NERC Soil Biodiversity Programme

The NERC Soil Biodiversity Thematic Programme was established in 1999 and was centred upon the intensive study of a large field experiment located at the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute (now the James Hutton Institute) farm at Sourhope in the Scottish Borders (Grid reference: NT8545019630). During this time, the site was monitored to assess changes in aboveground biomass production (productivity), species composition and relative abundance (diversity).
The primary aims of the Programme were to achieve simultaneously an understanding of the biological diversity of the soil biota and the functional roles played by soil organisms in key ecological processes. In seeking to achieve these aims, 24 separate research projects were funded, providing a range of data regarding soil structure, soil processes (such as the carbon and nitrogen cycles) and the roles of micro-fauna and flora (Bacteria, Nematoda, Protozoa and Fungi), microarthropods (including Collembola and Acari), invertebrate root feeders (Tipulid, Bidionid and Scarabeid larvae), meso-fauna (such as Enchytraeidae) and macro-fauna (including Megradili, Mollusca and Coleoptera).

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Website for the NERC Soil Biodiversity Programme