Land use change, unsustainable soil management practices, invasive species, pollution, soil sealing, and urbanization are the main causes of soil biodiversity loss. Introducing invasive plant species should be avoided as invasive species compete with other species/native species for water, sunlight, nutrients. And also, invasive species have the ability to dominate the ecosystem. Then soil fertility gets reduced, and soil conditions become relatively poor.
Here are the main key drivers of loss of soil biodiversity:
Land use change
Due to land use change, land degradation, and deterioration of soil quality are happened. Soil quality deterioration is happened through loss of top soil moisture, water storage, infiltration capacity, vegetative cover, soil organic matter, resilience, fertility.
Roots of plants affect positively soil structure, mobilization of nutrients, and plants modify soil environment. Invasive plant species alter nutrients cycles in a different way.
Unsustainable soil management practices
Unsustainable soil management practices such as tillage cause soil erosion, while proper soil management practices like mulching, planting cover crops, managing soil organic matter, enhance soil quality.
Soil pollution affects negatively the organic matter content, and filtering capacity of the soil. Imbalance of soil nutrients, and groundwater contamination are also caused due to pollution.
Soil sealing and urbanization
Soil sealing causes loss of soil biodiversity. Flooding, and landslides happen due to soil sealing. Soil conditions, soil structure, and vegetation cover are destroyed through landslides, and flooding. Human settlements increas with a rise in population increase and urbanization. Slope stability gets disturbed, natural vegetation gets reduced, and runoff increases with the human settlements, thereby increasing the risk of landslides. Therefore, soil biodiversity loss is happening at an alarming rate.