Ecological function and biodiversity in European soils

EU EcoFinders

Soils provide numerous essential ecosystem services such as primary production, regulation of biogeochemical cycles, water filtration, resistance to diseases and pests and regulation of above-ground biodiversity.

However, soils are subjected to many threats, so there is an urgent need to preserve this resource which is not renewable at the Human time scale. This European project, coordinated by INRA, France, gathers together 23 partners from 10 European countries in order to: (1) advance knowledge of soil biodiversity and its role in ecosystem services across different soils, climate types and land uses; (2) develop standardization of methods and operating procedures for characterizing soil biodiversity and functioning; and (3) assess the added value brought by cost-effective bioindicators, and of cost effectiveness of alternative ecosystem service maintenance policies. Working with other partners, our role in EcoFinders is to experimentally quantify relationships between plant diversity and composition, soil biodiversity and soil functioning in relation to nitrogen and carbon cycling, and soil fertility and primary production.

Ecological function and biodiversity in European soils