alexa Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Soil under Threat

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Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Soil under Threat

The soil is a living organism of fabulous complexity. Soil systems contain some of the most species-rich communities in nature. Most authors describe soil communities as being amongst the most species-rich components of terrestrial ecosystems. Well-developed temperate woodland soils may contain up to a thousand species of soil fauna. Soil communities are described as “the poor man’s tropical rainforest”. It is noteworthy that only a proportion of all the soil animal species has been described and very little is known about their role, community structure and dynamics. Research concerning soil is not purely an academic subject. The soil is the very basis of earth’s productivity. It is fundamental to agriculture and forestry, water purification and biogeochemical cycling, and is the grounding for civilization. This is particularly true where human activity tends to induce irreversible disturbances. At a time when demographic pressure is too high, and when the needs of human population are intense and immense, it is wise to realize that the soil is central to human survival.

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