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2127 Professor Donald Davidson University of Stirling
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Please note: This research Programme is no longer active



Title of Research Project
Interactions of soil biodiversity, micromorphology, structure and organic matter

There is an inter-relation between soil void space, aggregation and soil biota, but little research has attempted to investigate these in an integrated manner. As part of the collaborative programme of experiments at Sourhope we will sample improved and unimproved soils, soils treated with lime and soil treated with a distinctive d 13C signal throughout the duration of the project. We will quantify void space, aggregation, excreta and soil organisms through measurement of aggregates stability, micromorphological , image analysis and fractal analysis of soil thin sections, and in situ laser sampling of d 13C from specific organic fractions. The results should provide new insights into the dynamics of biota/ soil interactions, crucial to assessing the implications of changes in soil biodiversity.



Prof D A Davidson

University of Stirling
Department of Environmental Science,
Stirling FK9 4LA
Tel:  01786 467844


Dr Ian Grieve

University of Stirling (as above)


Dr I M Young

Scottish Crop Research Unit,
Soil Plant Dynamics Unit,
DD2 5DA,
Tel :  01382 568574


Dr J W Crawford

Scottish Crop Research Unit
(as above)


Dr Patricia Bruneau University of Stirling
(as above)


Mr G W MacLeod

University of Stirling
(as above)


Mr D Crabb

Scottish Crop Research Unit,
(as above)


And for the d 13C treatment link with

Prof. T. Fallick SURRC East Kilbride
Dr. N. Ostle CEH Lancaster
Prof. P. Ineson University of York

Latest news 16 July 1999)
The first sample campaign has been conducted between 14-17 June 1999. The four central subplots (STUV) of the limed and control 1 treatments were sampled and the information and data collected are being processed. This included:

  • Soil profile description 0-15 cm + photograph
  • Sample for soil thin section - standard impregnation
  • Sample for soil thin section - biological staining
  • Core samples for soil moisture retention curve
  • Lose soils for aggregate stability measurement, CEC, free Al and Fe, pH, OM.

              wpe2.jpg (7492 bytes)                                       wpe1.jpg (5219 bytes)

block 3 Plot B sub plot U (SUID 648) Thin section of test pit
(D.Crabb SCRI Dundee)

    bruneau.gif (136177 bytes)  Dr. Patricia Bruneau on site at Sourhope, June 99.

To know more about the thin section at Stirling University,

and for the Stirling home page on the NERC projects 2127 and 2129.

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