Biogeochemical cycles and biodiversity as key drivers of ecosystem services provided by soils

P. Smith*, M. F. Cotrufo, C. Rumpel, K. Paustian, P. J. Kuikman, J. A. Elliott, R. McDowell, R. I. Griffiths, S. Asakawa, M. Bustamante, J. I. House, J. Sobocká, R. Harper, G. Pan, P. C. West, J. S. Gerber, J. M. Clark, T. Adhya, R. J. Scholes, M. C. Scholes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

149 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Soils play a pivotal role in major global biogeochemical cycles (carbon, nutrient, and water), while hosting the largest diversity of organisms on land. Because of this, soils deliver fundamental ecosystem services, and management to change a soil process in support of one ecosystem service can either provide co-benefits to other services or result in trade-offs. In this critical review, we report the state-of-the-art understanding concerning the biogeochemical cycles and biodiversity in soil, and relate these to the provisioning, regulating, supporting, and cultural ecosystem services which they underpin. We then outline key knowledge gaps and research challenges, before providing recommendations for management activities to support the continued delivery of ecosystem services from soils. We conclude that, although soils are complex, there are still knowledge gaps, and fundamental research is still needed to better understand the relationships between different facets of soils and the array of ecosystem services they underpin, enough is known to implement best practices now. There is a tendency among soil scientists to dwell on the complexity and knowledge gaps rather than to focus on what we do know and how this knowledge can be put to use to improve the delivery of ecosystem services. A significant challenge is to find effective ways to share knowledge with soil managers and policy makers so that best management can be implemented. A key element of this knowledge exchange must be to raise awareness of the ecosystems services underpinned by soils and thus the natural capital they provide. We know enough to start moving in the right direction while we conduct research to fill in our knowledge gaps. The lasting legacy of the International Year of Soils in 2015 should be for soil scientists to work together with policy makers and land managers to put soils at the centre of environmental policy making and land management decisions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)665-685
Number of pages21
JournalSOIL
Volume1
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015

Fingerprint

biogeochemical cycle
ecosystem service
ecosystem services
biogeochemical cycles
biodiversity
soil
managers
natural capital
ecosystem management
environmental policy
policy making
land management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science

Cite this

Smith, P., Cotrufo, M. F., Rumpel, C., Paustian, K., Kuikman, P. J., Elliott, J. A., ... Scholes, M. C. (2015). Biogeochemical cycles and biodiversity as key drivers of ecosystem services provided by soils. SOIL, 1(2), 665-685. https://doi.org/10.5194/soil-1-665-2015

Biogeochemical cycles and biodiversity as key drivers of ecosystem services provided by soils. / Smith, P.; Cotrufo, M. F.; Rumpel, C.; Paustian, K.; Kuikman, P. J.; Elliott, J. A.; McDowell, R.; Griffiths, R. I.; Asakawa, S.; Bustamante, M.; House, J. I.; Sobocká, J.; Harper, R.; Pan, G.; West, P. C.; Gerber, J. S.; Clark, J. M.; Adhya, T.; Scholes, R. J.; Scholes, M. C.

In: SOIL, Vol. 1, No. 2, 01.01.2015, p. 665-685.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Smith, P, Cotrufo, MF, Rumpel, C, Paustian, K, Kuikman, PJ, Elliott, JA, McDowell, R, Griffiths, RI, Asakawa, S, Bustamante, M, House, JI, Sobocká, J, Harper, R, Pan, G, West, PC, Gerber, JS, Clark, JM, Adhya, T, Scholes, RJ & Scholes, MC 2015, 'Biogeochemical cycles and biodiversity as key drivers of ecosystem services provided by soils', SOIL, vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 665-685. https://doi.org/10.5194/soil-1-665-2015
Smith, P. ; Cotrufo, M. F. ; Rumpel, C. ; Paustian, K. ; Kuikman, P. J. ; Elliott, J. A. ; McDowell, R. ; Griffiths, R. I. ; Asakawa, S. ; Bustamante, M. ; House, J. I. ; Sobocká, J. ; Harper, R. ; Pan, G. ; West, P. C. ; Gerber, J. S. ; Clark, J. M. ; Adhya, T. ; Scholes, R. J. ; Scholes, M. C. / Biogeochemical cycles and biodiversity as key drivers of ecosystem services provided by soils. In: SOIL. 2015 ; Vol. 1, No. 2. pp. 665-685.
@article{9580da5ae8944f1fb85931d9a799498e,
title = "Biogeochemical cycles and biodiversity as key drivers of ecosystem services provided by soils",
abstract = "Soils play a pivotal role in major global biogeochemical cycles (carbon, nutrient, and water), while hosting the largest diversity of organisms on land. Because of this, soils deliver fundamental ecosystem services, and management to change a soil process in support of one ecosystem service can either provide co-benefits to other services or result in trade-offs. In this critical review, we report the state-of-the-art understanding concerning the biogeochemical cycles and biodiversity in soil, and relate these to the provisioning, regulating, supporting, and cultural ecosystem services which they underpin. We then outline key knowledge gaps and research challenges, before providing recommendations for management activities to support the continued delivery of ecosystem services from soils. We conclude that, although soils are complex, there are still knowledge gaps, and fundamental research is still needed to better understand the relationships between different facets of soils and the array of ecosystem services they underpin, enough is known to implement best practices now. There is a tendency among soil scientists to dwell on the complexity and knowledge gaps rather than to focus on what we do know and how this knowledge can be put to use to improve the delivery of ecosystem services. A significant challenge is to find effective ways to share knowledge with soil managers and policy makers so that best management can be implemented. A key element of this knowledge exchange must be to raise awareness of the ecosystems services underpinned by soils and thus the natural capital they provide. We know enough to start moving in the right direction while we conduct research to fill in our knowledge gaps. The lasting legacy of the International Year of Soils in 2015 should be for soil scientists to work together with policy makers and land managers to put soils at the centre of environmental policy making and land management decisions.",
author = "P. Smith and Cotrufo, {M. F.} and C. Rumpel and K. Paustian and Kuikman, {P. J.} and Elliott, {J. A.} and R. McDowell and Griffiths, {R. I.} and S. Asakawa and M. Bustamante and House, {J. I.} and J. Sobock{\'a} and R. Harper and G. Pan and West, {P. C.} and Gerber, {J. S.} and Clark, {J. M.} and T. Adhya and Scholes, {R. J.} and Scholes, {M. C.}",
year = "2015",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.5194/soil-1-665-2015",
language = "English",
volume = "1",
pages = "665--685",
journal = "Soil Science Society of America Journal",
issn = "0361-5995",
publisher = "Soil Science Society of America",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Biogeochemical cycles and biodiversity as key drivers of ecosystem services provided by soils

