"The Earth Has a Microbiome — And It Needs Help"

"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."

Tara Lohan reports for The Revelator December 5, 2022.

Source: The Revelator, 12/07/2022