Role and management of soil biodiversity for food security and nutrition; where do we stand?

V. El Mujtar*, N. Muñoz, B. Prack Mc Cormick, M. Pulleman, P. Tittonell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Soils host diverse communities that support and regulate ecosystem functions, thereby affecting plant production and resource use efficiencies. There is increasing evidence that agricultural intensification affects soil biodiversity (SBD) and such changes may impact on current and future food security. Here, we provide an overview of the state-of-the-art on the relations between agricultural management, SBD and food production. The potential of applying such knowledge to improve food security and nutrition is discussed. Biotechnological methods to describe impacts of agricultural practices on taxonomic and functional diversity of soil organisms are advancing rapidly. At the same time new understanding of soil-plant interactions has provided novel insights into the mechanisms by which soil organisms and plants co-regulate plant growth and defences, or affect food nutritional quality and safety. Yet, empirical studies on SBD – plant productivity relations often lead to results and applications that are crop and context specific. Translating knowledge on SBD into universally applicable soil management recommendations to enhance food production, and ultimately food security, remains challenging. Instead, we propose a holistic approach to SBD management that strengthens multiple ecosystem functions and provides ecological insurance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-144
Number of pages13
JournalGlobal Food Security
Volume20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019

Fingerprint

Food Supply
Biodiversity
Nutrition
soil management
food security
biodiversity
nutrition
Soil
food
Soils
management
soil
food production
ecosystem function
soil-plant interactions
ecosystems
agricultural management
Ecosystems
insurance
functional diversity

Keywords

  • Agriculture
  • Ecosystem services
  • Soil biota
  • Soil fauna
  • Soil food webs
  • Soil microorganisms

Cite this

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title = "Role and management of soil biodiversity for food security and nutrition; where do we stand?",
abstract = "Soils host diverse communities that support and regulate ecosystem functions, thereby affecting plant production and resource use efficiencies. There is increasing evidence that agricultural intensification affects soil biodiversity (SBD) and such changes may impact on current and future food security. Here, we provide an overview of the state-of-the-art on the relations between agricultural management, SBD and food production. The potential of applying such knowledge to improve food security and nutrition is discussed. Biotechnological methods to describe impacts of agricultural practices on taxonomic and functional diversity of soil organisms are advancing rapidly. At the same time new understanding of soil-plant interactions has provided novel insights into the mechanisms by which soil organisms and plants co-regulate plant growth and defences, or affect food nutritional quality and safety. Yet, empirical studies on SBD – plant productivity relations often lead to results and applications that are crop and context specific. Translating knowledge on SBD into universally applicable soil management recommendations to enhance food production, and ultimately food security, remains challenging. Instead, we propose a holistic approach to SBD management that strengthens multiple ecosystem functions and provides ecological insurance.",
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Role and management of soil biodiversity for food security and nutrition; where do we stand? / El Mujtar, V.; Muñoz, N.; Prack Mc Cormick, B.; Pulleman, M.; Tittonell, P.

In: Global Food Security, Vol. 20, 01.03.2019, p. 132-144.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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AU - Tittonell, P.

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