It’s in the soil – Biodiversity month!

Soil is more than just the squishy stuff under our boots.

We live and walk on it, we rely on it to grow our food, and it maintains many other forms of life on our planet.

Often we only focus on what happens on the surface but just as important, is what is happening further down.

It's all about soil health.
It’s all about soil health.

Soil depends on the biological, physical and chemical dimensions all working together to give us healthy and productive earth.

Our soils are full of many different types of living organisms. These include bacteria, fungi, algae, nematodes, microarthropods, earthworms and insects.

These organisms play an important role in maintaining fertility, drainage, structure, and aeration of soil; breaking-up decaying plants and animals (organic matter) so that they can be used again by living plants. While some soil organisms can be pests, most are a small but vital part of our soils, the soils’ way of recycling.

According to the 2014 On-Farm Soil Monitoring Handbook, produced with Australian Government funding by Wheatbelt NRM, the South West Catchments Council and the University of Western Australia, “a square metre of soil contains millions of bacteria, kilometres of fungal hyphae and thousands of mites and springtails.”

Projects such as Biome of Australian Soil Environments (BASE), aims to create a reference map of Australian soil and conduct detailed research on the microbial communities. Read more about this project on Bioplatform Australia’s webpage.

Get Involved

Why not get involved in identifying some of the organisms in our WA soils?

You can download the On-Farm Soil Monitoring Handbook via the Wheatbelt NRM website or join MicroBlitz – a citizen science project aimed at investigating microbial communities (tiny organisms) in our soils .

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