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Roman G Kuperman, Steven D Siciliano, Jörg Römbke and Koen Oorts Deriving site-specific soil clean-up values for metals and metalloids: Rationale for including protection of soil microbial processes Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management 10

Version of Record online: 26 FEB 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ieam.1513

Key Points

  • This article presents an overview of relevant test methods for assessing microbial functions in soil, and examines soil microbial toxicity data sets for Cu, Ni, Zn, and Mo that have been incorporated into regulatory frameworks
  • High natural spatial and temporal variation of microbial biomass, and its potential for functional redundancy and adaptation to elevated contaminant concentrations, did not compromise the relevance and utility of functional endpoints for ecosystem protection.
  • Incorporating microbial endpoints into regulatory frameworks resulted in calculated hazardous concentration values similar to those calculated without, increased the confidence associated with these values, and provided a statistically more robust determination of an ecological soil standard.
  • Recommendations are provided on how to integrate the best available science into method development for deriving site-specific soil clean-up values that account for bioavailability of metals and metalloids in soil for protection of critical soil microbial processes.

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