Research Topic

Soil Nutrients and Soil Biota Interactions: A Pathway to Improve Soil Carbon Sequestration and Boost Land Restoration, Adaptation, and Resilience to Climate Change?

About this Research Topic

The needs of the growing population of our societies associated with the effects of climate change are increasingly threatening the environment (soil health, ecosystem biodiversity, and forest conservation) and human welfare (food security, agricultural sustainability, access to health and education, gender equity, among others) at the beginning of the 21st century. Interactions between main soil nutrients (N, P, S, Ca, and K), soil biota, and soil C under the control of other soil attributes (texture, type, etc) regulate soil functioning such as nutrient cycling and availability, C sequestration, and several other soil processes. The judicious management of biodiversity and biogeochemical cycling is therefore required to foster organic carbon sequestration in soils and to contribute to the response to the global challenges such as restoring soil health and increasing adaptation and resilience of (agro-) ecosystems to climate change to finally improve food security and human wellbeing mainly in the most fragile ecosystems in the developing countries.

This Research Topic will contribute to highlighting interactions between
(i) main soil nutrients such as N, P, S, Ca, and K
(ii) (ii) soil microorganisms (i.e., bacteria, fungi, archaea) and soil invertebrates), and
(iii) (iii) the processes determining soil organic matter dynamics and soil C sequestration (quantity and quality).

It has been well demonstrated that C sequestration is strongly linked to plant nutrients such as N and P which are needed in great quantity to boost biomass productivity and hence carbon input. On the other hand, the use of these nutrients may lead to trade-offs in terms of air and/or water pollution. It is also well stated that C sequestration strongly relies on physical soil attributes such as mineralogy, pore space, and aggregation, which may protect soil C from its decomposition and enable its storage. Besides physical properties, soil processes such as C mineralization or accumulation are also regulated by the activity of soil biota. Nevertheless, interactions between biodiversity, nutrient cycling, and soil carbon sequestration, and especially their management to meet nowadays society's challenges are poorly investigated to date. This Research Topic will determine to which extent these interactions contribute to sustain agriculture (improved soil health and crop yields (quantity and quality)), increase adaptation and resilience to climate change, recover ecosystem biodiversity loss, and halt desertification.

The main aspects of this Research Topic include, but are not limited to:
• Identify faunal and microbial communities (i.e., bacteria, fungi, and archaeal) involved in the cycling of main soil nutrients N, P, S, Ca, and K
• Evaluate how and to which extent these communities and/ or their activities are linked to C sequestration and contribute to improving soil health, land restoration, agriculture sustainability, food availability, and adaptation and resilience to climate change.
• Establish the impact of both, main nutrients (N, P, S, Ca, and K) and soil biota (fauna and microbiota), in regulating sequestered C (both quantity and quality). How they potentially may improve the amount and quality of sequestered C and their impact on the environment and further on human welfare.

Original research papers are preferred but reviews or mini-reviews are also welcome for consideration.


Keywords: Soil nutrients, Soil biota, Sequestered carbon quality, Soil health, Food availability, Ecosystem biodiversity, Climate change mitigation


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The needs of the growing population of our societies associated with the effects of climate change are increasingly threatening the environment (soil health, ecosystem biodiversity, and forest conservation) and human welfare (food security, agricultural sustainability, access to health and education, gender equity, among others) at the beginning of the 21st century. Interactions between main soil nutrients (N, P, S, Ca, and K), soil biota, and soil C under the control of other soil attributes (texture, type, etc) regulate soil functioning such as nutrient cycling and availability, C sequestration, and several other soil processes. The judicious management of biodiversity and biogeochemical cycling is therefore required to foster organic carbon sequestration in soils and to contribute to the response to the global challenges such as restoring soil health and increasing adaptation and resilience of (agro-) ecosystems to climate change to finally improve food security and human wellbeing mainly in the most fragile ecosystems in the developing countries.

This Research Topic will contribute to highlighting interactions between
(i) main soil nutrients such as N, P, S, Ca, and K
(ii) (ii) soil microorganisms (i.e., bacteria, fungi, archaea) and soil invertebrates), and
(iii) (iii) the processes determining soil organic matter dynamics and soil C sequestration (quantity and quality).

It has been well demonstrated that C sequestration is strongly linked to plant nutrients such as N and P which are needed in great quantity to boost biomass productivity and hence carbon input. On the other hand, the use of these nutrients may lead to trade-offs in terms of air and/or water pollution. It is also well stated that C sequestration strongly relies on physical soil attributes such as mineralogy, pore space, and aggregation, which may protect soil C from its decomposition and enable its storage. Besides physical properties, soil processes such as C mineralization or accumulation are also regulated by the activity of soil biota. Nevertheless, interactions between biodiversity, nutrient cycling, and soil carbon sequestration, and especially their management to meet nowadays society's challenges are poorly investigated to date. This Research Topic will determine to which extent these interactions contribute to sustain agriculture (improved soil health and crop yields (quantity and quality)), increase adaptation and resilience to climate change, recover ecosystem biodiversity loss, and halt desertification.

The main aspects of this Research Topic include, but are not limited to:
• Identify faunal and microbial communities (i.e., bacteria, fungi, and archaeal) involved in the cycling of main soil nutrients N, P, S, Ca, and K
• Evaluate how and to which extent these communities and/ or their activities are linked to C sequestration and contribute to improving soil health, land restoration, agriculture sustainability, food availability, and adaptation and resilience to climate change.
• Establish the impact of both, main nutrients (N, P, S, Ca, and K) and soil biota (fauna and microbiota), in regulating sequestered C (both quantity and quality). How they potentially may improve the amount and quality of sequestered C and their impact on the environment and further on human welfare.

Original research papers are preferred but reviews or mini-reviews are also welcome for consideration.


Keywords: Soil nutrients, Soil biota, Sequestered carbon quality, Soil health, Food availability, Ecosystem biodiversity, Climate change mitigation


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

30 June 2021 Abstract
27 September 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

30 June 2021 Abstract
27 September 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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