"Soil’s microbial communities keep it healthy, just like the one in our guts. But new research finds we’re not doing a good enough job of protecting it."
"Tackling the biodiversity crisis may mean starting small — very small.
The life we can’t see is some of the most threatened, say researchers of a new study in Nature Microbiology. And those microbial organisms — tiny bacteria, fungi and viruses that live in the soil — are fundamental to our existence.
“A functioning Earth without a functioning microbiome is nearly unimaginable,” they write.
But soil microbes today are at risk of extinction and homogenization. A wide variety of environmental changes has spurred these losses, including deforestation, intensive agriculture, pesticides, soil compaction and soil sealing.
There’s also the threat from “accelerated co-extinction” — as host plants decline, so do their specialized microbial networks."