The role of soil fauna in soil health and delivery of ecosystem services

George G. Brown, Elodie Da Silva, Marcílio J. Thomazini, Cíntia C. Niva, Thibaud Decaëns, Luís F. N. Cunha, Herlon S. Nadolny, Wilian C. Demetrio, Alessandra Santos, Talita Ferreira, Lilianne S. Maia, Ana Caroline Conrado, Rodrigo F. Segalla, Alexandre Casadei Ferreira, Amarildo Pasini, Marie L. C. Bartz, Klaus D. Sautter, Samuel W. James, Dilmar Baretta, Zaida Inês AntoniolliMaria Jesus Iglesias Briones, José Paulo Sousa, Jörg Römbke, Patrick Lavelle

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    Soil fauna includes microscopic organisms such as nematodes (microfauna), mites and springtails (mesofauna), up to larger invertebrates such as worms, spiders, ants, termites and beetles (macrofauna) and vertebrates (megafauna) such as amphibians, reptiles and mammals. This chapter explains how their activity is important for soil health and can result in various ecosystem services, including provision of food and primary production, nutrient cycling and organic matter dynamics, water availability in soil, gas exchanges, soil formation, pollination and seed dispersal. The chapter classifies soil fauna and reviews currently available information on soil fauna biodiversity and functional roles worldwide, their role in soil health and the importance of management in determining soil fauna communities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationManaging soil health for sustainable agriculture Volume 1
    Subtitle of host publicationFundamentals
    EditorsDon Reicosky
    PublisherBurleigh Dodds Science Publishing
    ISBN (Print)978-1786761880
    Publication statusPublished - 6 Aug 2018

    Publication series

    NameManaging soil health for sustainable agriculture Volume 1
    ISSN (Print)20596936


    • Soil fauna
    • biodiversity
    • ecosystems
    • soil management
    • soil animals
    • sustainable agriculture


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