Worlwilde, the amount of diffusely polluted soils is constantly increasing. Soil contamination may not be bioavailable, i.e, it may not be taken up by living organisms, still, it is a potential threat, which must be evaluated and dealt with. What are the impact of inorganic pollutants receiving organisms, whether they are terrestrial (vegetables, crops, ...), aquatics, coastal (fishes, mussels, ...)? How to deal with these areas?


Can a former vineyard, polluted by copper, still be cultivated? And what about a garden polluted by lead? What are the thresholds and/or criteria to change the use of an area, or to decontaminate?
POLLUSOLS aims at testing on site the cheapest and most durable methods to manage these areas:
  • Reassignment, by changing their role and uses
  • In situ remediation technics, preserving ecosystem functions

Diffuse pollutions impact great stretch of lands and coast, making traditional remediation technics (excavation, storage, and treatment) unenforceable: inorganic pollutants have to be removed. Phytoextraction is very suitable for this kind of pollutions, but this technic suffers from some drawbacks: the slowness of the process, and the post-treatment biomass that has to be dealt with.

POLLUSOLS also aims at understanding the civil society' stances toward pollution. Risks' perception can differ from one area to another, and so do the management planning strategies.

POLLUSOLS's WP "Impacts & heritage" deals with pollutants impacts on different targets, the development of soils management technics (with or without soil use reassignment), the social perception of pollutions, and the development of a decision support instrument

Research activities

  • Bioavailability evaluation of trace elements by selective extraction and DGT systems (diffusive gradients in thin films)
  • Study of pollutions impact on terrestrial, aquatic and coastal targets
  • Ecotoxicology study
  • Development of a decision support instrument
  • Development of an innovative process, coupling bio-augmentation and phyto-extraction, for soil rehabilitation

Thesis and post-doctoral researches

  • Lead pollution management in associative gardens
  • the planned environment
  • Tracing mercury's origin in coastal area (Isotopic signature analysis)

Specific projects

  • Petroleum hydrocarbons and carbon processing in runoff waters by a floating marsh
  • Risks of soil pollution's perception, societal expectations and contaminated sites management
  • Assessment of an urban project on the fringes of the « Prairie de Mauves »: appropriation and risks perceptions perspectives
Methodological Coordinators :
Thierry Lebeau (LPGN)
Sophie Brétesché (LEMNA)