more and cheaper food, (ii) reduced flood and drought-induced famine risks, (iii) a positive carbon sink in SOM and possible reductions in NO2 emissions, (iv) cleaner water and greater aquifer recharge due to reduced runoff, (v) cleaner air through effective elimination of dust as a product of cultivation (vi) less water pollution and greater aquifer recharge from reduced rainfall runoff, (vii) farm diesel consumption halved, (viii) reduced demand for (tropical) de-forestation, by permitting crop expansion on steeper lands, (ix) increased wildlife populations (skylarks, plovers, partridge and peccaries) and (x) an improved conservation mindset in farmers. It is notable that, in spite of successful practitioners in all European countries, mainstream adoption is still to come

  10. Effects of organic dairy manure amendment on soil phosphatase activities

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Organic dairy production is increasing in the U.S. due to concerns over environmental, human, and animal health. It is well known that the application of livestock manure to soil can influence enzyme activities involved in nutrient cycling and soil fertility, such as soil phosphatases; however, orga...

  11. Variation in Soil Enzyme Activities in a Temperate Agroforestry Watershed

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Integration of agroforestry and grass buffers into row crop watersheds improves overall environmental quality, including soil quality. The objective of this study was to examine management and landscape effects on soil carbon, soil nitrogen, microbial diversity, enzyme activity, and DNA concentrati...

  12. Accommodating Students with Disabilities in Soil Science Activities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Langley-Turnbaugh, S. J.; Murphy, Kate; Levin, E.

    2004-01-01

    Soil science education is lacking in terms of accommodations for persons with disabilities. Individuals with disabilities are often excluded from soil science activities in school, and from soil science careers. GLOBE (Global Learning Observations to Benefit the Environment) is a worldwide, hands-on primary and secondary school-based education and…

  13. Biological degradation of selected hydrocarbons in an old PAH/creosote contaminated soil from a gas work site.

    PubMed

    Eriksson, M; Dalhammar, G; Borg-Karlson, A K

    2000-05-01

    An old PAH/creosote contaminated soil (total approximately 300 microg PAH/g soil) from a former gas work site in Stockholm, Sweden, has been treated at 20 degrees C with the addition of various nutrients and inoculated with bacteria (isolated from the soil) to enhance the degradation of selected hydrocarbons. Microcosm studies showed that the soil consisted of two contaminant fractions: one available, easily degraded fraction and a strongly sorbed, recalcitrant one. The bioavailable fraction, monitored by headspace solid phase microextraction, contained aromatics with up to three rings, and these were degraded within 20 days down to non-detectable levels (ng PAH/g soil) by both the indigenous bacteria and the externally inoculated samples. The nutrient additives were: a minimal medium (Bushnell-Haas), nitrate, nitrite, potting soil (Anglamark, Sweden), sterile water and aeration with Bushnell-Haas medium. After 30 days treatment most of the sorbed fractions were still present in the soil. Stirring or mechanical mixing of the soil slurries had the greatest effect on degradation, indicating that the substances were too strongly sorbed for the microorganisms. When stirring the choice of nutrient seemed less important. For the non-stirred samples the addition of nitrate with the bacterial inoculum showed the best degradation, compared to the other non-stirred samples. At the end of the experiments, accumulations of metabolites/degradation products, such as 9H-fluorenone, 4-hydroxy-9H-fluorenone, 9,10-phenanthrenedione and 4H-cyclopenta[def]phenanthrenone were detected. The metabolite 4-hydroxy-9H-fluorenone increased by several orders of magnitude during the biological treatments. Microbial activity in the soil was measured by oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production.

  14. Proteomic profiling: a novel approach to understanding the biological causes of soil water repellency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Keulen, Geertje; Doerr, Stefan H.; Urbanek, Emilia; Jones, Alun; Dudley, Ed

    2010-05-01

    Soil water repellency is a common phenomenon affecting a wide range of soil and land use types in different climates and is considered "the norm rather than the exception with its degree being variable". In all but the most severe cases, soil water repellency is transient with soils wetting eventually after prolonged wet weather and returning, when soil moisture content falls below the critical value. Despite the far-reaching environmental and (agro-)economic consequences, the fundamental biological causes of soil water repellency and its transient behaviour remain poorly understood. It is widely accepted that soil water repellency is caused by organic compounds coating soil particle surfaces. This reduces the particle's surface tension to values lower than that of water, which, as a net effect, inhibits the intrusion of liquid water into the soil pore space. Microbial as well as plant-derived substances have been implicated as sources of these organic materials, while some microbes have also been identified as degraders and/or emulsifiers of hydrophobic compounds. Common hydrophobic compounds and metabolites (e.g. alkanes and fatty acids) have been isolated from both wettable and water repellent soils in similar amounts indicating that their relevance is ambiguous. Even greater uncertainty exists about the role of soil micro-organisms in the development, reduction and temporal variability of soil water repellency. Importantly, certain filamentous fungi and actinomycete bacteria are able to render their hydrophilic cell surface hydrophobic, for example, during spore formation and hyphal foraging through air-containing pores in soil, by producing extracellular hydrophobic proteins. Beyond their own cell surface, the extracellular proteins can form highly recalcitrant hydrophobic surfaces on the hydrophilic side of amphiphilic, i.e. air-water or soil particle, interfaces. Remarkably, the proteins from fungi can also adhere to hydrophobic surfaces under drying

  15. Urban and industrial land uses have a higher soil biological quality than expected from physicochemical quality.

    PubMed

    Joimel, Sophie; Schwartz, Christophe; Hedde, Mickaël; Kiyota, Sayuri; Krogh, Paul Henning; Nahmani, Johanne; Pérès, Guénola; Vergnes, Alan; Cortet, Jérôme

    2017-04-15

    Despite their importance both in soil functioning and as soil indicators, the response of microarthropods to various land uses is still unclear. The aim of this study is to assess the effect of land use on microarthropod diversity and determine whether a soil's biological quality follows the same physicochemical quality-based gradient from forest, agriculture-grassland, agriculture-arable land, vineyards, urban vegetable gardens to urban, industrial, traffic, mining and military areas. A database compiling the characteristics of 758 communities has been established. We calculated Collembola community indices including: species richness, Pielou's evenness index, collembolan life forms, the abundance of Collembola and of Acari, the Acari/Collembola abundance ratio, and the Collembolan ecomorphological index. Results show that agricultural land use was the most harmful for soil microarthropod biodiversity, whilst urban and industrial land uses give the same level of soil biological quality as forests do. Furthermore, differences between the proportions of Acari and ecomorphological groups were observed between land uses. This study, defining soil microarthropod diversity baselines for current land uses, should therefore help in managing and preserving soil microarthropod biodiversity, especially by supporting the preservation of soil quality.

  16. BIOLOGICALLY-MEDIATED REMOVAL AND RECOVERY OF PLUTONIUM FROM CONTAMINATED SOIL

    SciTech Connect

    Jerger, Douglas E., Ph.D.,; Alperin, Edward S., QEP,; Holmes, Robert G., Ph.D.

    2003-02-27

    An innovative biological treatment technology successfully reduced plutonium concentration in soil from the Nevada Test Site (NTS) by over 80%. The final volume of plutonium-contaminated material that required disposal was reduced by over 90%. These results, achieved by an independent testing laboratory, confirm the results reported previously using NTS soil. In the previous test a 2530-gram sample of soil (350 to 400 pCi/g Pu) resulted in production of 131 grams of sludge (6,320 pCi/ g Pu) and a treated soil containing 72 pCi/g of Pu. The technology is based on the biological acidification of the soil and subsequent removal of the plutonium and other dissolved metals by a low volume, low energy water leaching process. The leachate is treated in a sulfate-reducing bioreactor to precipitate the metals as metal sulfides. Water may be recycled as process water or disposed since the treatment process removes over 99% of the dissolved metals including plutonium from the water. The plutonium is contained as a stable sludge that can be containerized for final disposal. Full-scale process costs have been developed which employ widely used treatment technologies such as aerated soil piles (biopiles) and bioreactors. The process costs were less than $10 per cubic foot, which were 40 to 50% lower than the baseline costs for the treatment of the NTS soil. The equipment and materials for water and sludge treatment and soil handling are commercially available.

  17. Sulfation and biological activities of konjac glucomannan.

    PubMed

    Bo, Surina; Muschin, Tegshi; Kanamoto, Taisei; Nakashima, Hideki; Yoshida, Takashi

    2013-05-15

    The sulfation of konjac glucomannan and its anti-HIV and blood anticoagulant activities were investigated. Konjac glucomannan is a polysaccharide occurring naturally in konjac plant tubers and has high molecular weights. Solubility in water is very low, and the aqueous solutions at low concentrations have high viscosity. Before sulfation, hydrolysis by diluted sulfuric acid was carried out to decrease the molecular weights of M¯n=19.2 × 10(4)-0.2 × 10(4). Sulfation with piperidine-N-sulfonic acid or SO3-pyridine complex gave sulfated konjac glucomannans with molecular weights of M¯n=1.0 × 10(4)-0.4 × 10(4) and degrees of sulfation (DS) of 1.3-1.4. It was found that the sulfated konjac glucomannans had potent anti-HIV activity at a 50% effective concentration, (EC50) of 1.2-1.3 μg/ml, which was almost as high as that of an AIDS drug, ddC, whose EC50=3.2 μg/ml, and moderate blood anticoagulant activity, AA=0.8-22.7 units/mg, compared to those of standard sulfated polysaccharides, curdlan (10 units/mg) and dextran (22.7 units/mg) sulfates. Structural analysis of sulfated konjac glucomannans with negatively charged sulfated groups was performed by high resolution NMR, and the interaction between poly-l-lysine with positively charged amino groups as a model compound of proteins and peptides was measured by surface plasmon resonance measurement, suggesting that the sulfated konjac glucomannans had a high binding stability on immobilized poly-l-lysine. The binding of sulfated konjac glucomannan was concentration-dependent, and the biological activity of the sulfated konjac glucomannans may be due to electrostatic interaction between the sulfate and amino groups.

  18. [Water stability of biological soil crusts in hilly regions of Loess Plateau, Northwest China].

    PubMed

    Yang, Kai; Zhao, Yun-Ge; Ma, Xin-Xin

    2012-01-01

    By using an improved wet sieving method, this paper studied the water stability of biological soil crusts with different biological components and biomass in the hilly regions of Loess Plateau. The water stability of the biological soil crusts was related to the crusts' biological components. Moss-dominated crust had significantly higher water stability than cyanobacteria-dominated crust. After 390 shakings, the thickness- and mass losses of moss-dominated crust were only 47.3% and 40.1% of those of cyanobacteria-dominated crust, respectively. Moss-dominated crust had the highest water stability when the moss coverage was up to 60%, and the thickness- and mass losses were 22.7% and 28.6% of those of cyanobacteria-dominated crust (no moss coverage), respectively. The horizontal stability of the biological soil crusts was significantly higher than the vertical stability. After 390 shakings, the area loss of moss-dominated crust was only 6.4% of thickness loss. The biological soil crusts had a layer structure with strong stability in horizontal direction, which increased the crusts' resistance against wind- and water erosion.

  19. Soil zymography - A novel technique for mapping enzyme activity in the rhizosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spohn, Marie

    2014-05-01

    days after shoot cutting and decreased thereafter. In conclusion, the study showed that fresh root detritus stimulates enzyme activities much stronger than living roots, probably because of the high pulse input of C and N from dying roots compared to slow continuous release of rhizodeposits. Taken together, soil zymography is a very promising novel technique to gain insights the effects of roots on the spatial and temporal dynamic of exoenzyme activity in soil. References Spohn, M., Carminati, A., Kuzyakov, Y. (2013). Zymography - A novel in situ method for mapping distribution of enzyme activity in soil. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 58, 275-280. Spohn, M., Kuzyakov, Y. (2013): Distribution of microbial- and root- derived phosphatase activities in the rhizosphere depending on P availability and C allocation - Coupling soil zymography with 14C imaging. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 67, 106-113. Spohn, M., Kuzyakov, Y. (accepted): Spatial and temporal dynamics of hotspots of enzyme activity as affected by living and dead roots - A soil zymography analysis. Plant and Soil

  20. Conservation agriculture among small scale farmers in semi-arid region of Kenya does improve soil biological quality and soil organic carbon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waweru, Geofrey; Okoba, Barrack; Cornelis, Wim

    2016-04-01

    The low food production in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has been attributed to declining soil quality. This is due to soil degradation and fertility depletion resulting from unsustainable conventional farming practices such as continuous tillage, crop residue burning and mono cropping. To overcome these challenges, conservation agriculture (CA) is actively promoted. However, little has been done in evaluating the effect of each of the three principles of CA namely: minimum soil disturbance, maximum surface cover and diversified/crop rotation on soil quality in SSA. A study was conducted for three years from 2012 to 2015 in Laikipia East sub county in Kenya to evaluate the effect of tillage, surface cover and intercropping on a wide variety of physical, chemical and biological soil quality indicators, crop parameters and the field-water balance. This abstract reports on soil microbial biomass carbon (SMBC) and soil organic carbon (SOC). The experimental set up was a split plot design with tillage as main treatment (conventional till (CT), no-till (NT) and no-till with herbicide (NTH)), and intercropping and surface cover as sub treatment (intercropping maize with: beans, MB; beans and leucaena, MBL; beans and maize residues at 1.5 Mg ha-1 MBMu, and dolichos, MD). NT had significantly higher SMBC by 66 and 31% compared with CT and NTH respectively. SOC was significantly higher in NTH than CT and NT by 15 and 4%, respectively. Intercropping and mulching had significant effect on SMBC and SOC. MBMu resulted in higher SMBC by 31, 38 and 43%, and SOC by 9, 20 and 22% as compared with MBL, MD and MB, respectively. SMBC and SOC were significantly affected by the interaction between tillage, intercropping and soil cover with NTMBMu and NTHMBMu having the highest SMBC and SOC, respectively. We conclude that indeed tillage, intercropping and mulching substantially affect SMBC and SOC. On the individual components of CA, tillage and surface cover had the highest effect on SMBC and

  1. Geophysical Monitoring of Microbial Activity within a Wetland Soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Brien, M.; Zhang, C.; Ntarlagiannis, D.; Slater, L.; Yee, N.

    2007-05-01

    We performed Induced Polarization (IP) and Self Potential (SP) measurements to record the geoelectrical signatures of microbial activity within a wetland soil. The experiment was conducted in laboratory, utilizing an open flow column set up. Soil samples from Kearny Marsh (KM), a shallow water wetland, were collected and stored at 4o Celsius prior to the start of the experiment. Two columns were dry packed with a mix of KM soil and sterile Ottawa sand (50% by weight). One column was sterilized and used as a control while the other column retained the biologically active soil sample. Both columns were saturated with a minimal salts medium capable of supporting microbial life; after saturation, a steady flow rate of one pore volume per day was maintained throughout the experiment. Ambient temperature and pressure changes (at the inflow and outflow of each column) were continuously monitored throughout the experiment. Common geochemical parameters, such as Eh, pH, and fluid conductivity were measured at the inflow and outflow of each column at regular intervals. IP and SP responses were continuously recorded on both columns utilizing a series of electrodes along the column length; additionally for the SP measurements we used a reference electrode at the inflow tube. Strong SP anomalies were observed for all the locations along the active column. Black visible mineral precipitant also formed in the active column. The observed precipitation coincided with the times that SP anomalies developed at each electrode position. These responses are associated with microbial induced sulfide mineralization. We interpret the SP signal as the result of redox processes associated with this mineralization driven by gradients in ionic concentration and mobility within the column, similar to a galvanic cell mechanism. IP measurements show no correlation with these visual and SP responses. Destructive analysis of the samples followed the termination of the experiment. Scanning electron

  2. Biological soil crusts from arctic environments: characterization of the prokaryotic community and exopolysaccharidic matrix analysis.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mugnai, Gianmarco; Ventura, Stefano; Mascalchi, Cristina; Rossi, Federico; Adessi, Alessandra; De Philippis, Roberto

    2015-04-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are highly specialized topsoil microbial communities widespread in many ecosystems, from deserts to polar regions. BSCs play an active role in promoting soil fertility and plant growth. In Arctic environments BSCs are involved in promoting primary succession after deglaciation, increasing moisture availability and nutrient immission at the topsoil. The organisms residing on BSCs produce extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) in response to the environmental characteristics, thus contributing to the increase of constraint tolerance. The aim of this study was to investigate the taxonomic diversity of microbial communities, together with the analysis of the chemical features of EPS, from BSC samples collected in several sites near Ny-Ǻlesund, Norway. The phylogenetic composition of the prokaryotic community was assessed through a metagenomic approach. Exopolysaccharidic fractions were quantified using ion-exchange chromatography to determine the monosaccharidic composition. Size exclusion chromatography was used to determine the distribution of the EPS fractions. Abundance of phototrophic microorganisms, which are known to contribute to EPS excretion, was also evaluated. Results underlined the complexity of the microbial communities, showing a high level of diversity within the BSC sampled analyzed. The analysis of the polysaccharide composition displayed a high number of constituent sugars; the matrix was found to be constituted by two main fractions, a higher molecular weight (2 10 exp(6) Da) and a lower molecular weight fraction (< 100 10 exp(3) Da). This study presents novel data concerning EPS of BSCs matrix in relationship with the microbial communities in cold environments.

  3. Spatial modeling of biological soil crusts to support rangeland assessment and monitoring

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bowker, M.A.; Belnap, J.; Miller, M.E.

    2006-01-01

    Biological soil crusts are a diverse soil surface community, prevalent in semiarid regions, which function as ecosystem engineers and perform numerous important ecosystem services. Loss of crusts has been implicated as a factor leading to accelerated soil erosion and other forms of land degradation. To support assessment and monitoring efforts aimed at ensuring the sustainability of rangeland ecosystems, managers require spatially explicit information concerning potential cover and composition of biological soil crusts. We sampled low disturbance sites in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (Utah, USA) to determine the feasibility of modeling the potential cover and composition of biological soil crusts in a large area. We used classification and regression trees to model cover of four crust types (light cyanobacterial, dark cyanobacterial, moss, lichen) and 1 cyanobacterial biomass proxy (chlorophyll a), based upon a parsimonious set of GIS (Geographic Information Systems) data layers (soil types, precipitation, and elevation). Soil type was consistently the best predictor, although elevation and precipitation were both invoked in the various models. Predicted and observed values for the dark cyanobacterial, moss, and lichen models corresponded moderately well (R 2 = 0.49, 0.64, 0.55, respectively). Cover of late successional crust elements (moss + lichen + dark cyanobacterial) was also successfully modeled (R2 = 0.64). We were less successful with models of light cyanobacterial cover (R2 = 0.22) and chlorophyll a (R2 = 0.09). We believe that our difficulty modeling chlorophyll a concentration is related to a severe drought and subsequent cyanobacterial mortality during the course of the study. These models provide the necessary reference conditions to facilitate the comparison between the actual cover and composition of biological soil crusts at a given site and their potential cover and composition condition so that sites in poor condition can be

  4. Biological soil crusts exhibit a dynamic response to seasonal rain and release from grazing with implications for soil stability

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jimenez, Aguilar A.; Huber-Sannwald, E.; Belnap, J.; Smart, D.R.; Arredondo, Moreno J.T.

    2009-01-01

    In Northern Mexico, long-term grazing has substantially degraded semiarid landscapes. In semiarid systems, ecological and hydrological processes are strongly coupled by patchy plant distribution and biological soil crust (BSC) cover in plant-free interspaces. In this study, we asked: 1) how responsive are BSC cover/composition to a drying/wetting cycle and two-year grazing removal, and 2) what are the implications for soil erosion? We characterized BSC morphotypes and their influence on soil stability under grazed/non-grazed conditions during a dry and wet season. Light- and dark-colored cyanobacteria were dominant at the plant tussock and community level. Cover changes in these two groups differed after a rainy season and in response to grazing removal. Lichens with continuous thalli were more vulnerable to grazing than those with semi-continuous/discontinuous thalli after the dry season. Microsites around tussocks facilitated BSC colonization compared to interspaces. Lichen and cyanobacteria morphotypes differentially enhanced resistance to soil erosion; consequently, surface soil stability depends on the spatial distribution of BSC morphotypes, suggesting soil stability may be as dynamic as changes in the type of BSC cover. Longer-term spatially detailed studies are necessary to elicit spatiotemporal dynamics of BSC communities and their functional role in biotically and abiotically variable environments. ?? 2009 Elsevier Ltd.

  5. Seasonal Variation in Soil Microbial Biomass, Bacterial Community Composition and Extracellular Enzyme Activity in Relation to Soil Respiration in a Northern Great Plains Grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilton, E.; Flanagan, L. B.

    2014-12-01

    Soil respiration rate is affected by seasonal changes in temperature and moisture, but is this a direct effect on soil metabolism or an indirect effect caused by changes in microbial biomass, bacterial community composition and substrate availability? In order to address this question, we compared continuous measurements of soil and plant CO2 exchange made with an automatic chamber system to analyses conducted on replicate soil samples collected on four dates during June-August. Microbial biomass was estimated from substrate-induced respiration rate, bacterial community composition was determined by 16S rRNA amplicon pyrosequencing, and β-1,4-N-acetylglucosaminidase (NAGase) and phenol oxidase enzyme activities were assayed fluorometrically or by absorbance measurements, respectively. Soil microbial biomass declined from June to August in strong correlation with a progressive decline in soil moisture during this time period. Soil bacterial species richness and alpha diversity showed no significant seasonal change. However, bacterial community composition showed a progressive shift over time as measured by Bray-Curtis dissimilarity. In particular, the change in community composition was associated with increasing relative abundance in the alpha and delta classes, and declining abundance of the beta and gamma classes of the Proteobacteria phylum during June-August. NAGase showed a progressive seasonal decline in potential activity that was correlated with microbial biomass and seasonal changes in soil moisture. In contrast, phenol oxidase showed highest potential activity in mid-July near the time of peak soil respiration and ecosystem photosynthesis, which may represent a time of high input of carbon exudates into the soil from plant roots. This input of exudates may stimulate the activity of phenol oxidase, a lignolytic enzyme involved in the breakdown of soil organic matter. These analyses indicated that seasonal change in soil respiration is a complex

  6. Effect of anaerobic soil disinfestation and Brassica seed meal amendment on soil biology and system resistance

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Brassica seed meal amendments and anaerobic soil disinfestation control a spectrum of soil-borne plant pathogens via a diversity of mechanisms. Transformations in microbial community structure and function in certain instances were determinants of disease control and enhanced plant performance. Fo...

  7. GIBBs: A new soil biology index to quantify beneficial bacteria in the soil

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Microbial diversity has been linked to soil resilience and health but few microbial indices explicitly link diversity to function. Many of the thousands of bacteria species present in soils enhance plant nutrition, confer stress tolerance, and promote plant growth and productivity through specific m...

  8. Crop residue management and fertilization effects on soil organic matter and associated biological properties.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Bingzi; Zhang, Jiabao; Yu, Yueyue; Karlen, Douglas L; Hao, Xiying

    2016-09-01

    Returning crop residue may result in nutrient reduction in soil in the first few years. A two-year field experiment was conducted to assess whether this negative effect is alleviated by improved crop residue management (CRM). Nine treatments (3 CRM and 3 N fertilizer rates) were used. The CRM treatments were (1) R0: 100 % of the N using mineral fertilizer with no crop residues return; (2) R: crop residue plus mineral fertilizer as for the R0; and (3) Rc: crop residue plus 83 % of the N using mineral and 17 % manure fertilizer. Each CRM received N fertilizer rates at 270, 360, and 450 kg N ha(-1) year(-1). At the end of the experiment, soil NO3-N was reduced by 33 % from the R relative to the R0 treatment, while the Rc treatment resulted in a 21 to 44 % increase in occluded particulate organic C and N, and 80 °C extracted dissolved organic N, 19 to 32 % increase in microbial biomass C and protease activity, and higher monounsaturated phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA):saturated PLFA ratio from stimulating growth of indigenous bacteria when compared with the R treatment. Principal component analysis showed that the Biolog and PLFA profiles in the three CRM treatments were different from each other. Overall, these properties were not influenced by the used N fertilizer rates. Our results indicated that application of 17 % of the total N using manure in a field with crop residues return was effective for improving potential plant N availability and labile soil organic matter, primarily due to a shift in the dominant microorganisms.

  9. Biological Remediation of Soil: An Overview of Global Market and Available Technologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, Ajay; Kuhad, Ramesh C.; Ward, Owen P.

    Due to a wide range of industrial and agricultural activities, a high number of chemical contaminants is released into the environment, causing a significant concern regarding potential toxicity, carcinogenicity, and potential for bioaccumulation in living systems of various chemicals in soil. Although microbial activity in soil accounts for most of the degradation of organic contaminants, chemical and physical mechanisms can also provide significant transformation pathways for these compounds. The specific remediation processes that have been applied to clean up contaminated sites include natural attenuation, landfarming, biopiling or composting, contained slurry bioreactor, bioventing, soil vapor extraction, thermal desorption, incineration, soil washing and land filling (USEPA 2004).

  10. Biological soil crusts as an organizing principle in drylands: Chapter 1

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, Jayne; Weber, Bettina; Büdel, Burkhard; Weber, Bettina; Buedel, Burkhard; Belnap, Jayne

    2016-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) have been present on Earth’s terrestrial surfaces for billions of years. They are a critical part of ecosystem processes in dryland regions, as they cover most of the soil surface and thus mediate almost all inputs and outputs from soils in these areas. There are many intriguing, but understudied, roles these communities may play in drylands. These include their function in nutrient capture and transformation, influence on the movement and distribution of nutrients and water within dryland soils, ability to structure vascular plant communities, role in creating biodiversity hotspots, and the possibility that they can be used as indicators of soil health. There are still many fascinating aspects of these communities that need study, and we hope that this chapter will facilitate such efforts.

  11. Using thermal and spectroscopic (XANES) indices to understand the biological stability of soil organic matter.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gillespie, A. W.; Sanei, H.; Diochon, A.; Tarnocai, C.; Janzen, H.; Regier, T. Z.; Gregorich, E.

    2014-12-01

    Soil organic matter (SOM) composition is a key property that underpins ecosystem productivity. Understanding its physical, chemical and biological properties is important for evaluating its role in carbon (C) and nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. In particular, the stability of SOM (i.e., resistance to microbial degradation) has important implications in ecosystem processes, including nutrient cycling, emission of greenhouse gases from soil, and C sequestration. Thus there is interest in developing new ways to measure and quantify the labile and stable forms of soil organic carbon. In this presentation, we describe the combined use of thermal decomposition methods based on pyrolysis, and chemical properties using X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS), to describe the stability of soil organic matter. Soils (n=81) for this study were obtained from a wide geographical range and management practices. Controlled respiration studies were conducted on the soils to determine the biodegradability of organic C after 98 days. In the thermal analysis, the sample is subjected to a temperature ramp and pyrolyzed/volatilized organic C was recorded as a function of temperature. Analysis by XAS provided information on the types of C functional groups present in a soil sample. We show that biological stability is well described using a two component model which included thermal stability and C composition chemistry.

  12. Monascus secondary metabolites: production and biological activity.

    PubMed

    Patakova, Petra

    2013-02-01

    The genus Monascus, comprising nine species, can reproduce either vegetatively with filaments and conidia or sexually by the formation of ascospores. The most well-known species of genus Monascus, namely, M. purpureus, M. ruber and M. pilosus, are often used for rice fermentation to produce red yeast rice, a special product used either for food coloring or as a food supplement with positive effects on human health. The colored appearance (red, orange or yellow) of Monascus-fermented substrates is produced by a mixture of oligoketide pigments that are synthesized by a combination of polyketide and fatty acid synthases. The major pigments consist of pairs of yellow (ankaflavin and monascin), orange (rubropunctatin and monascorubrin) and red (rubropunctamine and monascorubramine) compounds; however, more than 20 other colored products have recently been isolated from fermented rice or culture media. In addition to pigments, a group of monacolin substances and the mycotoxin citrinin can be produced by Monascus. Various non-specific biological activities (antimicrobial, antitumor, immunomodulative and others) of these pigmented compounds are, at least partly, ascribed to their reaction with amino group-containing compounds, i.e. amino acids, proteins or nucleic acids. Monacolins, in the form of β-hydroxy acids, inhibit hydroxymethylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase, a key enzyme in cholesterol biosynthesis in animals and humans.

  13. Biologically active peptides: prospects for drug development.

    PubMed

    Hughes, J

    1980-08-11

    Biologically active peptides aree typified by their unbiquity of distribution, their high receptor affinity and an almost infinite diversity of structure. For these reasons, considerable effort is now being expended to elucidate the possible role of peptides in brain function. This effort has been stimulated by the discovery of a number of new endogenous peptides, such as the enkephalins, endorphins, vasoactive intestinal peptide and neurotensin. At present, there is no clearly defined role for these peptides, although they may form an important basis for the chemical coding of various brain functions, including pain, mood and memory. At present, the potential for drug development of peptide agonists remains in fairly circumscribed areas such as analgesia, pituitary hormone control, and gastrointestinal motor and secretory control. Peptide antagonists may provide a vast field for future development, although only one area, that of antifertility drugs based on LHRH antagonists, shows any promise of immediate success. Industrial research approaches to new peptide agonists and antagonists mainly rely at present on rational drug design through structural analogies. Other fruitful approaches to be considered are the screening of natural microbial and plant products and the possible application of genetic engineering techniques.

  14. Bioremediation of hydrocarbon degradation in a petroleum-contaminated soil and microbial population and activity determination.

    PubMed

    Wu, Manli; Li, Wei; Dick, Warren A; Ye, Xiqiong; Chen, Kaili; Kost, David; Chen, Liming

    2017-02-01

    Bioremediation of hydrocarbon degradation in petroleum-polluted soil is carried out by various microorganisms. However, little information is available for the relationships between hydrocarbon degradation rates in petroleum-contaminated soil and microbial population and activity in laboratory assay. In a microcosm study, degradation rate and efficiency of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH), alkanes, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in a petroleum-contaminated soil were determined using an infrared photometer oil content analyzer and a gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Also, the populations of TPH, alkane, and PAH degraders were enumerated by a modified most probable number (MPN) procedure, and the hydrocarbon degrading activities of these degraders were determined by the Biolog (MT2) MicroPlates assay. Results showed linear correlations between the TPH and alkane degradation rates and the population and activity increases of TPH and alkane degraders, but no correlation was observed between the PAH degradation rates and the PAH population and activity increases. Petroleum hydrocarbon degrading microbial population measured by MPN was significantly correlated with metabolic activity in the Biolog assay. The results suggest that the MPN procedure and the Biolog assay are efficient methods for assessing the rates of TPH and alkane, but not PAH, bioremediation in oil-contaminated soil in laboratory.

  15. Near infrared spectra are more sensitive to land use changes than physical, chemical and biological soil properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guerrero, C.; Zornoza, R.; Mataix-Solera, J.; Mataix-Beneyto, J.; Scow, K.

    2009-04-01

    We studied the sensibility of the near infrared spectra (NIR) of soils to the changes caused by land use, and we compared with the sensibility of different sets of physical, chemical and biological soil properties. For this purpose, we selected three land uses, constituted by forest, almond trees orchards, and orchards abandoned between 10 and 15 years previously to sampling. Sampling was carried out in four different locations from the province of Alicante (SE Spain). We used discriminant analysis (DA) using different sets of soil properties. The different sets tested in this study using DA were: (1) physical and chemical properties (organic carbon, total nitrogen, available phosphorus, pH, electrical conductivity, cation exchange capacity, aggregate stability, water holding capacity, and available Ca, Mg, K and Na), (2) biochemical properties (microbial biomass carbon, basal respiration and urease, phosphatase and β-glucosidase activities), (3) phospholipids fatty acids (PLFAs), (4) physical, chemical and biochemical properties (all properties of the previous sets), and (5) the NIR spectra of soils (scores of the principal components). In general, all sets of properties were sensible to land use. This was observed in the DAs by the separation (more or less clear) of samples in groups defined by land use (irrespective of site). The worst results were obtained using soil physical and chemical properties. The combination of physical, chemical and biological properties enhanced the separation of samples in groups, indicating higher sensibility. It is accepted than combination of properties of different nature is more effective to evaluate the soil quality. The microbial community structure (PLFAs) was highly sensible to the land use, grouping correctly the 100% of the samples according with the land use. The NIR spectra were also sensitive to land use. The scores of the first 5 components, which explained 99.97% of the variance, grouped correctly the 85% of the soil

  16. [Effect of fertilization levels on soil microorganism amount and soil enzyme activities].

    PubMed

    Wang, Wei-Ling; Du, Jun-Bo; Xu, Fu-Li; Zhang, Xiao-Hu

    2013-11-01

    Field experiments were conducted in Shangluo pharmaceutical base in Shaanxi province to study the effect of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in different fertilization levels on Platycodon grandiflorum soil microorganism and activities of soil enzyme, using three-factor D-saturation optimal design with random block design. The results showed that N0P2K2, N2P2K0, N3P1K3 and N3P3K1 increased the amount of bacteria in 0-20 cm of soil compared with N0P0K0 by 144.34%, 39.25%, 37.17%, 53.58%, respectively. The amount of bacteria in 2040 cm of soil of N3P1K3 increased by 163.77%, N0P0K3 increased the amount of soil actinomycetes significantly by 192.11%, while other treatments had no significant effect. N2P0K2 and N3P1K3 increased the amounts of fungus significantly in 0-20 cm of soil compared with N0P0K0, increased by 35.27% and 92.21%, respectively. N3P0K0 increased the amounts of fungus significantly in 20-40 cm of soil by 165.35%, while other treatments had no significant effect. All treatments decrease soil catalase activity significantly in 0-20 cm of soil except for N2P0K2, and while N2P2K0 and NPK increased catalase activity significantly in 2040 cm of soil. Fertilization regime increased invertase activity significantly in 2040 cm of soil, and decreased phosphatase activity inordinately in 0-20 cm of soil, while increased phosphatase activity in 2040 cm of soil other than N1P3K3. N3P0K0, N0P0K3, N2P0K2, N2P2K0 and NPK increased soil urease activity significantly in 0-20 cm of soil compared with N0P0K0 by 18.22%, 14.87%,17.84%, 27.88%, 24.54%, respectively. Fertilization regime increased soil urease activity significantly in 2040 cm of soil other than N0P2K2.

  17. Functional Diversity and Microbial Activity of Forest Soils that Are Heavily Contaminated by Lead and Zinc.

    PubMed

    Pająk, Marek; Błońska, Ewa; Frąc, Magdalena; Oszust, Karolina

    The objective of this study was to assess the impact of metal contamination on microbial functional diversity and enzyme activity in forest soils. This study involved the evaluation of the influence of the texture, carbon content and distance to the source of contamination on the change in soil microbial activity, which did not investigate in previous studies. The study area is located in southern Poland near the city of Olkusz around the flotation sedimentation pond of lead and zinc at the Mining and Metallurgical Company "ZGH Bolesław, Inc.". The central point of the study area was selected as the middle part of the sedimentation pond. The experiment was conducted over a regular 500 × 500-m grid, where 33 sampling points were established. Contents of organic carbon and trace elements (Zn, Pb and Cd), pH and soil texture were investigated. The study included the determination of dehydrogenase and urease activities and microbial functional diversity evaluation based on the community-level physiological profiling approach by Biolog EcoPlate. The greatest reduction in the dehydrogenase and urease activities was observed in light sandy soils with Zn content >220 mg · kg(-1) and a Pb content > 100 mg · kg(-1). Soils with a higher concentration of fine fraction, despite having the greatest concentrations of metals, were characterized by high rates of Biolog®-derived parameters and a lower reduction of enzyme activity.

  18. Effect of untreated sewage effluent irrigation on heavy metal content, microbial population and enzymatic activities of soils in Aligarh.

    PubMed

    Bansal, O P; Singh, Gajraj; Katiyar, Pragati

    2014-07-01

    The study pertains to the impact of domestic and industrial sewage water irrigation on the chemical, biological and enzymatic activities in alluvial soils of Aligarh District. Results showed that soil enzymatic [dehydogenase (DHA), acid and alkaline phosphatase, urease and catalase] activities in the soils increased up to 14 days of incubation and thereafter inhibited significantly. The enzymatic activity were in the order sewage effluent > partial sewage effluent > ground water irrigated soils. Increase in soil enzymatic activities up to 2nd week of incubation was due to decomposition of organic matter. Maximum inhibition of enzymatic activities, after 14 days of incubation were found in sewage effluent irrigated soils and minimum in ground water irrigated soils. Similar trend was also seen for microbial population. Soil enzymatic activities and microbial population were significantly and positively correlated with soil organic matter. Results also indicated that the microbial population and enzymatic activities in sewage irrigated soils decreased continually with irrigation period. The average concentration of total heavy metals in sewage irrigated soils and partial sewage irrigated soils increased and was 3 and 2 times higher for Zn; 4.5 and 1.7 times higher for Cu; 3.8 and 2.4 times higher for Cr; 5.7 and 3.5 times higher for Pb; 3.5 and 2.2 times higher for Cd and 2.7 and 2.0 times higher for Ni respectively than that of ground water irrigated soils. Results also showed that though total heavy metals concentration increased with period of sewage irrigation but the concentration of diethylene triamine pentaacetic acid (DTPA) extractable heavy metals in partial sewage irrigated and sewage irrigated soils remained almost same, which might be due to deposition of heavy metals in crops grown on the soils.

  19. Interesting biological activities from plants traditionally used by Native Australians.

    PubMed

    Pennacchio, Marcello; Kemp, Annabeth S; Taylor, Rory P; Wickens, Kristen M; Kienow, Lucie

    2005-01-15

    Four plants routinely used for medicinal purposes by Native Australians were screened for various biological activities. Methanol extracts of Eremophila maculata, Acacia auriculoformis and Acacia bivenosa exhibited antibiotic effects, while Eremophila alternifolia yielded an extract that induced significant changes to the heart activity of spontaneously hypertensive rats. We report on these biological activities.

  20. Effect of long-term industrial waste effluent pollution on soil enzyme activities and bacterial community composition.

    PubMed

    Subrahmanyam, Gangavarapu; Shen, Ju-Pei; Liu, Yu-Rong; Archana, Gattupalli; Zhang, Li-Mei

    2016-02-01

    Although numerous studies have addressed the influence of exogenous pollutants on microorganisms, the effect of long-term industrial waste effluent (IWE) pollution on the activity and diversity of soil bacteria was still unclear. Three soil samples characterized as uncontaminated (R1), moderately contaminated (R2), and highly contaminated (R3) receiving mixed organic and heavy metal pollutants for more than 20 years through IWE were collected along the Mahi River basin, Gujarat, western India. Basal soil respiration and in situ enzyme activities indicated an apparent deleterious effect of IWE on microbial activity and soil function. Community composition profiling of soil bacteria using 16S rRNA gene amplification and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) method indicated an apparent bacterial community shift in the IWE-affected soils. Cloning and sequencing of DGGE bands revealed that the dominated bacterial phyla in polluted soil were affiliated with Firmicutes, Acidobacteria, and Actinobacteria, indicating that these bacterial phyla may have a high tolerance to pollutants. We suggested that specific bacterial phyla along with soil enzyme activities could be used as relevant biological indicators for long-term pollution assessment on soil quality. Graphical Abstract Bacterial community profiling and soil enzyme activities in long-term industrial waste effluent polluted soils.

  1. The Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) Applications Activity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, Molly E.; Moran, Susan; Escobar, Vanessa; Entekhabi, Dara; O'Neill, Peggy; Njoku, Eni

    2011-01-01

    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 measurements will allow global and high-resolution mapping of soil moisture and its freeze/thaw state at resolutions from 3-40 km. These measurements will have high value for a wide range of environmental applications that underpin many weather-related decisions including drought and flood guidance, agricultural productivity estimation, weather forecasting, climate predictions, and human health risk. In 2007, NASA was tasked by The National Academies to ensure that emerging scientific knowledge is actively applied to obtain societal benefits by broadening community participation and improving means for use of information. SMAP is one of the first missions to come out of this new charge, and its Applications Plan forms the basis for ensuring its commitment to its users. The purpose of this paper is to outline the methods and approaches of the SMAP applications activity, which is designed to increase and sustain the interaction between users and scientists involved in mission development.

  2. Evaluation of the co-application of fly ash and sewage sludge on soil biological and biochemical quality.

    PubMed

    Masto, Reginald E; Sunar, Kapil K; Sengupta, Taniya; Ram, Lal C; Rout, T K; Selvi, Vetrivel A; George, Joshy; Sinha, Awadhesh K

    2012-01-01

    Disposal of sewage sludge (SS) and fly ash (FA) is a multifaceted problem, which can affect environmental quality. FA has the potential to stabilize SS by reducing metal availability and making the SS suitable for application in the agricultural sector. An experiment was performed to evaluate soil biological quality changes with the combined amendment of SS and FA (fluidized bed combustion ash (FBCA) and lignite fly ash (LFA)). SS was amended with 0, 10, 30, 50 and 100%, (w/w) of FA, and then the FA-SS mixtures were incubated with red soil at 1:1 (v/v). Soil quality parameters such as pH, electrical conductivity, N, soil enzyme activities such as dehydrogenase (DHA), urease (URE), and catalase (CAT), and microbial biomass carbon (MBC) were evaluated at 20, 30, and 60 days of incubation, pH and EC increased with FA-SS dose; however, N decreased. DHA and URE were found to be increased with 10% LFA amendment; thereafter it decreased. However, URE increased up to 30% of FBCA. CAT and MBC increased with both FA amendments, even up to addition of 50% FA. Bioavailable Zn, Cu, and Co contents were decreased by the addition of FA. Principal component analysis showed that pH is the most influential factor. MBC appears to be a sensitive soil indicator for the effects that result from the addition of FA-SS. Phytotoxicity studies with Zea mays showed optimum performance at 30% FA. Addition of 10-30% FBCA or LFA to SS has a positive advantage on soil biological quality.

  3. Office of Biological Informatics and Outreach geospatial technology activities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,

    1998-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Office of Biological Informatics and Outreach (OBIO) in Reston, Virginia, and its Center for Biological Informatics (CBI) in Denver, Colorado, provide leadership in the development and use of geospatial technologies to advance the Nation's biological science activities.

  4. [Effects of brackish water irrigation on soil enzyme activity, soil CO2 flux and organic matter decomposition].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qian-qian; Wang, Fei; Liu, Tao; Chu, Gui-xin

    2015-09-01

    decomposition rate in the plastic film mulched soil was significantly higher than that in the no plastic film mulched soil. 125 days after incubation, the recovery rates of cotton straw and alfalfa straw were 39.7% and 46.5% with saline water irrigation, 36.3% and 36.5% with brackish water irrigation, and 30.5% and 35.4% with CK, respectively. In conclusion, brackish water drip irrigation had a significant adverse effect on soil enzyme activities, which decreased soil microbial biomass, soil CO2 flux and soil organic matter decomposition, and subsequently deteriorated the soil biological characteristics in oasis farmland.

  5. Systematically biological prioritizing remediation sites based on datasets of biological investigations and heavy metals in soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Wei-Chih; Lin, Yu-Pin; Anthony, Johnathen

    2015-04-01

    Heavy metal pollution has adverse effects on not only the focal invertebrate species of this study, such as reduction in pupa weight and increased larval mortality, but also on the higher trophic level organisms which feed on them, either directly or indirectly, through the process of biomagnification. Despite this, few studies regarding remediation prioritization take species distribution or biological conservation priorities into consideration. This study develops a novel approach for delineating sites which are both contaminated by any of 5 readily bioaccumulated heavy metal soil contaminants and are of high ecological importance for the highly mobile, low trophic level focal species. The conservation priority of each site was based on the projected distributions of 6 moth species simulated via the presence-only maximum entropy species distribution model followed by the subsequent application of a systematic conservation tool. In order to increase the number of available samples, we also integrated crowd-sourced data with professionally-collected data via a novel optimization procedure based on a simulated annealing algorithm. This integration procedure was important since while crowd-sourced data can drastically increase the number of data samples available to ecologists, still the quality or reliability of crowd-sourced data can be called into question, adding yet another source of uncertainty in projecting species distributions. The optimization method screens crowd-sourced data in terms of the environmental variables which correspond to professionally-collected data. The sample distribution data was derived from two different sources, including the EnjoyMoths project in Taiwan (crowd-sourced data) and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) ?eld data (professional data). The distributions of heavy metal concentrations were generated via 1000 iterations of a geostatistical co-simulation approach. The uncertainties in distributions of the heavy

  6. Conservation tillage, optimal water and organic nutrient supply enhance soil microbial activities during wheat (Triticum Aestivum L.) cultivation

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Pankaj; Singh, Geeta; Singh, Rana P.

    2011-01-01

    The field experiments were conducted on sandy loam soil at New Delhi, during 2007 and 2008 to investigate the effect of conservation tillage, irrigation regimes (sub-optimal, optimal and supra-optimal water regimes), and integrated nutrient management (INM) practices on soil biological parameters in wheat cultivation. The conservation tillage soils has shown significant (p<0.05) increase in soil respiration (81.1%), soil microbial biomass carbon (SMBC) (104%) and soil dehydrogenase (DH) (59.2%) compared to the conventional tillage soil. Optimum water supply (3-irrigations) enhanced soil respiration over sub-optimum and supra-optimum irrigations by 13.32% and 79% respectively. Soil dehydrogenase (DH) activity in optimum water regime has also increased by 23.33% and 8.18% respectively over the other two irrigation regimes. Similarly, SMBC has also increased by 12.14% and 27.17% respectively in soil with optimum water supply compared to that of sub-optimum and supra-optimum water regime fields. The maximum increase in soil microbial activities is found when sole organic source (50% Farm Yard Manure+25% biofertilizer+25% Green Manure) has been used in combination with the conservation tillage and the optimum water supply. Study demonstrated that microbial activity could be regulated by tillage, water and nitrogen management in the soil in a sustainable manner. PMID:24031665

  7. Microbial Community Structure and Enzyme Activities in Semiarid Agricultural Soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Acosta-Martinez, V. A.; Zobeck, T. M.; Gill, T. E.; Kennedy, A. C.

    2002-12-01

    The effect of agricultural management practices on the microbial community structure and enzyme activities of semiarid soils of different textures in the Southern High Plains of Texas were investigated. The soils (sandy clay loam, fine sandy loam and loam) were under continuous cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) or in rotations with peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.) or wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), and had different water management (irrigated or dryland) and tillage (conservation or conventional). Microbial community structure was investigated using fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) analysis by gas chromatography and enzyme activities, involved in C, N, P and S cycling of soils, were measured (mg product released per kg soil per h). The activities of b-glucosidase, b-glucosaminidase, alkaline phosphatase, and arylsulfatase were significantly (P<0.05) increased in soils under cotton rotated with sorghum or wheat, and due to conservation tillage in comparison to continuous cotton under conventional tillage. Principal component analysis showed FAME profiles of these soils separated distinctly along PC1 (20 %) and PC2 (13 %) due to their differences in soil texture and management. No significant differences were detected in FAME profiles due to management practices for the same soils in this sampling period. Enzyme activities provide early indications of the benefits in microbial populations and activities and soil organic matter under crop rotations and conservation tillage in comparison to the typical practices in semiarid regions of continuous cotton and conventional tillage.

  8. Wildfire-resistant biological soil crusts and fire-induced loss of soil stability in Palouse prairies, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bowker, M.A.; Belnap, J.; Rosentreter, R.; Graham, B.

    2004-01-01

    Frequent low-intensity fires are a natural component of the ecology of the Palouse prairies of northwestern North America. To study the effects of fire upon biological soil crusts (BSCs) occurring in these grasslands, we sampled three burned (in 2000) sites and three unburned sites in the Hell's Canyon area (OR, USA) ???1 year post-fire. We measured vascular plant and BSC cover, soil microbe pigmentation, texture and chemistry, and soil surface physical properties (stability and rugosity). Festuca idahoensis was two times more abundant in unburned plots (P=0.0006), and vascular plant and litter cover were generally higher in unburned plots. At the community scale, there was no difference in the lichen and moss species composition, suggesting much less drastic effects of fire on BSCs than reported in other systems. Soil surface stability (measured using slake value) was significantly lower in burned sites than unburned sites (median value=5 versus 6, P=0.008), a result which is likely due to the greater density of lichens and mosses encountered in the unburned plots. Soil microbe pigmentation was lower in burned plots (P=0.03), suggesting that the biomass of photosynthetic microbes had decreased; however, the presence of intra- and extracellular pigments in burned soils indicates that microorganisms were not eradicated. Pigments most strongly associated with cyanobacteria were more abundant in unburned sites, suggesting that cyanobacteria may have been more strongly impacted by the fire than other BSC components. Composition of nutrients and surface rugosity did not differ significantly between treatments. We hypothesize that Palouse prairie soil crusts are relatively resistant to wildfire because of low fire intensity and their occupation of space away from the vascular plant fuel load.

  9. Effects of Fertilization on Tomato Growth and Soil Enzyme Activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mu, Zhen; Hu, Xue-Feng; Cheng, Chang; Luo, Zhi-qing

    2015-04-01

    66 days after base fertilizer application, but maintained the high level for a long time. In short, the application of organic manure, especially the fermenting manure, is more beneficial to maintain high levels of soil enzyme activities and biodiversity. (2) The tomato yield treated with the CF, CM, FM and CK was 50055 kg/ha, 37814 kg/ha, 36965 kg/ha and 29937 kg/ha, respectively. The yield increasing rates of the CF, CM and FM were 67.2%, 26.3% and 23.5%, respectively. The application of chemical fertilizer could raise the tomato yield more effectively. The use of organic manure, especially the fermenting manure, however, could improve the fruit quality more effectively, especially increase soluble sugar and vitamin C contents and reduce nitrate content in tomato fruit significantly. The application of biological fermenting manure is beneficial to promote the recycling agriculture in China. It could also be used in the organic farming promisingly.

