land use intensification

Protecting the unseen majority: Land cover and environmental factors linked with soil bacterial communities and functions in New Zealand

The biodiversity in soil ecosystems is simultaneously incredibly rich and poorly described. In countries such as New Zealand, where high endemism in plant species emerged following extended geographical isolation, it is likely similar evolutionary pressures extended to soil microbial communities (our biodiversity ‘dark matter’). However, we have little understanding of the extent of microbial life in New Zealand soils, let alone estimates of endemism, rates of species loss or gain, or implications for systems where plants and their microbiomes have co-evolved.