GIULIETTI Ana Maria
capítulos de libros
Microcosms: a key tool for the scaling up of soil bio/phytoremediation processes
RUBERTO L; MAC CORMAK,W.; GIULIETTI A M; MERINI L.
Advances in Environmental Research,
Nova Science Publishers
Año: 2013; p. 201 - 228
Complexity of soil as a matrix has been clearly stated. Everyone who has tried to set or analyze an experimental system containing soil has surely deal with great data heterogeneity and with broad error margins. Soil bioremediation implies the use of microorganisms and/or plants metabolic activity toward contaminant dissipation. As neither biological activity nor contaminants are homogeneously distributed or remain static the development and scaling up of a bio/phytoremediation process represent a big challenge due to its complexity and dynamic. To face this challenge, microcosms appear as a key tool to bridge the controlled lab conditions and to approach the full scale application. However, some critical aspects about the design, use and analysis of these experimental systems must be evaluated. In this way, when we use microcosms as bio/phytoremediation experimental models, attempting to fill the gap between lab scale and field condition, the control on environmental variables frequently decrease beyond our ?desired? limit. If not enough, although there exist consensus about ?what a microcosm is? there is not agreement on its size, complexity, structural and biological organization and extent of the results. Among the myriad of remediation articles, the term ?microcosm? define systems ranging from flasks containing grams of soil to containers or plots with hundred kilograms of stratified soil, sand and gravel. From its wide spread uses, it could be considered that microcosms are essential for reliable bio/phytoremediation experimental approaches. Nevertheless, it is also important to consider what is and what is not being assessed when microcosms are included in the experimental design. The aim of this review is to present different microcosms used, try to set some agreements on its definition and also discuss it use in bio/phytoremediation experimentation.