Special Issue "Soil Biology and Its Importance in Soil Fertility"
A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2011)
Prof. Dr. Les Copeland (Website)
Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
Interests: agricultural chemistry and biochemistry; cereals; food grains
The sustainability of agroecosystems depends on healthy soils. Although the biota comprise only a small fraction of soil mass, they play a crucial role in providing favourable conditions for plant growth. The microorganisms and micro-, meso- and macro-fauna that make up the soil biota are essential for soil fertility and the promotion of plant-soil interactions. Biological activity in soil is fundamental for plant growth: the biological nitrogen, phosphorus and sulphur cycles increase the bioavailability of nutrients, and the deposition of organic carbon contributes to soil structure, which is important for reducing erosion and improving water movement and retention. Enzymes and metabolites released into the soil help to solubilise essential mineral nutrients, promote the decomposition of plant and animal remains, and catalyse the degradation of xenobiotics. For these reasons, biological diversity is widely used as an indicator of a functioning “life support” system that the soil represents. It is therefore appropriate that this first issue of the MDPI journal Agriculture is devoted to soil biology.
Prof. Dr. Les Copeland
- soil biology
- soil fertility
- soil biota, soil mass, microbial biomass
- microorganisms, micro-, meso- and macro-fauna
- soil organic matter
- biological nitrogen, phosphorus and sulphur cycles, mineralization
- bioavailability of nutrients
- organic carbon contributes
- plant-soil interactions
- soil structure, erosion, water movement and retention
- Enzymes and metabolites
- xenobiotics degradation