Why should we care about soil biodiversity?

Last week a key group of soil biodiversity scientists arrived in Fort Collins with a bang despite a massive snowstorm. Delayed flights and cold temperatures couldn’t keep this group down; they were on a mission to develop a Global Soil Biodiversity Assessment/Atlas on the state of global soil biodiversity.


Assessing the state of soils

There are millions and millions of organisms in the soil under your feet that play a critical role in maintaining a multitude of global services. Often overlooked, these organisms control critical processes ranging from nutrient availability for plant growth to carbon sequestration for greenhouse gas mitigation. With recent advances in molecular techniques, global surveys and communication between researchers, scientists can now link this unseen diversity with key ecosystem services.


An unexplored urban jungle

Tomorrow morning a group of soil ecologists will meet on the steps of the American Museum of Natural History to begin a day-long effort to sample the soils of Central Park, New York City. Within soil lives an astounding amount of biological diversity, scaling from microbes to insects and worms that is mostly invisible to the naked eye. One question researchers are interested in is how this biodiversity compares to soils in natural systems- Yellowstone National Park, for example.


Successful trip for the GSBI at Rio+20

This last week Diana Wall, Science Chair and Kelly Ramirez, Executive Director of the Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative (GSBI) Secretariat attended the UN Conference on Global Sustainability, RIO+20. The GSBI was fortunate to have Drs. George Brown and Heitor Coutino of Embrapa in Brazil organize a very successful side event- “Towards a Truly Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative”. (More details to follow on our website.)


GSBI at Planet Under Pressure: Days 2 & 3

Day 2 & 3:

The tones of urgency, warning and directness are presented repeatedly- no matter the subject. Still, there is a collective optimism (lead by Nobel Laureate Elinor Ostrom) and determination, suggesting that this meeting really will initiate the changes we need to see to mediate climate change and reduce biodiversity losses. The goal for GSBI is to integrate soil biodiversity into the conversation.

Some important questions/ideas/thoughts:


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