Study programmes / B-AS Agricultural Specialization / Soil Microbiology
Course code:KZP
Course title in language of instruction:Kvalita a zdraví půd
Course title in Czech:Kvalita a zdraví půd
Course title in English:Soil Microbiology
Mode of completion and number of credits:Exam (6 credits)
(1 ECTS credit = 28 hours of workload)
Mode of delivery/Timetabled classes:full-time, 2/2
(full-time, hours of lectures per week / hours of seminars per week)
Language of instruction:Czech
Level of course:bachelor; master; master continuing
Semester:SS 2018/2019 - FA
Name of lecturer:Ing. Jitka Čermáková (instructor)
Ing. Ivan Tůma, Ph.D. (instructor)
Ing. Vítězslav Vlček, Ph.D. (examiner, instructor, lecturer)
Ing. Jaroslav Záhora, CSc. (examiner, instructor, lecturer, supervisor)
Prerequisites:(Soil Science 2 or Soil Science 1 or Soil Science) and (Agricultural Microbiology or Environmental Microbiology or Soil Microbiology) or Bachelor State Examination
 
Aims of the course:To acquaint students with basic knowledge characterizing the physico-chemical and biological substance of soil quality and health with an emphasis on knowledge of the interactions between rhizospheric organisms and plant with an emphasis on the importance to soil quality/healt for sustainable ecosystems.
Course contents:
1.Basic characteristics of soil quality/health (allowance 2/2)
 
a.Definition of soil quality/health, soil fertility. Requirements set of quality indicators / health of soils. Decline in quality and soil health across the EU and the CR. Soil compartments, basic functions of soil attributes and soil properties.

2.Link of Czech agriculture to soil (allowance 2/2)
 
a.The state of Czech agriculture in the past and today. Business structure on agricultural land. Categorization of agricultural areas, "Less favored areas"(LFA). Principles of monitoring of soils in the CR, a comprehensive survey of agricultural soils, agrochemical soil testing and basal soil monitoring in the CR. Approaches to assess the flows and stocks of nutrients in the soil, long-term experiments, the types of information obtained.

3.Soil degradation (allowance 2/2)
 
a.Basic types of soil degradation (erosion, desertification, acidification, salinisation / alkalinisation.). Factors influencing the type and degree of soil degradation. Anthropogenic soil degradation. Changes in physical and chemical properties of soils, soil compaction. Old environmental loads in soils. Intoxication by the xenobiotic compounds.

4.Soil organic matter (allowance 2/2)
 
a.Chemical and physical properties of humic substances. Formation and structure of soil organic matter (SOM). The relationship between inorganic compounds and SOM. The ratio of elements in humus and in crop residues. The average retention time of carbon in different soil reservoirs. Losses of SOM. How to increase the C content in the soil. The importance of organic fertilizers. Organic farmers.

5.The effect of climatic change (allowance 2/2)
 
a.Climate change and its general implications. The influence of climate change on agriculture and on the physical and chemical properties of soils. Models. Proposals for treatment. How climate change may affect the amount of SOM.

6.Legislation relating to soil (allowance 2/2)
 
a.The subject of legal protection of agricultural soil. Objectives, principles and instruments of soil protection. Laws relating to soil with special emphasis to agriculture soils. European and World Convention to relating to soil protection. History of soil protection. Regional Reference Centre at the Mendel University.

7.Soil organisms (allowance 2/2)
 
a.Soil organisms - living soil compartment. Partitioning of soil organisms on the weight and size basis. Size category. Influence of soil organisms on soil characteristics.

8.Soil ecology (allowance 2/2)
 
a.The soil formation. Basic functions and attributes of the soil from the biological point of wiev. Soil-biological nature of "soil fertility" and "quality and soil health." Soil degradation-basic types of failures of soil biological activities. Plants as an indicator of soil quality. Indication of soil quality based on the movement and transformation of harmful compounds and elements in the soil, their entry into the food chain and leakage into groundwater. Influence of farming methods, crop rotation, agricultural engineering and plant nutrition on the quality of soils. The importance of permanent and temporary grassland to improve the quality / soil health.

9.Soil microbial communities (allowance 2/2)
 
a."C" and "r" strategies. The importance of microbes in the soil. Alochtonous, zymogenous and pathogenic soil microorganisms. Ability of soil microorganisms. Interactions of microorganisms and soil. Microorganisms and soil succession. The effect of microorganisms on immobilization and mineralization processes. Relationship of microorganisms to oxygen. Determination of soil microbial biomass. Soil respiration test.

