Course syllabus KZPK - Soil Microbiology K (FA - WS 2020/2021)

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Course code:
Course title in Czech: Soil Microbiology K
Course title in English:
Soil Microbiology K
WS 2020/2021
Mode of completion and number of credits:
Exam (6 credits)
Mode of delivery and timetabled classes:
part-time, 8/7 (lectures per period / seminars per period)
Level of course:
bachelor; master; master continuing
Course type:
Type of delivery: usual
Mode of delivery for our mobility students abroad:
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Language of instruction:
Course supervisor:
Course supervising department:
doc. Ing. Libor Kalhotka, Ph.D. (instructor)
Ing. Ivan Tůma, Ph.D. (instructor)
Ing. Vítězslav Vlček, Ph.D. (examiner, instructor, lecturer)
Ing. Jaroslav Záhora, CSc. (examiner, instructor, lecturer, supervisor)
Timetable in this semester:
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Aim of the course and learning outcomes:
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 content:
1.Basic characteristics of soil quality/health; Link of Czech agriculture to soil;
Soil degradation
(allowance 2/1)
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.
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.
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.

Soil organic matter; The effect of climatic change; Legislation relating to soil (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.
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.
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.

3.Soil organisms; Soil ecology; Soil microbial communities (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.
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.
"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.

4.Interactions between soil organisms; Soil microorganisms and carbon cycle; Soil microorganisms and nitrogen cycle (allowance 2/2)
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.
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 .
c.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 activities and teaching methods:
Type of teaching methodCombined form
8 h
7 h
20 h
preparation for exam70 h
preparation for regular assessment
10 h
preparation for regular testing
13 h
preparation of presentation
10 h
elaboration of reports
20 h
elaboration and execution of projects10 h
Total168 h
Assessment methods:
Course credit: (requirements -- presence in seminar, prepared protocols from 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".
Assessment criteria ratio:
Requirement type
Combined form
0 %
Recomended reading and other learning resources:
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.

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.

Course listed in study plans for this semester:
Field of study C-AS-GA General Agriculture, part-time form, initial period WS 2020/2021
Course listed in previous semesters:
Teaching place: Brno

Last modification made by Ing. Michal Karhánek on 10/16/2020.

Type of output: