Soil Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning


Global Litter Invertebrate Decomposition Experiment


American Society of Agronomy

Founded in 1907, the American Society of Agronomy (ASA) is dedicated to the development of agriculture enabled by science, in harmony with environmental and human values. The Society supports scientific, educational, and professional activities that enhance communication and technology transfer among agronomists and those in related disciplines on topics of local, regional, national, and international significance.

Biodiversity Inventory and Monitoring Methods for Ants

Ants are one of the most ecologically important social insects in terrestrial ecosystem. The Ant Inventory and Monitoring web page provides information on a case study developed at the ALL workshop: a global approach to tropical leaf litter biodiversity and conservation in Brazil, held on August 18-22, 1996. The ALL (Ants of the Leaf Litter) initiative and its participants developed a standardized protocol for the collection of ground litter ants. This data collection is also part of the International Biodiversity Observation Year (IBOY) 2001-2002 as a core network project, "Charting and Documenting the World's Social Ants and Wasps."


BioTrack is a system that provides survey, monitoring, inventory, diagnostics, educational displays, data management integration and distribution capabilities. Rapid biodiversity assessment methods that use partial taxonomic determinations and recognizable taxonomic units (morpho-species) as the smallest measurement unit are combined with powerful image and relational database technology to allow the full breadth of biodiversity to be measured in a realistic time.

The Canadian Intersite Decomposition Experiment (CIDET)

The Canadian Intersite Decomposition Experiment (CIDET) is a cooperative study of 20 researchers from the Canadian Forest Service, universities and provincial ministries investigating the long-term rates of litter decomposition and nutrient mineralization over a broad range of forested ecoclimatic regions in Canada. Utilizing close to 11,000 litterbags, CIDET aims to provide data on the long-term rates of litter decomposition and nutrient mineralization for a range of forested ecoclimatic regions in Canada.

Checklist of the Collembola of the World

This checklist has been prepared by Frans Janssens, since 1976, member of the Royal Entomological Society of Antwerp, Belgium; since 1998, laboratory associate of the Department of Biology, Evolutionary Biology Group, University of Antwerp (RUCA), Belgium. The main purpose of this checklist is to resolve synonymy related problems. Typical example: given a taxon name, verify whether or not it is currently valid and if it is not valid what is then its currently valid name. This work is updated regularly.

Crop Science Society of America

The Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) is an educational and scientific organization comprised of more than 4,700 members dedicated to the advancement of crop science. Founded in 1955, the Society is truly international in scope with members in more than 100 countries who are advancing the discipline of crop science by acquiring and disseminating information about crops in relation to seed genetics and plant breeding; crop physiology; crop production, quality and ecology; crop germplasm resources; and environmental quality.


The goal of DIVERSITAS is to provide accurate scientific information and predictive models of the status of biodiversity and sustainability of the use of the Earth's biotic resources, and to build a world-wide capacity for the science of biodiversity. DIVERSITAS is the only existing programme that co-ordinates a broad research effort in the sciences concerning biodiversity at the global level.

Ecological Society of America (ESA)

The ESA is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization of scientists founded in 1915 to promote ecological science by improving communication among ecologists, raise the public's level of awareness of the importance of ecological science, increase the resources available for the conduct of ecological science, and ensure the appropriate use of ecological science in environmental decision making by enhancing communication between the ecological community and policy-makers.

The Ecotron Soil Biodiversity Experiment

As part of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Soil Biodiversity Programme the Ecotron Research Team have created in the Ecotron, model analogues of Sourhope grassland. By controlled manipulations of the soil biota the role of different faunal groups, and their interactions, in soil carbon and nitrogen fluxes are being explored.

European Soil Bureau

The main objective of the ESB is to provide harmonised and coherent information on European Soils to both policy makers and users of soil data. This addresses both the current status and the indicators of future changes in soil quality. The geographic area covered by this activity corresponds to the European Union, Candidate Member States and other regions of interest to European Commission Policies.

Global Change and Terrestrial Ecosystems Core Project

Global Change and Terrestrial Ecosystem (GCTE) is a Core Project of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), an international scientific research programme established in 1986 by the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU). Their goals are to 1) predict the effects of changes in climate, atmospheric composition, and land use on terrestrial ecosystems, including (i) agriculture, forestry, soils; and (ii) biodiversity, and 2) determine how these effects lead to feedbacks to the atmosphere and the physical climate system.

International Biodiversity Observation Year (IBOY)

IBOY is a window in time to explore the richness of life on Earth and its contribution to ecosystems and societies: a gift and a challenge to the new millennium. It is a concerted effort to focus attention on biodiversity. IBOY will help the world learn more about biodiversity and its interdependence with ecosystems and societies while increasing understanding of how, where and why biodiversity is being lost so that we can develop effective conservation strategies. Most importantly, IBOY will help provide knowledge about biodiversity, and its status, trends and interrelationships with societies while transferring this knowledge from scientists to the general public and policy spheres to aid informed decision making.

International Long-Term Ecological Research (ILTER) Network

In 1993, representatives of scientific programs and networks whose focus is on ecological research over long temporal and large spatial scales decided to form the ILTER network. This action has been a decisive step toward developing a worldwide program and infrastructure necessary to facilitate communication and distributed database management.

Key Centre for Biodiversity and Bioresources

The mission of the Key Centre for Biodiversity and Bioresources is to rapidly increase knowledge of the unique biological diversity of Australia and develop innovative technologies in rapid biodiversity assessment, natural resource management, conservation evaluation, environmental monitoring, impact assessment, exploration for new biological resources, and to provide educational programs for the transfer of these technologies to end-users and commercial partners.

Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network

The LTER Network is a collaborative effort involving more than 1100 scientists and students investigating ecological processes over long temporal and broad spatial scales. The network promotes synthesis and comparative research across sites and ecosystems and among other related national and international research programs. 

Long-Term Intersite Decomposition Experiment (LIDET)

The primary objective of LIDET is to examine the control that substrate quality and climate have on patterns of long-term decomposition and nitrogen accumulation in above- and below-ground fine litter. Of particular interest is the degree these two factors control the formation of stable organic matter and nitrogen after extensive decay. The major factors considered in this extensive litterbag experiment are site, species of and type of litter (leaves, vs. roots vs dowels), and time.

Mite Image Gallery

If you want to see more of Dr. David Walter's incredible collection of mite photographs, they are available on this University of Queensland site. Includes many other great mite links as well.

The National Science Foundation: Global Change Research Programs

The purpose of the NSF's Ecological Rates of Change (EROC) activity is to support research on how human-induced global change affects ecological rates of change. Specifically, the EROC activity seeks proposals for ecological research designed to separate the effects of natural versus anthropogenic changes on plant and animal physiological ecology, behavior, plant-animal interactions, plant or animal communities, and ecosystem processes and dynamics in terrestrial and freshwater aquatic systems.

Natural Resource Conservation Service: The Soil Quality Institute

The Soil Quality Institute identifies soil quality research findings and practical technologies that help conserve and improve
soil, and enhance farming, ranching, forestry, and gardening enterprises. The Institute works with researchers, conservationists, and land managers to develop these technologies and make them readily available.

Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory (NREL)

The mission of the NREL centers on multi-disciplinary research in ecosystem science to improve our understanding of the complex interactions between humans, management activities, and ecosystems. Our mission also includes teaching, outreach and service, to encourage better-informed students, citizens, managers, and decision makers.

Soil Science Society of America (SSSA)

The professional home for over 6,000 professionals throughout the world dedicated to the advancement of soil science. The primary purpose of the Society is to advance the discipline and practice of soil science by acquiring and disseminating information about soils in relation to crop production, environmental quality, ecosystem sustainability, bioremediation, waste management and recycling, and wise land use.

Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE)

An interdisciplinary body of natural and social science expertise focused on global environmental issues, operating at the interface between scientific and decision-making instances a worldwide network of scientists and scientific institutions developing syntheses and reviews of scientific knowledge on current or potential environmental issues created by the International Council for Science in 1969.

Soil Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning

Provided by the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory (NREL), this page has excellent information on current NREL soil research in Antarctica, on biodiversity, alfalfa stem nematodes, and climate change. Images and links pages are well worth investigation.

Soil Biodiversity Portal

The Soil Biodiversity Portal, a website created by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, provides general information on soil biodiversity and agriculture with aims to sustain them through conservation management, advocacy and training programs. The website highlights national and international programs on ecosystem services, soil fertility and biodiversity relationships, and genetic resources and soil biodiversity.

Soil Biodiversity Programme: Biological Diversity and Ecosytem Function in Soil

The Soil Biodiversity Programme aims to achieve simultaneously an understanding of biological diversity of the soil biota and the functional roles played by soil organisms in key ecological processes. £6 million has been allocated by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) for research into biological diversity and ecosystem function in soil. The programme will be closely directed and integrated, with the aim of producing data and insights of wider generality than the chosen ecosystem, an upland grassland system at Sourhope, near Kelso, Scotland.

The Soil Ecology Society (SES)

The SES is an international organization of researchers, students, environmental professionals and others interested in the advancement and promotion of soil biology and ecology. The SES holds a bi-annual conference which addresses contemporary issues in the field of soil ecology, and which provides a forum for ecologists, soil scientists, and members of related disciplines, to present original research results, participate in meeting symposia and workshops, and identify priorities for future research.

Soil and Water Conservation Society

The Soil and Water Conservation Society fosters the science and the art of soil, water and related natural resource management to achieve sustainability. We promote and practice an ethic recognizing the interdependence of people and the environment.

Species 2000

This project has the objective of enumerating all known species of plants, animals, fungi and microbes on Earth as the baseline dataset for studies of global biodiversity. It will also provide a simple access point enabling users to link from here to other data systems for all groups of organisms, using direct species-links.

The United Kingdom Environmental Change Network (ECN)

The ECN is the UK's long-term environmental monitoring programme. It is a multi-agency programme, designed to collect, store, analyse and interpret long-term data based on a set of key physical, chemical and biological variables which drive and respond to environmental change at a range of terrestrial and freshwater sites across the UK.

United States National Committee for Soil Science (USNCSS)

The International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) is a member of the International Council for Science (ICSU). The USNCSS represents the interests of the U.S. soil science community in IUSS, and the National Academy of Sciences is the U.S. adhering body to the IUSS. The U.S. National Committee is staffed within the Division for International Organizations and Academy Cooperation, a division of the National Research Council's Office of International Affairs.

U.S./U.K. Soil Biodiversity Project

Current knowledge of the relationship between soil biodiversity and ecosystem functioning is primarily restricted to soil biotic functional groups, and this project aims to examine the relationship at the much finer taxonomic resolution of species. This means bringing together soil ecologists, ecosystem scientists, modellers and sytematists to work towards a common goal.

World Congress of Soil Science



What is GLIDE?



Study Design



2005 Meeting

2003 Meeting


Image Gallery



This webpage is funded by the Soil Science Society of America.

Please contact the GLIDE headquarters (email: if you have any comments or questions.

GLIDE was a project of the International Biodiversity Observation Year 2001-2002

This material is based upon work supported in part by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 98 06437 Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


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This page was last updated on February 1, 2005

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