SoilSoc Research

Research projects Thesis abstracts

Mesoscale heterogeneity of 2,6-dichlorobenzonitril (DCB) and 2,6-dichlorobenzamide (BAM) degradation in soil

Institute / Organisation / Unit: Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen

PhD student responsible: Ole Sjøholm

Supervisers / other researchers: Ole Nybroe, Jan Sørensen

Discription: The herbicide 2,6-dichlorobenzonitril (DCB) and its metabolite 2,6-dichlorobenzamide (BAM) are detected in soil and groundwater causing contamination problems. Large variation of degradation potential has been demonstrated in soil capable of degrading BAM, both between samples taken at few meters interval and between replicates of the respective samples. It is unclear whether the variation found in replicates is caused by differences in the degrader population, or other causes like heterogeneity in microbial/physical/chemical parameters in the soil.
The specific aims of the current project are:

  • To determine if variability can be explained from a heterogenic distribution of degrader organisms
  • To uncover whether any heterogeneity exists at distances less than 1 centimeter and for samples below 1 gram of soil
  • To determine if degradation is increased and heterogeneity decreased in the plant rhizosphere