  10. Lung biological activity of American attapulgite

    SciTech Connect

    Begin, R.; Masse, S.; Rola-Pleszczynski, M.; Geoffroy, M.; Martel, M.; Desmarais, Y.; Sebastien, P.

    1987-04-01

    Attapulgite is a fibrous mineral industrially consumed at the rate of over a million tons per year but the biological activity of the material is not fully known. To evaluate the in vivo toxicity of the fibrous materials, they exposed the tracheal lobe of 16 sheep to a single exposure of either 100 ml saline, 100 mg UICC asbestos fibers in 100 ml saline, 100 mg short asbestos fibers in 100 ml saline, or 100 mg attapulgite in 100 ml saline. The animals were studied by bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) at Days 2, 12, 24, 40, and 60 and by autopsy at Day 60. In the saline-exposed sheep, BAL and lung histology did not change. In the UICC asbestos-exposed animals, they reproduced the BAL changes previously reported. In the short asbestos-exposed sheep, there were no significant BAL changes. In the attapulgite sheep, they found significant and sustained increases in total BAL cells, macrophages, neutrophils, fibronectin, lactate dehydrogenase, ..beta..-glucuronidase, but BAL cellularity returned to control levels by Day 60 whereas in the UICC asbestos-exposed sheep, it remained significantly above control. Lung histology demonstrated the characteristic peribronchiolar fibrosing alveolitis in the UICC asbestos-exposed sheep, whereas macrophagic alveolitis with minimal airway distortion was seen in the short asbestos-exposed sheep, whereas macrophagic alveolitis with minimal airway distortion was seen in the short asbestos-exposed sheep and in all of the attapulgite-exposed sheep but three which had typical peribronchiolar alveolitis quite similar to that observed in UICC-exposed sheep, but of lower intensity.

  11. Modelling and interpreting biologically crusted dryland soil sub-surface structure using automated micropenetrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoon, Stephen R.; Felde, Vincent J. M. N. L.; Drahorad, Sylvie L.; Felix-Henningsen, Peter

    2015-04-01

    Soil penetrometers are used routinely to determine the shear strength of soils and deformable sediments both at the surface and throughout a depth profile in disciplines as diverse as soil science, agriculture, geoengineering and alpine avalanche-safety (e.g. Grunwald et al. 2001, Van Herwijnen et al. 2009). Generically, penetrometers comprise two principal components: An advancing probe, and a transducer; the latter to measure the pressure or force required to cause the probe to penetrate or advance through the soil or sediment. The force transducer employed to determine the pressure can range, for example, from a simple mechanical spring gauge to an automatically data-logged electronic transducer. Automated computer control of the penetrometer step size and probe advance rate enables precise measurements to be made down to a resolution of 10's of microns, (e.g. the automated electronic micropenetrometer (EMP) described by Drahorad 2012). Here we discuss the determination, modelling and interpretation of biologically crusted dryland soil sub-surface structures using automated micropenetrometry. We outline a model enabling the interpretation of depth dependent penetration resistance (PR) profiles and their spatial differentials using the model equations, σ {}(z) ={}σ c0{}+Σ 1n[σ n{}(z){}+anz + bnz2] and dσ /dz = Σ 1n[dσ n(z) /dz{} {}+{}Frn(z)] where σ c0 and σ n are the plastic deformation stresses for the surface and nth soil structure (e.g. soil crust, layer, horizon or void) respectively, and Frn(z)dz is the frictional work done per unit volume by sliding the penetrometer rod an incremental distance, dz, through the nth layer. Both σ n(z) and Frn(z) are related to soil structure. They determine the form of σ {}(z){} measured by the EMP transducer. The model enables pores (regions of zero deformation stress) to be distinguished from changes in layer structure or probe friction. We have applied this method to both artificial calibration soils in the

  12. Assimilation of Passive and Active Microwave Soil Moisture Retrievals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Draper, C. S.; Reichle, R. H.; DeLannoy, G. J. M.; Liu, Q.

    2012-01-01

    Root-zone soil moisture is an important control over the partition of land surface energy and moisture, and the assimilation of remotely sensed near-surface soil moisture has been shown to improve model profile soil moisture [1]. To date, efforts to assimilate remotely sensed near-surface soil moisture at large scales have focused on soil moisture derived from the passive microwave Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) and the active Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT; together with its predecessor on the European Remote Sensing satellites (ERS. The assimilation of passive and active microwave soil moisture observations has not yet been directly compared, and so this study compares the impact of assimilating ASCAT and AMSR-E soil moisture data, both separately and together. Since the soil moisture retrieval skill from active and passive microwave data is thought to differ according to surface characteristics [2], the impact of each assimilation on the model soil moisture skill is assessed according to land cover type, by comparison to in situ soil moisture observations.

  13. Island biology and ecosystem functioning in epiphytic soil communities.

    PubMed

    Wardle, David A; Yeates, Gregor W; Barker, Gary M; Bellingham, Peter J; Bonner, Karen I; Williamson, Wendy M

    2003-09-19

    Although island attributes such as size and accessibility to colonizing organisms can influence community structure, the consequences of these for ecosystem functioning are little understood. A study of the suspended soils of spatially discrete epiphytes or treetop "islands" in the canopies of New Zealand rainforest trees revealed that different components of the decomposer community responded either positively or negatively to island size, as well as to the tree species that the islands occurred in. This in turn led to important differences between islands in the rates of ecosystem processes driven by the decomposer biota. This system serves as a model for better understanding how attributes of both real and habitat islands may affect key ecosystem functions through determining the community structure of organisms that drive these functions.

  14. Role of Biological Soil Crusts on hydrological cycle drivers of semiarid ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Canton, Y.; Chamizo, S.; Rodriguez-Caballero, E.; Miralles, I.; Lazaro, R.; Sole-Benet, A.; Domingo, F.

    2012-04-01

    In arid and semiarid ecosystems, where plant cover is scarce, other surface components like soil crusts or stones acquire a very relevant role on local hydrologic regimes, controlling infiltration rates and they also affect erosion. The interplant spaces of these ecosystems are very often covered by biological soil crusts (BSCs), which are a community of microorganisms, including cyanobacteria, algae, fungi, lichens and mosses living in the soil surface. These BSCs regulate the horizontal and vertical fluxes of water, carbon, and nutrients into and from the soil and play crucial hydrological, geomorphological and ecological roles in these ecosystems. We analyse the role of BSCs on the different components of the water balance (infiltration-runoff, evaporation and soil moisture) in two representative semiarid ecosystems of SE Spain. The influence of BSCs on runoff-infiltration and erosion has been studied by rainfall simulations and with field plots under natural rainfall at different spatial scales, on BSCs in different stages of their development. Results show higher infiltration in BSCs than in physical crusts and different responses among BSCs depending on soil and rainfall properties and the considered spatial scale but, as a general trend, the greater the development of the BSCs, the greater the infiltration rate and the lower the sediment yield. In addition, given that BSCs modify many soil surface properties, such as surface stability, cohesiveness, cracking, porosity or micro-topography, which also affect runoff and erosion processes, we have examined the relative importance of BSCs features (cover, composition, roughness, water repellency, etc) on runoff and erosion and their direct and indirect relationships and how they interact with rainfall characteristics. By using microlysimeters, similar evaporative losses were measured among crust types in late spring when ambient conditions were quite warm and all crust types lost water very quickly. However

  15. Tree Species Traits Influence Soil Physical, Chemical, and Biological Properties in High Elevation Forests

    PubMed Central

    Ayres, Edward; Steltzer, Heidi; Berg, Sarah; Wallenstein, Matthew D.; Simmons, Breana L.; Wall, Diana H.

    2009-01-01

    Background Previous studies have shown that plants often have species-specific effects on soil properties. In high elevation forests in the Southern Rocky Mountains, North America, areas that are dominated by a single tree species are often adjacent to areas dominated by another tree species. Here, we assessed soil properties beneath adjacent stands of trembling aspen, lodgepole pine, and Engelmann spruce, which are dominant tree species in this region and are distributed widely in North America. We hypothesized that soil properties would differ among stands dominated by different tree species and expected that aspen stands would have higher soil temperatures due to their open structure, which, combined with higher quality litter, would result in increased soil respiration rates, nitrogen availability, and microbial biomass, and differences in soil faunal community composition. Methodology/Principal Findings We assessed soil physical, chemical, and biological properties at four sites where stands of aspen, pine, and spruce occurred in close proximity to one-another in the San Juan Mountains, Colorado. Leaf litter quality differed among the tree species, with the highest nitrogen (N) concentration and lowest lignin∶N in aspen litter. Nitrogen concentration was similar in pine and spruce litter, but lignin∶N was highest in pine litter. Soil temperature and moisture were highest in aspen stands, which, in combination with higher litter quality, probably contributed to faster soil respiration rates from stands of aspen. Soil carbon and N content, ammonium concentration, and microbial biomass did not differ among tree species, but nitrate concentration was highest in aspen soil and lowest in spruce soil. In addition, soil fungal, bacterial, and nematode community composition and rotifer, collembolan, and mesostigmatid mite abundance differed among the tree species, while the total abundance of nematodes, tardigrades, oribatid mites, and prostigmatid mites did not

  16. [Variation characteristics of soil microbial activities in the Tarim Desert Highway shelter forests, Xinjiang of Northwast China].

    PubMed

    Jin, Zheng-Zhong; Lei, Jia-Qiang; Li, Sheng-Yu; Xu, Xin-Wen

    2013-09-01

    By the methods of Biolog, fumigation extraction, and colorimetric titration, this paper determined the soil carbon sources metabolic intensities, microbial biomass, and enzyme activities in the Tarim Desert Highway shelter-forests with different plantation times, and analyzed the variation characteristics of soil microbial activities in these shelter forests. With the increasing planting years of the shelter forests, the soil microbial metabolic activities (AWCD) and microbial diversity indices enhanced obviously, but the AWCD values in different soil layers had no significant differences. The soil catalase activity among the forests had no significant difference, but the soil cellulase and sucrase activities varied significantly. The soil microbial biomass carbon and nitrogen increased with the increasing planting years of the shelter forests, having a significant difference among the forests, but the microbial biomass phosphorus had no significant difference. The AWCD values had significant correlations with soil available nutrient contents, but less correlations with soil bulk density and moisture content. It was suggested that under the present management patterns and climate conditions, the soil metabolic activities in the Tarim Desert Highway shelter forests would be improved continuously with the increasing planting years of the forests.

  17. Soil surface disturbances in cold deserts: Effects on nitrogenase activity in cyanobacterial-lichen soil crusts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, Jayne

    1996-01-01

    CyanobacteriaMichen soil crusts can be a dominant source of nitrogen for cold-desert ecosystems. Effects of surface disturbance from footprints, bike and vehicle tracks on the nitrogenase activity in these crusts was investigated. Surface disturbances reduced nitrogenase activity by 30-100%. Crusts dominated by the cyanobacterium Microcoleus vaginatus on sandy soils were the most susceptible to disruption; crusts on gypsiferous soils were the least susceptible. Crusts where the soil lichen Collema tenax was present showed less immediate effects; however, nitrogenase activity still declined over time. Levels of nitrogenase activity reduction were affected by the degree of soil disruption and whether sites were dominated by cyanobacteria with or without heterocysts. Consequently, anthropogenic surface disturbances may have serious implications for nitrogen budgets in these ecosystems.

  18. Biological and Molecular Structure Analyses of the Controls on Soil Organic Matter Dynamics.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A combination of biological analysis, such as incubation and microbial biomass determination, 13C and 14C tracers, soil fractionation, and matrix analysis (LF, POM, silt, and clay) with molecular structure analysis (py-MBMS) on long-term sites with a C3 ' C4 crop switch provided the tools for determ...

  19. Prospects for biological soil-borne disease control: application of indigenous versus synthetic microbiomes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Biological disease control of soil-borne plant diseases has traditionally employed the biopesticide approach whereby single strains or strain mixtures are introduced into production systems through inundative/inoculative release. The approach has significant barriers that have long been recognized,...

  20. Metal-accumulating plants: The biological resource and its commercial exploitation is soil clean-up technology

    SciTech Connect

    Baker, A.J.M.; Reeves, R.D.

    1996-12-31

    This presentation provides a broad overview of metal hyperaccumulator plants and biological accumulation technology. Plants that have been identified as having the greatest potentials for development as phytoremediator crops for metal-contaminated soils are very briefly discussed. Phytoextraction, rhizofiltration, and phytostabilization are briefly defined. Issues pertinent to large scale phytoremediation of soils are discussed, including biological and technological constraints.

  1. Bioremediation of oil refinery sludge by landfarming in semiarid conditions: influence on soil microbial activity.

    PubMed

    Marin, J A; Hernandez, T; Garcia, C

    2005-06-01

    Bioremediation of a refinery sludge containing hydrocarbons in a semi-arid climate using landfarming techniques is described. The objective of this study was to assess the ability of this technique to reduce the total hydrocarbon content added to the soil with the refinery sludge in semiarid climate (low rain and high temperature). In addition, we have evaluated the effect of this technique on the microbial activity of the soil involved. For this, biological parameters (carbon fractions, microbial biomass carbon, basal respiration and ATP) and biochemical parameters(different enzymatic activities) were determined. The results showed that 80% of the hydrocarbons were eliminated in eleven months, half of this reduction taking place during the first three months. The labile carbon fractions, MBC, basal respiration and ATP of the soils submitted to landfarming showed higher values than the control soil during the first months of the process, although these values fell down by the end of the experimental period as the hydrocarbons were degraded by mineralisation. All the enzymatic activities studied: oxidoreductases such as dehydrogenase activity, and hydrolases of C(beta-glucosidase activity) and N Cycle (urease and protease) showed higher values in the soils amended with the refinery sludge than in the control. As in the case of the previous parameters, these value fell down as the bioremediation of the hydrocarbons progressed, many of them reaching levels similar to those of the control soil after eleven months.

  2. Soil and Litter Animals.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lippert, George

    1991-01-01

    A lesson plan for soil study utilizes the Tullgren extraction method to illustrate biological concepts. It includes background information, equipment, collection techniques, activities, and references for identification guides about soil fauna. (MCO)

  3. Concentration-dependent effect of photoluminescent carbon dots on the microbial activity of the soil studied by combination methods.

    PubMed

    Liu, Wenjuan; Yao, Jun; Chai, Hankuai; Zhao, Zhibo; Zhang, Chi; Jin, Jingnan; Choi, Martin M F

    2015-03-01

    Carbon dots (Cdots) have a great potential for their widespread biological applications. However, there are a few studies on the biosafety of Cdots. In this work, the biological effect of Cdots on soil microorganism was analyzed by microcalorimetry, soil enzymatic activities, and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). The addition of Cdots causes a gradual increase of the maximum heat power (P peak) and the growth rate (k) at low concentration of Cdots (0.0-50.00 μg/g). But there is no significant effect of Cdots on the total heat output (Q total). The urease and fluorescein diacetate esterase activities demonstrate that introduction of Cdots to soil has almost no impact on the structure and function of the soil microbial community and microbial processes. The DGGE results exhibit that the control and the Cdots-treated soils display similar patterns, indicating that Cdots have little effect on the microbial community structure.

  4. Thermal and biological treatability studies on explosives-contaminated soil from a DOD site

    SciTech Connect

    Shultz, S.R.; Taylor, C.; Shultz, D.W.R.; Cichelli, J.; Pinion, J.

    1994-12-31

    Laboratory- and bench-scale treatability studies were conducted on explosives-contaminated soil from the former Nebraska Ordnance Plant (NOP) Site by RUST Environment and Infrastructure (RUST) for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in order to obtain site-specific information for technologies evaluated in the Feasibility Study for the site. Both thermal and biological treatment were identified in the Feasibility Study as technologies that could potentially be used to remediate the explosives-contaminated soil at the site. However, additional information specific to the chemical concentrations and soil properties of the site was required to fully evaluate these technologies. Therefore, these studies were initiated in order to gain more information. The studies summarized in this paper include a rotary kiln incineration and geotechnical study conducted by RUST, Cross/Tessitore and Associates (C/TA) under subcontract to RUST, and a biological treatment study conducted by Radian Corporation (Radian) under subcontract to RUST.

  5. Microbial Enzyme Activity and Carbon Cycling in Grassland Soil Fractions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allison, S. D.; Jastrow, J. D.

    2004-12-01

    Extracellular enzymes are necessary to degrade complex organic compounds present in soils. Using physical fractionation procedures, we tested whether old soil carbon is spatially isolated from degradative enzymes across a prairie restoration chronosequence in Illinois, USA. We found that carbon-degrading enzymes were abundant in all soil fractions, including macroaggregates, microaggregates, and the clay fraction, which contains carbon with a mean residence time of ~200 years. The activities of two cellulose-degrading enzymes and a chitin-degrading enzyme were 2-10 times greater in organic matter fractions than in bulk soil, consistent with the rapid turnover of these fractions. Polyphenol oxidase activity was 3 times greater in the clay fraction than in the bulk soil, despite very slow carbon turnover in this fraction. Changes in enzyme activity across the restoration chronosequence were small once adjusted for increases in soil carbon concentration, although polyphenol oxidase activity per unit carbon declined by 50% in native prairie versus cultivated soil. These results are consistent with a `two-pool' model of enzyme and carbon turnover in grassland soils. In light organic matter fractions, enzyme production and carbon turnover both occur rapidly. However, in mineral-dominated fractions, both enzymes and their carbon substrates are immobilized on mineral surfaces, leading to slow turnover. Soil carbon accumulation in the clay fraction and across the prairie restoration chronosequence probably reflects increasing physical isolation of enzymes and substrates on the molecular scale, rather than the micron to millimeter scale.

  6. The influence of biological soil crusts on dew deposition in Gurbantunggut Desert, Northwestern China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Jing; Zhang, Yuan-ming; Downing, Alison; Cheng, Jun-hui; Zhou, Xiao-bing; Zhang, Bing-chang

    2009-12-01

    SummaryDew is an important source of moisture for plants, biological soil crusts, invertebrates and small vertebrates in desert environments. In this paper, measurements were taken to investigate the effects of three different types of biological soil crusts (cyanobacteria, lichen and moss) and bare sand on dew deposition in the Gurbantunggut Desert. Dew quantities were measured using micro-lysimeters with a diameter of 6 cm and a height of 3.5 cm. The results showed that the total amount of dew deposited increased with the development of soil crusts, from bare sand to cyanobacterial crust to lichen crust to moss crust. The average amount of dew deposited daily on the moss crust was the highest of all and it was significant higher than the other three soil surfaces (lichen crust, cyanobacterial crust and bare sand) ( p < 0.05). During the period of the study, for each type of crust studied, the maximum amount of dew recorded was several times greater than the minimum. Moss crust was characterized by having the greatest amount of dew at dawn and also the maximum amount of dew deposited, whereas bare sand yielded the lowest amount of dew, with lichen crust and cyanobacterial crust exhibiting intermediate values. However, this was not the case for dew duration, as bare sand retained moisture for the longest period of time, followed by cyanobacterial crust, moss crust and finally lichen crust. Dew continued to condense even after sunrise. Furthermore, the differences in dew deposition may be partially attributed to an effect of the biological soil crusts on surface area. This study demonstrates the important effect of biological soil crusts upon dew deposition and may assist in evaluating the role of dew in arid and semi-arid environments.

  7. Key Factors Controlling the Growth of Biological Soil Crusts: Towards a Protocol to Produce Biocrusts in Greenhouse Facilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Velasco Ayuso, Sergio; María Giraldo Silva, Ana; Nelson, Corey; Barger, Nichole; Antoninka, Anita; Bowker, Matthew; Garcia-Pichel, Ferran

    2016-04-01

    Biological soil crusts (= biocrusts) are topsoil communities comprise of, but not limited to, cyanobacteria, algae, lichens, and mosses that grow intimately associated with soil particles in drylands. Biocrusts have central ecological roles in these areas as sources of carbon and nutrients, and efficiently retain water and prevent soil erosion, which improves soil structure and promotes soil fertility. However, human activities, such as cattle grazing, hiking or military training, are rapidly striking biocrusts. Although it is well known that the inoculation with cyanobacteria or lichens can enhance the recovery of biocrusts in degraded soils, little is known about the factors that control their growth rates. Using soil and inocula from four different sites located in one cold desert (Utah) and in one hot desert (New Mexico), we performed a fractional factorial experiment involving seven factors (water, light, P, N, calcium carbonate, trace metals and type of inoculum) to screen their effects on the growth of biocrusts. After four months, we measured the concentration of chlorophyll a, and we discovered that water, light and P, N or P+N were the most important factors controlling the growth of biocrusts. In the experimental treatments involving these three factors we measured a similar concentration of chlorophyll a (or even higher) to this found in the field locations. Amplification of the 16S rRNA gene segment using universal bacteria primers revealed a microbial community composition in the biocrusts grown that closely corresponds to initial measurements made on inocula. In summary, based on our success in obtaining biocrust biomass from natural communities in greenhouse facilities, without significantly changing its community composition at the phylum and cyanobacterial level, we are paving the road to propose a protocol to produce a high quality-nursed inoculum aiming to assist restoration of arid and semi-arid ecosystems affected by large-scale disturbances.

  8. The ice nucleation activity of biological aerosols

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grothe, H.; Pummer, B.; Bauer, H.; Bernardi, J.

    2012-04-01

    Primary Biological Aerosol Particles (PBAPs), including bacteria, spores and pollen may be important for several atmospheric processes. Particularly, the ice nucleation caused by PBAPs is a topic of growing interest, since their impact on ice cloud formation and thus on radiative forcing, an important parameter in global climate is not yet fully understood. In laboratory model studies we investigated the ice nucleation activity of selected PBAPs. We studied the immersion mode freezing using water-oil emulsion, which we observed by optical microscopy. We particularly focused on pollen. We show that pollen of different species strongly differ in their ice nucleation behavior. The average freezing temperatures in laboratory experiments range from 240 K to 255 K. As the most efficient nuclei (silver birch, Scots pine and common juniper pollen) have a distribution area up to the Northern timberline, their ice nucleation activity might be a cryoprotective mechanism. For comparison the ice nucleation activity of Snomax, fungal spores, and mushrooms will be discussed as well. In the past, pollen have been rejected as important atmospheric IN, as they are not as abundant in the atmosphere as bacteria or mineral dust and are too heavy to reach higher altitudes. However, in our experiments (Pummer et al. 2011) it turned out that water, which had been in contact with pollen and then been separated from the bodies, nucleates as good as the pollen grains themselves. So the ice nuclei have to be easily-suspendable macromolecules (100-300 kDa) located on the pollen. Once extracted, they can be distributed further through the atmosphere than the heavy pollen grains and so augment the impact of pollen on ice cloud formation even in the upper troposphere. It is widely known, that material from the pollen, like allergens and sugars, can indeed leave the pollen body and be distributed independently. The most probable mechanism is the pollen grain bursting by rain, which releases

  9. Simulation of Viking biology experiments suggests smectites not palagonites, as martian soil analogues

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Banin, A.; Margulies, L.

    1983-01-01

    An experimental comparison of palagonites and a smectite (montmorillonite) was performed in a simulation of the Viking Biology Labelled Release (LR) experiment in order to judge which mineral is a better Mars soil analog material (MarSAM). Samples of palagonite were obtained from cold weathering environments and volcanic soil, and the smectite was extracted from Wyoming Bentonite and converted to H or Fe types. Decomposition reaction kinetics were examined in the LR simulation, which on the Lander involved interaction of the martian soil with organic compounds. Reflectance spectroscopy indicated that smectites bearing Fe(III) in well-crystallized sites are not good MarSAMS. The palagonites did not cause the formate decomposition and C-14 emission detected in the LR, indicating that palagonites are also not good MarSAMS. Smectites, however, may be responsible for ion exchange, molecular adsorption, and catalysis in martian soil.

