"News Analysis: The Hidden World Under Our Feet"

"HELENA, Mont. -- The world’s worrisome decline in biodiversity is well known. Some experts say we are well on our way toward the sixth great extinction and that by 2100 half of all the world’s plant and animal species may disappear. Yet one of the most important threats to biodiversity has received little attention — though it lies under our feet."

"Scientists using new analytical techniques over the last decade have found that the world’s ocean of soil is one of our largest reservoirs of biodiversity. It contains almost one-third of all living organisms, according to the European Union’s Joint Research Center, but only about 1 percent of its micro-organisms have been identified, and the relationships among those myriad life-forms is poorly understood. "

Jim Robbins reports for the New York Times May 11, 2013.

Source: NY Times, 05/13/2013