The first ever European Atlas of Soil Biodiversity

The Joint Research Centre’s Land Management and Natural Hazards Unit (H07) has just completed a comprehensive collaborative project focusing exclusively on life in the soil. One of the resulting outputs is the first ever European Atlas of Soil Biodiversity. 

The atlas is a visually stunning publication of 128 pages, using striking photographs, informative texts and maps to explain and illustrate the great diversity of life in the across Europe. The atlas functions as a comprehensive guide to soil biology, allowing non-specialists to access information about this unseen world. The first part of the book provides an overview of the below ground environment, soil biota in general, the ecosystem functions that soil organism perform, the important value it has for human activities and relevance for global biogeochemical cycles. The second part is more of an 'Encyclopedia of Soil Biodiversity'. Starting with the smallest organisms such as the bacteria, this segment works through a range of taxonomic groups such as fungi, nematodes, insects and macro-fauna to illustrate the astonishing levels of heterogeneity of life in soil.  

The atlas aims to : 

 •support policies such as the EU biodiversity action plan; the Soil Thematic Strategy, the European Research Area,  

•promote the activities related to soil protection and soil biodiversity,  

•bring soil biodiversity into policy focus by identifying needs for policy and research strategies aimed at soil protection and enhancement of biodiversity  

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