  10. Microbial Functional Diversity, Biomass and Activity as Affected by Soil Surface Mulching in a Semiarid Farmland.

    PubMed

    Shen, Yufang; Chen, Yingying; Li, Shiqing

    2016-01-01

    Mulching is widely used to increase crop yield in semiarid regions in northwestern China, but little is known about the effect of different mulching systems on the microbial properties of the soil, which play an important role in agroecosystemic functioning and nutrient cycling. Based on a 4-year spring maize (Zea mays L.) field experiment at Changwu Agricultural and Ecological Experimental Station, Shaanxi, we evaluated the responses of soil microbial activity and crop to various management systems. The treatments were NMC (no mulching with inorganic N fertilizer), GMC (gravel mulching with inorganic N fertilizer), FMC (plastic-film mulching with inorganic N fertilizer) and FMO (plastic-film mulching with inorganic N fertilizer and organic manure addition). The results showed that the FMO soil had the highest contents of microbial biomass carbon and nitrogen, dehydrogenase activity, microbial activity and Shannon diversity index. The relative use of carbohydrates and amino acids by microbes was highest in the FMO soil, whereas the relative use of polymers, phenolic compounds and amines was highest in the soil in the NMC soil. Compared with the NMC, an increased but no significant trend of biomass production and nitrogen accumulation was observed under the GMC treatment. The FMC and FMO led a greater increase in biomass production than GMC and NMC. Compare with the NMC treatment, FMC increased grain yield, maize biomass and nitrogen accumulation by 62.2, 62.9 and 86.2%, but no significant difference was found between the FMO and FMC treatments. Some soil biological properties, i.e. microbial biomass carbon, microbial biomass nitrogen, being sensitive to the mulching and organic fertilizer, were significant correlated with yield and nitrogen availability. Film mulching over gravel mulching can serve as an effective measure for crop production and nutrient cycling, and plus organic fertilization additions may thus have improvements in the biological quality of the

  11. Microbial Functional Diversity, Biomass and Activity as Affected by Soil Surface Mulching in a Semiarid Farmland

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Yufang; Chen, Yingying; Li, Shiqing

    2016-01-01

    Mulching is widely used to increase crop yield in semiarid regions in northwestern China, but little is known about the effect of different mulching systems on the microbial properties of the soil, which play an important role in agroecosystemic functioning and nutrient cycling. Based on a 4-year spring maize (Zea mays L.) field experiment at Changwu Agricultural and Ecological Experimental Station, Shaanxi, we evaluated the responses of soil microbial activity and crop to various management systems. The treatments were NMC (no mulching with inorganic N fertilizer), GMC (gravel mulching with inorganic N fertilizer), FMC (plastic-film mulching with inorganic N fertilizer) and FMO (plastic-film mulching with inorganic N fertilizer and organic manure addition). The results showed that the FMO soil had the highest contents of microbial biomass carbon and nitrogen, dehydrogenase activity, microbial activity and Shannon diversity index. The relative use of carbohydrates and amino acids by microbes was highest in the FMO soil, whereas the relative use of polymers, phenolic compounds and amines was highest in the soil in the NMC soil. Compared with the NMC, an increased but no significant trend of biomass production and nitrogen accumulation was observed under the GMC treatment. The FMC and FMO led a greater increase in biomass production than GMC and NMC. Compare with the NMC treatment, FMC increased grain yield, maize biomass and nitrogen accumulation by 62.2, 62.9 and 86.2%, but no significant difference was found between the FMO and FMC treatments. Some soil biological properties, i.e. microbial biomass carbon, microbial biomass nitrogen, being sensitive to the mulching and organic fertilizer, were significant correlated with yield and nitrogen availability. Film mulching over gravel mulching can serve as an effective measure for crop production and nutrient cycling, and plus organic fertilization additions may thus have improvements in the biological quality of the

  12. Effects of Altered Temperature & Precipitation on Soil Bacterial & Microfaunal Communities as Mediated by Biological Soil Crusts

    SciTech Connect

    Neher, Deborah A.

    2004-08-31

    With increased temperatures in our original pot study we observed a decline in lichen/moss crust cover and with that a decline in carbon and nitrogen fixation, and thus a probable decline of C and N input into crusts and soils. Soil bacteria and fauna were affected negatively by increased temperature in both light and dark crusts, and with movement from cool to hot and hot to hotter desert climates. Crust microbial biomass and relative abundance of diazotrophs was reduced greatly after one year, even in pots that were not moved from their original location, although no change in diazotroph community structure was observed. Populations of soil fauna moved from cool to hot deserts were affected more negatively than those moved from hot to hotter deserts.

  13. The Infusion of Environmental Activities into a Secondary Biology Curriculum

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Foster, Helen M.

    1976-01-01

    Reviewed are "adventure-type" environmental education activities incorporated into a secondary level biology course. Student wilderness experiences included 24 weekend activities of hiking, bird watching, camping, and cross-country skiing. (SL)

  14. Multifunctional and biologically active matrices from multicomponent polymeric solutions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kiick, Kristi L. (Inventor); Yamaguchi, Nori (Inventor); Rabolt, John (Inventor); Casper, Cheryl (Inventor)

    2012-01-01

    A functionalized electrospun matrix for the controlled-release of biologically active agents, such as growth factors, is presented. The functionalized matrix comprises a matrix polymer, a compatibilizing polymer and a biomolecule or other small functioning molecule. In certain aspects the electrospun polymer fibers comprise at least one biologically active molecule functionalized with low molecular weight heparin.

  15. Carbon exchange in biological soil crust communities under differential temperatures and soil water contents: implications for global change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grote, Edmund E.; Belnap, Jayne; Housman, David C.; Sparks, Jed P.

    2010-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are an integral part of the soil system in arid regions worldwide, stabilizing soil surfaces, aiding vascular plant establishment, and are significant sources of ecosystem nitrogen and carbon. Hydration and temperature primarily control ecosystem CO2 flux in these systems. Using constructed mesocosms for incubations under controlled laboratory conditions, we examined the effect of temperature (5-35 1C) and water content (WC, 20-100%) on CO2 exchange in light cyanobacterially dominated) and dark cyanobacteria/lichen and moss dominated) biocrusts of the cool Colorado Plateau Desert in Utah and the hot Chihuahuan Desert in New Mexico. In light crusts from both Utah and New Mexico, net photosynthesis was highest at temperatures 430 1C. Net photosynthesis in light crusts from Utah was relatively insensitive to changes in soil moisture. In contrast, light crusts from New Mexico tended to exhibit higher rates of net photosynthesis at higher soil moisture. Dark crusts originating from both sites exhibited the greatest net photosynthesis at intermediate soil water content (40-60%). Declines in net photosynthesis were observed in dark crusts with crusts from Utah showing declines at temperatures 425 1C and those originating from New Mexico showing declines at temperatures 435 1C. Maximum net photosynthesis in all crust types from all locations were strongly influenced by offsets in the optimal temperature and water content for gross photosynthesis compared with dark respiration. Gross photosynthesis tended to be maximized at some intermediate value of temperature and water content and dark respiration tended to increase linearly. The results of this study suggest biocrusts are capable of CO2 exchange under a wide range of conditions. However, significant changes in the magnitude of this exchange should be expected for the temperature and precipitation changes suggested by current climate models.

  16. Biological Soil Crusts from Coastal Dunes at the Baltic Sea: Cyanobacterial and Algal Biodiversity and Related Soil Properties.

    PubMed

    Schulz, Karoline; Mikhailyuk, Tatiana; Dreßler, Mirko; Leinweber, Peter; Karsten, Ulf

    2016-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are known as "ecosystem-engineers" that have important, multifunctional ecological roles in primary production, in nutrient and hydrological cycles, and in stabilization of soils. These communities, however, are almost unstudied in coastal dunes of the temperate zone. Hence, for the first time, the biodiversity of cyanobacterial and algal dominated BSCs collected in five dunes from the southern Baltic Sea coast on the islands Rügen and Usedom (Germany) was investigated in connection with physicochemical soil parameters. The species composition of cyanobacteria and algae was identified with direct determination of crust subsamples, cultural methods, and diatom slides. To investigate the influence of soil properties on species composition, the texture, pH, electrical conductivity, carbonate content, total contents of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and the bioavailable phosphorus-fraction (PO4 (3-)) were analyzed in adjacent BSC-free surface soils at each study site. The data indicate that BSCs in coastal dunes of the southern Baltic Sea represent an ecologically important vegetation form with a surprisingly high site-specific diversity of 19 cyanobacteria, 51 non-diatom algae, and 55 diatoms. All dominant species of the genera Coleofasciculus, Lyngbya, Microcoleus, Nostoc, Hydrocoryne, Leptolyngbya, Klebsormidium, and Lobochlamys are typical aero-terrestrial cyanobacteria and algae, respectively. This first study of coastal sand dunes in the Baltic region provides compelling evidence that here the BSCs were dominated by cyanobacteria, algae, or a mixture of both. Among the physicochemical soil properties, the total phosphorus content of the BSC-free sand was the only factor that significantly influenced the cyanobacterial and algal community structure of BSCs in coastal dunes.

  17. No tillage combined with crop rotation improves soil microbial community composition and metabolic activity.

    PubMed

    Sun, Bingjie; Jia, Shuxia; Zhang, Shixiu; McLaughlin, Neil B; Liang, Aizhen; Chen, Xuewen; Liu, Siyi; Zhang, Xiaoping

    2016-04-01

    Soil microbial community can vary with different agricultural managements, which in turn can affect soil quality. The objective of this work was to evaluate the effects of long-term tillage practice (no tillage (NT) and conventional tillage (CT)) and crop rotation (maize-soybean (MS) rotation and monoculture maize (MM)) on soil microbial community composition and metabolic capacity in different soil layers. Long-term NT increased the soil organic carbon (SOC) and total nitrogen (TN) mainly at the 0-5 cm depth which was accompanied with a greater microbial abundance. The greater fungi-to-bacteria (F/B) ratio was found in NTMS at the 0-5 cm depth. Both tillage and crop rotation had a significant effect on the metabolic activity, with the greatest average well color development (AWCD) value in NTMS soil at all three soil depths. Redundancy analysis (RDA) showed that the shift in microbial community composition was accompanied with the changes in capacity of utilizing different carbon substrates. Therefore, no tillage combined with crop rotation could improve soil biological quality and make agricultural systems more sustainable.

  18. Effects of CO[sub 2] and climate change on forest trees: Soil biology and enzymology

    SciTech Connect

    Moldenke, A.R.; Baumeister, N.; Caldwell, B.A.; Griffith, R.; Ingham, E.R.; Wernz, J. ); Johnson, M.G.; Rygiewicz, P.T.; Tingey, D.T. )

    1994-06-01

    Samples of Teracosm soils were analyzed shortly after initial setup to determine whether initial conditions were equivalent and matched expected values for local soils. Total and active fungal biomass, active bacterial biomass and protozoan numbers were reduced, with greatest decreases occurring in the A horizon. No effect was observed on total bacterial biomass, nematode or anthropod densities, but changes in nematode and arthropod species composition occurred. Significant differences in total density and species composition occurred between the enclosed Teracosms and the open controls. Arthropod and nematode community structure in the three altitudinal field sites had significantly diverged. No significant differences in activities of key soil enzymes in C- and N-cycling (acid phosphatase, protease, B-glucosidase, phenol oxidase and peroxidase) were found between initial samples relative to treatment, but all levels were significantly difference relative to depth in soil profile. Activities were within ranges previously observed in forests of the Pacific Northwest.

  19. Arid soil microbial enzymatic activity profile as affected by geographical location and soil degradation status

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Evaluating soil health is critical for any successful remediation effort. Arid lands, with their minimal carbon and water contents, low nutritional status and restricted, seasonal microbial activity pose specific challenges to soil health restoration and by extension, restoration of ecosystem repr...

  20. Soil climate and decomposer activity in Sub-Saharan Africa estimated from standard weather station data: a simple climate index for soil carbon balance calculations.

    PubMed

    Andrén, Olof; Kihara, Job; Bationo, André; Vanlauwe, Bernard; Kätterer, Thomas

    2007-07-01

    Soil biological activity was calculated on a daily basis, using standard meteorological data from African weather stations, a simple soil water model, and commonly used assumptions regarding the relations between temperature, soil water content, and biological activity. The activity factor r(e_clim) is calculated from daily soil moisture and temperature, thereby taking the daily interaction between temperature and moisture into account. Annual mean r(e_clim) was normalized to 1 in Central Sweden (clay loam soil, no crop), where the original calibration took place. Since soils vary in water storage capacity and plant cover will affect transpiration, we used this soil under no crop for all sites, thereby only including climate differences. The Swedish r(e_clim) value, 1, corresponds to ca. 50% annual mass loss of, e.g., cereal straw incorporated into the topsoil. African mean annual r(e_clim) values varied between 1.1 at a hot and dry site (Faya, Chad) and 4.7 at a warm and moist site (Brazzaville, Congo). Sites in Kenya ranged between r(e_clim) = 2.1 at high altitude (Matanya) and 4.1 in western Kenya (Ahero). This means that 4.1 times the Swedish C input to soil is necessary to maintain Swedish soil carbon levels in Ahero, if soil type and management are equal. Diagrams showing daily r(e_clim) dynamics are presented for all sites, and differences in within-year dynamics are discussed. A model experiment indicated that a Swedish soil in balance with respect to soil carbon would lose 41% of its soil carbon during 30 y, if moved to Ahero, Kenya. If the soil was in balance in Ahero with respect to soil carbon, and then moved to Sweden, soil carbon mass would increase by 64% in 30 y. The validity of the methodology and results is discussed, and r(e_clim) is compared with other climate indices. A simple method to produce a rough estimate of r(e_clim) is suggested.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Zelikova TJ; Hosman DC; Grote EE; Neher DA; Belnap J

    2011-03-21

    Frequent hydration and drying of soils in arid systems can accelerate desert carbon and nitrogen mobilization due to respiration, microbial death, and release of intracellular solutes. Because desert microinvertebrates can mediate nutrient cycling, and the autotrophic components of crusts are known to be sensitive to rapid desiccation due to elevated temperatures after wetting events, we studied whether altered soil temperature and frequency of summer precipitation can also affect the composition of food web consumer functional groups. We conducted a two-year field study with experimentally-elevated temperature and frequency of summer precipitation in the Colorado Plateau desert, measuring the change in abundance of nematodes, protozoans, and microarthropods. We hypothesized that microfauna would be more adversely affected by the combination of elevated temperature and frequency of summer precipitation than either effect alone, as found previously for phototrophic crust biota. Microfauna experienced normal seasonal fluctuations in abundance, but the effect of elevated temperature and frequency of summer precipitation was statistically non-significant for most microfaunal groups, except amoebae. The seasonal increase in abundance of amoebae was reduced with combined elevated temperature and increased frequency of summer precipitation compared to either treatment alone, but comparable with control (untreated) plots. Based on our findings, we suggest that desert soil microfauna are relatively more tolerant to increases in ambient temperature and frequency of summer precipitation than the autotrophic components of biological soil crust at the surface.

  2. Milk inhibits the biological activity of ricin

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ricin is a highly toxic protein produced by the castor plant Ricinus communis. The toxin is relatively easy to isolate and can be used as a biological weapon. There is great interest in identifying effective inhibitors for ricin. In this study, we demonstrated by three independent assays that compon...

  3. Actinobacteria from Arid and Desert Habitats: Diversity and Biological Activity.

    PubMed

    Mohammadipanah, Fatemeh; Wink, Joachim

    2015-01-01

    The lack of new antibiotics in the pharmaceutical pipeline guides more and more researchers to leave the classical isolation procedures and to look in special niches and ecosystems. Bioprospecting of extremophilic Actinobacteria through mining untapped strains and avoiding resiolation of known biomolecules is among the most promising strategies for this purpose. With this approach, members of acidtolerant, alkalitolerant, psychrotolerant, thermotolerant, halotolerant and xerotolerant Actinobacteria have been obtained from respective habitats. Among these, little survey exists on the diversity of Actinobacteria in arid areas, which are often adapted to relatively high temperatures, salt concentrations, and radiation. Therefore, arid and desert habitats are special ecosystems which can be recruited for the isolation of uncommon Actinobacteria with new metabolic capability. At the time of this writing, members of Streptomyces, Micromonospora, Saccharothrix, Streptosporangium, Cellulomonas, Amycolatopsis, Geodermatophilus, Lechevalieria, Nocardia, and Actinomadura are reported from arid habitats. However, metagenomic data present dominant members of the communities in desiccating condition of areas with limited water availability that are not yet isolated. Furthermore, significant diverse types of polyketide synthase (PKS) and non-ribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) genes are detected in xerophilic and xerotolerant Actinobacteria and some bioactive compounds are reported from them. Rather than pharmaceutically active metabolites, molecules with protection activity against drying such as Ectoin and Hydroxyectoin with potential application in industry and agriculture have also been identified from xerophilic Actinobacteria. In addition, numerous biologically active small molecules are expected to be discovered from arid adapted Actinobacteria in the future. In the current survey, the diversity and biotechnological potential of Actinobacteria obtained from arid ecosystems

  4. Actinobacteria from Arid and Desert Habitats: Diversity and Biological Activity

    PubMed Central

    Mohammadipanah, Fatemeh; Wink, Joachim

    2016-01-01

    The lack of new antibiotics in the pharmaceutical pipeline guides more and more researchers to leave the classical isolation procedures and to look in special niches and ecosystems. Bioprospecting of extremophilic Actinobacteria through mining untapped strains and avoiding resiolation of known biomolecules is among the most promising strategies for this purpose. With this approach, members of acidtolerant, alkalitolerant, psychrotolerant, thermotolerant, halotolerant and xerotolerant Actinobacteria have been obtained from respective habitats. Among these, little survey exists on the diversity of Actinobacteria in arid areas, which are often adapted to relatively high temperatures, salt concentrations, and radiation. Therefore, arid and desert habitats are special ecosystems which can be recruited for the isolation of uncommon Actinobacteria with new metabolic capability. At the time of this writing, members of Streptomyces, Micromonospora, Saccharothrix, Streptosporangium, Cellulomonas, Amycolatopsis, Geodermatophilus, Lechevalieria, Nocardia, and Actinomadura are reported from arid habitats. However, metagenomic data present dominant members of the communities in desiccating condition of areas with limited water availability that are not yet isolated. Furthermore, significant diverse types of polyketide synthase (PKS) and non-ribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) genes are detected in xerophilic and xerotolerant Actinobacteria and some bioactive compounds are reported from them. Rather than pharmaceutically active metabolites, molecules with protection activity against drying such as Ectoin and Hydroxyectoin with potential application in industry and agriculture have also been identified from xerophilic Actinobacteria. In addition, numerous biologically active small molecules are expected to be discovered from arid adapted Actinobacteria in the future. In the current survey, the diversity and biotechnological potential of Actinobacteria obtained from arid ecosystems

  5. Effect of silver nano-particles on soil microbial growth, activity and community diversity in a sandy loam soil.

    PubMed

    Samarajeewa, A D; Velicogna, J R; Princz, J I; Subasinghe, R M; Scroggins, R P; Beaudette, L A

    2017-01-01

    Silver nano-particles (AgNPs) are widely used in a range of consumer products as a result of their antimicrobial properties. Given the broad spectrum of uses, AgNPs have the potential for being released to the environment. As a result, environmental risks associated with AgNPs need to be assessed to aid in the development of regulatory guidelines. Research was performed to assess the effects of AgNPs on soil microbial activity and diversity in a sandy loam soil with an emphasis on using a battery of microbial tests involving multiple endpoints. The test soil was spiked with PVP coated (0.3%) AgNPs at the following concentrations of 49, 124, 287, 723 and 1815 mg Ag kg(-1) dry soil. Test controls included an un-amended soil; soil amended with PVP equivalent to the highest PVP concentration of the coated AgNP; and soil amended with humic acid, as 1.8% humic acid was used as a suspension agent for the AgNPs. The impact on soil microbial community was assessed using an array of tests including heterotrophic plate counting, microbial respiration, organic matter decomposition, soil enzyme activity, biological nitrification, community level physiological profiling (CLPP), Ion Torrent™ DNA sequencing and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). An impact on microbial growth, activity and community diversity was evident from 49 to 1815 mg kg(-1) with the median inhibitory concentrations (IC50) as low as 20-31 mg kg(-1) depending on the test. AgNP showed a notable impact on microbial functional and genomic diversity. Emergence of a silver tolerant bacterium was observed at AgNP concentrations of 49-287 mg kg(-1) after 14-28 days of incubation, but not detectable at 723 and 1815 mg kg(-1). The bacterium was identified as Rhodanobacter sp. The study highlighted the effectiveness of using multiple microbial endpoints for inclusion to the environmental risk assessment of nanomaterials.

  6. Correlation between biological and physical availabilities of phenanthrene in soils and soil humin in aging experiments

    SciTech Connect

    White, J.C.; Hunter, M.; Nam, K.; Pignatello, J.J.; Alexander, M.

    1999-08-01

    The bioavailability of an organic compound in a soil or sediment commonly declines with the soil-chemical contact time (aging). A series of parallel desorption and bioavailability experiments was carried out on phenanthrene previously aged up to {approximately}100 d in Mount Pleasant silt loam (Mt. Pleasant, NY, USA) or Pahokee peat soil to determine as a function of the aging period the degree of correlation between the reduction in bioavailability and the rate and extent of desorption and the influence of soil organic matter composition on availability. The mineralization of phenanthrene by two bacteria and the uptake of phenanthrene by earthworms showed expected declines with aging. Likewise, the rate of phenanthrene desorption in the absence of organisms decreased with aging. The decline in initial rate of mineralization or desorption was nearly an order of magnitude after 50 to 60 d of aging. Plots of normalized rates of mineralization or desorption practically coincided. Similarly, plots of normalized fraction mineralized or fraction desorbed during an arbitrary period gave comparable slopes. The partial removal of organic matter from the peat by extraction with dilute NaOH to leave the humin fraction reduced the biodegradation of phenanthrene aged for 38 and 63 d as compared to the nonextracted peat, but the effect disappeared at longer incubation times. The rate of desorption from samples of peat previously extracted with NaOH or Na{sub 4}P{sub 2}O{sub 7} declined with aging and, for a given aging period, was significantly slower than from nonextracted peat. This work shows that the reduction in bioavailability of phenanthrene over time in soil is directly correlated with reduction of its physical availability due to desorption limitations. In addition, this study shows that removal of extractable humic substances leads to a decline in the rate of desorption and in the bioavailability of the substrate.

  7. NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kellogg, Kent; Thurman, Sam; Edelstein, Wendy; Spencer, Michael; Chen, Gun-Shing; Underwood, Mark; Njoku, Eni; Goodman, Shawn; Jai, Benhan

    2013-01-01

    The SMAP mission will produce high-resolution and accurate global maps of soil moisture and its freeze/thaw state using data from a non-imaging synthetic aperture radar and a radiometer, both operating at L-band.

  8. Studying the Activities of Microorganisms in Soil Using Slides.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cullimore, D. Roy; Pipe, Annette E.

    1980-01-01

    Two implanted slide techniques are described by which activity of proteolylic bacteria and the growth of algae in the soil can be readily studied by school students using simple apparatus and methods. Variations are suggested for studying the effects of agricultural practices and environmental conditions on the soil bacteria and algae. (Author/DS)

  9. Measurements of microbial community activities in individual soil macroaggregates

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The functional potential of single soil aggregates may provide insights into the localized distribution of microbial activities better than traditional assays conducted on bulk quantities of soil. Thus, we scaled down enzyme assays for ß-glucosidase, N-acetyl-ß-D-glucosaminidase, lipase, and leucine...

  10. Activation energies and temperature effects from electrical spectra of soil

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Apparent permittivity often has soil-specific temperature responses as well as soil water responses. These variations affect dielectric sensors, often requiring site-specific calibrations. Variations of permittivity as a function of frequency and temperature can be used to calculate activation energ...

  11. The Soil Moisture Active/Passive Mission (SMAP)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Soil Moisture Active/Passive (SMAP) mission will deliver global views of soil moisture content and its freeze/thaw state that are critical terrestrial water cycle state variables. Polarized measurements obtained with a shared antenna L-band radar and radiometer system will allow accurate estima...

  12. Do biotic interactions modulate ecosystem functioning along stress gradients? Insights from semi-arid plant and biological soil crust communities

    PubMed Central

    Maestre, Fernando T.; Bowker, Matthew A.; Escolar, Cristina; Puche, María D.; Soliveres, Santiago; Maltez-Mouro, Sara; García-Palacios, Pablo; Castillo-Monroy, Andrea P.; Martínez, Isabel; Escudero, Adrián

    2010-01-01

    Climate change will exacerbate the degree of abiotic stress experienced by semi-arid ecosystems. While abiotic stress profoundly affects biotic interactions, their potential role as modulators of ecosystem responses to climate change is largely unknown. Using plants and biological soil crusts, we tested the relative importance of facilitative–competitive interactions and other community attributes (cover, species richness and species evenness) as drivers of ecosystem functioning along stress gradients in semi-arid Mediterranean ecosystems. Biotic interactions shifted from facilitation to competition along stress gradients driven by water availability and temperature. These changes were, however, dependent on the spatial scale and the community considered. We found little evidence to suggest that biotic interactions are a major direct influence upon indicators of ecosystem functioning (soil respiration, organic carbon, water-holding capacity, compaction and the activity of enzymes related to the carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus cycles) along stress gradients. However, attributes such as cover and species richness showed a direct effect on ecosystem functioning. Our results do not agree with predictions emphasizing that the importance of plant–plant interactions will be increased under climate change in dry environments, and indicate that reductions in the cover of plant and biological soil crust communities will negatively impact ecosystems under future climatic conditions. PMID:20513714

  13. Ion selective electrode for determination of chloride ion in biological materials, food products, soils and waste water.

