Drivers Environment and climate change

Soil biodiversity potential index


The preliminary assessment of global soil biodiversity combines two data sets: 1) distribution of microbial soil carbon developed by Serna-Chavez and colleagues (2013) used as a proxy for soil microbial diversity and 2) distribution of the main groups of soil macrofauna developed by Mathieu (unpublished data) used as a proxy for soil fauna diversity. The datasets were scaled from 0 to 1 and then summed.


The average soil biodiversity potential index describes the potential level of diversity (micro and macro fauna) living in soils on our planet. A higher score indicates more diversity.


Countries with low potential soil biodiversity could be at risk. Practices that maintain and improve soil biodiversity including crop rotation, with fallow periods, no pesticide use, and reduced tillage are key for avoiding land degradation and designing resilient food production systems.