Publication: Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas

Published on
May 25, 2016

The Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative and European Commission Joint Research Centre announce the publication of the Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas.

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Soil harbours immense biodiversity: one tea spoon full of soil contains more than 5000 taxa (species) of bacteria, fungi, nematodes and other microbial organisms. Ecologists from all around the World have started exploring this huge biodiversity underneath our feet and produced the first Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas, initiated by the Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative and led by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission at Ispra. The maps are far from complete, but the atlas shows which main groups of soil organisms can be expected, and what are their functions in ecosystems.

Now available for purchase (€25) and download (free) at: EU Bookstore
The Atlas highlights the unseen majority of Earth's biodiversity and the critical role these organisms play in ecosystems:  cycling nutrients and carbon, supporting plant growth, filtering water, decomposing organic material. The Atlas is a remarkable international scientific effort of 121 experts from 29 countries, resulting in an unprecedented collection of images, maps, and statistics for researchers and policy makers alike. It synthesizes the latest scientific research and identifies the importance of and key threats to soil biodiversity and functioning.

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Formal Launch at United Nations Environment Assembly 25 May 2016 Global Soil Biodiversity: A point of convergence for sustainability