Recommendations for Future Experimentation

Our MESCOSAGR results showed that the applied methods for soil carbon sequestration had no negative effects on the soil biochemical quality. We found no effects in some cases, and even positive effects in many other cases. This was in line with the literature review illustrated above. This work also confirms the importance of linking structural with functional measurements, when assessing the response of soil microbial communities to any experimental factor.

It is recommended that future investigations will continue to apply well-established methods such as enzymatic activities and PLFA analyses for evaluation of soil biochemical quality. However, they will have to be increasingly supported by novel advanced techniques, such as meta-genomics and meta-transcriptomics, in order to reach more valid evidence on the changes induced by soil treatments. Both PLFA and enzymatic methods will be useful as benchmarks for future advanced methods, since they provide easily interpretable information capable to correctly interpret the large amount of data that the new technologies will provide.

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