oil provides habitats for numerous organisms and microorganisms. It is also a gene reserve. Declines in soil quality generally contribute to declines in biodiversity.
Loss of biological activity and animal species may be caused by:
• the removal or burning of vegetation;
• excessive application of fertilisers and agrochemicals; or
• acidification from atmospheric pollution.
Because of its strong links to other types of degradation, it is often difficult to estimate the degree of biological soil degradation. It is safe to assume that biological degradation is occurring wherever other types of soil degradation are significant, especially when erosion, compaction and chemical pollution are apparent.