Functional Role

Elsevier, Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Volume 136, September 2019
Soils host the vast majority of life on Earth including microorganisms and animals, and supporting all terrestrial vegetation. While soil organisms are pivotal for ecosystem functioning, the assemblages of different biota from a taxonomic and functional perspective, as well as how these different organisms interact, remains poorly known. We provide a brief overview of the taxonomic and functional diversity of all major groups of soil biota across different scales and organism sizes, ranging from viruses to prokaryotes and eukaryotes.
The assessment of microbial functional diversity is an important indicator of soil quality. Different methodological approaches are currently used; among them are enzyme activities (EA) and CLPP (community level physiological profile) techniques (e.g. MicroResp™ MR).