Soil fauna-as indicator of soil quality
Authors: Sunanda Biswas1 and Bharat H. Gawade2
1Division of Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry, ICAR-IARI, New Delhi-110012
2Quarantine Division, ICAR-National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources, New Delhi-110012
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The word "Fauna" comes from the Latin word of Faunus, the Roman goddess of earth and fertility and the related forest spirits called Fauns. The term was first used by Linnaeus in the title of his 1745 work Fauna Suecica. Soil is the natural habitat of various organisms, including soil fauna invertebrates. These organisms vary in size and metabolism and they play numerous functional roles in the environment. The quality of the soil environment is related to its capacity to sustain biological production and to maintain or improve the environmental quality within the limits of a natural or managed system (Doran & Parkin, 1994). Biological indicators are species or groups of species that reflect the impact of habitat changes due to their sensitivity to the environmental conditions. The soil fauna sensitivity to environmental variations, soil management practices and can therefore be a potential indicator of soil quality.

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