    PubMed

    Sekerka, I; Lechner, J F

    1978-11-01

    The chloride ion selective electrode is used for a rapid, simple, and reliable determination of chloride ion in biological materials (blood serum, urine, fish, and plant tissues), food products (milk, beef extract, nutrient broth and orange, tomato, and grapefruit juices), soils, and waste water (industrial and municipal). The method consists of treating the samples with perchloric acid (pH 1) and potassium peroxydisulfate and determining the chloride content either by a calibration curve or by known addition or analyte addition, using the chloride ion selective electrode. Such sample treatment eliminates most of the interferences occurring in the samples, including iodide, complexing and reducing compounds, and macromolecular and surface-active species. The method is suitable for a wide range of chloride concentration, e.g., 5010 ppm Cl- in nutrient broth and 4890 ppm in beef extract and as low as 12 and 80 ppm in soil extracts.

  14. Microbial Activity in Organic Soils as Affected by Soil Depth and Crop †

    PubMed Central

    Tate, Robert L.

    1979-01-01

    The microbial activity of Pahokee muck, a lithic medisaprist, and the effect of various environmental factors, such as position in the profile and type of plant cover, were examined. Catabolic activity for [7-14C]salicylic acid, [1,4-14C]succinate, and [1,2-14C]acetate remained reasonably constant in surface (0 to 10 cm) soil samples from a fallow (bare) field from late in the wet season (May to September) through January. Late in January, the microbial activity toward all three compounds decreased approximately 50%. The microbial activity of the soil decreased with increasing depth of soil. Salicylate catabolism was the most sensitive to increasing moisture deep in the soil profile. At the end of the wet season, a 90% decrease in activity between the surface and the 60- to 70-cm depth occurred. Catabolism of acetate and succinate decreased approximately 75% in the same samples. Little effect of crop was observed. Variation in the microbial activity, as measured by the catabolism of labeled acetate, salicylate, or succinate, was not significant between a sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum L.) field and a fallow field. The activity with acetate was insignificantly different in a St. Augustine grass [Stenotaphrum secundatum (Walt) Kuntz] field, whereas the catabolism of the remaining substrates was elevated in the grass field. These results indicate that the total carbon evolved from the different levels of the soil profile by the microbial community oxidizing the soil organic matter decreased as the depth of the soil column increased. However, correction of the amount of carbon yielded at each level for the bulk density of that level reveals that the microbial contribution to the soil subsidence is approximately equivalent throughout the soil profile above the water table. PMID:16345393

  15. Dynamics of soil organic carbon and microbial activity in treated wastewater irrigated agricultural soils along soil profiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jüschke, Elisabeth; Marschner, Bernd; Chen, Yona; Tarchitzky, Jorge

    2010-05-01

    Treated wastewater (TWW) is an important source for irrigation water in arid and semiarid regions and already serves as an important water source in Jordan, the Palestinian Territories and Israel. Reclaimed water still contains organic matter (OM) and various compounds that may effect microbial activity and soil quality (Feigin et al. 1991). Natural soil organic carbon (SOC) may be altered by interactions between these compounds and the soil microorganisms. This study evaluates the effects of TWW irrigation on the quality, dynamics and microbial transformations of natural SOC. Priming effects (PE) and SOC mineralization were determined to estimate the influence of TWW irrigation on SOC along soil profiles of agricultural soils in Israel and the Westbank. The used soil material derived from three different sampling sites allocated in Israel and The Palestinian Authority. Soil samples were taken always from TWW irrigated sites and control fields from 6 different depths (0-10, 10-20, 20-30, 30-50, 50-70, 70-100 cm). Soil carbon content and microbiological parameters (microbial biomass, microbial activities and enzyme activities) were investigated. In several sites, subsoils (50-160 cm) from TWW irrigated plots were depleted in soil organic matter with the largest differences occurring in sites with the longest TWW irrigation history. Laboratory incubation experiments with additions of 14C-labelled compounds to the soils showed that microbial activity in freshwater irrigated soils was much more stimulated by sugars or amino acids than in TWW irrigated soils. The lack of such "priming effects" (Hamer & Marschner 2005) in the TWW irrigated soils indicates that here the microorganisms are already operating at their optimal metabolic activity due to the continuous substrate inputs with soluble organic compounds from the TWW. The fact that PE are triggered continuously due to TWW irrigation may result in a decrease of SOC over long term irrigation. Already now this could be

  16. The environmental biological signature: NGS profiling for forensic comparison of soils.

    PubMed

    Giampaoli, S; Berti, A; Di Maggio, R M; Pilli, E; Valentini, A; Valeriani, F; Gianfranceschi, G; Barni, F; Ripani, L; Romano Spica, V

    2014-07-01

    The identification of the source of a specific soil sample is a crucial step in forensic investigations. Rapid advances in next generation sequencing (NGS) technology and the strong reduction of the cost of sequencing have recently opened new perspectives. In the present work a metabarcoding approach has been successfully applied to forensic and environmental soil samples, allowing the accurate and sensitive analysis of microflora (mfDNA), plants, metazoa, and protozoa DNA. The identification of the biological component by DNA metabarcoding is a strong element for the discrimination of samples geologically very similar but coming for distinct environments.

  17. Ice nucleation activity of agricultural soil dust aerosols from Mongolia, Argentina, and Germany

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steinke, I.; Funk, R.; Busse, J.; Iturri, A.; Kirchen, S.; Leue, M.; Möhler, O.; Schwartz, T.; Schnaiter, M.; Sierau, B.; Toprak, E.; Ullrich, R.; Ulrich, A.; Hoose, C.; Leisner, T.

    2016-11-01

    Soil dust particles emitted from agricultural areas contain considerable mass fractions of organic material. Also, soil dust particles may act as carriers for potentially ice-active biological particles. In this work, we present ice nucleation experiments conducted in the Aerosol Interaction and Dynamics in the Atmosphere (AIDA) cloud chamber. We investigated the ice nucleation efficiency of four types of soil dust from different regions of the world. The results are expressed as ice nucleation active surface site (INAS) densities and presented for the immersion freezing and the deposition nucleation mode. For immersion freezing occurring at 254 K, samples from Argentina, China, and Germany show ice nucleation efficiencies which are by a factor of 10 higher than desert dusts. On average, the difference in ice nucleation efficiencies between agricultural and desert dusts becomes significantly smaller at temperatures below 247 K. In the deposition mode the soil dusts showed higher ice nucleation activity than Arizona Test Dust over a temperature range between 232 and 248 K and humidities RHice up to 125%. INAS densities varied between 109 and 1011 m-2 for these thermodynamic conditions. For one soil dust sample (Argentinian Soil), the effect of treatments with heat was investigated. Heat treatments (383 K) did not affect the ice nucleation efficiency observed at 249 K. This finding presumably excludes proteinaceous ice-nucleating entities as the only source of the increased ice nucleation efficiency.

  18. SMOS Soil moisture Cal val activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kerr, Y.; Mialon, A.; Bitar, A. Al; Leroux, D.; Richaume, P.; Gruhier, C.; Berthon, L.; Novello, N.; Rudiger, C.; Bircher, S.; Wigneron, J. P.; Ferrazzoli, P.; Rahmoune, R.

    2012-04-01

    SMOS, successfully launched on November 2, 2009, uses an L Band radiometer with aperture synthesis to achieve a good spatial resolution.. It was developed and made under the leadership of the European Space Agency (ESA) as an Earth Explorer Opportunity mission. It is a joint program with the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) in France and the Centro para el Desarrollo Tecnologico Industrial (CDTI) in Spain. SMOS carries a single payload, an L band 2D interferometric,radiometer in the 1400-1427 MHz protected band. This wavelength penetrates well through the vegetation and with the atmosphere being almost transparent, it enables us to infer both soil moisture and vegetation water content. SMOS achieves an unprecedented spatial resolution of 50 km at L-band maximum (43 km on average) with multi angular-dual polarized (or fully polarized) brightness temperatures over the globe and with a revisit time smaller than 3 days. SMOS is now acquiring data and has undergone the commissioning phase. The data quality exceeds what was expected, showing very good sensitivity and stability. The data is however very much impaired by man made emission in the protected band, leading to degraded measurements in several areas including parts of Europe and China. Many different international teams are now performing cal val activities in various parts of the world, with notably large field campaigns either on the long time scale or over specific targets to address the specific issues. These campaigns take place in various parts of the world and in different environments, from the Antarctic plateau to the deserts, from rain forests to deep oceans. SMOS is a new sensor, making new measurements and paving the way for new applications. It requires a detailed analysis of the data so as to validate both the approach and the quality of the retrievals, and allow for monitoring and the evolution of the sensor. To achieve such goals it is very important to link efficiently ground

  19. Effects of tillage on the Fe oxides activation in soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chi, Guangyu; Chen, Xin; Shi, Yi; Wang, Jun; Zheng, Taihui

    2009-07-01

    Since mid-1950s, the wetland ecosystems in Sanjiang Plain of Northeast China have been experiencing greater changes in land use, which had negative effects on the soil environments. This study assessed the effects of soil tillage on the activation of soil Fe in the region. The test ecosystems included natural wetland, paddy field and upland field converted from wetland. Soil samples at the depths of 0-10 cm, 10-20 cm, 20-30 cm, 30-40 cm, 40-60 cm, 60-90 cm and 90-120 cm were collected from each of the ecosystems for the analysis of vertical distribution of soil pH, organic carbon, chelate Fe oxides and Fe(II). The results showed that the conversion of wetland into paddy field and upland field induced a decrease of organic carbon content in 0-10 cm soil layer by 61.8% (P <0.05) and 70.0% (P < 0.05), respectively. The correlations among iron forms and soil organic carbon showed that chelate Fe oxides and Fe(II) was correlated positively with soil organic carbon and chelate ratio had a more positive relationship with organic carbon than chelate Fe oxides and Fe(II). The results of chelate Fe oxides, Fe(II) and chelate ratio of Fe suggested that reclamation could prevent the Fe activation and organic matter is credited for having an important influence on the process of Fe activation.

  20. The impact of agricultural soil usage on activity and abundance of ammonifying bacteria in selected soils from Poland.

    PubMed

    Wolińska, Agnieszka; Szafranek-Nakonieczna, Anna; Banach, Artur; Błaszczyk, Mieczysław; Stępniewska, Zofia

    2016-01-01

    The aim of the study was to demonstrate the impact of soil agricultural usage on the abundance of ammonifying bacteria (AB) and their activity, expressed as arginine ammonification (AA). Five agriculturally exploited types of soils (FAO): Haplic Luvisol, Brunic Arenosol, Mollic Gleysol, Eutric Fluvisol, and Rendzina Leptosol were studied. The controls were non-agricultural soils of the same type located in close proximity to agricultural sites. The tested soils varied in terms of pH (4.18-7.08), total carbon (8.39-34.90 g kg(-1)), easily degradable carbon content (0.46-1.11 g kg(-1)), moisture (5.20-13.50 %), and nitrogen forms (mg kg(-1)): 1.68-27.17, 0.036-0.862, 0.012-3.389 for nitrate nitrogen, nitrite nitrogen, and ammonia nitrogen, respectively. The AB abundance in agricultural soils ranged from 1.1 to 6.4 × 10(4) cfu g(-1), while in the controls it was significantly higher-from 2.0 to 110 × 10(4) cfu g(-1) of soil. Also, AA in the controls was three-times higher than in the agricultural soils. Strong associations between AA and the abundance of AB in the control (r = 0.954***) and agricultural soils (r = 0.833***) were proved. In the agricultural soils, the AB abundance and AA were influenced by pH (r = 0.746*** and r = 0.520***) and carbon content (r = 0.488*** and r = 0.391***). The AB abundance was also affected by easily degradable carbon (r = 0.517**) and nitrite nitrogen (r = 0.376*), whilst ammonium nitrogen influenced AA (r = 0.451*). Our results indicate that the abundance of AB and AA may be good indicators of soil biological conditions.

  1. Biology Research Activities: Teacher's Edition (with Answers).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Newman, Barbara

    This book is part of the series "Explorations in Science" which contains enrichment activities for the general science curriculum. Each book in the series contains innovative and traditional projects for both the bright and average, the self-motivated, and those who find activity motivating. Each activity is self-contained and provides everything…

  2. Dynamic cyanobacterial response to hydration and dehydration in a desert biological soil crust.

    PubMed

    Rajeev, Lara; da Rocha, Ulisses Nunes; Klitgord, Niels; Luning, Eric G; Fortney, Julian; Axen, Seth D; Shih, Patrick M; Bouskill, Nicholas J; Bowen, Benjamin P; Kerfeld, Cheryl A; Garcia-Pichel, Ferran; Brodie, Eoin L; Northen, Trent R; Mukhopadhyay, Aindrila

    2013-11-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) cover extensive portions of the earth's deserts. In order to survive desiccation cycles and utilize short periods of activity during infrequent precipitation, crust microorganisms must rely on the unique capabilities of vegetative cells to enter a dormant state and be poised for rapid resuscitation upon wetting. To elucidate the key events involved in the exit from dormancy, we performed a wetting experiment of a BSC and followed the response of the dominant cyanobacterium, Microcoleus vaginatus, in situ using a whole-genome transcriptional time course that included two diel cycles. Immediate, but transient, induction of DNA repair and regulatory genes signaled the hydration event. Recovery of photosynthesis occurred within 1 h, accompanied by upregulation of anabolic pathways. Onset of desiccation was characterized by the induction of genes for oxidative and photo-oxidative stress responses, osmotic stress response and the synthesis of C and N storage polymers. Early expression of genes for the production of exopolysaccharides, additional storage molecules and genes for membrane unsaturation occurred before drying and hints at preparedness for desiccation. We also observed signatures of preparation for future precipitation, notably the expression of genes for anaplerotic reactions in drying crusts, and the stable maintenance of mRNA through dormancy. These data shed light on possible synchronization between this cyanobacterium and its environment, and provides key mechanistic insights into its metabolism in situ that may be used to predict its response to climate, and or, land-use driven perturbations.

  3. Integration into plant biology and soil science has provided insights into the total environment.

    PubMed

    Shao, Hongbo; Lu, Haiying; Xu, Gang; Marian, Brestic

    2017-02-01

    The total environment includes 5 closely-linking circles, in which biosphere and lithosphere are the active core. As global population increases and urbanization process accelerates, arable land is gradually decreasing under global climate change and the pressure of various types of environmental pollution. This case is especially for China. Land is the most important resources for human beings' survival. How to increase and manage arable land is the key for sustainable agriculture development. China has extensive marshy land that can be reclamated for the better potential land resources under the pre- condition of protecting the environment, which will be a good way for enlarging globally and managing arable land. Related studies have been conducted in China for the past 30years and now many results with obvious practical efficiency have been obtained. For summarizing these results, salt-soil will be the main target and related contents such as nutrient transport, use types, biodiversity and interactions with plants from molecular biology to ecology will be covered, in which the interactions among biosphere, lithosphere, atmosphere and anthroposphere will be focused on.

  4. Dynamic cyanobacterial response to hydration and dehydration in a desert biological soil crust

    PubMed Central

    Rajeev, Lara; da Rocha, Ulisses Nunes; Klitgord, Niels; Luning, Eric G; Fortney, Julian; Axen, Seth D; Shih, Patrick M; Bouskill, Nicholas J; Bowen, Benjamin P; Kerfeld, Cheryl A; Garcia-Pichel, Ferran; Brodie, Eoin L; Northen, Trent R; Mukhopadhyay, Aindrila

    2013-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) cover extensive portions of the earth's deserts. In order to survive desiccation cycles and utilize short periods of activity during infrequent precipitation, crust microorganisms must rely on the unique capabilities of vegetative cells to enter a dormant state and be poised for rapid resuscitation upon wetting. To elucidate the key events involved in the exit from dormancy, we performed a wetting experiment of a BSC and followed the response of the dominant cyanobacterium, Microcoleus vaginatus, in situ using a whole-genome transcriptional time course that included two diel cycles. Immediate, but transient, induction of DNA repair and regulatory genes signaled the hydration event. Recovery of photosynthesis occurred within 1 h, accompanied by upregulation of anabolic pathways. Onset of desiccation was characterized by the induction of genes for oxidative and photo-oxidative stress responses, osmotic stress response and the synthesis of C and N storage polymers. Early expression of genes for the production of exopolysaccharides, additional storage molecules and genes for membrane unsaturation occurred before drying and hints at preparedness for desiccation. We also observed signatures of preparation for future precipitation, notably the expression of genes for anaplerotic reactions in drying crusts, and the stable maintenance of mRNA through dormancy. These data shed light on possible synchronization between this cyanobacterium and its environment, and provides key mechanistic insights into its metabolism in situ that may be used to predict its response to climate, and or, land-use driven perturbations. PMID:23739051

  5. Climate change and physical disturbance manipulations result in distinct biological soil crust communities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Steven, Blaire; Kuske, Cheryl R.; Gallegos-Graves, La Verne; Reed, Sasha C.; Belnap, Jayne

    2015-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) colonize plant interspaces in many drylands and are critical to soil nutrient cycling. Multiple climate change and land use factors have been shown to detrimentally impact biocrusts on a macroscopic (i.e., visual) scale. However, the impact of these perturbations on the bacterial components of the biocrusts remain poorly understood. We employed multiple long-term field experiments to assess the impacts of chronic physical (foot trampling) and climatic changes (2 °C soil warming, altered summer precipitation (wetting), and combined warming and wetting) on biocrust bacterial biomass, composition, and metabolic profile. The biocrust bacterial communities adopted distinct states based on the mechanism of disturbance. Chronic trampling decreased biomass and caused small community compositional change. Soil warming had little effect on biocrust biomass or composition, while wetting resulted in an increase in cyanobacterial biomass and altered bacterial composition. Warming combined with wetting dramatically altered bacterial composition and decreased cyanobacteria abundance. Shotgun metagenomic sequencing identified four functional gene categories that differed in relative abundance among the manipulations, suggesting that climate and land use changes affected soil bacterial functional potential. This study illustrates that different types of biocrust disturbance damage biocrusts in macroscopically similar ways, but they differentially impact the resident soil bacterial communities and the community functional profile can differ depending on the disturbance type. Therefore, the nature of the perturbation and the microbial response are important considerations for management and restoration of drylands.

  6. How biological soil crusts became recognized as a functional unit: a selective history

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lange, Otto L.; Belnap, Jayne

    2016-01-01

    It is surprising that despite the world-wide distribution and general importance of biological soil crusts (biocrusts), scientific recognition and functional analysis of these communities is a relatively young field of science. In this chapter, we sketch the historical lines that led to the recognition of biocrusts as a community with important ecosystem functions. The idea of biocrusts as a functional ecological community has come from two main scientific branches: botany and soil science. For centuries, botanists have long recognized that multiple organisms colonize the soil surface in the open and often dry areas occurring between vascular plants. Much later, after the initial taxonomic and phyto-sociological descriptions were made, soil scientists and agronomists observed that these surface organisms interacted with soils in ways that changed the soil structure. In the 1970’s, research on these communities as ecological units that played an important functional role in drylands began in earnest, and these studies have continued to this day. Here, we trace the history of these studies from the distant past until 1990, when biocrusts became well-known to scientists and the public.

  7. Soil microbial activities beneath Stipa tenacissima L. and in surrounding bare soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Novosadová, I.; Ruiz Sinoga, J. D.; Záhora, J.; Fišerová, H.

    2010-05-01

    Open steppes dominated by Stipa tenacissima L. constitute one of the most representative ecosystems of the semi-arid zones of Eastern Mediterranean Basin (Iberian Peninsula, North of Africa). These steppes show a higher degree of variability in composition and structure. Ecosystem functioning is strongly related to the spatial pattern of grass tussocks. Soils beneath S. tenacissima grass show higher fertility and improved microclimatic conditions, favouring the formation of "resource islands" (Maestre et al., 2007). On the other hand in "resource islands" and in surrounding bare soil exists the belowground zone of influence. The competition for water and resources between plants and microorganisms is strong and mediated trough an enormous variety of exudates and resource depletion intended to regulate soil microbial communities in the rhizosphere, control herbivory, encourage beneficial symbioses, and change chemical and physical properties in soil (Pugnaire et Armas, 2008). Secondary compounds and allelopathy restrict other species growth and contribute to patchy plant distribution. Active root segregation affects not only neighbourś growth but also soil microbial activities. The objective of this study was to assess the effect of Stipa tenacissima on the key soil microbial activities under controlled incubation conditions (basal and potential respiration; net nitrogen mineralization). The experimental plots were located in the province Almería in Sierra de los Filabres Mountains near the village Gérgal (southeast Spain) in the small catchment which is situated between 1090 - 1165 m a.s.l. The area with extent of 82 000 m2 is affected by soil degradation. The climate is semiarid Mediterranean. The mean annual rainfall is of about 240 mm mostly concentrated in autumn and spring. The mean annual temperature is 13.9° C. The studied soil has a loam to sandy clay texture and is classified as Lithosol (FAO-ISRIC and ISSS, 1998). The vegetation of these areas is an

  8. ACTIVE SOIL DEPRESSURIZATION (ASD) DEMONSTRATION IN A LARGE BUILDING

    EPA Science Inventory

    The report gives results of an evaluation of the feasibility of implementing radon resistant construction techniques -- especially active soil depressurization (ASD) -- in new large buildings in Florida. Indoor radon concentrations and radon entry were monitored in a finished bui...

  9. Spatial Variations of Soil Microbial Activities in Saline Groundwater-Irrigated Soil Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Li-Juan; Feng, Qi; Li, Chang-Sheng; Song, You-Xi; Liu, Wei; Si, Jian-Hua; Zhang, Bao-Gui

    2016-05-01

    Spatial variations of soil microbial activities and its relationship with environmental factors are very important for estimating regional soil ecosystem function. Based on field samplings in a typical saline groundwater-irrigated region, spatial variations of soil microbial metabolic activities were investigated. Combined with groundwater quality analysis, the relationship between microbial activities and water salinity was also studied. The results demonstrated that moderate spatial heterogeneity of soil microbial activities presented under the total dissolved solids (TDS) of groundwater ranging from 0.23 to 12.24 g L-1. Groundwater salinity and microbial activities had almost opposite distribution characteristics: slight saline water was mainly distributed in west Baqu and south Quanshan, while severe saline and briny water were dominant in east Baqu and west Huqu; however, total AWCD was higher in the east-center and southwest of Baqu and east Huqu, while it was lower in east Baqu and northwest Huqu. The results of correlation analyses demonstrated that high-salinity groundwater irrigation had significantly adverse effects on soil microbial activities. Major ions Ca2+, Mg2+, Cl_, and SO4 2- in groundwater decisively influenced the results. Three carbon sources, carbohydrates, amines, and phenols, which had minor utilization rates in all irrigation districts, were extremely significantly affected by high-salinity groundwater irrigation. The results presented here offer an approach for diagnosing regional soil ecosystem function changes under saline water irrigation.

  10. Spatial Variations of Soil Microbial Activities in Saline Groundwater-Irrigated Soil Ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Chen, Li-Juan; Feng, Qi; Li, Chang-Sheng; Song, You-Xi; Liu, Wei; Si, Jian-Hua; Zhang, Bao-Gui

    2016-05-01

    Spatial variations of soil microbial activities and its relationship with environmental factors are very important for estimating regional soil ecosystem function. Based on field samplings in a typical saline groundwater-irrigated region, spatial variations of soil microbial metabolic activities were investigated. Combined with groundwater quality analysis, the relationship between microbial activities and water salinity was also studied. The results demonstrated that moderate spatial heterogeneity of soil microbial activities presented under the total dissolved solids (TDS) of groundwater ranging from 0.23 to 12.24 g L(-1). Groundwater salinity and microbial activities had almost opposite distribution characteristics: slight saline water was mainly distributed in west Baqu and south Quanshan, while severe saline and briny water were dominant in east Baqu and west Huqu; however, total AWCD was higher in the east-center and southwest of Baqu and east Huqu, while it was lower in east Baqu and northwest Huqu. The results of correlation analyses demonstrated that high-salinity groundwater irrigation had significantly adverse effects on soil microbial activities. Major ions Ca(2+), Mg(2+), Cl(-), and SO4(2-) in groundwater decisively influenced the results. Three carbon sources, carbohydrates, amines, and phenols, which had minor utilization rates in all irrigation districts, were extremely significantly affected by high-salinity groundwater irrigation. The results presented here offer an approach for diagnosing regional soil ecosystem function changes under saline water irrigation.

