Effects of Carbon Sequestration Methods on Soil Respiration and Root Systems in Microcosm Experiments and In Vitro Studies

  • Antonio Gelsomino
  • Maria Rosaria Panuccio
  • Agostino Sorgonà
  • Maria Rosa Abenavoli
  • Maurizio Badiani
Chapter

Abstract

In the framework of an interdisciplinary research devoted at increasing soil capacity to act as carbon sink by means of innovative and sustainable strategies (the MESCOSAGR Project), we studied, in microcosm-scale model systems, changes of selected soil chemical properties, soil CO2 efflux, and root morpho-topology after addition of either mature compost or a biomimetic catalyst (CAT) (synthetic water-soluble iron–porphyrin), as single addition or in combination of the two treatments. Direct effects of CAT on seed germination, seedling establishment, and plant growth were also evaluated in model plant species. When applied to bare soil, CAT was able to reduce CO2 emission from soil. Soil amendment of compost alone stimulated CO2 emission from soil, whereas its combined addition with CAT strongly depressed the compost-induced CO2 release. In planted microcosms, the contribution of the rhizosphere-derived CO2 efflux markedly increased the total soil respiration and CAT addition further stimulated CO2 release from soil. It is thus suggested that iron–porphyrin, growth of maize root, and CO2 release are functionally interconnected. The increased total soil respiration observed in planted systems may be due to a larger contribution of the rhizosphere-derived CO2 efflux, as a consequence of secondary actions or specific mutual interactions of the catalyst-root system. The direct CAT effect on model plant species implied a complex pattern of dose-dependent, and, remarkably, species-specific responses, as observed in both root systems and aerial plant parts. The observed strong CAT promotion of the synthesis of photosynthetic pigments might indicate an in planta uptake and translocation of the CAT molecule, prompting to envisage potential applications of this molecule in a wider agro-biotechnological context.

Keywords

Soil Respiration Soil Microcosm Total Soil Respiration Compost Amendment Garden Cress 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Abbreviations

CAT

[meso-tetra(2,6-dichloro-3-sulfonatophenyl) porphyrinate of Fe(III)chloride]

CEC

Cation exchange capacity

Chl

Chlorophyll

Chlide

Chlorophyllide

EC

Electrical conductivity

F

Root fineness

LR

Root length

MS

Murashige and Skoog medium

Pchlide

Protochlorophyllide

POR

NADPH:protochlorophyllide oxidoreductase

RMR

Root mass ratio

SOM

Soil organic matter

TD

Tissue mass density

TI

Topological index

TN

Total nitrogen

TOC

Total organic carbon

VR

Root volume

WP

Plant dry weight

WR

Root dry weight

WS

Shoot dry weight

Notes

Acknowledgments

The MESCOSAGR Project contributes to the Strategic Programme “Sustainable Development and Climate Changes”, funded through the Integrative Special Fund for Research by the Italian Ministry for Education, University and Research. The authors gratefully acknowledge the dedicated and competent scientific support from Demetrio Tortorella, Barbara Logoteta, Beatrix Petrovičová, and Giuseppe Princi. The technical assistance from Vincenzo Cianci was highly appreciated.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonio Gelsomino
    • 1
  • Maria Rosaria Panuccio
    • 1
  • Agostino Sorgonà
    • 1
  • Maria Rosa Abenavoli
    • 1
  • Maurizio Badiani
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento BIOMAAUniversità MediterraneaReggio CalabriaItaly

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