sOilFauna - a global synthesis effort on the drivers of soil macrofauna communities and functioning



  • Jérôme Mathieu Sorbonne Université
  • Ana C. Antunes German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig; University of Jena
  • Sébastien Barot Sorbonne Université
  • Ana E. Bonato Asato German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig; Leipzig University
  • Marie L. C. Bartz Centre for Organic and Regenerative Agriculture; University of Coimbra
  • George G. Brown Embrapa Forestry
  • Irene Calderon-Sanou Université Grenoble Alpes
  • Thibaud Decaëns University of Montpellier
  • Steven J. Fonte Colorado State University
  • Pierre Ganault German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig; Leipzig University
  • Benoit Gauzens German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig; University of Jena
  • Konstantin B. Gongalsky Russian Academy of Sciences
  • Carlos A. Guerra German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig; Leipzig University
  • Tomislav Hengl OpenGeoHub Foundation; Wageningen University
  • Patrick Lavelle Sorbonne Université
  • Raphael Marichal CIRAD
  • Henry Mehring German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig; Leipzig University
  • Clara P. Peña-Venegas Instituto Amazónico de Investigaciones Científicas SINCHI
  • Daniel Castro Instituto Amazónico de Investigaciones Científicas SINCHI
  • Anton Potapov University of Goettingen
  • Elisa Thébault Sorbonne Université
  • Wilfried Thuiller Université Grenoble Alpes
  • Martijn Witjes OpenGeoHub Foundation; Wageningen University
  • Chi Zhang South China Agricultural University
  • Nico Eisenhauer German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig; Leipzig University



Understanding global biodiversity change, its drivers, and the ecosystem consequences requires a better appreciation of both the factors that shape soil macrofauna communities and the ecosystem effects of these organisms. The project “sOilFauna” was funded by the synthesis center sDiv (Germany) to address this major gap by forming a community of soil ecologists, identifying the most pressing research questions and hypotheses, as well as conducting a series of workshops to foster the global synthesis and hypothesis testing of soil macrofauna. The overarching goal is to analyze the most comprehensive soil macrofauna database - the MACROFAUNA database - which collates abundance data of 17 soil invertebrate groups assessed with a standardized method at 7180 sites around the world, and seeks to foster the collection of future data. In a recent kick-off workshop in May 2022, the first research priorities and collaboration guidelines were determined. Here, we summarize the main outcomes of this workshop and highlight the benefits of creating an open global community of soil ecologists providing standardized soil macrofauna data for future research, evaluation of ecosystem health, and nature protection.


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Mathieu, J., Antunes, A. C., Barot, S., Bonato Asato, A. E. ., Bartz, M. L. C. ., Brown, G. G., Calderon-Sanou, I., Decaëns, T., Fonte, S. J., Ganault, P., Gauzens, B., Gongalsky, K. B., Guerra, C. A., Hengl, T., Lavelle, P., Marichal, R., Mehring, H., Peña-Venegas, C. P., Castro, D., Potapov, A., Thébault, E., Thuiller, W., Witjes, M., Zhang, C., & Eisenhauer, N. (2022). sOilFauna - a global synthesis effort on the drivers of soil macrofauna communities and functioning: WORKSHOP REPORT . SOIL ORGANISMS, 94(2), 111–126.