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

Abstract : 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.
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Submitted on : Thursday, May 28, 2020 - 12:18:36 PM
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N. Bottinelli, Pascal Jouquet, Yvan Capowiez, Pascal Podwojewski, Michel Grimaldi, et al.. Why is the influence of soil macrofauna on soil structure only considered by soil ecologists?. Soil and Tillage Research, Elsevier, 2015, 146, pp.118-124. ⟨10.1016/j.still.2014.01.007⟩. ⟨hal-02639539⟩



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