Soil Biodiversity UK

Resources, links, species lists and species information about life in the soil

Welcome to Soil Biodiversity UK

Welcome to the Soil Biodiversity UK webpage!

Our soils aren't just an inert material for planting crops in or building houses on - they're a complex natural habitat teeming with millions of soil organisms.  This soil life does most of the important work of the soil: decomposing residues and pollutants, releasing and cycling nutrients, building good soil structure to help prevent flooding and help plants grow and making tough organic matter that retains moisture and locks away carbon for hundreds of years.  It even provides us with new medicines.

Yet it's also a fascinating world of biological diversity, with thousands of different species ranging from miniscule bacteria to earthworms 35 cm long.  Many of the creatures that crawl, wriggle or swim through the soil pores are tiny, and this, along with their diversity, has made it all too easy to ignore them.  Yet, with a cheap microscope, you'll find some amazing, beautiful, surprising and even cute organisms.  Explore the world of soil life and you'll meet creatures that you never knew existed, and might even come across some that are new to science.

This page aims to help you navigate the world of soil life.  It aims to provide links and reference to useful resources, species lists, keys and information on the tiny creatures that make life on land possible.  

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith