Our activity focuses on achieving a better understanding of the vulnerability of continental water resources and aquatic ecosystems to diffuse pollution through an interdisciplinary and transversal approach (global change–water resources–agroecosystems). Our research is framed in the following Sustainable Development Goals: Goal 6 (availability and sustainable management of water), goal 13 (climate change) and goal 15 (sustainable management of terrestrial ecosystems) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (UN Economic and Social Council).
Soil, Plant and Environmental Quality Department
Our agricultural soils are subjected to a large variety of practices (tillage, rotation) and are affected by organic and inorganic amendments that can supply plant nutrients and stabilize organic carbon. This justifies recycling the available resources in order to establish a sustainable agriculture and improve soil quality and productivity.
The soil is the recipient of many different materials. When these products are introduced under inadequate conditions they can affect the system soil-plant-water, generating diffuse pollution processes by N compounds, heavy metals and organic contaminants. The presence of these products in the soil may even generate potential ecotoxic (genotoxicity, mutagenicity). All these negative effects should be controlled through the knowledge of the physical, chemical and biological processes that take place in the soil when fertilizers or other types of amendments are applied to that substrate. The goal is to prevent or, at least, to minimize, the risks of environmental pollution.
We aim to promote the sustainability of agricultural systems in a context of climate change. Our research lies at the interface of soil biogeochemistry, soil microbial ecology, ecosystem science and agronomy, and combines experimental work in long-term field trials, urban agroecosystems and greenhouses with modeling and global observational datasets.
Our research is focused on the study of the Rhizobium-legume and the ectomycorrhizal symbioses and their tolerance to environmental stresses, with the aim of optimizing their application in agriculture and in the restoration of degraded soils and ecosystems.