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Why is the influence of soil macrofauna on soil structure only considered by soil ecologists?

Bottinelli, N and Jouquet, P and Capowiez, Y and Podwojewski, P and Grimaldi, M and Peng, X (2015) Why is the influence of soil macrofauna on soil structure only considered by soil ecologists? In: SOIL & TILLAGE RESEARCH, 146 (A, SI). pp. 118-124.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org / 10.1016/j.still.2014.01.007


These last twenty years have seen the development of an abundant literature on the influence of soil macrofauna on soil structure. Amongst these organisms, earthworms, termites and ants are considered to play a key role in regulating the physical, chemical and microbiological properties of soils. Due to these influential impacts, soil ecologists consider these soil macro-invertebrates as `soil engineers' and their diversity and abundance are nowadays considered as relevant bioindicators of soil quality by many scientists and policy makers. Despite this abundant literature, the soil engineering concept remains a `preach to the choir' and bioturbation only perceived as important for soil ecologists. We discussed in this article the main mechanisms by which soil engineers impact soil structure and proposed to classify soil engineers with respect to their capacity to produce biostructures and modify them. We underlined the lack of studies considering biostructure dynamics and presented recent techniques in this purpose. We discussed why soil engineering concept is mainly considered by soil ecologists and call for a better collaboration between soil ecologists and soil physicists. Finally, we summarized main challenges and questions that need to be answered to integrate soil engineers activities in soil structure studies. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to the ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV, PO BOX 211, 1000 AE AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
Keywords: Ants; Earthworms; Ecosystem engineers; Biogenic structures; Soil structure dynamics; Termites
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Civil Engineering
Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2015 12:03
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2015 12:03
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/50838

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