Soil is defined as “the top layer of the earth’s crust, formed by mineral particles, organic matter, water, air and living organisms”(ISO 1996). Therefore, soil represents the interface between geosphere, atmosphere and hydrosphere, and it is a key natural resource for environmental, economic, social and cultural development. This environmental compartment is the habitat for many organisms that distribute between above-and belowground systems, contributing thereby to the ecological relationships between both systems. However, human activities have largely exploited soil resources, causing a slow but constant degradation of soil quality (Lal 2005). In particular, soil pollution has strongly increased during the last century as a consequence of:(1) industrialization, that has boosted depositions of atmospheric contaminants onto the soil;(2) the growing use of chemical products; and (3) intensive agricultural practices using high amount of pesticides and fertilizers (Aelion 2004, Ashraf 2014).
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