Soil microbes are the environmentally sensitive indicator in soil just like bird in sky and fish in water. Their community composition and process rates are significantly affected by pollutants such as heavy metals and antibiotics.
My PhD study focuses on remediation of soil contaminated by heavy metals. We use washing method to remove the heavy metals from soil, additionally, the more interest is laid on the soil microbial responses to recovery processes in the remediated soil. Therefore, I continue to explore the microbial tolerance to heavy metals in the Rousk group.
We investigate the microbial processes under different toxicant levels in long term and short term. 1）Long term The soil samples collected from Rönnskär smelter approximately 1 to 46 km north and south of the smelter and Parys Mountains with a wide range of heavy metal concentrations act as natural environmental gradients. 2) Short term A microcosm experiment is set up to test the microbial tolerance to heavy metal in the short time. We measure the bacterial growth, fungal growth, and respiration, and apply the pollution induced community tolerance (PICT) approach to estimate microbial tolerance to heavy metals, and use the PLFA analysis to investigate the microbial composition and biomass. Further, we also explore whether heavy metals can select for microbial co-tolerance to antibiotics.