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The effect of electrokinetics on soil microbial communities

Lear, G., Harbottle, Michael John, van der Gast, C. J., Jackman, S. A., Knowles, C. J., Sills, G. and Thompson, I. P. 2004. The effect of electrokinetics on soil microbial communities. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 36 (11) , pp. 1751-1760. 10.1016/j.soilbio.2004.04.032

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Abstract

There is growing interest in the potential of applying an electric field to soil to move and stimulate the degradation of contaminants, but we know little of the impact of this approach on exposed microbial communities. The effect of electrokinetics (3.14 A m?2) on soil bacterial and fungal communities was studied using soil cartridge microcosms (13 cm×5.4 cm×5.9 cm). After 27 days of electrokinetics, a zone of low pH (<4) was detected close to the anode. Soil exposed to electrokinetics and immediately adjacent to the anode demonstrated an increase in carbon substrate utilisation potential (?290%) and microbial respiration rates. The diversity and structure of the bacterial community showed little response to electrokinetics, with the exception of soil close to the anode. Here, an increase in the percentage of Gram-positive species isolated was identified, most notably of Bacillus megaterium. Overall, the only detectable response of the microbial community was observed in soil immediately adjacent to the anode. The results of this study provide evidence that the application of electrokinetics has no serious negative effect on ‘soil microbial health’, thus endorsing its validity as a viable soil remediation technology.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Uncontrolled Keywords: Electrokinetic ; Soil remediation ; Soil health ; Microbial community ; Diversity ; Activity
ISSN: 0038-0717
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 01:43
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/2031

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