Soil microbial communities as a tool for studying the impact of climate change
SOIL MICRO TOOL (SOIL MICRObial communities as a TOOL for studying the impact of climate change in natural and agricultural ecosystems) is a two-years project coordinated by Carolina Elena Girometta (University of Pavia).
Aims of the project are to characterize and compare the effect of climate change on the soil microbial composition and activity over a 10-year span in a natural environment (a subalpine sensitive area) and an agricultural one (a managed soil in the Po valley).
The research units of the present project have access to two main parallel resources referred to the aforementioned natural area and agricultural one: 1) a set of soil samples collected 10 years ago (conserved at -20°C and not yet analysed); 2) a set of climatic data from each locality for the same time period. New fresh soil samples will also be gathered within the project, analysed and contrasted with the 10 years old samples. The sampling areas are therefore observatories and proxies to achieve data on the effects of the temperature increase on natural and agricultural soils.
The natural area is located in the subalpine belt of Tuscan-Emilian Apennines (Alpe di Mommio) and is part of the Global Observation Research Initiative in Alpine Environment (GLORIA) network. The agricultural area is located in the municipality of Piacenza (62 m asl), in the North-West of Emilia Romagna region.