Soil & species: ecosystem services delivered underground

Let’s pay some more attention for the soil in cities! Next to the function of soil species in the eco system of being food for other species, and contributing to natural control, their more important role is the delivery of ecosystem services that are relevant above ground, too: soil structure, soil fertility, water infiltration, development for vegetation – and biodiversity.

There are more than 34.000 species living in the Dutch soil of which 28% – some 6000 species depend strongly on the ground as habitat. A part of them lives part of their life circle (facultatively) in the soil, but many also remain there during their full life circle (obligatory).

In the city of Amsterdam a large amount of the nationally present species can be found. There are eg. 14 species of all ants (30%), but of others species sometimes more than half of alle species can be found in the city. Mapping evidence shows that of some species there are even more examples in the urban areas than in the more rural parts.

Want to know more about all species in The Netherlands?
Check the Dutch Register of Species. This blog is based upon a presentation by Prof. Dr. Matty Berg from the Faculty of Science, Animal Ecology using data from the VU university Amsterdam and the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen.