Biodiversity is the short term for "biological diversity" and it is commonly used to describe the number, variety and variability of living organisms. Essentially, it is synonym of "Life on Earth". It may appear surprising, but the biodiversity in the soil below our feet represents around a quarter of all biodiversity on Earth!
An incredible diversity of organisms lives in the soil. They range in size from the tiniest one-celled bacteria, algae, fungi, and protozoa, to the more complex nematodes and micro-arthropods, to the visible earthworms, insects, small vertebrates, and plants.
These organisms interact in a complex food web. And as they eat, grow, and move through the soil, they make it possible to have clean water, clean air, healthy plants, and moderated water flow.
Biological systems, both natural and artificial, depend heavily on healthy soils. It is the maintenance of soil health and fertility in all of its dimensions that sustains life on earth - aboveground and belowground. Next time you hear about biodiversity, think SOIL.