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…
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.
- Soil biodiversity crucial to future land management and response to climate change (seeddaily.com)
- Soil Biodiversity Crucial To Fight Climate Crisis (ramyabdeljabbar.wordpress.com)
- Soil biodiversity crucial to land management and response to climate change (environmentalresearchweb.org)