Selected Papers [Biogeochemistry and biodiversity of soil]

1- Bianchi V., Masciandaro G., Ceccanti B., Doni S., Iannelli R. Phytoremediation and bio-physical conditioning of dredged marine sediments for their re-use in the environment. In: WATER AIR AND SOIL POLLUTION, vol. 210 pp. 187 - 195. Springer, 2010.     

2- Pajares S., Gallardo J. F., Masciandaro G., Ceccanti B., Etchevers J. D. Enzyme activity as an indicator of soil quality changes in degraded cultivated Acrisols in the Mexican Trans-Volcanic belt. In: Land Degradation & Development, vol. 22 pp. 373 - 381. Wiley, 2011.     

3- Pajares S., Gallardo J., Masciandaro G., Ceccanti B., Marinari S., Etchevers J. Biochemical indicators of carbon dynamic in an Acrisol cultivated under different management practices in the central Mexican highlands. In: SOIL & TILLAGE RESEARCH, vol. 105 pp. 156 - 163. Elsevier, 2009.    

  • Ceccanti B., C. Garcia, G.Masciandaro, C.Macci, S. Doni. 2006. Soil Bioremediation: Combination of earthworms and compost for the ecological remediation of a hydrocarbon polluted soil. Water, Air and Soil Pollution, 177, 383-397.
  • Bianchi V., B. Ceccanti. 2009. A three components system (TRIAS) in the phytoremediation of polluted environmental matr

Staff [Biogeochemistry and biodiversity of soil]

Biogeochemistry and biodiversity of soil
Name TopicPosition
Grazia Masciandaro   Chemistry, biochemistry Permanent researcher
Cristina Macci   Biochemistry Permanent researcher
Antonio Pera   Microbiology Permanent researcher
Fernando Di Giovanni   Chemistry Permanent technician

Brunello Ceccanti Chemistry Permanent researcher

Questo indirizzo email è protetto dagli spambots. E' necessario abilitare JavaScript per vederlo.

Serena Doni Biochemistry Temporary researcher
Questo indirizzo email è protetto dagli spambots. E' necessario abilitare JavaScript per vederlo.

Eleonora Peruzzi Biochemistry Temporary researcher
Questo indirizzo email è protetto dagli spambots. E' necessario abilitare JavaScript per vederlo.

Giorgio Poggio Chemistry Associate technician
Questo indirizzo email è protetto dagli spambots. E' necessario abilitare JavaScript per vederlo.

Biogeochemistry and biodiversity of soil

Contact: Grazia Masciandaro (Unit of Pisa)
-> Staff
-> Selected papers

Soil quality can be broadly defined as the sustained capability of a soil to accept, store, and recycle water, nutrients and energy. Measures of different properties (key indicators) of soil quality are required to explore better the concept of “resilience” which can be defined as the ability of a degraded ecosystem to revert to its original or near original performance (status) that existed before the external forces altered its natural equilibrium. It is universally accepted that the main causes of soil degradation are the biological impoverishment and loss of organic matter due to overgrazing, intensive use, climate changes, pollution and heavy fertilization and irrigation with salt waters. An extreme degradation of soil physical and biological resources, leads to an irreversible decline of soil functionality and hence, to the beginning of a desertification process. The aim of this research is to deepen the understanding of the processes that best represent the most significant aspects of soil "quality" in different environmental situations. The selection and use of reliable tools and techniques to contrast the degradation processes taking place in soil by improving its quality and its ecological function have been also studied.



Our research group is continuing to study the level of biological and chemico-physical degradation of the soils in order to assess the soil resistance to different impacts and/or the resilience of degraded soils under rehabilitation practices. Due to the complexity of processes and mechanisms characterizing soil ecosystems, different parameters are needed to evaluate soil quality and degradation. These parameters have to include chemical, physical, and biological properties of the soils. In particular, chemical (organic matter content, fractions of organic carbon, concentration of nitrogen both on total and soluble forms, mineral nutrients concentrations, etc.), physical (permeability, aggregate stability, soil structure), and biological (soil biodiversity, respiration, enzyme activities, etc.) parameters are determined to better understand soil bio-physical processes which sustain the soil resource.
In Fig. 1 results about a study on the effects of some bioremediation treatments of a polluted soil have been reported. Specific biochemical parameters (b-glucosidase and phosphatase activities, enzymes related to C and P cycles), which take place in the soil decontamination, showed increased values over the time in the treatments with compost (C and CL). The greater availability of substrates and the reduction of contaminants, which could have an inhibitory effect on the activity of hydrolytic enzymes, were probably the reason this trend.