Authors: Itziar Alkorta, Lur Epelde and Carlos Garbisu
Journal: FEMS Microbiology Letters
Several groups of Neiker are working on the research project URAGAN, which aims a rational use of antibiotics in livestock. In the case of the Soil Microbial Ecology Group, we are concerned about the potential dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes and mobile genetic elements as a result of the application of animal manure in agricultural soil. In the short term, we plan to establish a pot experiment where we will apply several manures and grow different crops. We will use high-throughput qPCR to simultaneously analyze a great variety of antibiotic resistance genes both in soil and plants. To this purpose, this week we have collected manure and slurry in two dairy farms under organic and intensive management.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment (MAPAMA) through the Biodiversity Foundation has granted aid for the NATURADAPT project, where we will continue working on the development of a methodology to assess the effectiveness of Nature Based Solutions for urban adaptation to climate change at different scales. The project will be carried out in collaboration with Tecnalia Research and Innovation, that will model variables related to reduction of temperature and uptake of runoff. Meantime, Neiker will be in charge of measuring carbon capture, as well as plant and soil biodiversity.
With the support of
Iragaz Watin S.A. is working on the development of a methodology that combines nanoremediation and bioremediation, with the technical support of the University of the Basque Country, Gaiker technological center and Neiker. Yesterday we established a pilot nanobiopile of 7 m3 to remediate a soil polluted with hydrocarbons, PAHs and heavy metals. It is very exciting for us to work on such a big scale!
Landatur (company dedicated to the development of the rural environment and the agro-food sector of the Basque Country) and ENEEK (the Basque Board of Ecological Agriculture and Food) have adapted our Soil Health Cards for school children aged between 8 and 10. These children will visit the headquarters of ENEEK and will use a simplified version of the Health Cards to evaluate the soil of a professional farmer. For the moment, in a pilot phase, just schools from the town of Zornotza will take part in this activity.
Last July (July 16-20th, 2017), two members of our group (Lur Epelde, Carlos Garbisu) attended ICOBTE 2017 (14th International Conference on the Biogeochemistry of Trace Elements), held in ETH Zurich, Switzerland. Carlos Garbisu gave a talk on the “Impact of aided phytostabilization on the biomass, activity and diversity of soil microbial communities” and co-coordinated a Symposium entitled “Improving soil biodiversity, functionality and ecosystem services of trace element-contaminated soils under interacting effects of (phyto)management and climate change”. We also presented a poster (“Plants, earthworms and bacteria: an integrated approach to assess and recover the health of soils contaminated with chromium VI and lindane”) as part of our on-going collaboration with the group of Prof. Becerril from the University of the Basque Country. During the Conference, we agreed to apply for a LIFE proposal on mine restoration with colleagues from France, Portugal and Spain.
We continue with the After-LIFE plans of SOILMONTANA and REGENFARMING projects, this time in a summer course of the university of Cantabria, in Suances. Nerea Mandaluniz and Lur Epelde gave a talk entitled “Diagnóstico de la salud de los suelos de los ecosistemas pastorales y su aplicación en el LIFE REGEN FARMING”. (more…)
Tomorrow we will present the results obtained in the recently finished NATUR-BIDEAK (about “Nature-based solutions for the ecological regeneration and restoration of urban and periurban areas in Donostia/San Sebastián”) and REMEDISOST (entitled “Design of a methodology to assess the sustainability of remediation plans for contaminated soil”), in a meeting organized by IHOBE, the Basque Environmental Management Agency. For more info: Jornada de Ecoinnovación