School of Soil Biodiversity and Bioindication (XI cycle) - Italian Society of Soil Science (SISS)

Venue: Department of Agriculture, University of Naples Federico II, Portici (Naples, Italy),  4-7 June 2019



The incoming edition of the School of Soil Biodiversity and Bioindication organized by the Italian Society of Soil Science will focus on the relationships between biodiversity and soil contamination. In the recent World's Soil Resources Report (SWSR), pollution has been identified as one of the main processes of degradation that threaten the soil and its ecosystem services. Soil pollution reduces food security by either reducing crop yields due to toxic contaminant levels or by producing foods that are unfit for human and animal consumption. Many contaminants are transported from the soil to the air and to surface and groundwater, causing environmental damage and direct human health problems. Moreover, the pollutants directly damage the micro and macro soil organisms and therefore influence the biodiversity of the soil and the services provided by the living organisms involved.

The risk assessment approaches aim at identifying and assessing whether natural or man-made substances are responsible for soil pollution and the extent to which such pollution poses a risk to the environment and to human health. In this perspective, a need to move from measuring concentrations to measuring effects exists as well as to standardize terms, indicators and methodologies.

The school will involve a combination of lectures and laboratory/field activities. Appropriate study tools will be presented to highlight the role played by edaphic organisms and plants in monitoring and recovery of soil quality. The reclamation of polluted soils is essential and the use of biological remediation methods based on microbial degradation of organic contaminants or on the use of plants for phytomanagement purposes will be proposed.

Introductory lectures on the concept of soil contamination and bioremediation, biodiversity and soil quality bioindicators will follow other specifications for the different aspects that link soil biodiversity to contamination. The main objective is to make all participants familiar with the key aspects of soil contamination and its effects on soil biodiversity.



  • 4th June 2019 → School presentation, keynote by invited speaker, three lectures and interaction time;
  • 5th June 2019 → Five lectures and two practical activities;
  • 6th June 2019 → Keynote by invited speaker, four lectures, introduction to field excursion and interaction time;
  • 7th June 2019 → Field excursion.



The course is a training opportunity for graduating, post-graduated and Ph.D. students, researchers and any professional interested to develop skills on soil biodiversity and bioindicators issues for pollution assessment and remediation. Basic knowledge on soil science, biology and ecology is a requirement.



Candidate participants have to communicate their intention to take part at the course sending an email to Dr. Antonio G. Caporale ( and in cc to at any time and not later than 15th April 2019, taking care to attach their registration form, provided in the next page. Maximum number of accepted participants is 30. Upon the ascertainment of the requirements, Italian candidates will be accepted on the basis of the first arrived first served rule, while non-Italian candidates will be accepted with priority up to 10 candidatures.



Participation in the school is free of charge for members of the Italian Society of Soil Science ( or candidates who become members of the Italian Society of Soil Science within 30th May 2019. Alternatively, it will cost 50 € per person, to be paid by each participant on being informed of their acceptance.



Antonio Giandonato Caporale ( and Simona Vingiani (



Paola Adamo (chair), Antonio Giandonato Caporale (co-chair), Massimo Fagnano, Nunzio Fiorentino, Olimpia Pepe, Maria A. Rao, Valeria Ventorino, Simona Vingiani, Adriana Forlani.



Paola Adamo, Anna Benedetti, Sara Marinari, Simona Vingiani, Vito Armando Laudicina, Claudio Zaccone, Giuseppe Lo Papa, Livia Vittori Antisari, Claudio Colombo, Loredana Canfora, Antonello Bonfante, Giuseppe Corti.