Effects of Methods of Carbon Sequestration in Soil on Biochemical Indicators of Soil Quality

Edoardo Puglisi and Marco Trevisan

Abstract Here we describe the effects of carbon sequestration managements on soil enzymatic activities and PLFA patterns, as viable parameters to establish soil biochemical quality and its changes. We extensively review the available scientific literature related to experimental results on soil enzymatic activities and PLFA values from different soil treatments. This knowledge was then compared with the experimental results obtained within the MESCOSAGR project. It was found that MESCOSAGR findings are well in agreement with literature, and they show that the use of mature compost or adoption of reduced tillage practices provides an improvement of soil quality, as shown by a general increase in different enzymatic activities. The carbon sequestration method based on the in situ photo-polymerization of soil organic matter catalyzed by a water-soluble iron-porphyrin spread on soil did not show significant difference in soil biochemical quality from control. Changes in microbial communities at taxonomical level have also been identified with PLFA determinations, but these changes were usually site-specific, and mostly related to expression of ecological functions. Our work confirms the importance of linking structural with functional measurements when assessing the response of soil microbial communities to any experimental factor.

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