AU - Smith, P.

AU - Cotrufo, M. F.

AU - Rumpel, C.

AU - Paustian, K.

AU - Kuikman, P. J.

AU - Elliott, J. A.

AU - McDowell, R.

AU - Griffiths, R. I.

AU - Asakawa, S.

AU - Bustamante, M.

AU - House, J. I.

AU - Sobocká, J.

AU - Harper, R.

AU - Pan, G.

AU - West, P. C.

AU - Gerber, J. S.

AU - Clark, J. M.

AU - Adhya, T.

AU - Scholes, R. J.

AU - Scholes, M. C.

PY - 2015/1/1

Y1 - 2015/1/1

N2 - Soils play a pivotal role in major global biogeochemical cycles (carbon, nutrient, and water), while hosting the largest diversity of organisms on land. Because of this, soils deliver fundamental ecosystem services, and management to change a soil process in support of one ecosystem service can either provide co-benefits to other services or result in trade-offs. In this critical review, we report the state-of-the-art understanding concerning the biogeochemical cycles and biodiversity in soil, and relate these to the provisioning, regulating, supporting, and cultural ecosystem services which they underpin. We then outline key knowledge gaps and research challenges, before providing recommendations for management activities to support the continued delivery of ecosystem services from soils. We conclude that, although soils are complex, there are still knowledge gaps, and fundamental research is still needed to better understand the relationships between different facets of soils and the array of ecosystem services they underpin, enough is known to implement best practices now. There is a tendency among soil scientists to dwell on the complexity and knowledge gaps rather than to focus on what we do know and how this knowledge can be put to use to improve the delivery of ecosystem services. A significant challenge is to find effective ways to share knowledge with soil managers and policy makers so that best management can be implemented. A key element of this knowledge exchange must be to raise awareness of the ecosystems services underpinned by soils and thus the natural capital they provide. We know enough to start moving in the right direction while we conduct research to fill in our knowledge gaps. The lasting legacy of the International Year of Soils in 2015 should be for soil scientists to work together with policy makers and land managers to put soils at the centre of environmental policy making and land management decisions.

AB - Soils play a pivotal role in major global biogeochemical cycles (carbon, nutrient, and water), while hosting the largest diversity of organisms on land. Because of this, soils deliver fundamental ecosystem services, and management to change a soil process in support of one ecosystem service can either provide co-benefits to other services or result in trade-offs. In this critical review, we report the state-of-the-art understanding concerning the biogeochemical cycles and biodiversity in soil, and relate these to the provisioning, regulating, supporting, and cultural ecosystem services which they underpin. We then outline key knowledge gaps and research challenges, before providing recommendations for management activities to support the continued delivery of ecosystem services from soils. We conclude that, although soils are complex, there are still knowledge gaps, and fundamental research is still needed to better understand the relationships between different facets of soils and the array of ecosystem services they underpin, enough is known to implement best practices now. There is a tendency among soil scientists to dwell on the complexity and knowledge gaps rather than to focus on what we do know and how this knowledge can be put to use to improve the delivery of ecosystem services. A significant challenge is to find effective ways to share knowledge with soil managers and policy makers so that best management can be implemented. A key element of this knowledge exchange must be to raise awareness of the ecosystems services underpinned by soils and thus the natural capital they provide. We know enough to start moving in the right direction while we conduct research to fill in our knowledge gaps. The lasting legacy of the International Year of Soils in 2015 should be for soil scientists to work together with policy makers and land managers to put soils at the centre of environmental policy making and land management decisions.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85015602927&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.5194/soil-1-665-2015

DO - 10.5194/soil-1-665-2015

M3 - Article

VL - 1

SP - 665

EP - 685

JO - Soil Science Society of America Journal

JF - Soil Science Society of America Journal

SN - 0361-5995

IS - 2

ER -