Microbial Dynamics During the Bioremediation of Petroleum Hydrocarbon-Contaminated Soils Through Biostimulation: An Overview

  • José A. SilesEmail author
  • Mercedes García-Sánchez
Part of the Nanotechnology in the Life Sciences book series (NALIS)


Soil contamination by petroleum hydrocarbons (PHCs) is currently a major concern and has attracted the interest of environmental scientists and engineers due to the threats it poses for the quality of soil ecosystem services, groundwater quality, and human health. Scientific efforts have been focused on developing viable strategies for the recovery of PHC-polluted soils in the last years. Bioremediation via biostimulation (addition of nutrients and/or electron acceptors to enhance the proliferation and activity of indigenous hydrocarbon-degrading microorganisms) has shown to be a technically viable, cost-effective, and environmentally sustainable technology. Since the study of microbial communities involved in soil biostimulation is important to identify the specific microbial characteristics that determine improved decontamination rates, we here provide a review of studies characterizing the dynamics of microbial communities (bacteria, archaea, and fungi) mediating the bioremediation of PHC-contaminated soils through biostimulation in terms of activity, abundance, and taxonomic composition.


Bioremediation Biostimulation Contaminated soils Petroleum hydrocarbons Soil microorganisms 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant and Microbial BiologyUniversity of California, BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.UMR Eco&Sols, Ecologie fonctionelle and Biogéochimie des sols and Agro-écosystémesMontpellierFrance

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