A2 Review article in a scientific journal
Unearthing the role of biological diversity in soil health

List of Authors: Ferris H, Tuomisto H
Publication year: 2015
Journal: Soil Biology and Biochemistry
Journal name in source: SOIL BIOLOGY & BIOCHEMISTRY
Journal acronym: SOIL BIOL BIOCHEM
Volume number: 85
Number of pages: 9
ISSN: 0038-0717


The soil provides a great variety of microhabitats for myriad organisms of different size, physiological activity, behavior and ecosystem function. Besides abundance of participating soil organisms, their species diversity facilitates maximum exploitation of the resources available in the different habitats. At various levels of resolution, species can be categorized into classes performing ecosystem functions and, within each functional class, into guilds of species with similar life course characteristics. Measurement of the diversity and abundance of species within a functional class provides insights into the nature of ecosystem functions and services and to the health of the soil. At higher resolution, species diversity within guilds of a functional class may infer the degree of exploitation of available resources and the complementarity of an ecosystem service; diversity among the guilds of a functional class may indicate successional complementarity of the services. A diversity of guilds within a functional class expands the range of conditions over which ecosystem services are performed while species diversity within a functional class and its guilds contributes to the magnitude of the services. Consequently, diversity of species within functional classes is a key element of the biological component of soil health. In the context of ecosystem services and soil health, the biomass or metabolic activity of species are more useful measures of their abundance than numbers ofindividuals. Thus, understanding of soil health and ecosystem function requires, besides knowledge of species diversity within functional classes, assessment of the range of functions currently performed in the system and the abundances of organisms by which they are performed. We propose a diversity-weighted abundance product for comparison of the functional magnitude of different assemblages of like organisms. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Last updated on 2019-21-08 at 22:04