Soil biodiversity and ecosystem function

It has long been recognised that organisms living in the soil are important for making nitrogen available to plants and for storing carbon in the soil but a new paper in PNAS by de Vries et al…


diana buja’s insight:

Comprehensive studies of soil, such as this one, are so labor and finance intensive that similar studies in developing countries may not be possible.  What are the next ‘best bet’ options?

In Sudan (el-Obeid area) we discovered local farmers identified a soil type that was not identified by researchers.  The farmer-identified soil type was linked to specific forms of cropping.  That, in itself, was reason enough to conduct our less intensive, but more farmer-centered study, of soils.

Similar findings here in Burundi, regarding micro-catchment soil types – identified by farmers – especially in wetland areas.

But the weakness of these studies relates to their less specific results.

As the study in the attached research notes:

“Researchers found a strong link between soil biodiversity and the performance of ecosystems, in particular on carbon and nitrogen cycling. Indeed soil biodiversity was a greater predictor of C and N cycling than land use. Intensive wheat rotation was found to reduce soil biodiversity across the food web in all countries. The authors hope that this and other research will lead to the development of sound land management practices that support soil biodiversity, in turn increasing the productivity of land while mitigating climate change.

English: Soil types by clay, silt and sand com...

Soil types by clay, silt and sand composition. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

About dianabuja

With a group of BaTwa (pygmy) women potters, with whom we've worked to enhance production and sales of their wonderful pots - fantastic for cooking and serving. To see the 2 blogs on this work enter 'batwa pots' into the search engine located just above this picture. Blog entries throughout this site are about Africa, as well as about the Middle East and life in general - reflecting over 35 years of work and research in Africa and the Middle East – Come and join me!
This entry was posted in Africa-East, Africa-North, Burundi, Climate Change, Desertification, Nile Valley, Research & Development, Research and Development, Sudan and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Soil biodiversity and ecosystem function

  1. Reblogged this on Diagram Network and commented:
    Another interesting article re research :


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