Articles | Volume 6, issue 1
SOIL, 6, 17–34, 2020
SOIL, 6, 17–34, 2020

Forum article 31 Jan 2020

Forum article | 31 Jan 2020

Identification of new microbial functional standards for soil quality assessment

Sören Thiele-Bruhn et al.

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Cited articles

Anderson, T. H. and Domsch, K. H.: The metabolic quotient for CO2 (qCO2) as a specific activity parameter to assess the effects of environmental conditions, such as pH, on the microbial biomass of forest soils, Soil Biol. Biochem., 25, 393–395,, 1993. 
Bååth, E.: Growth rates of bacterial communities in soils at varying pH: A comparison of the thymidine and leucine incorporation techniques, Microb. Ecol., 36, 316–327, 1998. 
Bååth, E., Pettersson, M., and Söderberg, K. H.: Adaptation of a rapid and economical microcentrifugation method to measure thymidine and leucine incorporation by soil bacteria, Soil Biol. Biochem., 33, 1571–1574,, 2001. 
Bach, C. E., Warnock, D. D., Van Horn, D. J., Weintraub, M. N., Sinsabaugh, R. L., Allison, S. D., and German, D. P.: Measuring phenol oxidase and peroxidase activities with pyrogallol, l-DOPA, and ABTS: Effect of assay conditions and soil type, Soil Biol. Biochem., 67, 183–191, 2013. 
Baldrian, P.: Fungal laccases – occurrence and properties, FEMS Microbiol. Rev., 30, 215–242, 2006. 
Short summary
Soil quality depends on the functioning of soil microbiota. Only a few standardized methods are available to assess this as well as adverse effects of human activities. So we need to identify promising additional methods that target soil microbial function. Discussed are (i) molecular methods using qPCR for new endpoints, e.g. in N and P cycling and greenhouse gas emissions, (ii) techniques for fungal enzyme activities, and (iii) field methods on carbon turnover such as the litter bag test.