Department of Soil Biology

Scientific research carried out in the department focuses on the quantitative and qualitative assessment of the biological characteristics of the soil–plant–microorganism system, by tracking spatial and temporal changes in both natural and agro-ecosystems. Monitoring methods were developed recently for the evaluation of soil quality, characterized by the biological and degradation state of the soil.

Owing to the increased emission of greenhouse gases research is conducted to reveal the details of microbiological processes responsible for soil carbon and nitrogen cycle dynamics and possibilities of their biological regulation.

For better understanding of interactions between plants and microorganisms the mutually beneficial forms of coexistence between soil microorganisms of the root environment (bacteria and fungi enhancing plant growth) and higher plants are studied.  The role of arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi in microelement uptake, phosphorus supply and stress reactions of plants is investigated. Functions of soil enzymes participating in the mineralization of nitrogen and phosphorous compounds are examined in the aspect of nutrient regimes of ecosystems. For the remediation of contamined soils and the reduction of their environmental risks  biological methods (bioremediation) combined (also) with environmentally sound chemical immobilization are developed. This is achieved by using plants adapted to pollution as well as by promoting and applying different phytoremediation techniques primarily on heavy metal contaminated soils.

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