  11. Biology Notes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    School Science Review, 1983

    1983-01-01

    Describes laboratory procedures, demonstrations, and classroom activities/materials, including chi-square tests on a microcomputer, an integrated biology game, microscope slides of leaf stomata, culturing soil nematodes, technique for watering locust egg-laying tubes, hazards of biological chemicals (such as benzene, benzidene, calchicine,…

  12. [Degradation of phthalate esters in soil and the effects on soil enzyme activities].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jian; Shi, Yi-Jing; Cui, Yin; Xie, Hui-Jun; Wang, Wen-Xing

    2010-12-01

    Phthalate esters (PAEs) are a kind of widespread toxic organic compounds in the environment. We discussed the different degradation rate of four kinds of PAEs in the soil and its impact on different soil enzyme activities. We used GC-MS methods to determine the concentration of PAEs in soil. The results showed that soil microorganisms play a major role in the degradation of PAEs. The biodegradation diagram of PAEs was accord with first-order kinetics equation. And the shorter carbon chain, the better degradation efficiency. With the high concentration of PAE30, DnOP, which has long carbon chain, the degradation efficiency is lower than that of PAE1 and PAE10, only 73% was degraded after 40 days. We use standard methods to determine the matrix enzyme activities, after adding the PAEs into soil, beta-glucosidase, phosphatase, urease, protease activity have changed. Phosphatase activity decreased at first and then increased, beta-glucosidase activity decreased slowly, protease activity increased at first and then decreased, the activity of urease increased gradually. After 20 days, except for beta-glucosidase activity continued decreasing, the activities of others enzyme recovered gradually, and higher than the control group.

  13. Use of organic amendments as a bioremediation strategy to reduce the bioavailability of chlorpyrifos insecticide in soils. Effects on soil biology.

    PubMed

    Tejada, Manuel; Gómez, Isidoro; Del Toro, Marina

    2011-10-01

    The sorption capacity of both an organic municipal solid waste by-product (MSW) and a cow manure (CM) in a soil polluted with chlorpyrifos, as well as its effect on soil microbial activity, and weight, reproductive parameters and glutathione-S-transferase activity of two earthworm species (Eisenia fetida and Lumbricus terrestris) were studied. Chlorpyrifos was added at the recommended application rate (5 L ha(-1); 768 mg chlorpyrifos kg(-1)) and treated with MSW at a rate of 10% and CM at a rate of 5.8% in order to apply the same amount of organic matter to the soil. An unamended polluted soil was used as control. Earthworm cocoon number, average weight of cocoon, and number of juveniles per cocoon were measured after 30 days of incubation, whereas soil enzymatic activities, earthworm weight, and glutathione-S-transferase activity of earthworms were measured after 3, 45 and 90 days. Soil enzymatic activities, reproductive and glutathione-S-transferase activity in both worms decreased in polluted soil. The inhibition percentage of soil enzymatic activities, reproductive and glutathione-S-transferase activity in both worms was lower in MSW-amended soil than for CM-amended soil. The toxic effect of chlorpyrifos on E. fetida was lowest compared to L. terrestris. This suggested that the addition of organic wastes with higher humic than fulvic acid concentration is more beneficial for remediation of soils polluted with chlorpyrifos.

  14. [Effects of Different Land Uses on Soil Active Organic Carbon and Nitrogen Fractions in Jinyun Mountain].

    PubMed

    Qi, Xin; Jiang, Chang-sheng; Hao, Qing-ju; Li, Jian-lin

    2015-10-01

    In this paper, we take Jinyun Mountain where located in Beibei district of Chongqing as the research object and explore the effect of different ways of land use on soil active organic carbon, nitrogen components by collecting the soil samples from 0 to 60 cm depth in subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest (hereinafter referred to as the forest), abandoned land, orchard, farmland and measuring the content of MBC, MBN, DOC and DON. The research results show that the contents of soil MBC, MBN, DOC, DON are reduced with the increase of soil depth in four types of land using soils. Variance analysis of the single factor shows that four kinds of land uses have no significant difference in the contents of MBC, MBN and DON, but the DOC content of the abandoned land is significantly higher than that of other three kinds. It shows that the different ways of land use have no obvious effects on soil MBC, MBN and DON but the abandonment of slope cropland can significantly increase the content of soil DOC. There is no significant difference among the distribution ratio of MBN, DOC, DON in forest, abandoned land, orchard and farmland within the soil from 0 to 60 cm, but the distribution ratio of slope MBC is significantly higher than that of other three kinds. It means farmland soil organic carbon has a higher biological activity, this could due to the application of green manure, farmland manure and other organic fertilizers. Under different land utilizations, DOC/DON is the highest, MBC/MBN is the second, and SOC/TN is the lowest. It means the biological solidification of dissolved organic matter is the strongest, and the mineralization of soil organic matter is the most obvious. Under the four kinds of land uses, there are the lowest ratios in SOC/TN, MBC/MBN and DOC/DON in the farmland. And all the ratios are less than 20, which suggest that the mineralization of farmland soil organic matter is stronger and it's easy to cause the loss of soil carbon.

  15. Ficus carica L. (Moraceae): Phytochemistry, Traditional Uses and Biological Activities

    PubMed Central

    Mawa, Shukranul; Husain, Khairana; Jantan, Ibrahim

    2013-01-01

    This paper describes the botanical features of Ficus carica L. (Moraceae), its wide variety of chemical constituents, its use in traditional medicine as remedies for many health problems, and its biological activities. The plant has been used traditionally to treat various ailments such as gastric problems, inflammation, and cancer. Phytochemical studies on the leaves and fruits of the plant have shown that they are rich in phenolics, organic acids, and volatile compounds. However, there is little information on the phytochemicals present in the stem and root. Reports on the biological activities of the plant are mainly on its crude extracts which have been proven to possess many biological activities. Some of the most interesting therapeutic effects include anticancer, hepatoprotective, hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic, and antimicrobial activities. Thus, studies related to identification of the bioactive compounds and correlating them to their biological activities are very useful for further research to explore the potential of F. carica as a source of therapeutic agents. PMID:24159359

  16. Biological soil crusts are the main contributor to winter soil respiration in a temperate desert ecosystem of China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, M. Z.

    2012-04-01

    Aims Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are a key biotic component of desert ecosystems worldwide. However, most studies carried out to date on carbon (fluxes) in these ecosystems, such as soil respiration (RS), have neglected them. Also, winter RS is reported to be a significant component of annual carbon budget in other ecosystems, however, we have less knowledge about winter RS of BSCs in winter and its contribution to carbon cycle in desert regions. Therefore, the specific objectives of this study were to: (i) quantify the effects of different BSCs types (moss crust, algae crust, physical crust) on the winter RS; (ii) explore relationships of RS against soil temperature and water content for different BSCs, and (iii) assess the relative contribution of BSCs to the annual amount of C released by RS at desert ecosystem level. Methods Site Description The study sites are located at the southeast fringe of the Tengger Desert in the Shapotou region of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region [37°32'N and 105°02'E, at 1340 m above mean sea level (a.m.s.l.)], western China. The mean daily temperature in January is -6.9°C , while it is 24.3°C in July. The mean annual precipitation is 186 mm, approximately 80% of which falls between May and September. The annual potential evaporation is 2800 mm. The landscape of the Shapotou region is characterized by large and dense reticulate barchans chains of sand dunes that migrate south-eastward at a velocity of 3-6 m per year. The soil is loose, infertile and mobile and can thus be classified as orthic sierozem and Aeolian sandy soil. Additionally, the soil has a consistent gravimetric water content that ranges from 3 to 4%. The groundwater in the study area is too deep (>60 m) to support large areas of the native vegetation cover; therefore, precipitation is usually the only source of freshwater. The predominant native plants are Hedysarum scoparium Fisch. and Agriophyllum squarrosum Moq., Psammochloa cillosa Bor, which scattered

  17. Fate and activity of microorganisms introduced into soil.

    PubMed Central

    van Veen, J A; van Overbeek, L S; van Elsas, J D

    1997-01-01

    Introduced microorganisms are potentially powerful agents for manipulation of processes and/or components in soil. Fields of application include enhancement of crop growth, protection of crops against plant-pathogenic organisms, stimulation of biodegradation of xenobiotic compounds (bioaugmentation), and improvement of soil structure. Inoculation of soils has already been applied for decades, but it has often yielded inconsistent or disappointing results. This is caused mainly by a commonly observed rapid decline in inoculant population activity following introduction into soil, i.e., a decline of the numbers of inoculant cells and/or a decline of the (average) activity per cell. In this review, we discuss the available information on the effects of key factors that determine the fate and activity of microorganisms introduced into soil, with emphasis on bacteria. The factors addressed include the physiological status of the inoculant cells, the biotic and abiotic interactions in soil, soil properties, and substrate availability. Finally, we address the possibilities available to effectively manipulate the fate and activity of introduced microorganisms in relation to the main areas of their application. PMID:9184007

  18. Fate and activity of microorganisms introduced into soil.

    PubMed

    van Veen, J A; van Overbeek, L S; van Elsas, J D

    1997-06-01

    Introduced microorganisms are potentially powerful agents for manipulation of processes and/or components in soil. Fields of application include enhancement of crop growth, protection of crops against plant-pathogenic organisms, stimulation of biodegradation of xenobiotic compounds (bioaugmentation), and improvement of soil structure. Inoculation of soils has already been applied for decades, but it has often yielded inconsistent or disappointing results. This is caused mainly by a commonly observed rapid decline in inoculant population activity following introduction into soil, i.e., a decline of the numbers of inoculant cells and/or a decline of the (average) activity per cell. In this review, we discuss the available information on the effects of key factors that determine the fate and activity of microorganisms introduced into soil, with emphasis on bacteria. The factors addressed include the physiological status of the inoculant cells, the biotic and abiotic interactions in soil, soil properties, and substrate availability. Finally, we address the possibilities available to effectively manipulate the fate and activity of introduced microorganisms in relation to the main areas of their application.

  19. Seasonal phosphatase activity in three characteristic soils of the English uplands polluted by long-term atmospheric nitrogen deposition.

    PubMed

    Turner, Benjamin L; Baxter, Robert; Whitton, Brian A

    2002-01-01

    Phosphomonoesterase activities were determined monthly during a seasonal cycle in three characteristic soil types of the English uplands that have been subject to long-term atmospheric nitrogen deposition. Activities (micromol para-nitrophenol g(-1) soil dry wt. h(-1)) ranged between 83.9 and 307 in a blanket peat (total carbon 318 mg g(-1). pH 3.9), 45.2-86.4 in an acid organic grassland soil (total carbon 354 mg g(-1), pH 3.7) and 10.4-21.1 in a calcareous grassland soil (total carbon 140 mg g(-1) pH 7.3). These are amongst the highest reported soil phosphomonoesterase activities and confirm the strong biological phosphorus limitation in this environment.

  20. Assessing the chemical and biological accessibility of the herbicide isoproturon in soil amended with biochar.

    PubMed

    Sopeña, Fatima; Semple, Kirk; Sohi, Saran; Bending, Gary

    2012-06-01

    There is considerable current interest in using biochar (BC) as a soil amendment to sequester carbon to mitigate climate change. However, the implications of adding BC to agricultural soil for the environmental fate of pesticides remain unclear. In particular, the effect of biochars on desorption behavior of compounds is poorly understood. This study examined the influence of BC on pesticide chemical and biological accessibility using the herbicide isoproturon (IPU). Soils amended with 1% and 2% BC showed enhanced sorption, slower desorption, and reduced biodegradation of IPU. Addition of 0.1% BC had no effect on sorption, desorption or biodegradation of IPU. However, the mineralization of (14)C-IPU was reduced by all BC concentrations, reducing by 13.6%, 40.1% and 49.8% at BC concentrations of 0.1%, 1% and 2% respectively. Further, the ratio of the toxic metabolite 4-isopropyl-aniline to intact IPU was substantially reduced by higher BC concentrations. Hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HPCD) extractions were used to estimate the IPU bioaccessibility in the BC-amended soil. Significant correlations were found between HPCD-extracted (14)C-IPU and the IPU desorbed (%) (r(2)=0.8518, p<0.01), and also the (14)C-IPU mineralized (%) (r(2)=0.733; p<0.01) for all BC-amended soils. This study clearly demonstrates how desorption in the presence of BC is intimately related to pesticide biodegradation by the indigenous soil microbiota. BC application to agricultural soils can affect the persistence of pesticides as well as the fate of their degradation products. This has important implications for the effectiveness of pesticides as well as the sequestration of contaminants in soils.

  1. [Effects of bio-fertilizer on organically cultured cucumber growth and soil biological characteristics].

    PubMed

    Cao, Dan; Zong, Liang-gang; Xiao, Jun; Zhang, Qian; Zhao, Yan

    2010-10-01

    Field trials of organic farming were conducted to examine the effects of different bio-fertilizers on the organically cultured cucumber growth, soil enzyme activities, and soil microbial biomass. Four treatments were installed, i. e., organic fertilizer only (CK), bio-fertilizer "Zhonghe" combined with organic fertilizer (ZHH), bio-fertilizer "NST" combined with organic fertilizer (NST), and bio-fertilizer "Bio" combined with organic fertilizer (BIO). Bio-fertilizers combined with organic fertilizer increased the cucumber yield significantly, and improved the root growth and leaf chlorophyll content. Comparing with that in CK, the cucumber yield in treatments ZHH, NST, and BIO was increased by 10.4%, 12.4%, and 29.2%, respectively. At the seedling stage, early flowering stage, and picking time of cucumber, the soil microbial biomass C and N in treatments ZHH, NST, and BIO were significantly higher than that in CK, and the activities of soil urease, acid phosphatase, and catalase were also higher.

  2. Biological Activity of Recently Discovered Halogenated Marine Natural Products

    PubMed Central

    Gribble, Gordon W.

    2015-01-01

    This review presents the biological activity—antibacterial, antifungal, anti-parasitic, antiviral, antitumor, antiinflammatory, antioxidant, and enzymatic activity—of halogenated marine natural products discovered in the past five years. Newly discovered examples that do not report biological activity are not included. PMID:26133553

  3. Sensitive bioassay for detection of biologically active ricin in food

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The potential use of ricin as an agent of biological warfare highlights the need to develop fast and effective methods to detect biologically active ricin. The current “gold standard” for ricin detection is an in vivo mouse bioassay; however, this method is not practical to test on a large number of...

  4. [Effects of different fertilizer application on soil active organic carbon].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Rui; Zhang, Gui-Long; Ji, Yan-Yan; Li, Gang; Chang, Hong; Yang, Dian-Lin

    2013-01-01

    The variation characteristics of the content and components of soil active organic carbon under different fertilizer application were investigated in samples of calcareous fluvo-aquic soil from a field experiment growing winter wheat and summer maize in rotation in the North China Plain. The results showed that RF (recommended fertilization), CF (conventional fertilization) and NPK (mineral fertilizer alone) significantly increased the content of soil dissolved organic carbon and easily oxidized organic carbon by 24.92-38.63 mg x kg(-1) and 0.94-0.58 mg x kg(-1) respectively compared to CK (unfertilized control). The soil dissolved organic carbon content under OM (organic manure) increased greater than those under NPK and single fertilization, soil easily oxidized organic carbon content under OM and NPK increased greater than that under single chemical fertilization. OM and NPK showed no significant role in promoting the soil microbial biomass carbon, but combined application of OM and NPK significantly increased the soil microbial biomass carbon content by 36.06% and 20.69%, respectively. Soil easily oxidized organic carbon, dissolved organic carbon and microbial biomass carbon accounted for 8.41% - 14.83%, 0.47% - 0.70% and 0.89% - 1.20% of the total organic carbon (TOC), respectively. According to the results, the fertilizer application significantly increased the proportion of soil dissolved organic carbon and easily oxidized organic carbon, but there was no significant difference in the increasing extent of dissolved organic carbon. The RF and CF increased the proportion of soil easily oxidized organic carbon greater than OM or NPK, and significantly increased the proportion of microbial biomass carbon. OM or RF had no significant effect on the proportion of microbial biomass carbon. Therefore, in the field experiment, appropriate application of organic manure and chemical fertilizers played an important role for the increase of soil active organic carbon

  5. Microbial Diversity and Structure Are Drivers of the Biological Barrier Effect against Listeria monocytogenes in Soil

    PubMed Central

    Vivant, Anne-Laure; Garmyn, Dominique; Maron, Pierre-Alain; Nowak, Virginie; Piveteau, Pascal

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the ecology of pathogenic organisms is important in order to monitor their transmission in the environment and the related health hazards. We investigated the relationship between soil microbial diversity and the barrier effect against Listeria monocytogenes invasion. By using a dilution-to-extinction approach, we analysed the consequence of eroding microbial diversity on L. monocytogenes population dynamics under standardised conditions of abiotic parameters and microbial abundance in soil microcosms. We demonstrated that highly diverse soil microbial communities act as a biological barrier against L. monocytogenes invasion and that phylogenetic composition of the community also has to be considered. This suggests that erosion of diversity may have damaging effects regarding circulation of pathogenic microorganisms in the environment. PMID:24116193

  6. ASSESSMENT OF GENOTOXIC ACTIVITY OF PETROLEUM HYDROCARBON-BIOREMEDIATED SOIL

    SciTech Connect

    BRIGMON, ROBIN

    2004-10-20

    The relationship between toxicity and soil contamination must be understood to develop reliable indicators of environmental restoration for bioremediation. Two bacterial rapid bioassays: SOS chromotest and umu-test with and without metabolic activation (S-9 mixture) were used to evaluate genotoxicity of petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated soil following bioremediation treatment. The soil was taken from an engineered biopile at the Czor Polish oil refinery. The bioremediation process in the biopile lasted 4 years, and the toxicity measurements were done after this treatment. Carcinogens detected in the soil, polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), were reduced to low concentrations (2 mg/kg dry wt) by the bioremediation process. Genotoxicity was not observed for soils tested with and without metabolic activation by a liver homogenate (S-9 mixture). However, umu-test was more sensitive than SOS-chromotest in the analysis of petroleum hydrocarbon-bioremediated soil. Analytical results of soil used in the bioassays confirmed that the bioremediation process reduced 81 percent of the petroleum hydrocarbons including PAHs. We conclude that the combined test systems employed in this study are useful tools for the genotoxic examination of remediated petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated soil.

  7. Distribution of chromium contamination and microbial activity in soil aggregates.

    PubMed

    Tokunaga, Tetsu K; Wan, Jiamin; Hazen, Terry C; Schwartz, Egbert; Firestone, Mary K; Sutton, Stephen R; Newville, Matthew; Olson, Keith R; Lanzirotti, Antonio; Rao, William

    2003-01-01

    Biogeochemical transformations of redox-sensitive chemicals in soils can be strongly transport-controlled and localized. This was tested through experiments on chromium diffusion and reduction in soil aggregates that were exposed to chromate solutions. Reduction of soluble Cr(VI) to insoluble Cr(II) occurred only within the surface layer of aggregates with higher available organic carbon and higher microbial respiration. Sharply terminated Cr diffusion fronts develop when the reduction rate increases rapidly with depth. The final state of such aggregates consists of a Cr-contaminated exterior, and an uncontaminated core, each having different microbial community compositions and activity. Microbial activity was significantly higher in the more reducing soils, while total microbial biomass was similar in all of the soils. The small fraction of Cr(VI) remaining unreduced resides along external surfaces of aggregates, leaving it potentially available to future transport down the soil profile. Using the Thiele modulus, Cr(VI) reduction in soil aggregates is shown to be diffusion rate- and reaction rate-limited in anaerobic and aerobic aggregates, respectively. Thus, spatially resolved chemical and microbiological measurements are necessary within anaerobic soil aggregates to characterize and predict the fate of Cr contamination. Typical methods of soil sampling and analyses that average over redox gradients within aggregates can erase important biogeochemical spatial relations necessary for understanding these environments.

  8. Impact of long-term forest enrichment planting on the biological status of soil in a deforested dipterocarp forest in Perak, Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Karam, D S; Arifin, A; Radziah, O; Shamshuddin, J; Majid, N M; Hazandy, A H; Zahari, I; Nor Halizah, A H; Rui, T X

    2012-01-01

    Deforestation leads to the deterioration of soil fertility which occurs rapidly under tropical climates. Forest rehabilitation is one of the approaches to restore soil fertility and increase the productivity of degraded areas. The objective of this study was to evaluate and compare soil biological properties under enrichment planting and secondary forests at Tapah Hill Forest Reserve, Perak after 42 years of planting. Both areas were excessively logged in the 1950s and left idle without any appropriate forest management until 1968 when rehabilitation program was initiated. Six subplots (20 m × 20 m) were established within each enrichment planting (F1) and secondary forest (F2) plots, after which soil was sampled at depths of 0-15 cm (topsoil) and 15-30 cm (subsoil). Results showed that total mean microbial enzymatic activity, as well as biomass C and N content, was significantly higher in F1 compared to F2. The results, despite sample variability, suggest that the rehabilitation program improves the soil biological activities where high rate of soil organic matter, organic C, N, suitable soil acidity range, and abundance of forest litter is believed to be the predisposing factor promoting higher population of microbial in F1 as compared to F2. In conclusion total microbial enzymatic activity, biomass C and biomass N evaluation were higher in enrichment planting plot compared to secondary forest. After 42 years of planting, rehabilitation or enrichment planting helps to restore the productivity of planted forest in terms of biological parameters.

  9. Impact of Long-Term Forest Enrichment Planting on the Biological Status of Soil in a Deforested Dipterocarp Forest in Perak, Malaysia

    PubMed Central

    Karam, D. S.; Arifin, A.; Radziah, O.; Shamshuddin, J.; Majid, N. M.; Hazandy, A. H.; Zahari, I.; Nor Halizah, A. H.; Rui, T. X.

    2012-01-01

    Deforestation leads to the deterioration of soil fertility which occurs rapidly under tropical climates. Forest rehabilitation is one of the approaches to restore soil fertility and increase the productivity of degraded areas. The objective of this study was to evaluate and compare soil biological properties under enrichment planting and secondary forests at Tapah Hill Forest Reserve, Perak after 42 years of planting. Both areas were excessively logged in the 1950s and left idle without any appropriate forest management until 1968 when rehabilitation program was initiated. Six subplots (20 m × 20 m) were established within each enrichment planting (F1) and secondary forest (F2) plots, after which soil was sampled at depths of 0–15 cm (topsoil) and 15–30 cm (subsoil). Results showed that total mean microbial enzymatic activity, as well as biomass C and N content, was significantly higher in F1 compared to F2. The results, despite sample variability, suggest that the rehabilitation program improves the soil biological activities where high rate of soil organic matter, organic C, N, suitable soil acidity range, and abundance of forest litter is believed to be the predisposing factor promoting higher population of microbial in F1 as compared to F2. In conclusion total microbial enzymatic activity, biomass C and biomass N evaluation were higher in enrichment planting plot compared to secondary forest. After 42 years of planting, rehabilitation or enrichment planting helps to restore the productivity of planted forest in terms of biological parameters. PMID:22606055

  10. Soil microbial activity and functional diversity changed by compaction, poultry litter and cropping in a claypan soil

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Changes in soil physical characteristics induced by soil compaction may alter soil microhabitats and, therefore, play a significant role in governing soil microorganisms and their activities. Laboratory incubation and field experiments were conducted in 2001 and 2002 to investigate the effects of so...

  11. Biological permeable reactive barriers coupled with electrokinetic soil flushing for the treatment of diesel-polluted clay soil.

    PubMed

    Mena, Esperanza; Ruiz, Clara; Villaseñor, José; Rodrigo, Manuel A; Cañizares, Pablo

    2015-01-01

    Removal of diesel from spiked kaolin has been studied in the laboratory using coupled electrokinetic soil flushing (EKSF) and bioremediation through an innovative biological permeable reactive barriers (Bio-PRBs) positioned between electrode wells. The results show that this technology is efficient in the removal of pollutants and allows the soil to maintain the appropriate conditions for microorganism growth in terms of pH, temperature, and nutrients. At the same time, EKSF was demonstrated to be a very interesting technology for transporting pollutants, microorganisms and nutrients, although results indicate that careful management is necessary to avoid the depletion of nutrients, which are effectively transported by electro-migration. After two weeks of operation, 30% of pollutants are removed and energy consumption is under 70 kWh m(-3). Main fluxes (electroosmosis and evaporation) and changes in the most relevant parameters (nutrients, diesel, microorganisms, surfactants, moisture conductivity and pH) during treatment and in a complete post-study analysis are studied to give a comprehensive description of the most relevant processes occurring in the soil (pollutant transport and biodegradation).

  12. Smectites versus palagonites in Mars soil: Evidence from simulations of Viking biology labeled release experiments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Banin, A.; Margulies, L.

    1983-01-01

    The results of an experimental comparison between palagonites and a smectite (montmorillonite) in the simulation of the Viking Biology Labeled Release (LR) experiment and conclusions regarding their suitability as MarSAMs are reproved. It was found that palagonites do not cause formate decomposition and C-14 release in their natural form or after acidification and thus cannot be a completely satisfactory analog to the Mars soil studied by Viking.

