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Nieves Barros, Sergio Feijóo, Ramón Balsa, José Antonio Rodríguez-Añón, Jorge Proupín, María Villanueva, Lee Hansen, Ander Arias, Nahia Gartzia, Verónica Piñeiro; Calorimetry reveals the response of soil microbial metabolism to increasing temperature in soils with different thermal, chemical and biological properties; Advanced Materials and Technologies Environmental Sciences; 2017:1(1):27-37
Understanding the connection between soil biodegradation and temperature is a matter of concern nowadays. Increasing temperature increases the rate at which soil is degraded by microbial action enhancing carbon losses with a negative impact on the atmosphere and water quality. The number of methods allowing these measurements is small, and additional options that contribute to improve our knowledge about this subject are welcome. Calorimetry is a new alternative to monitor directly and in real time the immediate response of soil microbial activity to changing temperature. This paper shows a methodological application of these calorimetric devices to soil samples with extreme different organic matter properties, to monitor the evolution of their biodegradation rates with increasing temperatures and the fitting of the most widely used models: Q10 and the Arrhenius equation. Results showed that calorimetry is sensitive enough to detect different responses of the soil samples to increasing temperature from 18 ºC to 35 ºC, that the range of temperatures at which the biodegradation rates fitted the existing models varied among soils and that Ea derived from Arrhenius equation was not sensitive in all cases to link soil sensitivity to temperature with the soil organic matter nature.