Monitoring and surveys

Life in the soil

Life in the soil consists of a fascinating diversity of organisms that are ingeniously dependent on each other. From fungi and bacteria to earthworms, insects and small vertebrates. Perhaps less familiar than many of our flying insects, but certainly no less important, as many birds and their chicks depend on them for food.

A well-developed soil community guarantees a healthy soil. Through their burrowing, worms provide oxygen and help the soil structure. They also break down fertilizers and plant residues into organic matter. Smaller organisms such as fungi and bacteria are also important as fixers of nitrogen.

Soil communities under pressure

Intensive land use and the increasing periods of drought is putting soil communities in the Netherlands under great pressure. The virtual absence of soil animals in our rural areas is not good news for meadow birds. Worms, for example, also retreat deeper into the soil during periods of drought and become inaccessible as a food for other animals.

A rich biodiversity

Waardenburg Ecology carries out a lot of specialist research into life in our soils. For example, we map the diversity of earthworms within agricultural plots and also look at the relationship with species of meadow birds.
We monitor the diversity of specific insects that live in and on the soil with pitfall traps. A good example of this is the Trintelzand nature reserve, where we found various species of ground beetles, earwigs and centipedes just one year after its construction.