Short Scientific Visit in Italy
Teresa de los Bueis Mellado was awarded an SSV grant in 2013. This programme allows awarded researchers to visit another institution in a Mediterranean country in order to learn new techniques and achieve specific research goals.
Here Teresa de los Bueis Mellado describes her SSV, hosted by the “Mediterranea” University of Reggio Calabria in Italy.
The main aim of my visit was to learn soil analysis techniques related to enzymes involved in the carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous biogeochemical cycles as well as to evaluate the influence of these soil biochemical properties on forest productivity of Pinus halepensis L. and Pinus sylvestris Mill. stands in Northern Spain.
Enzyme activities in soil play a key role in catalytic reactions involved in organic matter decomposition and nutrient cycling, regulating the turnover of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous, which in turn regulate the availability of these nutrients to plants. Soil enzyme activities are positively related to soil organic matter and are responsible for the soil quality, crop productivity and energy transfer.
Soil samples from plots located on Pinus sylvestris L. stands and Pinus halepensis Mill. stands were analysed to determine the soil enzyme activities such as FDA hydrolysis reaction, dehydrogenase, alkaline and acid phosphatase, protease, urease and catalase activities. The soil samples were incubated at the optimum pH and temperature and then the extracts filtered to determine the amount of product from the enzyme activity.
It has been a very interesting experience for me, I have learned a lot about biochemical analysis in soils. I would like to thank to Professor Adele Muscolo for her great teaching and all the members of the Department of Agricultural and Forest System Management (GESAF) for their warm welcome. I also want to thank EFIMED for giving me the opportunity to make this visit.Photos: Teresa de los Bueis Mellado
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