Interactive effects of global change drivers as determinants of the link between soil biodiversity and ecosystem functioning

Alejandro Berlinches de Gea, Yann Hautier, Stefan Geisen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Biodiversity, both aboveground and belowground, is negatively affected by global changes such as drought or warming. This loss of biodiversity impacts Earth's ecosystems, as there is a positive relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF). Even though soils host a large fraction of biodiversity that underlies major ecosystem functions, studies exploring the relationship between soil biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (sBEF) as influenced by global change drivers (GCDs) remain scarce. Here we highlight the need to decipher sBEF relationships under the effect of interactive GCDs that are intimately connected in a changing world. We first state that sBEF relationships depend on the type of function (e.g., C cycling or decomposition) and biodiversity facet (e.g., abundance, species richness, or biomass) considered. Then, we shed light on the impact of single and interactive GCDs on soil biodiversity and sBEF and show that results from scarce studies studying interactive effects range from antagonistic to additive to synergistic when two individual GCDs cooccur. This indicates the need for studies quantitatively accounting for the impacts of interactive GCDs on sBEF relationships. Finally, we provide guidelines for optimized methodological and experimental approaches to study sBEF in a changing world that will provide more valuable information on the real impact of (interactive) GCDs on sBEF. Together, we highlight the need to decipher the sBEF relationship in soils to better understand soil functioning under ongoing global changes, as changes in sBEF are of immediate importance for ecosystem functioning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-307
JournalGlobal Change Biology
Issue number2
Early online date25 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • biodiversity ecosystem functioning
  • biodiversity facets
  • global change drivers
  • interactive effects
  • soil biodiversity
  • soil biodiversity ecosystem functioning


Dive into the research topics of 'Interactive effects of global change drivers as determinants of the link between soil biodiversity and ecosystem functioning'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this