Role and management of soil biodiversity for food security and nutrition; where do we stand?

El Mujtar, Veronica Andrea; Muñoz, Nacira Belen; Prack Mc Cormick, Barbara; Pulleman, Mirjam M.; Tittonell, Pablo Adrian
Publication Year
Published version
Soils host diverse communities that support and regulate ecosystem functions, thereby affecting plant production and resource use efficiencies. There is increasing evidence that agricultural intensification affects soil biodiversity (SBD) and such changes may impact on current and future food security. Here, we provide an overview of the state-of-the-art on the relations between agricultural management, SBD and food production. The potential of applying such knowledge to improve food security and nutrition is discussed. Biotechnological methods to describe impacts of agricultural practices on taxonomic and functional diversity of soil organisms are advancing rapidly. At the same time new understanding of soil-plant interactions has provided novel insights into the mechanisms by which soil organisms and plants co-regulate plant growth and defences, or affect food nutritional quality and safety. Yet, empirical studies on SBD – plant productivity relations often lead to results and applications that are crop and context specific. Translating knowledge on SBD into universally applicable soil management recommendations to enhance food production, and ultimately food security, remains challenging. Instead, we propose a holistic approach to SBD management that strengthens multiple ecosystem functions and provides ecological insurance.
Estación Experimental Agropecuaria Bariloche
Fil: El Mujtar, Veronica Andrea. Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA). Estación Experimental Agropecuaria Bariloche; Argentina
Fil: Muñoz, Nacira Belen. Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA). Instituto de Investigación IFRGV, Ing. Agr. Victorio Segundo TRIPPI; Argentina
Fil: Prack Mc Cormick, Barbara. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas; Argentina. Universidad Nacional de Lomas de Zamora. Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias. Laboratorio de Suelos; Argentina
Fil: Pulleman, Mirjam M. Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical; Colombia. Wageningen Univesity. Soil Biology Group; Holanda
Fil: Tittonell, Pablo Adrian. Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA). Estación Experimental Agropecuaria Bariloche; Argentina. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas; Argentina
Global food security 20 : 132-144. (March 2019)
Suelos Cultivables
Microorganismos del Suelo
Agricultura Sostenible
Servicios de los Ecosistemas
Cultivable Soil
Soil Microorganisms
Sustainable Agriculture
Ecosystem Services
Access level
Restricted access
INTA Digital (INTA)
Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria
OAI Identifier