SCIENTIFIC ACTIVITY OF THE SOIL CHEMISTRY DEPATMENT IS PRIMARILY PERFORMED THROUGH THE IMPLEMENTATION OF RESEARCH PROGRAMS RELATED TO CHEMICAL DEGRADATIONS OF SOILS, MELIORATION AND NUTRIENT SUPPLY.
Soil degradation is a complex process in which the size of soil covered areas and arable lands are reducing, defects occur in soil functions; adverse changes occur in the mass turnover, water management and ecological processes of soil; soil fertility is reducing; agricultural use of soils become more difficult, production costs are increasing; accumulation of toxic substances in soil and food is increasing; natural waters and drinking water supplies become contaminated.
One possibility of melioration of degraded or originally adverse soils is the use of non-hazardous and/or bio-wastes, in which case in addition to exploiting the favourable impact of their utilization, it is necessary to minimize the inherent risk to the environment. The term waste is often a legal category, and do not characterize the actual applicability of these materials, even their environmental risks are often wrongly assessed.
Modern plant nutrition must comply with the followings: maintaining soil fertility, increasing the supply of soil nutrients at optimal levels and maintaining them; plant nutrition cannot be polluting even at optimal soil nutrient levels; economical and efficient nutrient management should be conducted, taking account of the actual needs for product quality.
The Department of Soil Chemistry and Material Turnover is engaged in research areas such as soil chemical degradation, i.e. the quantitative and qualitative changes in soil organic matter, salt accumulation, soil acidification, detection of movement, transformation and reactions of organic and inorganic contaminants in soil and in soil-plant system. It also deals with waste recycling, i.e. the study of the applicability of wastes suitable for soil melioration and/or alternative nutrient supplementation. A main research area is the investigation of the relationships between soil nutrient supply and fertilizer effects, the further improvement of the environmentally friendly fertilizer advisory system. Researchers of the Department can use data provided by laboratory experiments, plant experiments carried out in soil columns and pots, as well as small-plot and farm-scale field experiments and field surveys.