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New Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas (GSBA)

The Atlas describes soil as habitat for the diversity of organisms that live under our feet. At the same time, it draws attention to the threats to soil biodiversity, such as invasive species, pollution, intensive land use practices or climate change. The Atlas provides current solutions for a sustainable management of soils.

Global food security is dependent on life found beneath our feet 98% of all global daily calories derive from actions from the soil biodiversity. Crop yield and conditions for animal husbandry are dependent on soil fertility, which in turn, is conditioned by the interactions of soil-dwelling communities. Soils provide a rich habitat, which may contain more than 10 000 species per square metre.

A single gram of soil may contain millions of individual cells and thousands of species of bacteria. Soil organisms also maintain critical processes, such as carbon storage, nutrient cycling and plant species diversity and play a key role in maintaining soil fertility.