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National Program 212: Soil and Air
GRACEnet Soil Biology
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GRACEnet Soil Biology

Overview (Who we are) :

The GRACEnet Soil Biology group is currently comprised of fifteen ARS scientists who are working together with the larger USDA-ARS GRACEnet community to develop important quantifiable soil biology component measurements and to eliminate data gaps for GRACEnet and REAP efforts. This GRACEnet Soil Biology Group is focused on efforts that foster method comparison and meta-analyses to allow researchers to better assess soil biology and soil health indicators that are most responsive to agricultural management and that reflect the ecosystems services associated with a health functioning soil. The current members of the GRACEnet Soil Biology Group can be found at GRACEnet Soil Biology Group.


Context (What we do):

Meeting the needs of our growing 21st century population under anticipated climate shifts and extremes will require healthy resilient soils. Therefore, it is essential to enhance our nation’s soil health, and ensure that they have a robust living soil component – a component that sustains essential functions for healthy plants, animals, and environment - and that ultimately provides food for a healthy society.


Mission (Why it's important):

Soil biology data, including methods of identifying and quantifying specific organisms - and processes they govern - are needed to evaluate impacts on agroecosystems and sustainable agricultural practices. Data collection efforts are being accomplished in a highly structured manner to support current and future soil health and antimicrobial resistance research initiatives. The outcomes of the efforts of this team will provide a common biological data platform for several ARS databases, including: GRACEnet/REAP, nutrient management, and soil biology (e.g., MyPhyloDB) databases and others.


For questions on the Soil Biology group please contact a team coordinator:

Veronica Acosta-Martinez, PhD, Soil Biologist and Biochemist

Jane Johnson, PhD, Research Soil Scientist

Dave Knaebel, PhD, National Program Leader, Soil Biology