Everything eats everyone?

One of the most important components of the soil is the biology within it; this abundant and diverse group is the driver of nutrient cycling, decomposition, bioturbation and pedogenesis (Figure 1) within soil ecosystems.  However due to the opacity of the soil, small size of the organisms involved and the diversity of species, understanding the interactions that are occurring is very difficult. Today Felicity Crotty explores methods to investigate the feeding methods of the vast biodiveristy in soil. 



Mapping biodiversity with environmental niche modeling

Schematic of environmental niche modeling

Maps of biodiversity at global and continental scales plays a pivotal role in ecology, evolutionary biology, and conservation biology.  Diversity maps give insight into the action of ecological and evolutionary processes at large scales, and they can guide management decisions.


Ethanol production, environmental sustainability and soil biodiversity in Brazil

Brazil has become a reference in the production and marketing of renewable energy through the strengthening of the ethanol productive chain from sugarcane, recognized as the most efficient in the agroenergy industry. However many questions remain regarding the environmental sustainability and land use effects of ethanol production, espcially with regard to soil biodiversity. Here Carlos Cerri and André Franco of the University of Sāo Paulo discuss their research project in the Cerrado where they are examining land use change enfects on soil fauna. 


Root herbivores: More than meets the eye

In this post, Carly Benefer makes a case for root herbivores with a bad reputation.  As key members of below-ground biodiversity, these destructive pests have important ecosystem functions just as any other species, but their positive side is often overlooked.



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