Soil ecology

Last changed: 22 November 2022
 Two pairs of hands going through a soil sample.

We study how land use and fragmentation of habitats affect plants and animals as well as ecosystem processes. In Sweden, we have unique expertise in soil fauna in both agricultural and forest landscapes.

The Soil Unit focuses on the following research topics among others:

  • Role of soil microbes and soil fauna in ecosystem processes
  • Effects of management practices (agricultural and forest management, land-use change etc) on soil biodiversity and ecosystem functions
  • Plant interactions with soil organisms
  • Nationwide diversity and biogeography of soil microbes

More information

Read more about our projects and publications on the researchers CV pages

A lot of earthworms.
Can inoculations of earthworms and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) enhance soil ecosystem services and crop production? And does these new management work for farmers? We study this in one of our projects. Photo: Astrid Taylor
Woman working with cement mixer.
Maria Viketoft is mixing soil with different levels of PAHs and copper in a cement mixer. How do the pollutants affect the life in the soil? Photo: Anna Lundmark
Blue berries.
Stand age and climate influence forest ecosystem service delivery and multifunctionality, according to a study that we did together with Umeå University. Production of berries and game, and services related to biodiversity, were typically highest in old stands (120–185 years). Photo: Jenny Svennås-Gillner.
Soil sample.
One gram of soil can contain thousands of species of bacteria and a large variety of different types of fungi. We study how soil life in forest ecosystems is affected by different types of forest management. Photo: Tord Ranheim Sveen