Changes in soil ecosystem structure and functions due to soil contamination

Book ch
Soil Pollution: From Monitoring to Remediation
  • Fecha: 01 January 2017
  • Páginas: 59-87
  • ISBN: 9780128498736
  • Source Type: Book
  • DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-849873-6.00003-0
  • Document Type: Chapter
  • Publisher: Elsevier
© 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.Soil ecosystems are nowadays exposed to several physical, chemical, and biological stressors, which are directly or indirectly related to anthropogenic activities. This chapter covers how contaminants affect the soil ecosystem structure, changing soil functions and services. Soil ecosystem structure is constituted by dynamic interactive abiotic and biotic compartments, dependent on major key factors like water and light. By changing this balanced system, soil functions are also impaired as they are strictly dependent on this structure and biodiversity. Soil functions include carbon transformations, nutrient cycling, maintenance of the structure itself, and regulation of biological populations. Activities such as mining, agriculture, forestry, and waste disposal are often responsible for the unbalance of soil structure and functions, by jeopardizing majorly the functional biodiversity compartment of the ecosystem. Therefore, the provision of goods along with ecosystem services will be also affected. Valuing soil ecosystem services is a difficult task and often lacking at the policymaking level, as the costs of services losses can go unnoticed. Therefore, new strategies should be implemented to bring the concepts of structure, functions, services, and goods on board at the regulation level.

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