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New frameworks and online tools can facilitate understanding of the role of soil biophasic

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Over 5,000 species of bacteria, fungi, nematodes and other microbes can be found in a teaspoon of soil. Such “soil biology fauna” supports a wide range of functions such as nutrient cycle, water regulation and purification. However, it is difficult to define how soil organisms contribute to these soil functions. The new framework helps to understand the complexity of soil biology associated with multiple soil functions. This framework is supported by online tools that allow users to better select methods for assessing soil quality.


Biological factors are often underestimated in soil quality assessments. Despite the publication of over 14,000 papers on this topic over the last two decades, there is no agreement that soil biology measurements should be used to monitor soil function and soil quality. Two recent publications by the University of Wageningen and the Research Team and the University of Paul Sabatier in Toulouse incorporate the complexity of the soil.

Researchers present a framework (Creamer et al., 2022) to help understand the complex ways in which soil biota bring about soil function. They have a current scientific understanding of how soil biophasic supports four major soil functions: nutrient cycle, carbon and climate regulation, water regulation and purification, and disease and pest regulation. I collected it. The team also evaluated which measurements could be applied to assess these soil functions across a variety of research and surveillance situations (Zwetsloot et al., 2022). This has created a new BIOS IS tool for choosing methods that are familiar to the actual requirements of the researcher.

Definition of the role of soil biota in soil processes

Professor Rachel Creamer of Wageningen University & Research explains: “This framework helps us define the role of soil. Biota.. It starts by examining their functions, then breaks them down into sub-functions and then into processes. These processes are supported by different biological “actors” that can be measured in different ways. Take, for example, an earthworm. Earthworm digging activity affects how water moves through the soil and how much carbon and nutrients plants can use. By measuring the actor “earthworm”, we collect information about the process of “biological disturbance” and “biological disturbance”.Aggregationā€¯Supports 3 of the 4 major soils function..

But which actors and what types of measurements are suitable for assessing different processes? In some cases, the process can be measured directly. In other cases, biological actors can be measured as a substitute for the process. The research team summarized existing information and provided tools to help select the appropriate measurements.

How to meet practical requirements

Zwetsloot et al. BIOSIS (Bio-Soil Information System) tool developed and described in. It helps researchers identify the best measurement method to represent the biological actors or processes defined in the developed soil framework.

Dr. Marie Zwetsloot of Wageningen University & Research said, “Tool users can specify different criteria and filters that meet their actual requirements, which creates a list of recommended context-specific methods.” increase.For example, study how the availability of phytonutrients changes with new ones. soil The control method requires detailed measurements at the experimental site. On the other hand, monitoring the capacity of agricultural soils to supply nitrogen to crops across the country requires fast and reliable methods. The BIOSIS tool provides users with this flexibility. It will be available in the future. You can easily add new methods and findings. BIOSIS tools are freely accessible online.


Soil pH promotes the distribution of soil bacterial communities along short elevation gradients


For more information:
RE Creamer et al., Soil Life: Who and How to Integrate with Multifunctionality, Soil biology and biochemistry (2022). DOI: 10.1016 / j.soilbio.2022.108561

Marie J. Zwetsloot et al, a flexible selection tool for including soil biological methods in the assessment of soil multifunctionality, Soil biology and biochemistry (2021). DOI: 10.1016 / j.soilbio.2021.108514

Free online tools are available at the following URL: biosisplatform.eu/

Quote: The new framework and online tools are available from https: //phys.org/news/2022-02-framework-online-tool-role-soil on February 23, 2022. May 23) to promote understanding of the role. html

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New frameworks and online tools can facilitate understanding of the role of soil biophasic

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