EU Science Hub

Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas

Soils provide numerous ecosystem services. Most people do not know that the key drivers of soil ecosystems are the living organisms within the soil. Soils may be home to over one fourth of all living species on Earth, with a significant part not yet characterized. The first Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas is a product of the Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative. It aims at raising awareness of the importance and beauty of soil biodiversity among the general public and policy makers. Furthermore, it highlights the need to increase efforts to develop a global assessment of soil biodiversity. Data on distribution of soil-dwelling organisms are often difficult to combine. The atlas represents an attempt to create a unique network among soil biodiversity scientists. Such an effort may help in reaching the level of attention that research on soil biodiversity deserves. With contributions from over 80 experts in soil biodiversity from all over the world, and over 170 pages, the atlas will also display distribution maps of the main soil organisms. Furthermore, an exceptionally high number of images will allow non-specialists to get in touch with this fascinating and mysterious world.