Are soil organisms still risky after a year in the sun? International researchers placed trays of soil in and around sea containers, as well as in cupboards, to count the creatures in them every few months. They showcase some of the risks presented by soil contamination, while observing which unwanted microbes, insects and plants died faster when exposed, and which -- when protected in closed cupboards.
A recent study, led by Mark McNeill from AgResearch's Biosecurity and Biocontrol team at Lincoln, New Zealand, and published in the open access journal NeoBiota, shows that biosecurity risks from soil organisms are to increase with declining transport duration and increasing protection from environmental extremes. The scientists sought the answer of a simple question -- are soil organisms still risky after a year in the sun?
To find out, Mark and his team collected soil from both a native forest and an orchard and stored it on, in and under sea containers, as well as in cupboards. They tested it after three, six and twelve months for bacteria, fungi, nematodes and seeds.
To review the results see:
Mark R. McNeill, Craig B. Phillips, Andrew P. Robinson, Lee Aalders, Nicky Richards, Sandra Young, Claire Dowsett, Trevor James, Nigel Bell. Defining the biosecurity risk posed by transported soil: Effects of storage time and environmental exposure on survival of soil biota. NeoBiota, 2017; 32: 65 DOI: 10.3897/neobiota.32.9784
Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle