Research Article Open Access

ASSESSING SOIL RESPIRATION AS AN INDICATOR OF SOIL MICROBIAL ACTIVITY IN RECLAIMED METAL CONTAMINATED LANDS

Kassandre Goupil1 and Kabwe Nkongolo1
  • 1 Laurentian University, Canada

Abstract

Mining, roasting as well as smelting of these elements have caused sulphur dioxide fumigations and metal particulate depositions which have led to various detrimental effects on the overall environmental quality of the Greater Sudbury region. Soil amendment and revegetation within the Greater Sudbury Region were initiated to restore the damage land. Several methods have been used to assess the progress made toward full ecosystem recovery. Soil respiration rates are particularly critical in the assessment of soil health. They reflect the complete extent of biological activity of living microorganisms in the soil. Bacterial and fungal the main biological soil components are functionally important and must be properly determined. The objective of the present study was to measure soil respiration and health in limed and unlimed areas in the Northern Ontario (Canada) region. The results confirm that the liming did maintain an increase in soil pH from extremely acid to slightly acid, even 30 to 40 years after dolostone applications. Fungi were more abundant in limed sites compared to unlimed areas. Soil respiration based on CO2 rate followed the same trend. Respiration rates for the reference sites were similar to those documented for the limed areas. Summer soil respiration rates were associated (r = 0.50) with total fungal abundance in the targeted sites. Overall, the Solvita test of assessing soil respiration and determining microbial mass and soil quality is a reliable and cost effective method.

American Journal of Environmental Sciences
Volume 10 No. 4, 2014, 403-411

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3844/ajessp.2014.403.411

Submitted On: 3 June 2014 Published On: 11 July 2014

How to Cite: Goupil, K. & Nkongolo, K. (2014). ASSESSING SOIL RESPIRATION AS AN INDICATOR OF SOIL MICROBIAL ACTIVITY IN RECLAIMED METAL CONTAMINATED LANDS. American Journal of Environmental Sciences, 10(4), 403-411. https://doi.org/10.3844/ajessp.2014.403.411

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Keywords

  • Soil Respiration
  • Liming
  • Metal Contamination
  • Northern Ontario
  • Soil Quality