Science Daily - Organic Foods

Root exudates affect soil stability, water repellency

We might think of roots as necessary, but uninteresting, parts of the crop production process. New research, however, focuses on what's going on in the soil with the plant's roots and the chemicals they produce.

Why rare plants are rare

Rare plant species suffer more from disease than commoner species. The fact that rare species are more susceptible to attack by micro-organisms living in the soil, such as fungi and bacteria, may in fact be one of the reasons they are rare. Biologists have been trying to work out why some species are rare, while others are common, since Darwin's time and a new study provides a possible answer.

Soil cannot halt climate change

Unique soils data from long-term experiments, stretching back to the middle of the nineteenth century, confirm the practical implausibility of burying carbon in the ground to halt climate change. The idea of using crops to collect more atmospheric carbon and locking it into soil's organic matter to offset fossil fuel emissions was launched at COP21, the 21st annual Conference of Parties to review the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris in 2015.