Publication: Belowground biodiversity and ecosystem functioning

Published on
November 28, 2014

The unbelievable underworld and its impact on us all.
A new study has pulled together research into the most diverse place on earth to demonstrate how the organisms below-ground could hold the key to understanding how the world's ecosystems function and how they are responding to climate change.

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Published in Nature, the paper by Professor Richard Bardgett from The University of Manchester and Professor Wim van der Putten of the Netherlands Institute of Ecology, brings together new knowledge on this previously neglected area. The paper not only highlights the sheer diversity of life that lives below-ground, but also how rapid responses of soil organisms to climate change could have far reaching impacts on future ecosystems. The paper also explores how the below-ground world can be utilised for sustainable land management.

Professor van der Putten says: “For example, an increasing number of studies show that above-ground pest control is influenced by organisms in the soil. This supports the view that a healthy crop requires healthy soil.”