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Paper: Evaluation of Biological and Enzymatic Activity of Soil in a Tropical Dry Forest: Desierto de la Tatacoa (Colombia) with Potential in Mars Terraforming and Other Similar Planets
Volume: 420, Bioastronomy 2007: Molecules, Microbes and Extraterrestrial Life
Page: 267
Authors: Moreno Moreno, A. N.
Abstract: Desierto de la Tatacoa has been determined to be a tropical dry forest bioma, which is located at 3° 13" N 75° 13" W. It has a hot thermal floor with 440 msnm of altitude; it has a daily average of 28° C, and a maximum of 40° C, Its annual rainfall total can be upwards of 1250 mm. Its solar sheen has a daily average of 5.8 hours and its relative humidity is between 60% and 65%. Therefore, the life forms presents are very scant, and in certain places, almost void. It was realized a completely random sampling of soil from its surface down to 6 inches deep, of zones without vegetation and with soils highly loaded by oxides of iron in order to determine the number of microorganisms per gram and its subsequent identification. It was measured the soil basal respiration. Besides, it was determined enzymatic activity (catalase, dehydrogenase, phosphatase and urease). Starting with the obtained results, it is developes an alternative towards the study of soil genesis in Mars in particular, and recommendations for same process in other planets. Although the information found in the experiments already realized in Martian soil they demonstrate that doesnt exist any enzymatic activity, the knowledge of the same topic in the soil is proposed as an alternative to problems like carbonic fixing of the dense Martian atmosphere of CO2, the degradation of inorganic compounds amongst other in order to prepare the substratum for later colonization by some life form.
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