Soil biodiversity: functions, threats and tools for policy makers

W.H. van der Putten, S. Mudgal, A. Turbé, A. de Toni, P. Lavelle, P. Benito, N. Ruiz

Research output: Book/ReportReportAcademic


Human societies rely on the vast diversity of benefits provided by nature, such as food, fibres, construction materials, clean water, clean air and climate regulation. All the elements required for these ecosystem services depend on soil, and soil biodiversity is the driving force behind their regulation. With 2010 being the international year of biodiversity and with the growing attention in Europe on the importance of soils to remain healthy and capable of supporting human activities sustainably, now is the perfect time to raise awareness on preserving soil biodiversity. The objective of this report is to review the state of knowledge of soil biodiversity, its functions, its contribution to ecosystem services and its relevance for the sustainability of human society. In line with the definition of biodiversity given in the 1992 Rio de Janeiro Convention, soil biodiversity can be defined as the variation in soil life, from genes to communities, and the variation in soil habitats, from micro-aggregates to entire landscapes. Bio Intelligence Service, IRD, and NIOO, Report for European Commission (DG Environment)
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationParijs
PublisherBio Intelligence Service
Number of pages249
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • soil
  • ecosystems
  • eu regulations
  • soil biodiversity
  • soil ecology

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