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Over Half of Living Species Are Found in Earth’s Soil – Report

By Yemi Olakitan

A recent study reveals the soil is the most plentiful environment for life on Earth, home to more than half of all species.

90% of fungi, 85% of plant life, and more than 50% of bacteria are found in soil, according to study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, early last week, which doubles prior figures.

According to the research, “here we demonstrate that soil is likely home to 59% of life, including everything from microbes to mammals, making it the singularly most biodiverse habitat on Earth.” The authors note that additional research on soil habitats might yield a higher number.

The soil plays a significant role in preserving the food chain and the health of the environment. Soil is made up of water, gases, minerals, and organic structures.

Even though the study concedes that there is a sizable possible margin of error on their findings, it offers a promising starting point for further scientific inquiry into the function that soil serves in maintaining life.

Large areas of soil have been depleted globally as a result of deforestation, chemical and air pollution, and the nature and climate crises.

The researchers highlight that while there is no easy way to guarantee healthy soil, less intensive farming, stronger regulation of non-native invasive species, and greater habitat conservation could all contribute to the preservation of soil biodiversity.

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