Soil biology: AHDB's guide to understanding the world beneath our feet

Healthy soil is packed full of life – both diversity and quantity. In fact, a single gram of soil contains about one billion bacteria and ten thousand bacterial species.

As part of AHDB’s GREATsoils activity, two publications have been released that explore this murky world.The first introduces the various types of organisms that live in the soil. The second explains how they all interact.

Introduction to soil biology

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Do you know your macrofauna from your mesofauna? This short factsheet is a starter's guide to what microorganisms, pathogens and pests inhabit the soil and the benefits or drawbacks of each of them.

Soil Food Web

ahdb the soil food web_64444

Soils have an extremely complex and highly diverse range of organisms that interact with one another and the chemical and physical properties of the soil to drive soil processes.

Each species in a functional group does a similar job and so has similar impacts on community or ecosystem processes. This helps us to understand and improve biological actions within the soil which aid nutrient cycling, infiltration and nitrogen-fixing.


Last edited on: 16:04:2019

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