Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Understanding soil biodiversity (#journal)

Understanding and managing soil biodiversity: a major challenge in agroecology

Soil biodiversity affects both the productivity and stability of agroecosystems and is of paramount importance when designing cropping systems. The progress achieved in soil microbiology in recent years now makes it possible to propose analyses of soil biology. These analyses require the use of standardized procedures for soil sampling, measuring the abundance and diversity of the microbial communities, and the identification of bioindicators. Similarly, referential systems need to be established to interpret these analyses and diagnose the biological status of soils. Great progress to standardize such procedures has been achieved during large-scale research programmes on national and European scales. The aim of ongoing research is thus to propose aids for decision-making, based on the results of biological analyses, so attempts can be made to monitor and manage soil biodiversity.

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