Graduate Thesis on phytostabilization and soil organic matter

Trees planted in contaminated soils provide organic matter, contributing to a reduced mobility of contaminants and the process called “phytostabilization”.

Within the collaboration between IRNAS, CSIC and the University of Seville, Juan Fernando Montero supervised by the RESTECO researcher María T. Domínguez, has presented in July 2018, in the Faculty of Chemistry, the Graduate Thesis titled “Caracterizing fractions of organic carbon in forested soils after the Aznalcóllar mine accident (Guadiamar Green Corridor)”.

In this study, several fractions of soil organic carbon were analyzed, comparing sites under different tree species (white poplar, stone pine and wild olive). The study was repeated in two contrasted areas, with different soil acidity levels.

Using Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), functional groups were caracterized in samples of soil and litter. The spectra of soil samples differed from those of litter, especially when the soil was neutral to basic, due to the higher intensity of microbial acitivity and litter decomposition in those sites.

Contribution to Soil Organic Matter course

Under the current situation of climate change, the carbon storage in terrestrial ecosystems, particularly in forest soils, becomes very relevant for the mitigation of the increasing CO2 in the atmosphere and the reduction of global warming.

A conference about “The soil and organic matter in ecosystem services provision” has been delivered. After the general introduction of the concept “ecosystem services”, the importance of the regulation service associated to the soil carbon storage for the mitigation of climate change was explained. Examples of the projects RECARE and RESTECO were used to illustrate the importance of soil and its ecosystem services.

The conference was part of the Course “Soil organic matter: methods for analysis, and incidence on the environment and climate change”, coordinated by José María de la Rosa Arranz, held in the IRNAS, CSIC, Seville (Spain), during 16-19 Octobre 2017.

A pdf copy of the conference presentation can be downloaded from Digital CSIC.