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New publication on microbial functional standards for soil quality assessment

The activity of microorganisms in soil is important for a robust functioning of soil and related ecosystem services. There is a necessity to identify the composition, diversity, and function of the soil microbiome to evaluate its properties and functioning and to assess ecotoxicological effects due to anthropogenic activities. Although numerous microbiological methods exist or are […]

New publication: Effects of waste materials on Caenorhabditis elegans

The ecotoxicological characterisation of waste according to the European Waste List (HP14) is part of its hazard classification, which is based on 15 different hazardous properties and should include toxicity tests representing the aquatic and terrestrial compartment. Besides established soil toxicity tests with bacteria, plants, and earthworms, the standardised test with the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans […]

Adaptation of the current earthworm field study guideline

Adaptation of the current earthworm field study guideline to harmonise field testing and risk evaluation for earthworms

This project has three aims: (1) to compile and critically evaluate standardised earthworm field studies in order to optimise the current test design, (2) to perform a pilot earthworm field study following the improved test design, and (3) to prepare an OECD draft guidance document. After having discussed different design options within the OECD-GSIG expert […]

Development of an ecotoxicological assessment concept for contaminants based on their bioavailability in soils with different filter und buffer properties

Development of an ecotoxicological assessment concept for contaminants based on their bioavailability in soils

The German Soil Protection Ordinance defines precautionary values for seven metals/metalloids which, if exceeded, indicate that concern for a harmful soil change exists. All precautionary values given in the German Soil Protection Ordinance are based on total concentrations (aqua regia extraction). However, total metal/metalloid concentrations do not represent the actual exposure of soil organisms to […]

First complete species list and Red List of earthworms in Germany

Soil is an essential component of terrestrial ecosystems and fulfils many important functions being the natural basis of life, habitat, an integral part of water and nutrient cycling, and having a filter function for the protection of groundwater. Earthworms contribute very effectively to the breakdown of organic matter in soil

Determination and analysis of the soil quality in the context of the implementation and further development of the National Strategy on Biodiversity

The aim of this project was the improvement of the preconditions for the protection of the habitat function of soil as described in § 2 of the German Federal Soil Protection Act (1998), in particular in two ways: first, suitable biological indicators (i.e. organism groups) for the assessment of soil quality had to be identified. […]