The fourth International Conference of the European Confederations of Soil Science Societies (ECSSS) took place in Bari, Italy from the 2nd to the 6th of July 2012. The general theme of the Conference was “Soil science for the benefit of mankind and environment”, and has been structured in 13 general topics that included 63 symposia and 5 workshops, as well as 16 special events including round tables, open debates and short course. As a whole, the Scientific Programme included more than 2,300 presentations, divided in more than 660 orals and more than 1,600 posters. A bottom-up approach was applied by the Conference organizing committee for the development of the scientific sessions: conveners and co-conveners thus proposed scientific themes and circulated calls for abstracts. Our aim was to promote a scientific symposium where the issue of bioremediation of polluted terrestrial environments could be addressed by a multidisciplinary approach taking into account both microbiological and chemical issues. We thus initiated a session entitled “Bioremediation of soils and sediments contaminated with organic chemicals: assessing and overcoming chemical and microbiological constraints”, with the aim of identifying the main constraints limiting the success of bioremediation practices and to show how scientific approaches on the interface between chemistry, microbiology and engineering sciences can help overcoming them. The session included (i) multi-disciplinary studies linking chemical assessment of pollutant bioavailability with biological measurement of the presence and activity of pollutant-transforming organisms; (ii) high-throughput analyses of pollutant-degrading microbial consortia in aerobic and anaerobic environments; (iii) studies investigating the effects of soil properties on organic contaminant bioavailability; (iv) methods and approaches to enhance pollutant availability and degradation; and (v) research showing the successful application of specific bioremediation strategies. To the call 56 abstracts were submitted, 33 as suggested oral and 23 as poster contribution. Abstracts came from all over the world including Italy (12 abstracts), Germany (7) France (5), Brazil, Iran, Hungary, Serbia, The Netherlands, Tunisia, United States of America (2 each) and from Albania, Australia, Azerbaijan, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Croatia, Egypt, India, Latvia, Martinique, Mexico, Portugal, Romania and Spain (one abstract each). The range of topics covered was also vast. Organic pollutants were mostly studied, with 39 abstracts, followed by inorganics (9) and mixed pollutions (8). Among organics, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons were mostly represented (12 abstracts), followed by petroleum hydrocarbons (6), and endocrine disruptors (3). Other class of molecules addressed in at least one study were BTEX, chlordecone, isoproturon, nitroaromatics, olive mill wastes, organophosphates, pesticide mixtures, phenols and volatile hydrocarbons, showing the wide spectrum of topics of actual research. Studies on inorganics generally focused on mixtures, with the exception of one study focusing on lead and one on uranium. Laboratory studies predominated the lot (28 abstracts), followed by field studies (20) and greenhouse (1 study). Six studies can also be classified as theoretical, since they were not lab or field study but are based on modelling or on the proposal of new approaches for the bioremediation of polluted sites. Finally, soil was the mostly studied environment (39 abstracts), followed by sediments (9). Glaciers and groundwater were also represented by two studies. From these submitted abstracts, a difficult choice was made to select 14 of them, which were presented as orals during the afternoon of Friday 6th of July. A call for submission of scientific papers to be published in the present special issue was launched during the call for abstracts, and closed 1 month after
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)451-453
Numero di pagine3
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2013


  • Bioremediation


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