World Soil Day 2020

Elsevier, 30th November 2020

World Soil Day (WSD) is held annually on 5 December as a means to focus attention on the importance of healthy soil and to advocate for the sustainable management of soil resources for a food-secure future. The date of 5 December for WSD was chosen because it corresponds with the official birthday of H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the King of Thailand, who officially sanctioned the event

Soil is home to more than 1/4 of our planet's biodiversity. Yet, we only know 1% of this universe. There are more living creatures in a single teaspoon of healthy soil than there are people on Earth. Soil organisms are responsible for many critical ecosystem processes on which humans depend: from supporting plant growth, to storing carbon and being a vast reservoir for pharmaceuticals.

But soil biodiversity is under threat. Half of the topsoil on the planet has been lost in the last 150 years, with a staggering 26.4 billion tons of soil lost each year, a rate that is 10 times faster than soil is being replenished. Soil erosion is also a significant yet largely overlooked contributor to carbon emissions.

In support of this year's theme - 'Keep soil alive, protect soil biodiversity' - Elsevier presents a curated, open access collection of over 60 journal articles to raise awareness of the importance of maintaining healthy soil ecosystems.


Elsevier, Soil and Tillage Research, Volume 198, April 2020
The ploughing-induced compaction of the interface between topsoil and subsoil negatively affects the connectivity and continuity of the complex pore system through plough pans as artificial boundary resulting in water-logged conditions. The conversion of arable land into hayfield is an opportunity for breaking up plough pans and recovering pore networks in the long-term. The basic idea of the current study was to investigate the potential pore structure recovery effect by growing either deep-rooting alfalfa or shallow-rooting grass on former conventionally-tilled cropland.
Elsevier, Applied Soil Ecology, Volume 134, February 2019
Common soil characteristics, nutrients and microbial activity at deeper soil depths are topics seldom covered in agricultural studies. Biogeochemical cycles in deep soils are not yet fully understood. This study investigates the effect of different mineral and organic fertilisation on soil organic matter dynamics, nutrients and bacterial community composition in the first meter of the soil profiles in the long-term maize cropping system experiment Tetto Frati, near the Po River in northern Italy.
Elsevier, Applied Soil Ecology, Volume 144, December 2019
More meaningful and useful soil health tests are needed to enable better on-farm soil management. Our objective was to assess the relationship between field management, soil health, and soil microbial abundance and composition (phospholipid fatty acid analysis (PLFA)) in soil collected from two fields (farmer-designated ‘good’ versus ‘poor’) across 34 diverse (livestock, grain or vegetable cropping) farms in Maritime Canada.
Elsevier, Applied Soil Ecology, Volume 110, 1 February 2017
The rapid global conversion of biodiverse landscapes to intensively managed arable fields may decrease microbial diversity and threaten the long-term fertility of native soils. Previous laboratory and experimental studies provide conflicting results: some have recorded declines in overall microbial diversity and certain beneficial microorganisms under intensified cultivation while others report no change (or even increased) diversity. However, few studies have been carried out in actual agricultural fields.
Elsevier, Applied Soil Ecology, Volume 15, August 2000
Soil health is the capacity of soil to function as a vital living system, within ecosystem and land-use boundaries, to sustain plant and animal productivity, maintain or enhance water and air quality, and promote plant and animal health. Anthropogenic reductions in soil health, and of individual components of soil quality, are a pressing ecological concern.
Elsevier, Rhizosphere, Volume 16, December 2020
The plant root system influences plant growth and development due to its phenotypic, physiological, metabolomic, and microbiomic traits. Broadly speaking, it is characterized by primary (stem-attached large), secondary (primary-attached medium), and fine (secondary-attached hair-like) roots. The role of root branching order and categories (fine, medium, and large) in influencing microbial communities in the rhizosphere and root environments is not clear.

Rhizosphere, Volume 15, September 2020, 100211

Advancing SDG 15, this article aimed to isolate, characterize (biochemically and molecularly) and assess the potential of cowpea nodulating/maize associated rhizobia for plant growth promotion.
Elsevier, Rhizosphere, Volume 15, September 2020
Salinity stress adversely affects root nodulation symbiotic relationships, and ultimately the nitrogen fixation capacity and the growth and yield of leguminous plants. Improving growth and biological nitrogen fixation of leguminous plants grown on salt–affected soils are considered to be a striking challenge.
Elsevier, Rhizosphere, Volume 14, June 2020
This study aimed to characterize endophytic bacteria associated with root-nodules of a wild legume (Genista cinerea: Fabaceae) growing in arid soils of Algeria. A total of ten non-symbiotic endophytic bacterial strains were isolated and identified using a combination of conventional and molecular approaches based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Moreover, growth variations of the isolates under different environmental conditions were examined using advanced statistical modeling techniques (Markov Chain Monte Carlo sampler for multivariate generalized linear mixed models-MCMCglmm).
Elsevier, Rhizosphere, Volume 16, December 2020
Endophytic fungi were able to protect their host plants against pathogens and promote plant growth. No previous studies have been conducted on the growth promotion of sunchoke by endophytic fungi. This research was the first to characterize plant growth promoting properties of endophytic fungi including, Macrophomina phaseolina BUP2/3 and Diaporthe phaseolorum BUP3/1 isolated from sunchoke and Daldinia eschscholtzii 2NTYL11, Trichoderma koningii ST-KKU1, Trichoderma erinaceum ST-KKU2, Macrophomina phaseolina SS1L10 and Macrophomina phaseolina SS1R10 from medicinal plants.