NABObio – biological soil monitoring of NABO
Besides the earthworm, numerous small creatures and microorganisms inhabit the soil. As small as the organisms are, so great is their importance to the entire ecosystem. Through the construction and dismantling of biomass they are mainly responsible for the provision of nutrients for plant growth in food production. They keep pathogens in check and clean our groundwater. Soil organisms cement ground crumbs into a stable structure with a pore system that can also absorb large quantities of precipitation and allow them to seep away. These ecosystem services are fundamental and absolutely worthy of protection for the continued existence of humanity.
Hence in 2012, NABO began to assess 30 selected NABO sites (Figure) on the microbiological and molecular levels. Classical microbiological parameters, such as microbial biomass and soil respiration, provide information about the amount of microorganisms and their activity respectively. The composition of fungal and bacterial communities is determined with molecular methods. These allow us to genetically describe and quantify microorganisms and to understand the complexity of microbial communities and their functions in soils. The DNA extracts are stored frozen and can later be reused for further research.