Belowground biodiversity and ecosystem functioning

Nature. 2014 Nov 27;515(7528):505-11. doi: 10.1038/nature13855.


Evidence is mounting that the immense diversity of microorganisms and animals that live belowground contributes significantly to shaping aboveground biodiversity and the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. Our understanding of how this belowground biodiversity is distributed, and how it regulates the structure and functioning of terrestrial ecosystems, is rapidly growing. Evidence also points to soil biodiversity as having a key role in determining the ecological and evolutionary responses of terrestrial ecosystems to current and future environmental change. Here we review recent progress and propose avenues for further research in this field.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biodiversity*
  • Ecosystem*
  • Food Chain
  • Introduced Species
  • Population Dynamics
  • Soil Microbiology
  • Time Factors