Soil Fauna and Sustainable Agriculture

  • N. G. Kumar
  • Byrappa Ammagarahalli
  • H. R. Gopalkrishna


In general, about 80–90% of the soil biological activity is carried out by soil fauna. Soil fauna has proved potentiality in soil formation and decomposition of waste materials. Of late, the importance of soil fauna in the functioning of soil ecosystem has been increasing gradually with integrated farming systems. Soil fauna mediate minute functions in soil viz., organic matter decomposition, nutrient cycling, C-storage, energy flow, water and oxygen infiltration and storage in soil. Due to intensification of agriculture, several undesirable side effects in soil have resulted in the degradation of environmental quality and natural resources and economic insecurity for the traditional farming families. Some of them are: loss of soil biodiversity due to continuous mono-cropping practices, top soil erosion, soil toxicity due to salinity, alkalinity and toxic mineral levels that are detrimental to soil biota. Further, dependence on synthetic fertilizers and scanty use of organic manures lead to the break-up of natural nutrient cycles and indiscriminate use of agrochemicals affecting human health, wild life and environment quality. The positive effects of soil biota on ecological function include organic matter decomposition and soil aggregation, inorganic transformations that release available N, P, S, Fe, Mn, etc., nitrogen fixation, detoxification of agrochemicals and toxic compounds by microbes.


Soil fauna Decomposition Organic matter Biodiversity 



NGK is thankful to the authorities of University of Agricultural Sciences, GKVK, Bangalore for their constant support and encouragement. BA acknowledges the support by Grant ‘EXTEMIT—K’, No. CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/15_003/0000433 financed by OP RDE.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. G. Kumar
    • 1
  • Byrappa Ammagarahalli
    • 2
  • H. R. Gopalkrishna
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural EntomologyUniversity of Agricultural SciencesBangaloreIndia
  2. 2.Faculty of Forestry and Wood SciencesCzech University of Life Sciences PragueSuchdolCzech Republic
  3. 3.Division of Floriculture and Medicinal CropsICAR-Indian Institute of Horticultural ResearchBangaloreIndia

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