J. Proupín-CastiñeirasResearch Group Terbipromat, Department of Applied Physics, Faculty of Physics Av. J. M. Suárez Núñez s/n, University of Santiago de Compostela, 15782 Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Summary Soil productivity and health were analyzed using an experimental procedure designed for this kind of studies. The continuous loss of fertile soil obliged the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to declare soil as an item to be protected as a support of the world society welfare. The procedure here described is in accordance with the premises necessary for a rational and sustainable development of soil and the resources it contains and can be used to study any soil all over the world. The study was carried out using soil microbial population as a bioindicator of soil health. Microbial activity was followed using the microcalorimetric technique. The microcalorimetric study can be complemented through a deep analysis of soil physical, chemical and biological properties together with a study of the environmental properties that have a strong influence on the afore mentioned properties and, thus on the microbial activity in soil. The different properties follow different ASTM, ISS/FAO, USDA, etc. well defined standards. The experimental procedure reported in this work could be very helpful to create a data basis that could be useful to quantify and control soil potentiality or design soil decontamination and recovery systems.