  13. The validation of forensic DNA extraction systems to utilize soil contaminated biological evidence.

    PubMed

    Kasu, Mohaimin; Shires, Karen

    2015-07-01

    The production of full DNA profiles from biological evidence found in soil has a high failure rate due largely to the inhibitory substance humic acid (HA). Abundant in various natural soils, HA co-extracts with DNA during extraction and inhibits DNA profiling by binding to the molecular components of the genotyping assay. To successfully utilize traces of soil contaminated evidence, such as that found at many murder and rape crime scenes in South Africa, a reliable HA removal extraction system would often be selected based on previous validation studies. However, for many standard forensic DNA extraction systems, peer-reviewed publications detailing the efficacy on soil evidence is either lacking or is incomplete. Consequently, these sample types are often not collected or fail to yield suitable DNA material due to the use of unsuitable methodology. The aim of this study was to validate the common forensic DNA collection and extraction systems used in South Africa, namely DNA IQ, FTA elute and Nucleosave for processing blood and saliva contaminated with HA. A forensic appropriate volume of biological evidence was spiked with HA (0, 0.5, 1.5 and 2.5 mg/ml) and processed through each extraction protocol for the evaluation of HA removal using QPCR and STR-genotyping. The DNA IQ magnetic bead system effectively removed HA from highly contaminated blood and saliva, and generated consistently acceptable STR profiles from both artificially spiked samples and crude soil samples. This system is highly recommended for use on soil-contaminated evidence over the cellulose card-based systems currently being preferentially used for DNA sample collection.

  14. Biological quality of soils containing hydrocarbons and efficacy of ecological risk reduction by bioremediation alternatives

    SciTech Connect

    Stewart, A.J.; Napolitano, G.E.; Sample, B.E.

    1996-06-01

    This project provides technical support to the Petroleum Environmental Research Forum (PERF; a consortium of petroleum companies) on environmentally acceptable endpoints that may be used to help assess the ecological risk of petroleum hydrocarbon residuals in soils. The project, was designed in consultation with PERF representatives and focuses on the relationship between {open_quotes}chemically available{close_quotes} and {open_quotes}biologically available{close_quotes} measurements of petroleum hydrocarbon compounds in soils, a discrepancy of considerable interest to the petroleum industry. Presently, clean-up standards for soils contaminated with total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) constituents are based on concentrations of TPH, as measured in solvent extracts of soil samples. Interestingly, TPH includes a complex mixture of compounds which differ from one another in molecular weight and toxicity. Based on various studies with insecticides, herbicides and metals, some compounds apparently can slowly permeate into soil particles. If this situation occurs, the particle-embedded compounds may be extractable by use of organic solvents, and yet be unavailable biologically. This hypothesis serves as the central focus for our study. If this hypothesis is correct, then soil clean-up standards based on solvent-extractable TPH data may be more stringent than necessary to achieve a desired level of environmental risk. The economic significance of this possibility is considerable, because clean-up costs to achieve a low-risk status would, in most cases, be lower than those needed to achieve a standard based on present limits, which are based on measurements of {open_quotes}extractable{close_quotes} TPH.

  15. Local knowledge and perception of biological soil crusts by land users in the Sahel (Niger)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    J-M Ambouta, K.; Hassan Souley, B.; Malam Issa, O.; Rajot, J. L.; Mohamadou, A.

    2012-04-01

    Local knowledge, i.e. knowledge based on accumulation of observations is of great interest for many scientific fields as it can help for identification, evaluation and selection of relevant indicators and furthermore for progress through conservation goals. This study aimed at gathering and understanding the local knowledge and perception of biological soil crusts (BSC) by users of land, pastoralists that cross the Sahel and sedentary farmers. The methodological approach is based on a semi-direct surveys conducted on a north-south rainfall gradient (350 to 650 mm/year) including agricultural- and pastoral-dominated areas in western Niger. Denomination, formation processes, occurrence, distribution and role of biological soil crusts are among the major issues of the inquiry. The results of the surveys showed that BSC are mainly identified by the names of "Bankwado" and "Korobanda", respectively in hausa and zarma langages, what means "toad back". Other denominations varying according to region, ethnic groups and users are used. They are all related to the aspects, colors and behaviour of BSC with regard wetting and drying cycle. From the point of view of users depressed areas and land lied fallow are favourable places for the occurrence of BSC, while cultivation and observed changes in rainfall regimes represent negative factors. The formation processes of BSC are mainly related to the occurrence and the impact of rain and wind on soil surface. Their roles in protecting soil against degradation or as an indicator of soil fertility were recognised by at least 83% of farmers and breeders. This study reveals significant aspects of BSC already validated by scientific knowledge. Integrating the two forms of knowledge will help to define relevant indicators of soil surface dynamics and to perform practices to minimize farming and grazing impacts on BSCs.

  16. Comparison of reactor designs for biological ex-situ soil treatment

    SciTech Connect

    Potter, C.; Haught, R.

    1995-10-01

    The goal of this project is to evaluate the potential of biological ex-situ soil treatment systems to remediate soils contaminated with hazardous chemicals. A laminar-type flow pilot-scale reactor with volume of 3 cu. yd has been constructed at EPA`s Test & Evaluation J&D Facility in Cincinnati. Laminar-type flow from one side of the reactor to the other may provide even aeration to all areas of the reactor while avoiding the use of pipes inside the reactor. This design greatly facilitates loading and unloading the reactor and is readily scalable to larger systems. Passing smoke through the reactor for visual observation of flow indicated uniform flow in the empty reactor. Further testing involves filling the reactor with vermiculite, flushing with Argon, and then passing air through the reactor at about 1 volume change per day to evaluate air flow through this uniform solid matrix. Oxygen probes, located at 27 positions within the reactor, provide information on air progression through the system. Analysis of gas flow through an empty reactor and through a uniform matrix (vermiculite) allows separation of reactor flaws from soil inhomogeneities as causes of any nonuniform aeration of the reactor space. Soil contaminated with polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from The Reilly Tar Pit Superfund Site in St. Louis Park, MN has been shipped under the small quantity treatability exemption to the T&E Facility for research on soil aeration and effectiveness of this ex-situ reactor design for biological treatment of contaminated soils.

  17. Detection of Invertebrate Suppressive Soils, and Identification of a Possible Biological Control Agent for Meloidogyne Nematodes Using High Resolution Rhizosphere Microbial Community Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Bell, Nigel L.; Adam, Katharine H.; Jones, Rhys J.; Johnson, Richard D.; Mtandavari, Yeukai F.; Burch, Gabriela; Cave, Vanessa; Cameron, Catherine; Maclean, Paul; Popay, Alison J.; Fleetwood, Damien

    2016-01-01

    White clover (Trifolium repens) is the key legume component of New Zealand pastoral agriculture due to the high quality feed and nitrogen inputs it provides. Invertebrate pests constrain white clover growth and this study investigated rhizosphere-associated fungal controls for two of these pests and attempts to disentangle the underpinning mechanisms. The degree of suppressiveness of 10 soils, in a latitudinal gradient down New Zealand, to added Meloidogyne hapla and Costelytra zealandica scarab larvae was measured in untreated soil. Most of the soils showed no suppressive activity against these pests but two showed activity against M. hapla and two against C. zealandica. Rhizosphere fungi responsible for pest suppressive responses were elucidated via next-generation sequencing. In the M. hapla-suppressive soils nematode-trapping Orbiliomycetes fungi were present in significantly greater abundance than non-suppressive soils and their abundance increased further with addition of M. hapla. A comparison of plant growth and the rhizosphere fungal community between untreated and irradiated soil was carried out on 5 of the 10 soils using Pyronota as the scarab larvae. Soil irradiation either: reduced (by 60–70%); increased (16×) or made no difference to white clover growth across the five soils tested, illustrating the range of microbial impacts on plant production. In one of the M. hapla suppressive soils irradiation resulted in a significant increase in nematode galling suggesting that Orbiliomycetes fungi were indeed responsible for the suppressive effect. Lack of consistent changes in soil macronutrients and pH post-irradiation suggest these were not responsible for plant or invertebrate responses. The use of next generation sequencing in controlled pot trials has allowed identification of a potential biological control organism and bioindicator for M. hapla suppression. PMID:28082997

  18. [Control of continuous potato monoculture barrier via biological soil disinfestation method in Yellow River irrigation areas of central Gansu Province, Northwest China].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shu-le; Liu, Guo-feng; Qiu, Hui-zhen; Wang, Di; Zhang, Jun-lian; Shen, Qi-rong

    2015-04-01

    The potential of biological soil disinfestation (BSD) in control of continuous potato monoculture barrier was investigated in present study. BSD involves the induction of soil reduction conditions through incorporation of easily decomposed organic materials into soil, flooding the soil by irrigation, and covering the soil surface with plastic film. Control (CK) was left without cover and organic amendment as well as flooding. Field experiment was conducted for testing the effect of BSD approach on the control of continuous potato monoculture barrier, especially on tube yield, plant growth and development, suppression of soil-borne pathogen, and soil microbial community and enzyme activities. Compared with CK, BSD treatment significantly increased tuber yield by 16.1% and plant biomass by 30.8%, respectively. Meanwhile, the incidence of diseased plant and the ratio of diseased tuber in BSD treatment also significantly decreased by 68.0% and 46.7% as compared to those in CK, respectively. BSD treatment significantly increased the content of chlorophyll and branch numbers per main stem of potato plants, improved the morphological characteristics of potato root system. In the course of BSD before potato sowing, soil pH value and bacteria/fungi significantly increased, but populations of fungi and Fusarium sp. significantly decreased compared with CK. There were no significant changes in populations of bacteria and actinomycetes between CK and BSD treatments. During potato growing stage, the populations of both soil fungi and Fusarium sp. were lower in BSD treatment than those of CK. With the advance of potato growth, the population of Fusarium sp. in BSD treatment gradually increased compared with CK. There were no significant changes in soil enzyme activities in the course of BSD before potato sowing and the whole of potato growing stage. It was concluded that BSD has the potential to control continuous potato monoculture barrier and may be an important element in a

  19. [Effects of leaf litter replacement on soil biological and chemical characteristics in main artificial forests in Qinling Mountains].

    PubMed

    Liu, Zeng-wen; Duan, Er-jun; Gao, Wen-jun; Zhang, Li-ping; Du, Hong-xia; Fu, Gang; Cui, Fang-fang

    2008-04-01

    Through 2 years leaf litter replacement experiments in 4 typical artificial pure forests Larix kaempferi, Pinus tabulaeformis, Catalpa fargesii, and Quercus aliena var. acuteserrata in Qinling Mountains of China, this paper studied the effects of leaf litter replacement on soil biological and chemical characteristics and the interspecific relationships between different tree species. The results showed that the annual decomposition rate of broad-leaved litter was 33.70% higher than that of needle-leaved litter. The annual decomposition rate of needle-leaved litter increased by 8.35%-12.15% when replaced to broad-leaved forests, whereas that of broad-leaved litter decreased by 5.38%-9.49% when replaced to needle-leaved forests. Leaf litter replacement between needle and broad-leaved forests could increase the contents of soil organic-C and available N, P and K, and the increments were obviously higher in needle-leaved forests (8.70%-35.84%) than in broad-leaved forests (3.73%-10.44%). In needle-leaved forests, the increments with the replacement of C. fargesii litter (24.63%-35.84%) were higher than those with the replacement of Q. aliena var. acuteserrata litter (8.70%-28.15%). Furthermore, the replacement of broad-leaved litter could make the soil pH in needle-leaved forests changed from light-acid to neutral, and increase soil enzyme activities, microbial amounts, and microbial biomass C and N contents. The increments with the replacement of C. fargesii litter were higher than those with the replacement of Q. aliena var. acuteserrata litter. The soil enzyme activities, microbial amounts, and microbial biomass C and N contents in broad-leaved forests after the replacement of needle-leaved litter differed with broadleaved tree species. Q. aliena var. acuteserrata forest had the higher soil enzyme activities and microbial biomass C and N contents, while C. fargesii forest was in adverse. It was suggested that in the control of soil degradation under artificial pure

  20. Soil Inorganic Carbon in Deserts: Active Carbon Sink or Inert Reservoir?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monger, H. C.; Cole, D. R.

    2011-12-01

    Soil inorganic carbon is the third largest C pool in the active global carbon cycle, containing at least 800 petagrams of carbon. Although carbonate dissolution-precipitation reactions have been understood for over a century, the role of soil inorganic carbon in carbon sequestration, and in particular pedogenic carbonate, is a deceptively complex process because it involves interdependent connections among climate, plants, microorganisms, silicate minerals, soil moisture, pH, and Ca supply via rain, dust, or in situ weathering. An understanding of soil inorganic carbon as a sink or reservoir also requires examination of the system at local to continental scales and at seasonal to millennial time scales. In desert soils studied in North America, carbon isotope ratios and radiocarbon dates were measured in combination with electron microscopy, lab and field experiments with biological calcite formation, and field measurements of carbon dioxide emissions. These investigations reveal that soil inorganic carbon is both an active sink and a inert reservoir depending on the spatial and temporal scale and source of calcium.

  1. The Role of Soil Biological Function in Regulating Agroecosystem Services and Sustainability in the Quesungual Agroforestry System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fonte, S.; Pauli, N.; Rousseau, L.; SIX, J. W. U. A.; Barrios, E.

    2014-12-01

    The Quesungual agroforestry system from western Honduras has been increasingly promoted as a promising alternative to traditional slash-and-burn agriculture in tropical dry forest regions of the Americas. Improved residue management and the lack of burning in this system can greatly impact soil biological functioning and a number of key soil-based ecosystem services, yet our understanding of these processes has not been thoroughly integrated to understand system functionality as a whole that can guide improved management. To address this gap, we present a synthesis of various field studies conducted in Central America aimed at: 1) quantifying the influence of the Quesungual agroforestry practices on soil macrofauna abundance and diversity, and 2) understanding how these organisms influence key soil-based ecosystem services that ultimately drive the success of this system. A first set of studies examined the impact of agroecosystem management on soil macrofauna populations, soil fertility and key soil processes. Results suggest that residue inputs (derived from tree biomass pruning), a lack of burning, and high tree densities, lead to conditions that support abundant, diverse soil macrofauna communities under agroforestry, with soil organic carbon content comparable to adjacent forest. Additionally, there is great potential in working with farmers to develop refined soil quality indicators for improved land management. A second line of research explored interactions between residue management and earthworms in the regulation of soil-based ecosystem services. Earthworms are the most prominent ecosystem engineers in these soils. We found that earthworms are key drivers of soil structure maintenance and the stabilization of soil organic matter within soil aggregates, and also had notable impacts on soil nutrient dynamics. However, the impact of earthworms appears to depend on residue management practices, thus indicating the need for an integrated approach for

  2. Development of biological soil crusts and their influence on soil hydrology in the recultivation area of lignite open-cast mining district in Lower Lusatia (Germany)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spröte, R.; Veste, M.; Fischer, T.; Raab, T.; Bens, O.; Hüttl, R. F.

    2012-04-01

    Cyanobacteria, green algae, mosses and lichens are often the first colonizers of substrate and initial soil surfaces. They are an important factor of initial soil formation as they stabilize the substrate and decrease erosion processes. Biological soil crusts accumulate the initial soil organic matter and provide nitrogen fixation. Once settled, the crusts influence the soil water regime by delaying or limiting infiltration through enhanced water repellency. Aim of this study was to compare the influence of biological soil crusts on soil hydrology under conditions on various substrates and of different ages in recultivated areas of the open-cast mining district of Lower Lusatia (Brandenburg, NE Germany) with various recultivation aims. In Brandenburg (NE Germany), where the climate is transitional between oceanic and continental and the summers are characterized by generally low of precipitation (mean annual rainfall 559 mm, mean annual temperature 9.3° C) open landscapes provide ideal conditions for biological soil crusts, e. g. on mobile sand dunes in former military training areas and in recultivation areas related to open-cast mining with initial soil development. Here biological soil crusts are commonly found (Spröte et al., 2010). At five study sites in recultivation areas with different reclamation approaches (natural development, pine reforestation, birch reforestation) we defined four types of biological soil crusts: i) cyanobacterial and green algae crusts on the soil surface with no vegetation where dominating sand grains were physically stabilized in their contact zones by this crust type (type 1), ii) cyanobacteria and green algae partially filled in the matrix pores and enmeshed sand grains between sparse vegetation cover (type 2), iii) biological soil crusts with mosses which covered most of the surface between the vegetation (type 3) and (iv) with soil lichens (type 4). We investigated the development of the amount of chlorophyll a which is an

  3. Controls of biological soil crust cover and composition shift with succession in sagebrush shrub-steppe

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dettweiler-Robinson, E.; Bakker, J.D.; Grace, J.B.

    2013-01-01

    Successional stage may determine strength and causal direction of interactions among abiotic and biotic factors; e.g., species that facilitate the establishment of other species may later compete with them. We evaluated multivariate hypotheses about abiotic and biotic factors shaping biological soil crusts (BSCs) in early and late successional stages. We surveyed vegetation and BSC in the shrub-steppe ecosystem of the Columbia Basin. We analyzed the relationships with bryophyte and lichen covers using structural equation models, and analyzed the relationships with BSC composition using Indicator Species Analysis and distance-based linear models. Cover, indicator species, and composition varied with successional stage. Increasing elevation and bryophyte cover had higher lichen cover early in succession; these relationships were negative in the later successional stage. Lichen cover did not appear to impede B. tectorum cover, but B. tectorum appeared to strongly negatively affect lichen cover in both stages. Biological soil crust composition varied with bunchgrass cover in the early successional stage, but with elevation and B. tectorum cover later in succession. Our findings support the hypotheses that as succession progresses, the strength and direction of certain community interactions shift, and B. tectorum leads to reductions in biological soil crust cover regardless of successional stage.

  4. Biological activities of Croton palanostigma Klotzsch

    PubMed Central

    Mota, Eduardo Ferreira; Rosario, Diele Magno; Silva Veiga, Andreza Socorro; Brasil, Davi Do Socorro Barros; Silveira, Fernando Tobias; Dolabela, Maria Fâni

    2015-01-01

    Background: Different species of Croton are used in traditional Amazonian medicine. Among the popular uses are treatment of bacterial diseases, poorly healing wounds and fevers. Objective: This study evaluated the antileishmanial, antiplasmodial and antimicrobial activities of the extracts and diterpenes of Croton palanostigma Klotzsch (Euphorbiaceae). Materials and Methods: Leaves and bark were extracted with dichloromethane and methanol. The bark dichloromethane extract (BDE) was chromatographed on a column, obtaining cordatin and aparisthman. The extracts and diterpenes were assayed thought agar disk diffusion method and their bactericidal or fungicidal effects were evaluated by minimum bactericidal or fungicidal concentration. The antiplasmodial activity was evaluated after 24 and 72 h of exposition. The antileishmanial activity was performed on promastigotes forms of Leishmania amazonensis. Results: The bark methanol extract (BME) and cordatin were not active against any microbial strains tested; BDE and leaves methanol extract (LME) were positive for Pseudomonas aeruginosa and aparisthman was positive for Candida albicans. In the determination of the minimum bactericidal concentration, neither of them were active in the highest concentration tested. The extracts and diterpenes were inactive in Plasmodium falciparum, except the LME in 72 h. Any extract was shown to be active in promastigote forms of L. amazonensis. Conclusion: These results indicate that the BDE and LME did not inhibit the bacterial growth, then they probably had bacteriostatic effect. LME presented activity in P. falciparum. PMID:26246738

  5. Biological activities of Croton palanostigma Klotzsch

    PubMed Central

    Mota, Eduardo Ferreira; Rosario, Diele Magno; Silva Veiga, Andreza Socorro; Barros Brasil, Davi Do Socorro; Silveira, Fernando Tobias; Dolabela, Maria Fâni

    2016-01-01

    Background: Different species of Croton are used in traditional Amazonian medicine. Among the popular uses are treatment of bacterial diseases, poorly healing wounds and fevers. Objective: This study evaluated the antileishmanial, antiplasmodial and antimicrobial activities of the extracts and diterpenes of Croton palanostigma Klotzsch (Euphorbiaceae). Materials and Methods: Leaves and bark were extracted with dichloromethane and methanol. The bark dichloromethane extract (BDE) was chromatographed on a column, obtaining cordatin and aparisthman. The extracts and diterpenes were assayed thought agar disk diffusion method and their bactericidal or fungicidal effects were evaluated by minimum bactericidal or fungicidal concentration. The antiplasmodial activity was evaluated after 24 and 72 h of exposition. The antileishmanial activity was performed on promastigotes forms of Leishmania amazonensis. Results: The bark methanol extract (BME) and cordatin were not active against any microbial strains tested; BDE and leaves methanol extract (LME) were positive for Pseudomonas aeruginosa and aparisthman was positive for Candida albicans. In the determination of the minimum bactericidal concentration, neither of them were active in the highest concentration tested. The extracts and diterpenes were inactive in Plasmodium falciparum, except the LME in 72 h. Any extract was shown to be active in promastigote forms of L. amazonensis. Conclusion: These results indicate that the BDE and LME did not inhibit the bacterial growth, then they probably had bacteriostatic effect. LME presented activity in P. falciparum. PMID:27041867

  6. Multifunctional and biologically active matrices from multicomponent polymeric solutions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kiick, Kristi L. (Inventor); Yamaguchi, Nori (Inventor)

    2010-01-01

    The present invention relates to a biologically active functionalized electrospun matrix to permit immobilization and long-term delivery of biologically active agents. In particular the invention relates to a functionalized polymer matrix comprising a matrix polymer, a compatibilizing polymer and a biomolecule or other small functioning molecule. In certain aspects the electrospun polymer fibers comprise at least one biologically active molecule functionalized with low molecular weight heparin. Examples of active molecules that may be used with the multicomponent polymer of the invention include, for example, a drug, a biopolymer, for example a growth factor, a protein, a peptide, a nucleotide, a polysaccharide, a biological macromolecule or the like. The invention is further directed to the formation of functionalized crosslinked matrices, such as hydrogels, that include at least one functionalized compatibilizing polymer capable of assembly.

  7. Methods of increasing secretion of polypeptides having biological activity

    SciTech Connect

    Merino, Sandra

    2013-10-01

    The present invention relates to methods for producing a secreted polypeptide having biological activity, comprising: (a) transforming a fungal host cell with a fusion protein construct encoding a fusion protein, which comprises: (i) a first polynucleotide encoding a signal peptide; (ii) a second polynucleotide encoding at least a catalytic domain of an endoglucanase or a portion thereof; and (iii) a third polynucleotide encoding at least a catalytic domain of a polypeptide having biological activity; wherein the signal peptide and at least the catalytic domain of the endoglucanase increases secretion of the polypeptide having biological activity compared to the absence of at least the catalytic domain of the endoglucanase; (b) cultivating the transformed fungal host cell under conditions suitable for production of the fusion protein; and (c) recovering the fusion protein, a component thereof, or a combination thereof, having biological activity, from the cultivation medium.

  8. Methods of increasing secretion of polypeptides having biological activity

    DOEpatents

    Merino, Sandra

    2014-10-28

    The present invention relates to methods for producing a secreted polypeptide having biological activity, comprising: (a) transforming a fungal host cell with a fusion protein construct encoding a fusion protein, which comprises: (i) a first polynucleotide encoding a signal peptide; (ii) a second polynucleotide encoding at least a catalytic domain of an endoglucanase or a portion thereof; and (iii) a third polynucleotide encoding at least a catalytic domain of a polypeptide having biological activity; wherein the signal peptide and at least the catalytic domain of the endoglucanase increases secretion of the polypeptide having biological activity compared to the absence of at least the catalytic domain of the endoglucanase; (b) cultivating the transformed fungal host cell under conditions suitable for production of the fusion protein; and (c) recovering the fusion protein, a component thereof, or a combination thereof, having biological activity, from the cultivation medium.

  9. Methods of increasing secretion of polypeptides having biological activity

    DOEpatents

    Merino, Sandra

    2014-05-27

    The present invention relates to methods for producing a secreted polypeptide having biological activity, comprising: (a) transforming a fungal host cell with a fusion protein construct encoding a fusion protein, which comprises: (i) a first polynucleotide encoding a signal peptide; (ii) a second polynucleotide encoding at least a catalytic domain of an endoglucanase or a portion thereof; and (iii) a third polynucleotide encoding at least a catalytic domain of a polypeptide having biological activity; wherein the signal peptide and at least the catalytic domain of the endoglucanase increases secretion of the polypeptide having biological activity compared to the absence of at least the catalytic domain of the endoglucanase; (b) cultivating the transformed fungal host cell under conditions suitable for production of the fusion protein; and (c) recovering the fusion protein, a component thereof, or a combination thereof, having biological activity, from the cultivation medium.