10.Interactions between soil organisms (allowance 2/2)
 
a.Relationships between the soil microorganisms. Microbial biofilms and their importance to the soil. Formation and stabilization of microbial biofilms. Quorum sensing. Soil trophic (food) chains and networks. Rhizoplanic microflora and rhizodepozitions. The importance of the symbiotic Rhizobium bacteria and plants from the family Fabaceae. The importance of soil protozoa.

11.Soil microorganisms and carbon cycle (allowance 2/2)
 
a.The importance of the nature of litter for soil formation. The importance of cellulose and its decomposition. Cellulose test. The basic characteristics of organic matter in soil. Decomposition of organic matter in soil. Humification, the role of microorganisms and the theory of supramolecular units. The importance of humus. Stabilization of soil organic matter. Anthropogenic disruption of carbon cycle .

12.Soil microorganisms and nitrogen cycle (allowance 2/2)
 
a.Activities of soil microorganisms - key processes for the transformation of nitrogen compounds in the soil. Fixation of molecular nitrogen. Depolymerization, amonnization, nitrification and denitrification. Leaching of nitrates from the soil and acidification. Anthropogenic influence on the nitrogen cycle. Determination of nitrogen availability index.

Learning outcomes and competences:
Generic competences:
 
-professional knowledge
-quality concept awareness
-science and research skills

Specific competences:
 
-Capability to orientate oneself in the interactions between prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms in the soil environment.
-Knowledge of basic characteristics of living soil components
-Knowledge of basic physical and chemical characteristics which determine soil fertility.
-Knowledge of the factors that threaten soil quality and health.
-The student is able to use and apply knowledge of living and non-living components of soil for the stability of the biosphere

Type of course unit:required
Year of study:Not applicable - the subject could be chosen at anytime during the course of the programme.
Work placement:There is no compulsory work placement in the course unit.
Recommended study modules:none
Assessment methods:Course credit: (requirements -- equivalent presence in seminars, prepared protocol from each seminar, final seminary credit test -- minimum at least 60% corrects answers). Preparation of the final semester project. Credit is compulsory for final exam participation.
Examination: writing preparation and oral exam (duration of 30 minutes in total) consist of 4 questions from separate thematic fields. Precondition for passing the subject - to answer each of the questions at least with mark "E".
 
Learning activities and study load (hours of study load)
Type of teaching methodDaily attendance
Direct teaching
     lecture24 h
     practice24 h
Self-study
     preparation for exam70 h
     preparation for regular assessment9 h
     elaboration of reports20 h
     elaboration and execution of projects10 h
     writing of seminar paper11 h
Total168 h

Basic reading list
  • GOBAT, J. The living soil: fundamentals of soil science and soil biology. Enfield: Science Publishers, 602 p. ISBN 1-57808-212-9.
  • ŠIMEK, M. Základy nauky o půdě. 1st ed. České Budějovice: Jihočeská univerzita, Biologická fakulta, 2003. 151 p. ISBN 80-7040-630-5.
  • ŠIMEK, M. Základy nauky o půdě. 1st ed. České Budějovice: Jihočeská univerzita, Biologická fakulta, 2004. 224 p. ISBN 80-7040-667-4.
  • ŠARAPATKA, B. -- BEDRNA, Z. Kvalita a degradace půdy. 1st ed. Olomouc: Univerzita Palackého, 2002. 246 p. ISBN 80-244-0584-9.
  • PANKHURST, C. Biological indicators of Soil Health. Wallingford: CAB Internat., 1998. 450 p. ISBN 0-85199-158-0.
Recommended reading list
  • MARENDIAK, D. -- KOPČANOVÁ, Ľ. -- LEITGEB, S. Poľnohospodárska mikrobiológia. 1st ed. Bratislava: Príroda, 1987. 433 p. Živočíšna výroba.
  • Bodenökologie: Mikrobiologie und Bodenenzymatik - Band II: Bodenbewirtschaftung, Düngung und Rekultivierung. Berlin: Springer Verlag, 1996. 359 p. ISBN 3-540-61023-5.
  • ŠROUBKOVÁ, E. Zemědělská mikrobiologie: (speciální část pro fytotechnický obor). 1st ed. Brno: Vysoká škola zemědělská, 1991. 73 p.