The importance of soil-dwelling animals

According to Mary Stromberger, "none of the services that soils provide could be done without the animals that live in them. Stromberger is a soil scientist with Colorado State University.

Large animals like gopher turtles and burrowing owls live in soils, as well as smaller ones like earthworms.

Soil animals perform several functions in soil that make them a vital part of all ecosystems, including agriculture. Soil animals are involved in:

  • degrading organic matter and making nutrients available,
  • improving and maintaining soil structure; and,
  • mixing organic matter through the soil.

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As part of their celebration of International Year of Soil, SSSA is developing a series of twelve 2-minute educational videos. July's Soils Are Living video can be viewed at Educational materials can be viewed at