Faktencheck Artenvielfalt

Soil Biodiversity


About 25% of all known species worldwide are living in the soil. However, up till now only a small part of their diversity is scientifically recorded. Within the framework of Faktencheck Artenvielfalt, we will synthesize the current state of knowledge on the distribution of soil biodiversity and identify its main drivers of change and threats. In addition, we want to develop concepts for monitoring soil biodiversity and develop strategies for a sustainable enhancement of soil biodiversity and functioning.

The soil is harboring a great variety of organisms – from micro- to macro- as well as from terrestrial to aquatic organisms. However, due to the difficult accessibility, previous efforts have been hampered in developing a sound understanding of how soil biodiversity is distributed, what the key drivers of this diversity are, how it changes over time, and the role of endemism (a species being found in a single defined geographic location) 1. Therefore, a comprehensive assessment of soil biodiversity requires specific expertise and the integration of information obtained by a broad spectrum of methodological approaches, ranging from molecular analyses of the diversity of organisms and functional genes to classical macrofauna extraction methods. Thus, so far, soil biodiversity has only been addressed in very few biodiversity assessments (but see e.g. the 2021 Soil Report of the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation) and is often not taken into account by decision-makers when it comes to the designation of nature reserves 2. This is particularly alarming as soil biodiversity plays a critical role in providing many important ecosystem services, such as water purification, soil fertility, or carbon storage 3.

Within Faktencheck Artenvielfalt, we will synthesize existing data to analyze the consequences of environmental change as well as of nature and species conservation measures on soil biodiversity. Our goal is to provide a comprehensive synthesis of specific drivers (e.g. land use change, pesticide inputs, climate change), the effect of different measures (e.g. tillage, inoculation, crop rotation) and their interactions for soil biodiversity in Germany. Only large datasets (e.g., Edaphobase or LUCAS) allow soil biodiversity to be assessed in a holistic way across different environmental conditions and land use types. Based on these findings, we will identify land use types and management strategies that conserve and promote soil biodiversity.

References

1Phillips, H. et al. Red list of a black box. Nat Ecol Evol 1, 0103 (2017) https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-017-0103

2Cameron, E.K. et al. Global mismatches in aboveground and belowground biodiversity. Cons. Biol. 33, 1187-1192 (2019) https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13311

3Geisen S., Wall D.H., van der Putten W.H. Challenges and Opportunities for Soil Biodiversity in the Anthropocene. Curr. Biol. 29, R1036-R1044 (2019) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.08.007

Team

Prof. Dr. Nico Eisenhauer
Coordinating Lead Author

Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
Puschstraße 4
04103 Leipzig

Dr. Carlos A. Guerra
Coordinating Lead Author

Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
Puschstraße 4
04103 Leipzig

Prof. Dr. Christoph Tebbe
Coordinating Lead Author

Thünen Institut für Biodiversität
Bundesallee 65
38116 Braunschweig

Prof. Dr. Willi Xylander
Coordinating Lead Author

Senckenberg Museum für Naturkunde Görlitz
Am Museum 1
02826 Görlitz

Dr. Christian Ristok
Project Scientist

Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
Puschstraße 4
04103 Leipzig

Dr. Doreen Babin
Lead Author

Julius Kühn-Institut für Kulturpflanzen
Institut für Epidemiologie und Pathogendiagnostik
Messeweg 11/12
Braunschweig

Dr. Bartosz Bartkowski
Lead Author

UFZ – Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung
Department Ökonomie
Permoserstraße 15
04318 Leipzig

Prof. Dr. Benjamin Burkhard
Lead Author

Leibniz Universität Hannover
Institut für Physische Geographie und Landschaftsökologie
Schneiderberg 50
30167 Hannover

Dr. Frank Glante
Lead Author

Umweltbundesamt
Wörlitzer Platz 1
06844 Dessau

Dr. Karin Hohberg
Lead Author

Senckenberg Museum für Naturkunde Görlitz
Am Museum 1
02826 Görlitz

Dr. Janina Kleemann
Lead Author

Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Institut für Geowissenschaften und Geographie
Fachgebiet Nachhaltige Landschaftsentwicklung
Von-Seckendorff-Platz 4
06120 Halle (Saale)

Prof. Dr. Steffen Kolb
Lead Author

Leibniz Zentrum für Agrarlandschaftsforschung (ZALF)
Programmbereich 1 Landschaftsprozesse
AG Mikrobielle Biogeochemie
Eberswalder Straße 84
14374 Müncheberg

Prof. Dr. Matthias Rillig
Lead Author

Freie Universität Berlin
Institut für Biologie
Altensteinstraße 6
14195 Berlin

Berlin-Brandenburg Institute of Advanced Biodiversity Research
Königin-Luise-Straße 2/4
14195 Berlin

Dr. Jörg Römbke
Lead Author

ECT Oekotoxikologie GmbH
Böttgerstraße 2-14
65439 Flörsheim (Main)

Prof. Dr. Liliane Rueß
Lead Author

Humboldt Universität zu Berlin
Institut für Biologie
FG Ökologie
Philippstraße 13
10115 Berlin

Prof. Dr. Stefan Scheu
Lead Author

Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
J.F.-Blumenbach-Institut für Zoologie und Anthropologie, Tierökologie
Untere Karspüle 2
37073 Göttingen

Dr. Bastian Steinhoff-Knopp
Lead Author

Leibniz Universität Hannover
Institut für Physische Geographie und Landschaftsökologie
Schneiderberg 50
30167 Hannover

Dr. Christina Weißbecker
Lead Author

Nationales Monitoringzentrum zur Biodiversität (NMZB) am Bundesamt für Naturschutz
Alte Messe 6
04103 Leipzig

Dr. Nicole Wellbrock
Lead Author

Thünen Institut für Waldökosysteme
Alfred-Möller-Straße 1
16225 Eberswalde