Soil. It is one of the most essential natural resources on our planet, alongside air and water. It is, literally, the foundation for life. In fact, a mere teaspoonful of soil is believed to contain over 4 billion microorganisms (more than half of the human population)! Soil growth is so slow, it is considered a non-renewable resource. The process of soil formation can take thousands of years. Yet threats such as erosion, climate change, deforestation, agriculture, resource extraction, pollution and poor land management are endangering soil all over the world.
Restoration efforts using compost material, plants, microbial communities, prescribed fire, land imprinting, and other methods are out there, but in general, when it comes to ecological restoration and conservation planning, this vulnerable, critical resource is often treated with little regard.
In this issue of Leaf Litter we attempt to bring this “dirty” issue to the surface, unearthing useful information, helpful resources and inspiring soil restoration pioneers along the way.