UK-9 :: Important areas of technical innovation include new techniques to understand

The microbiology of soil to help assess biodiversity and so understanding impacts and optimisation of land management.
A growing understanding of the potential for natural attenuation of groundwater pollution over the past two decades has allowed less intensive remediation solutions to be more widely deployed. A transition from empirical observations of contaminant loss to mathematically describable understanding of the biological processes causing that loss have facilitated targeted biostimulation and on occasion bioaugmentation.
The microbial biomass of soil is appreciated as being an important component of the processes that deliver valued ecosystem services. However there are challenges in understanding how soil bacteria and fungi behave and how they respond to different land uses.
Specific research questions (following the conceptual model of INSPIRATION)
Demand Making more effective use of soil microbial biomass to achieve desired goals of soil restoration or conservation can be achieved if the inter relationship between soil function and microbial biomass is mathematically describable.
Natural capital Microbial biomass is both part of natural capital and a contributor to other forms of such capital.
Land management Better understanding of the behaviour and resilience of soil microbial biomass can help optimise soil and groundwater intervention measures.
Net impacts Better characterisation of soil microbial biomass will enable more targeted interventions to protect or restore degraded or polluted soil.
Justification Improved understanding of soil microbial biomass is an essential objective if the response of natural systems to perturbations are to be reliably predicted and hence taken into account in land management decision making.