Across the globe, soils are under threat. Due changing land use to feed a growing population, climate change, and contamination of land with toxic chemicals, this precious resource is deteriorating, posing a serious threat to our future food security.
Plant roots play a key part in keeping soil together, making it resistant to erosion and helping water flow through the soil, which can help to prevent floods. But until now little was understood about how the roots under different plant communities affect the physical condition of the soil.
A Lancaster University-led team of scientists from the UK, Netherlands and Germany has produced new evidence that increasing plant species diversity can protect soil in grasslands by improving soil structure, maintaining its overall health.