What is soil biodiversity?

Millions of microbial and animal species live and make up soils, from bacteria and fungi to mites, beetles and earthworms. Soil biodiversity is the total community from genes to species, and varies depending on the environment. The immense diversity in soil allows for a great variety of ecosystem services that benefit the species that inhabit it, the species (including us) that use it, and its surrounding environment.

What are our goals?

The GSBI was designed to create a global collaboration of scientists, all with the goals of informing the public, promoting this information into environmental policy, and overall creating a platform for the current and future sustainability of soils.

 

 
 

What do we do?

The GSBI will make better use of the knowledge that we have on soil biodiversity and ecosystem services rather than starting new research.

  • Provide supporting examples to policy makers of possible solutions in which soil biodiversity maintenance and improvement is integral to make a difference for human-well being.

  • Exchange of knowledge and questions from users and stakeholders at an open science conference in order to set research and policy agendas.

  • Provide a central forum for input to IPBES working groups on soil biodiversity and ecosystem services. Identify a framework of agreed direct links between soil biodiversity and ecosystem services.

  • Provide a central focus to the Global Soil Partnership for incorporating scientific knowledge on soil biodiversity and ecosystem services.

  • Sponsor follow-up workshops to identify case studies where integrating soil biodiversity knowledge will improve sustainable management of soils and ecosystem services. The results will help address the Global Soil Partnership mission of ‘sustainable management of soil resources for food security and climate change adaptation and mitigation’.

  • To sponsor working groups to assess and integrate results across disciplines that can be used to a) develop scenarios of how climate change or desertification will alter services in relation to (land) management types and types of biomes, and b) identify gaps needed for qualifying/quantifying global soil biodiversity and relating it to ecosystem models.


 
 

soil biodiversity …

 
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… promotes system biodiversity

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… supports sustainable food production

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… encourages elemental cycling

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… builds and supports habitats

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… facilitates biotechnology

… regulates climate

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… controls erosion

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… cleans and stores fresh water

… provides population control

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… plays a role in recreation