Navigation Links
Loss of biodiversity limits toxin degradation
Date:1/16/2014

You might not think of microbes when you consider biodiversity, but it turns out that even a moderate loss of less than 5% of soil microbes may compromise some key ecosystem functions and could lead to lower degradation of toxins in the environment.

Research published today (15 January) in the SfAM journal, Environmental Microbiology, reports that without a rich diversity of soil bacteria, specialised functions such as the removal of pesticide residues are not as effective.

Dr Brajesh Singh of the University of Western Sydney led the work, he said "If the ability of the ecosystem to remove toxins from the environment is reduced, there will be higher toxicity risks in the environment and for non-target organisms, including humans, from agricultural chemicals. It is likely that these contaminants will remain at higher levels in surface and underground water, as well. It is vital to gain a better understanding of the extent to which soil bacteria are involved in the removal of contaminants."

The reasons for, and extent of, the decline in microbial diversity in agricultural soils is likely to be complex. The team has looked specifically at long-term heavy metal pollution where metals such as cadmium, zinc, and copper build up in the environment, usually as a result of industrial use. Another source is from digested sewage sludge, which is spread in agriculture fields to supply nutrients to crops and improve soil fertility; the sludge has historically contained some heavy metals, which can become concentrated in the soil.

Although the concentration of heavy metal used this study was higher than the current EU limit, this study has confirmed that long-term exposure to such contaminants does reduce the diversity of bacteria in the soil.

With the global population set to reach nine billion by 2050, we face a challenge to feed an extra two billion mouths using the same resources that we have at present. Crop losses to pests and disease account for a large percentage of under-production and so giving up pesticides will be difficult. Similarly, the use of sludge as a fertiliser is likely to become more prevalent. Research like this allows us to understand better how to use important agrichemicals and waste products in a sustainable way and so will contribute to future food and environmental security.


'/>"/>

Contact: Nancy Mendoza
nancy@sfam.org.uk
44-079-202-64596
Wiley
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Safe havens revealed for biodiversity in a changed climate
2. Museum bird DNA ready for use in Naturalis Biodiversity Center
3. Describing biodiversity on tight budgets: 3 new Andean lizards discovered
4. Young tropical forests contribute little to biodiversity conservation
5. Life Technologies Collaborates with Canadian Centre for DNA Barcoding on Species Biodiversity Study
6. Quality of biodiversity, not just quantity, is key
7. E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation moving to Duke
8. Grant supports Clemson study of coastal biodiversity
9. Island biodiversity in danger of total submersion with climate change
10. NSF awards Chicago Botanic Garden $1.54 million Dimensions in Biodiversity grant
11. Carbon storage recovers faster than plant biodiversity in re-growing tropical forests
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/3/2016)... , May 3, 2016  Neurotechnology, a ... the MegaMatcher Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) ... large-scale multi-biometric projects. MegaMatcher ABIS can process multiple ... using any combination of fingerprint, face or iris ... MegaMatcher SDK and MegaMatcher Accelerator , ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... 2016 First quarter 2016:   ... with the first quarter of 2015 The gross margin ... (loss: 18.8) and the operating margin was 40% (-13) ... Cash flow from operations was SEK 249.9 M (21.2) , ... unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. The operating margin for 2016 ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... 27, 2016 Research and ... Biometrics Market 2016-2020"  report to their offering.  , ... The analysts forecast the global multimodal biometrics ... during the period 2016-2020.  Multimodal biometrics ... such as the healthcare, BFSI, transportation, automotive, and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... June 27, 2016  Global demand for enzymes ... through 2020 to $7.2 billion.  This market includes ... cleaning products, biofuel production, animal feed, and other ... and biocatalysts). Food and beverages will remain the ... increasing consumption of products containing enzymes in developing ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... findings on what they believe could be a new and helpful biomarker for ... research. Click here to read it now. , Biomarkers are components ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... for Amgen, will join the faculty of the University of North Carolina ... professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at UNC Kenan-Flagler, with a focus on the ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  Regular discussions on a ... take place between the two entities said Poloz. ... Ottawa , he pointed to the country,s ... the federal government. ... said, "Both institutions have common economic goals, why not sit ...
Breaking Biology Technology: