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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fort Collins, Colorado » Center for Agricultural Resources Research » Soil Management and Sugarbeet Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #343248

Research Project: Management Practices for Long Term Productivity of Great Plains Agriculture

Location: Soil Management and Sugarbeet Research

Title: A new concept: national living soil repository

Author
item Manter, Daniel
item Delgado, Jorge
item Blackburn, Harvey
item Harmel, Daren
item Perez De Leon, Adalberto - Beto
item HONEYCUTT, C - Soil Health Institute

Submitted to: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences(PNAS)
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/31/2017
Publication Date: 12/26/2017
Citation: Manter, D.K., Delgado, J.A., Blackburn, H.D., Harmel, R.D., Perez De Leon, A.A., Honeycutt, C.W. 2017. A new concept: national living soil repository. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 114:13587–13590. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1720262115.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1720262115

Interpretive Summary: In this paper, we outline a conceptual framework for developing a National Living Soil Repository in the United States. This repository represents not only an effort to preserve soil genetic diversity as a national asset but also as a research tool to document baseline changes in genetic variability, gene function, and population diversity over time. Topics discussed in this paper include (1) a general scientific background on the role of soil genetic diversity on ecosystem health and function; (2) a proposed strategy for the development of a soil repository; and (3) the benefits of a repository for future applications ranging from agricultural management to environmental restoration and even for providing industrial processes.

Technical Abstract: Soils, and the living biodiversity contained in soils, are a vital part to the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. In this paper, we propose the concept of a national living soil repository, and an associated research program, in the United States. While there is much debate about the long-term fate of soil biodiversity, it is increasingly clear that the genetic diversity present in soils is highly dynamic and a key contributor of the genetic material necessary for ecosystem functioning. In this paper we hypothesize that a national living soil repository will contribute to preservation of genetic diversity as a national asset and will serve as a research tool to document baseline changes in genetic variability, gene function, and population diversity over time. In addition, such a resource is envisioned to be a critical source of the genetic material available for future applications ranging from agricultural management to environmental restoration and even for developing industrial processes.