Navigation path

High level navigation

Page navigation

Additional tools

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Print version
  • Decrease text
  • Increase text

Soil

Publications on Soil Biodiversity – The factory of life

Unless we are gardeners or farmers, most of us pay little attention to soil, except to wipe it off our feet after a walk in the countryside or complain if it gets brought into the house. But it is time to get reacquainted with this precious non-renewable resource. Soil is in danger, and our lifestyle is largely to blame.

The great strength of soil comes from the life that exists within it – soil biodiversity – ranging from genes and species to communities. There is greater biodiversity in soil than upon it: in a single teaspoon of garden soil there may be thousands of species, millions of individuals and a hundred metres of fungal networks. Scientists estimate that at least about one-quarter of species on planet Earth live in soils. This is the factory of life. Its workers are micro-organisms, small and large invertebrates, small mammals, even plant roots – their workplace is the dark or dim layers of topsoil beneath grasslands, fields, forests and green spaces in towns.

A leaflet on Soil biodiversity – The factory of life is available in the following languages:

de en es fr it pl

A brochure on The factory of life – Why soil biodiversity is so important is available in the following languages:

de en es fr it pl

A full report on Soil biodiversity: functions, threats and tools for policy makers (English only) is available here.

For printed copies, please check availability at http://ec.europa.eu/environment/pubs/home.htm