Articles | Volume 2, issue 4
Original research article
10 Oct 2016
Original research article |  | 10 Oct 2016

Knowledge needs, available practices, and future challenges in agricultural soils

Georgina Key, Mike G. Whitfield, Julia Cooper, Franciska T. De Vries, Martin Collison, Thanasis Dedousis, Richard Heathcote, Brendan Roth, Shamal Mohammed, Andrew Molyneux, Wim H. Van der Putten, Lynn V. Dicks, William J. Sutherland, and Richard D. Bardgett

Related authors

The biogeography of relative abundance of soil fungi versus bacteria in surface topsoil
Kailiang Yu, Johan van den Hoogen, Zhiqiang Wang, Colin Averill, Devin Routh, Gabriel Reuben Smith, Rebecca E. Drenovsky, Kate M. Scow, Fei Mo, Mark P. Waldrop, Yuanhe Yang, Weize Tang, Franciska T. De Vries, Richard D. Bardgett, Peter Manning, Felipe Bastida, Sara G. Baer, Elizabeth M. Bach, Carlos García, Qingkui Wang, Linna Ma, Baodong Chen, Xianjing He, Sven Teurlincx, Amber Heijboer, James A. Bradley, and Thomas W. Crowther
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 14, 4339–4350,,, 2022
Short summary
Are researchers following best storage practices for measuring soil biochemical properties?
Jennifer M. Rhymes, Irene Cordero, Mathilde Chomel, Jocelyn M. Lavallee, Angela L. Straathof, Deborah Ashworth, Holly Langridge, Marina Semchenko, Franciska T. de Vries, David Johnson, and Richard D. Bardgett
SOIL, 7, 95–106,,, 2021
The significance of soils and soil science towards realization of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
Saskia D. Keesstra, Johan Bouma, Jakob Wallinga, Pablo Tittonell, Pete Smith, Artemi Cerdà, Luca Montanarella, John N. Quinton, Yakov Pachepsky, Wim H. van der Putten, Richard D. Bardgett, Simon Moolenaar, Gerben Mol, Boris Jansen, and Louise O. Fresco
SOIL, 2, 111–128,,, 2016
Short summary
Soil microbial nutrient constraints along a tropical forest elevation gradient: a belowground test of a biogeochemical paradigm
A. T. Nottingham, B. L. Turner, J. Whitaker, N. J. Ostle, N. P. McNamara, R. D. Bardgett, N. Salinas, and P. Meir
Biogeosciences, 12, 6071–6083,,, 2015
Short summary

Related subject area

Soil biodiversity and soil health
Biochar promotes soil aggregate stability and associated organic carbon sequestration and regulates microbial community structures in Mollisols from northeast China
Jing Sun, Xinrui Lu, Guoshuang Chen, Nana Luo, Qilin Zhang, and Xiujun Li
SOIL, 9, 261–275,,, 2023
Short summary
Only a minority of bacteria grow after wetting in both natural and post-mining biocrusts in a hyperarid phosphate mine
Talia Gabay, Eva Petrova, Osnat Gillor, Yaron Ziv, and Roey Angel
SOIL, 9, 231–242,,, 2023
Short summary
Lower functional redundancy in “narrow” than “broad” functions in global soil metagenomics
Huaihai Chen, Kayan Ma, Yu Huang, Qi Fu, Yingbo Qiu, Jiajiang Lin, Christopher W. Schadt, and Hao Chen
SOIL, 8, 297–308,,, 2022
Short summary
Pairing litter decomposition with microbial community structures using the Tea Bag Index (TBI)
Anne Daebeler, Eva Petrová, Elena Kinz, Susanne Grausenburger, Helene Berthold, Taru Sandén, Roey Angel, and the high-school students of biology project groups I, II, and III from 2018–2019
SOIL, 8, 163–176,,, 2022
Short summary
Network complexity of rubber plantations is lower than tropical forests for soil bacteria but not for fungi
Guoyu Lan, Chuan Yang, Zhixiang Wu, Rui Sun, Bangqian Chen, and Xicai Zhang
SOIL, 8, 149–161,,, 2022
Short summary

Cited articles

Ali, R. I., Awan, T. H., Ahmad, M., Saleem, M. U., and Akhtar, M.: Diversification of rice-based cropping systems to improve soil fertility, sustainable productivity and economics, J. Animal Plant Sci., 22, 108–112, 2012.
Allman, M., Jankovský, M., Messingerová, V., Allmanová, Z., and Ferenčik, M.: Compaction of various Central European forest soils caused by traffic of machines with various chassis, Forest Systems, 24, 1–10, 2015.
Angus, A. J., Hodge, I. D., McNally, S., and Sutton, M. A.: The setting of standards for agricultural nitrogen emissions: a case study of the Delphi technique, J. Environ. Manage., 69, 323–337, 2003.
Anigma, S. D., Stott, D. E., O'Neill, M. K., Ong, C. K., and Weesies, G. A.: Use of calliandra-Napier grass contour hedges to control erosion in central Kenya, Agr. Ecosyst. Environ., 91, 15–23, 2002.
Amundson, R., Berhe, A. A., Hopmans, J. W., Olson, C., Sztein, A. E., and Sparks, D. L.: Soil and human security in the 21st century, Science, 348, 647–653, 2015.
Short summary
Enhancing soil health is key to providing ecosystem services and food security. There are often trade-offs to using a particular practice, or it is not fully understood. This work aimed to identify practices beneficial to soil health and gaps in our knowledge. We reviewed existing research on agricultural practices and an expert panel assessed their effectiveness. The three most beneficial practices used a mix of organic or inorganic material, cover crops, or crop rotations.