The GSBI Atlas has been translated into Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese, and Chinese.

A joint venture from the Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative and the European Commission Joint Research Centre, the Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas is the first synthesis of global soil biodiversity research and its importance to our living world.

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View and download individual chapters below.

Chapter 1: Soil Habitat

This chapter present the principal features and functions of fundamental elements of soil ecosystems. This knowledge is a pre-requisite to understand the importance of global soil biodiversity. Soil is composed of living organisms, minerals, air, water, and perform a number of key environmental, social and economic services that are vital to life…

Chapter 2: Diversity of Soil Organisms

Soil is one of the most diverse habitats on Earth. Soil biota includes archaea, bacteria, protists, tardigrades, rotifers, nematodes, acari (mites), collembolans (springtails), worms (enchytraeids and earthworms), macroarthropods (e.g. ants, termites, centipedes, millipedes, woodlice, etc.) and burrowing mammals…

Chapter 3: Geographical & Temporal Distribution

Soil biodiversity can be found across the globe in natural as well as in man-made habitats, yet not all species are present everywhere. The factors that determine the distribution of soil biota remain under investigation as novel techniques to identify soil biota reveal different results than more traditional techniques…

Chapter 4: Ecosystem Functions & Services

The combined activity of soil organisms results in ecosystem functions that sustain life on the planet. Ecosystem functions that generate benefits to society have been defined as ecosystem services. The centrality of belowground biodiversity to global sustainability is because soil organisms of different types, shapes and colors are responsible for different ecological functions…

Chapter 5: Threats

Soil organisms are sensitive to changes in land use, climate, and natural disturbance. Human soil disturbances like mining, road and building construction, tillage for agriculture, erosion, and land degradation are major threats to soil biodiversity, particularly impacting fungi and soil invertebrates…

Chapter 6: Interventions

As humans, and especially scientists, we tend to focus on “ringing the alarm bell” by pointing out the problems and threats to whatever we are concerned about. Furthermore, when we start thinking about solutions/interventions we tend to think in “black and white”…

Chapter 7: Policy, Education, and Outreach

Since the ancient ages, people have shown interest in studying soil creatures and understanding the roles that they play in providing services to people’s daily life. Research into soil biodiversity has boomed worldwide over the last years…

Chapter 8: Conclusions

The Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas is the first global overview of soil biodiversity. The Atlas was made possible through the efforts of the Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative and the European Commission Joint Research Centre. More than 150 scientists from 26 countries worked for 3 years to bring together the latest scientific knowledge! Key findings from the Atlas

The content of the Atlas is intended to be shared and used!

Please cite the Atlas as your source:

Orgiazzi, A., R.D. Bardgett, E. Barrios, V. Behan-Pelletier, M. J. I. Briones, J. L. Chotte, G. B. De Deyn, P. Eggleton, N. Fierer, T. Fraser, K. Hedlund, S. Jeffrey, N. C. Johnson, A. Jones, E. Kandeler, N. Kaneko, P. Lavelle, P. Lemanceau, L. Miko, L. Montanarella, F. M. de Souza Moreira, K. S. Ramirez, S. Scheu, B. K. Singh, J. Six, W. H. van der Putten, and D. H. Wall. 2016. Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas. European Commission, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.