Land use changes are local phenomena with global impact. They have an impact in a cumulative sense on biodiversity or soil degradation. This study aimed to examine the effects of different land-uses (arable land, permanent grasslands, abandoned grasslands, forest land) on the selected biotic and abiotic soil parameters in the Slovak mountain study sites Liptovská Teplička and Tajov. Biotic (microbial community structure, earthworm number and fresh body biomass, arthropod number and fresh body biomass), and abiotic chemical soil parameters (pH, total organic carbon, total nitrogen, nutrients) were measured. According to MALDI-TOF (Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization-Time of Flight), several bacterial strains were identified. Mutual relations between soil microorganisms and soil biotic and abiotic properties determined by different land uses were analysed. Microbial response expressed as average well-colour development (AWCD) values indicated relations between higher microbial diversity and higher nutrient availability at both study sites. In the comparison of land use types, permanent grasslands (PG) showed the lowest microbial activity in the depth of 0–0.1 m. But in the depth of 0.2-0.3 m in PG of both study sites, the higher microbial activity was recorded compared to the depth of 0-0.1 m. In addition, lower AWCD values in PG were in line with the lower available P and K content but higher earthworm density and biomass.
Tatra National Park is considered as the most visited protected area in Slovakia. Striking a balance between the preservation of natural resources and opportunities for public recreation often forces responsible authorities to make compromises between visitation impacts and protection. In this case, the microbial investigation of recreation effects on water and soil in the Tatra National Park were studied.
The study areas were two valleys – Malá Studená, accessible by trail from south with higher human impact and visitation, including mountain huts Téryho and Zamkovského chata and Javorová, accessible from the northern part with a low number of visitors. Soil samples were taken from the main path, 30 cm away from it and water samples from or near the main path in both valleys. The selected colonies, after the cultivation on TSA medium were also analysed according to the dry and semi-extraction procedure of MALDI–TOF method. Most of the obtained strains are endospore forming, psychrotolerant species like Pseudomonas, Bacillus or Paenibacillus away of path, which corresponds with the climate and geographical conditions. But, the relatedness of soil sample strains in both valleys increases with rising altitude, with distance away from path; in contrast, the relatedness of water samples strains in both valleys increases with increasing distance sample areas from chalet and frequent visitors’ places. Water and soil samples were processed for community level physiological profiling using Biolog EcoPlates. The obtained results of carbon source utilization abilities of bacterial communities in both valleys suggested lower diversity in Javorová Valley, which corresponds probably with less visitor intensity, with less anthropogenic impact as well as with less risk of xenobiotics presence in environment.
Waste disposal sites from non-ferrous metal industry constitute environments very hostile for life due to the presence of very specialized abiotic factors (pH, salt concentration, heavy metals content). In our experiments microflora of two waste disposal sites in Slovakia – brown mud disposal site from aluminium production near Ziar nad Hronom and nickel sludge disposal site near Sered - was analyzed for cultivable bacteria. Isolated bacteria were characterized by a combination of classical microbiological approaches and molecular methods and the most of isolated bacteria shown a poly-extremotolerant phenotype. The most frequently halotolerant (resistant to the high level of salt concentrations) and alkalitolerant (resistant to the high pH level) bacteria belonging to the Actinobacteria class were detected. The most of bacteria shown very high level of heavy metal resistance e.g. more than 500 μg/ml for Zn2+ or Cu2+. Based on our data, waste disposal sites thus on one side represents an important environmental burden but on other side they are a source of new poly-extremotolerant bacterial strains and species possibly used in many biotechnology and bioremediation applications.