  10. Methods of increasing secretion of polypeptides having biological activity

    SciTech Connect

    Merino, Sandra

    2015-04-14

    The present invention relates to methods for producing a secreted polypeptide having biological activity, comprising: (a) transforming a fungal host cell with a fusion protein construct encoding a fusion protein, which comprises: (i) a first polynucleotide encoding a signal peptide; (ii) a second polynucleotide encoding at least a catalytic domain of an endoglucanase or a portion thereof; and (iii) a third polynucleotide encoding at least a catalytic domain of a polypeptide having biological activity; wherein the signal peptide and at least the catalytic domain of the endoglucanase increases secretion of the polypeptide having biological activity compared to the absence of at least the catalytic domain of the endoglucanase; (b) cultivating the transformed fungal host cell under conditions suitable for production of the fusion protein; and (c) recovering the fusion protein, a component thereof, or a combination thereof, having biological activity, from the cultivation medium.

  11. Recovery of soil base saturation following termination of N deposition: Increased biological weathering?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lucas, R. W.; Högberg, P.

    2012-12-01

    have been an increase in the weathering rate of base cations following the termination of N addition. Such an increase may be biologically mediated by the soil microbial community receiving increased allocation of recent photosynthate below ground following the termination of N addition and is not accounted for in current biogeochemical models.

  12. Physical activity and biological maturation: a systematic review

    PubMed Central

    Bacil, Eliane Denise Araújo; Mazzardo, Oldemar; Rech, Cassiano Ricardo; Legnani, Rosimeide Francisco dos Santos; de Campos, Wagner

    2015-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To analyze the association between physical activity (PA) and biological maturation in children and adolescents. DATA SOURCE: We performed a systematic review in April 2013 in the electronic databases of PubMed/MEDLINE, SportDiscus, Web of Science and LILACS without time restrictions. A total of 628 potentially relevant articles were identified and 10 met the inclusion criteria for this review: cross-sectional or longitudinal studies, published in Portuguese, English or Spanish, with schoolchildren aged 9-15 years old of both genders. DATA SYNTHESIS: Despite the heterogeneity of the studies, there was an inverse association between PA and biological maturation. PA decreases with increased biological and chronological age in both genders. Boys tend to be more physically active than girls; however, when controlling for biological age, the gender differences disappear. The association between PA and timing of maturation varies between the genders. Variation in the timing of biological maturation affects the tracking of PA in early adolescent girls. This review suggests that mediators (BMI, depression, low self-esteem, and concerns about body weight) can explain the association between PA and biological maturation. CONCLUSIONS: There is an association between PA and biological maturation. PA decreases with increasing biological age with no differences between genders. As for the timing of biological maturation, this association varies between genders. PMID:25583624

  13. Biological soil crust formation under artificial vegetation effect and its properties in the Mugetan sandy land, northeastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Y. F.; Li, Z. W.; Jia, Y. H.; Zhang, K.

    2016-08-01

    Mugetan sandy land is an inland desertification area of about 2,065 km2 in the northeastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. In the ecological restoration region of the Mugetan sandy land, different crusts have formed under the action of vegetation in three types of sandy soil (i.e. semi-fixed sand dune, fixed sand dune and ancient fixed aeolian sandy soil). The surface sand particle distribution, mineral component and vegetation composition of moving sand dunes and three types of sandy soil were studied in 2010-2014 to analyze the biological crust formation properties in the Mugetan sandy land and the effects of artificial vegetation. Results from this study revealed that artificial vegetation increases the clay content and encourages the development of biological curst. The fine particles (i.e. clay and humus) of the surface layer of the sand dunes increased more than 15% ten years after the artificial vegetation planting, and further increased up to 20% after one hundred years. The interaction of clay, humus, and other fine particles formed the soil aggregate structure. Meanwhile, under the vegetation effect from the microbes, algae, and moss, the sand particles stuck together and a biological crust formed. The interconnection of the partial crusts caused the sand dunes to gradually be fixed as a whole. Maintaining the integrity of the biological crust plays a vital role in fixing the sand under the crust. The precipitation and temperature conditions in the Mugetan sandy land could satisfy the demand of biological crust formation and development. If rational vegetation measures are adopted in the region with moving sand dunes, the lichen-moss-algae biological curst will form after ten years, but it still takes more time for the sand dunes to reach the nutrient enrichment state. If the biological curst is partly broken due to human activities, reasonable closure and restoration measures can shorten the restoration time of the biological crust.

  14. Activated Sludge. Student Manual. Biological Treatment Process Control.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boe, Owen K.; Klopping, Paul H.

    This student manual contains the textual material for a seven-lesson unit on activated sludge. Topic areas addressed in the lessons include: (1) activated sludge concepts and components (including aeration tanks, aeration systems, clarifiers, and sludge pumping systems); (2) activated sludge variations and modes; (3) biological nature of activated…

  15. Toxicological effects of dimethomorph on soil enzymatic activity and soil earthworm (Eisenia fetida).

    PubMed

    Wang, Caixia; Zhang, Qingming; Wang, Feifei; Liang, Wenxing

    2017-02-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the toxicity of the fungicide dimethomorph to soil microbial activity and the earthworm Eisenia fetida. Multiple biomarkers, namely, four soil enzymes (urease, dehydrogenase, invertase, and acid phosphatase), four earthworm biochemical indices (dismutase, catalase, cellulase, and malondialdehyde), and the transcriptional levels of both target genes (dismutase and catalase) were measured at 1, 10, and 100 mg kg(-1) after 1, 7, 21, and 28 days. The degradation rate of dimethomorph in soil was also determined, and the results indicated that most parameters did not differ from the controls at 1 and 10 mg kg(-1) dimethomorph by the last exposure time (28 d). However, high concentrations (100 mg kg(-1)) of dimethomorph had varying effects on soil enzymatic activity and earthworms. These effects gradually decreased with prolonged exposure times. Positive correlations (R(2) > 0.57) between the target gene expression levels and antioxidant enzyme activities were observed in this study. We also found that earthworms have improved soil microbial activity and accelerated the degradation of dimethomorph. Overall, higher concentrations of dimethomorph might pose an ecological hazard to soil environments in the short term.

  16. Combined use of GIS and environmental indicators for assessment of chemical, physical and biological soil degradation in a Spanish Mediterranean region.

    PubMed

    de Paz, José-Miguel; Sánchez, Juan; Visconti, Fernando

    2006-04-01

    Soil is one of the main non-renewable natural resources in the world. In the Valencian Community (Mediterranean coast of Spain), it is especially important because agriculture and forest biomass exploitation are two of the main economic activities in the region. More than 44% of the total area is under agriculture and 52% is forested. The frequently arid or semi-arid climate with rainfall concentrated in few events, usually in the autumn and spring, scarcity of vegetation cover, and eroded and shallow soils in several areas lead to soil degradation processes. These processes, mainly water erosion and salinization, can be intense in many locations within the Valencian Community. Evaluation of soil degradation on a regional scale is important because degradation is incompatible with sustainable development. Policy makers involved in land use planning require tools to evaluate soil degradation so they can go on to develop measures aimed at protecting and conserving soils. In this study, a methodology to evaluate physical, chemical and biological soil degradation in a GIS-based approach was developed for the Valencian Community on a 1/200,000 scale. The information used in this study was obtained from two different sources: (i) a soil survey with more than 850 soil profiles sampled within the Valencian Community, and (ii) the environmental information implemented in the Geo-scientific map of the Valencian Community digitised on an Arc/Info GIS. Maps of physical, chemical and biological soil degradation in the Valencian Community on a 1/200,000 scale were obtained using the methodology devised. These maps can be used to make a cost-effective evaluation of soil degradation on a regional scale. Around 29% of the area corresponding to the Valencian Community is affected by high to very high physical soil degradation, 36% by high to very high biological degradation, and 6% by high to very high chemical degradation. It is, therefore, necessary to draw up legislation and to

  17. Analysis of environmental factors determining development and succession in biological soil crusts.

    PubMed

    Lan, Shubin; Wu, Li; Zhang, Delu; Hu, Chunxiang

    2015-12-15

    Biological soil crusts play important ecological functions in arid and semi-arid regions, while different crust successional patterns appeared in different regions. Therefore in this study, the environmental conditions between Shapotou (with cyanobacterial, lichen and moss crusts) and Dalate Banner (with only cyanobacterial and moss crusts) regions of China were compared to investigate why lichen crusts only appeared in Shapotou; at the same time, artificial moss inoculation was conducted to find out the environmental factors promoting crust succession to moss stage. The results showed lichen crusts always developed from cyanobacterial crusts, which provide not only the stable soil surface, but also the biomass basis for lichen formation; furthermore, addition of crust physicochemical characteristics (primarily silt content) play a facilitating effect on lichen emergence (R(2)=0.53). The inoculation experiment demonstrated early crust soil surface and enough water holding content (>4%) provided the essential guarantee for moss germination. Our results show that there is heterogeneity in crust succession in different regions, which may be mainly affected by the ambient soil microenvironments. It is concluded that a positive feedback mechanism is expected between crust succession and ambient soil microenvironments; while a negative feedback mechanism forms between crust succession and free living cyanobacteria and algae.

  18. Phosphatase activity in Antarctica soil samples as a biosignature of extant life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sato, Shuji; Itoh, Yuki; Takano, Yoshinori; Fukui, Manabu; Kaneko, Takeo; Kobayashi, Kensei

    Microbial activities have been detected in such extreme terrestrial environments as deep lithosphere, a submarine hydrothermal systems, stratosphere, and Antarctica. Microorganisms have adapted to such harsh environments by evolving their biomolecules. Some of these biomolecules such as enzymes might have different characteristics from those of organisms in ordinary environments. Many biosignatures (or biomarkers) have been proposed to detect microbial activities in such extreme environments. A number of techniques are proposed to evaluate biological activities in extreme environments including cultivation methods, assay of metabolism, and analysis of bioorganic compounds like amino acids and DNA. Enzyme activities are useful signature of extant life in extreme environments. Among many enzymes, phosphatase could be a good indicator of biological activities, since phosphate esters are essential for all the living terrestrial organisms. In addition, alkaline phosphatase is known as a typical zinc-containing metalloenzyme and quite stable in environments. We analyzed phosphatase activities in Antarctica soil samples to see whether they can be used as biosignatures for extant life. In addition, we characterized phosphatases extracted from the Antarctica soil samples, and compared with those obtained from other types of environments. Antarctica surface environments are quite severe environments for life since it is extremely cold and dry and exposed to strong UV and cosmic rays. We tried to evaluate biological activities in Antarctica by measuring phosphatase activities. Surface soil samples are obtained at the Sites 1-8 near Showa Base in Antarctica during the 47th Japan Antarctic exploration mission in 2005-6. Activities of acid phosphatase (ACP) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) are measured spectrophotometrically after mixing the powdered sample and p-nitrophenyl phosphate solution (pH 6.5 for ACP, pH 8.0 for ALP). ALP was characterized after extraction from soils with

  19. Short-term parasite-infection alters already the biomass, activity and functional diversity of soil microbial communities.

    PubMed

    Li, Jun-Min; Jin, Ze-Xin; Hagedorn, Frank; Li, Mai-He

    2014-11-04

    Native parasitic plants may be used to infect and control invasive plants. We established microcosms with invasive Mikania micrantha and native Coix lacryma-jobi growing in mixture on native soils, with M. micrantha being infected by parasitic Cuscuta campestris at four intensity levels for seven weeks to estimate the top-down effects of plant parasitism on the biomass and functional diversity of soil microbial communities. Parasitism significantly decreased root biomass and altered soil microbial communities. Soil microbial biomass decreased, but soil respiration increased at the two higher infection levels, indicating a strong stimulation of soil microbial metabolic activity (+180%). Moreover, a Biolog assay showed that the infection resulted in a significant change in the functional diversity indices of soil microbial communities. Pearson correlation analysis indicated that microbial biomass declined significantly with decreasing root biomass, particularly of the invasive M. micrantha. Also, the functional diversity indices of soil microbial communities were positively correlated with soil microbial biomass. Therefore, the negative effects on the biomass, activity and functional diversity of soil microbial community by the seven week long plant parasitism was very likely caused by decreased root biomass and root exudation of the invasive M. micrantha.

  20. Short-term parasite-infection alters already the biomass, activity and functional diversity of soil microbial communities

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jun-Min; Jin, Ze-Xin; Hagedorn, Frank; Li, Mai-He

    2014-01-01

    Native parasitic plants may be used to infect and control invasive plants. We established microcosms with invasive Mikania micrantha and native Coix lacryma-jobi growing in mixture on native soils, with M. micrantha being infected by parasitic Cuscuta campestris at four intensity levels for seven weeks to estimate the top-down effects of plant parasitism on the biomass and functional diversity of soil microbial communities. Parasitism significantly decreased root biomass and altered soil microbial communities. Soil microbial biomass decreased, but soil respiration increased at the two higher infection levels, indicating a strong stimulation of soil microbial metabolic activity (+180%). Moreover, a Biolog assay showed that the infection resulted in a significant change in the functional diversity indices of soil microbial communities. Pearson correlation analysis indicated that microbial biomass declined significantly with decreasing root biomass, particularly of the invasive M. micrantha. Also, the functional diversity indices of soil microbial communities were positively correlated with soil microbial biomass. Therefore, the negative effects on the biomass, activity and functional diversity of soil microbial community by the seven week long plant parasitism was very likely caused by decreased root biomass and root exudation of the invasive M. micrantha. PMID:25367357

  1. Biologically active secondary metabolites from Asphodelus microcarpus.

    PubMed

    Ghoneim, Mohammed M; Ma, Guoyi; El-Hela, Atef A; Mohammad, Abd-Elsalam I; Kottob, Saeid; El-Ghaly, Sayed; Cutler, Stephen J; Ross, Samir A

    2013-08-01

    Bioassay guided fractionation of the ethanolic extract of Asphodelus microcarpus Salzm.et Vivi (Asphodelaceae) resulted in the isolation of one new metabolite, 1,6-dimethoxy-3-methyl-2-naphthoic acid (1) as well as nine known compounds: asphodelin (2), chrysophanol (3), 8-methoxychrysophanol (4), emodin (5), 2-acetyl-1,8-dimethoxy-3-methylnaphthalene (6), 10-(chrysophanol-7'-yl)-10-hydroxychrysophanol-9-anthrone (7), aloesaponol-III-8-methyl ether (8), ramosin (9) and aestivin (10). The compounds were identified by 1D and 2D NMR and HRESIMS. Compounds 3, 6 and 10 were isolated for the first time from this species. Compounds 3 and 4 showed moderate to weak antileishmanial activity with IC50 values of 14.3 and 35.1 microg/mL, respectively. Compound 4 exhibited moderate antifungal activity against Cryptococcus neoformans with an IC50 value of 15.0 microg/mL, while compounds 5, 7 and 10 showed good to potent activity against methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) with IC50 values of 6.6, 9.4 microg/mL and 1.4 microg/mL respectively. Compounds 5, 8 and 9 displayed good activity against S. aureus with IC50 values of 3.2, 7.3 and 8.5 microg/mL, respectively. Compounds 7 and 9 exhibited a potent cytotoxic activity against leukemia LH60 and K562 cell lines. Compound 10 showed potent antimalarial activities against both chloroquine-sensitive and chloroquine-resistant strains of Plasmodium falciparum with IC50 values in the range of 0.8-0.7 microg/mL without showing any cytotoxicity to mammalian cells.

  2. Biologically active phenols from Saussurea medusa.

    PubMed

    Fan, Cheng-Qi; Yue, Jian-Min

    2003-03-06

    Sixteen phenolic compounds were isolated from the polar fraction of Saussurea medusa and were structurally elucidated by chemical evidences and spectral methods. These compounds include two new lignan glucosides, namely medusasides A (1) and B (2), and fourteen known phenolic compounds (3-16). One major compound, apigenin 7-O-[alpha-L-rhamnopyranosyl-(1-->6)-beta-D-glucopyranoside] (6) showed remarkable activity to attenuate the scopolamine induced memory deficit of mice. Compound 6 and another major one, quercetin (8) also exhibited moderate cell protecting activities against hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) induced PC12 cell damage.

  3. Active Layer Soil Carbon and Nutrient Mineralization, Barrow, Alaska, 2012

    DOE Data Explorer

    Stan D. Wullschleger; Holly M. Vander Stel; Colleen Iversen; Victoria L. Sloan; Richard J. Norby; Mallory P. Ladd; Jason K. Keller; Ariane Jong; Joanne Childs; Deanne J. Brice

    2015-10-29

    This data set consists of bulk soil characteristics as well as carbon and nutrient mineralization rates of active layer soils manually collected from the field in August, 2012, frozen, and then thawed and incubated across a range of temperatures in the laboratory for 28 day periods in 2013-2015. The soils were collected from four replicate polygons in each of the four Areas (A, B, C, and D) of Intensive Site 1 at the Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE) Arctic site near Barrow, Alaska. Soil samples were coincident with the established Vegetation Plots that are located in center, edge, and trough microtopography in each polygon. Data included are 1) bulk soil characteristics including carbon, nitrogen, gravimetric water content, bulk density, and pH in 5-cm depth increments and also by soil horizon, 2) carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus mineralization rates for soil horizons incubated aerobically (and in one case both aerobically and anaerobically) for 28 days at temperatures that included 2, 4, 8, and 12 degrees C. Additional soil and incubation data are forthcoming. They will be available when published as part of another paper that includes additional replicate analyses.

  4. The biological activity of chernozems in the Central Caucasus Mountains (Terskii variant of altitudinal zonality), Kabardino-Balkaria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    Some parameters of the biological activity (humus content; activity of hydrolytic enzymes invertase, phosphatase, urease; and the intensity of carbon dioxide emission) were studied in the chernozems of agrocenoses and native biogeocenoses in the foothills of the Caucasus Mountains representing the Terskii variant of the altitudinal zonality. The statistically significant differences were revealed between the relevant characteristics of the soils of the agrocenoses and of the native biogeocenoses. The integral index of the ecological-biological state of the soils was used to estimate changes in the biological activity of the arable chernozems. The 40-60% decrease of this index in the cultivated chernozems testified to their degradation with a decrease in fertility and the disturbance of ecological functions as compared to these characteristics in the virgin chernozems.

  5. Transport and biological activities of bile acids.

    PubMed

    Zwicker, Brittnee L; Agellon, Luis B

    2013-07-01

    Bile acids have emerged as important biological molecules that support the solubilization of various lipids and lipid-soluble compounds in the gut, and the regulation of gene expression and cellular function. Bile acids are synthesized from cholesterol in the liver and eventually released into the small intestine. The majority of bile acids are recovered in the distal end of the small intestine and then returned to the liver for reuse. The components of the mechanism responsible for the recycling of bile acids within the enterohepatic circulation have been identified whereas the mechanism for intracellular transport is less understood. Recently, the ileal lipid binding protein (ILBP; human gene symbol FABP6) was shown to be needed for the efficient transport of bile acids from the apical side to the basolateral side of enterocytes in the distal intestine. This review presents an overview of the transport of bile acids between the liver and the gut as well as within hepatocytes and enterocytes. A variety of pathologies is associated with the malfunction of the bile acid transport system.

  6. Synthesis and biological activity of radiolabeled phytosterols

    SciTech Connect

    De Palma, A.

    1984-01-01

    /sup 3/H and /sup 14/C-labeled phytosterols were synthesized for the purpose of elucidating insect sterol side-chain dealkylating mechanisms. Sitosterol, stigmasterol, and the 29-fluoro derivatives of these compounds, which are highly toxic, were labeled with /sup 3/H at C-29 in order to study the fate of the two-carbon dealkylation product in vivo and in vitro. The first rapid, reliable in vitro dealkylation bioassay was developed using doubly-labeled (29-/sup 3/H)-(24-/sup 14/C) fucosterol epoxides as the substrates, incubated with midgut preparations from Manduca sexta, the tobacco hornworm. Since C-28 and C-29 are lost in the dealkylation process, the extent of dealkylation is expressed as the change in the isotopic ratio when the system is partitioned between an organic solvent and water after incubation. As predicted, the /sup 3/H//sup 14/C ratio decreases in the organic layer as a function of time, due to loss of /sup 3/H into the aqueous phase as acetate or a biological equivalent. This ratio likewise increases in the aqueous phase for the same reason. The (29-/sup 3/H) phytosterols alone are reliable substrates for the first rapid in vivo bioassay of phytosterol dealkylation.

  7. Building biologically active nucleic acid nanocomplexes.

    PubMed

    Smith, C I Edvard; Lundin, Karin E; Simonson, Oscar E; Moreno, Pedro M D; Svahn, Mathias G; Wenska, Malgorzata; Strömberg, Roger

    2008-01-01

    The Bioplex technology allows the hybridization of functional entities to various forms of nucleic acids by the use of synthetic nucleic acid analogs. Such supramolecular assemblies can be made in a predetermined fashion and can confer new properties. The Zorro technology is based on a novel construct generated to simultaneously bind to both DNA strands. Such compounds may have gene silencing activity.

  8. The NASA Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) Mission: Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    O'Neill, Peggy; Entekhabi, Dara; Njoku, Eni; Kellogg, Kent

    2011-01-01

    The Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission is one of the first Earth observation satellites being developed by NASA in response to the National Research Council?s Decadal Survey [1]. Its mission design consists of L-band radiometer and radar instruments sharing a rotating 6-m mesh reflector antenna to provide high-resolution and high-accuracy global maps of soil moisture and freeze/thaw state every 2-3 days. The combined active/passive microwave soil moisture product will have a spatial resolution of 10 km and a mean latency of 24 hours. In addition, the SMAP surface observations will be combined with advanced modeling and data assimilation to provide deeper root zone soil moisture and net ecosystem exchange of carbon. SMAP is expected to launch in the late 2014 - early 2015 time frame.

  9. Biological activity of the humus horizon of ordinary chernozems as an indicator of the ecological state of agroecosystems in Bashkortostan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khasanova, R. F.; Suyundukov, Ya. T.; Semenova, I. N.

    2014-08-01

    A comparative analysis of the biological activity has been performed in the soils of Transural Bashkiria developing under natural perennial grasses and under sown herbs. It is shown that the structure of the microbial community in the soils under natural perennial grasses (fescue, brome grass, and couch grass) prevents the removal of nitrogen from the ecosystem and favors nitrogen fixation in the microbial pool of the trophic chain. The method of multisubstrate testing points to certain differences between the metabolic potentials of the microbial communities of the soils under natural grasses and sown herbs. The high values of the integral index of health of the microbial system in the soils under natural perennial grasses attests to their efficiency in sustaining the soil fertility.

  10. Identification of Factors Influencing the Restoration of Cyanobacteria-Dominated Biological Soil Crusts

    PubMed Central

    Bu, Chongfeng; Wu, Shufang; Yang, Yongsheng; Zheng, Mingguo

    2014-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) cover >35% of the Earth’s land area and contribute to important ecological functions in arid and semiarid ecosystems, including erosion reduction, hydrological cycling, and nutrient cycling. Artificial rapid cultivation of BSCs can provide a novel alternative to traditional biological methods for controlling soil and water loss such as the planting of trees, shrubs, and grasses. At present, little is known regarding the cultivation of BSCs in the field due to lack of knowledge regarding the influencing factors that control BSCs growth. Thus, we determined the effects of various environmental factors (shade; watering; N, P, K, and Ca concentrations) on the growth of cyanobacteria-dominated BSCs from the Sonoran Desert in the southwestern United States. The soil surface changes and chlorophyll a concentrations were used as proxies of BSC growth and development. After 4 months, five factors were found to impact BSC growth with the following order of importance: NH4NO3 ≈ watering frequency>shading>CaCO3 ≈ KH2PO4. The soil water content was the primary positive factor affecting BSC growth, and BSCs that were watered every 5 days harbored greater biomass than those watered every 10 days. Groups that received NH4NO3 consistently exhibited poor growth, suggesting that fixed N amendment may suppress BSC growth. The effect of shading on the BSC biomass was inconsistent and depended on many factors including the soil water content and availability of nutrients. KH2PO4 and CaCO3 had nonsignificant effects on BSC growth. Collectively, our results indicate that the rapid restoration of BSCs can be controlled and realized by artificial “broadcasting” cultivation through the optimization of environmental factors. PMID:24625498

  11. Earthworm activity in a simulated landfill cover soil shifts the community composition of active methanotrophs.

    PubMed

    Kumaresan, Deepak; Héry, Marina; Bodrossy, Levente; Singer, Andrew C; Stralis-Pavese, Nancy; Thompson, Ian P; Murrell, J Colin

    2011-12-01

    Landfills represent a major source of methane in the atmosphere. In a previous study, we demonstrated that earthworm activity in landfill cover soil can increase soil methane oxidation capacity. In this study, a simulated landfill cover soil mesocosm (1 m × 0.15 m) was used to observe the influence of earthworms (Eisenia veneta) on the active methanotroph community composition,