Soil represents one of the most important reservoirs of biodiversity. It reflects ecosystem metabolism since all the bio-geo-chemical processes of the different ecosystem components are combined within it; therefore soil quality fluctuations are considered to be a suitable criterion for evaluating the long-term sustainability of ecosystems. Within the complex structure of soil, biotic and abiotic components interact closely in controlling the organic degradation of matter and the nutrient recycling processes. Soil fauna is an important reservoir of biodiversity and plays an essential role in several soil ecosystem functions; furthermore, it is often used to provide soil quality indicators. Although biodiversity was one of the focal points of the Rio conference, in the 1990s virtually no attention was paid to activities for the conservation of soil communities. However, with the new millennium, the conservation of soil biodiversity has become an important aim in international environmental policies, as highlighted in the EU Soil Thematic Strategy (2006), the Biodiversity Action Plan for Agriculture (EU 2001), the Kiev Resolution on Biodiversity (EU/ECE 2003) and afterwards in the Message from Malahide (EU 2004), that lay down the goals of the 2010 Countdown. Human activities frequently cause a degradation of soil environmental conditions which leads to a reduction in the abundance and to a simplification of animal and plant communities, where species able to bear stress predominate and rare taxa decrease in abundance or disappear. The result of this biodiversity reduction is an artificial ecosystem that requires constant human intervention and extra running costs, whereas natural ecosystems are regulated by plant and animal communities through flows of energy and nutrients, a form of control progressively being lost with agricultural intensification. For these reasons the identification of agricultural systems which allow the combination of production targets and environmentally friendly management practices, protecting both soil and biodiversity, is essential in order to prevent the decline of soil fauna communities in agricultural landscapes.

SOIL FAUNA DIVERSITY - FUNCTION, SOIL DEGRADATION, BIOLOGICAL INDICES, SOIL RESTORATION - / Menta, Cristina. - (2012), pp. 59-94. [10.5772/3330]

SOIL FAUNA DIVERSITY - FUNCTION, SOIL DEGRADATION, BIOLOGICAL INDICES, SOIL RESTORATION -

MENTA, Cristina
2012-01-01

Abstract

Soil represents one of the most important reservoirs of biodiversity. It reflects ecosystem metabolism since all the bio-geo-chemical processes of the different ecosystem components are combined within it; therefore soil quality fluctuations are considered to be a suitable criterion for evaluating the long-term sustainability of ecosystems. Within the complex structure of soil, biotic and abiotic components interact closely in controlling the organic degradation of matter and the nutrient recycling processes. Soil fauna is an important reservoir of biodiversity and plays an essential role in several soil ecosystem functions; furthermore, it is often used to provide soil quality indicators. Although biodiversity was one of the focal points of the Rio conference, in the 1990s virtually no attention was paid to activities for the conservation of soil communities. However, with the new millennium, the conservation of soil biodiversity has become an important aim in international environmental policies, as highlighted in the EU Soil Thematic Strategy (2006), the Biodiversity Action Plan for Agriculture (EU 2001), the Kiev Resolution on Biodiversity (EU/ECE 2003) and afterwards in the Message from Malahide (EU 2004), that lay down the goals of the 2010 Countdown. Human activities frequently cause a degradation of soil environmental conditions which leads to a reduction in the abundance and to a simplification of animal and plant communities, where species able to bear stress predominate and rare taxa decrease in abundance or disappear. The result of this biodiversity reduction is an artificial ecosystem that requires constant human intervention and extra running costs, whereas natural ecosystems are regulated by plant and animal communities through flows of energy and nutrients, a form of control progressively being lost with agricultural intensification. For these reasons the identification of agricultural systems which allow the combination of production targets and environmentally friendly management practices, protecting both soil and biodiversity, is essential in order to prevent the decline of soil fauna communities in agricultural landscapes.
9789535107194
SOIL FAUNA DIVERSITY - FUNCTION, SOIL DEGRADATION, BIOLOGICAL INDICES, SOIL RESTORATION - / Menta, Cristina. - (2012), pp. 59-94. [10.5772/3330]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11381/2439925
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