Importance of Underground Biodiversity

Importance of Underground Biodiversity

Question: Underground biodiversity plays an important role in the regulation of above ground earth ecosystems. Elaborate.

- Underground biodiversity including soil, moss, bacteria and insects play a critical role in regulating earth’s ecosystems above ground

- Underground biodiversity plays a crucial role in carbon storage and provision of soil nutrients

- A. Classen has led research towards understanding the importance of biodiversity underground along with researchers from Centre for Macro-ecology , Evolution and Climate

- The unique study holds that soil biodiversity accounts for 32% of variation observed in ecosystem functions

- Plant biodiversity accounts for 42% according to the study

- Ecosystems have important and multiple functions as far as underground biodiversity is concerned

- They store carbon in soil and biomass

- They influence climate change

- They also hold back and generate nutrients which impact natural areas as well as agricultural yield

- Researchers conducted a thorough investigation of 60 different sites in Tibetan Plateau in China chosen for its climate variation

- Soil biodiversity has influenced ecosystem multi functionality despite variations in rainfall, pH value and temperature

- Research also suggests same pattern will be found elsewhere though study does indicate that the effect of soil biodiversity on ecosystem functions will be greater in areas with high precipitation

- As far back as Darwin, the importance of biodiversity had been recognised

- This joint study led by Peking University and University of Copenhagen’s Centre for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate has said researchers have only began to understand the multiple and diverse impact of below ground biodiversity on ecosystem functions

- Ecosystem functions comprise the following:

- Storing carbon

- Pollination of plants

- Acting as Shelter/habitat

- Soil Creation

- Source of Raw Materials

- Combining biodiversity above and below the ground has led to a rise in predictive power of biodiversity on ecological multi functionality or ability to carry out multiple functions or services simultaneously

Facts and Stats

- This study published in Nature is the first to relate underground biodiversity to numerous ecosystem functions

- Recent studies have found soil biodiversity influences carbon sequestration

- What distinguishes this study is its examination of biodiversity effect on important ecosystem functions besides carbon storage
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