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Regenerative Alberta

Living Lab

  • Writer's pictureBarb Sheldon

Watch: Kris explains why we need soil biodiversity

Updated: Apr 26, 2023


Watch: Kris explains why we need soil biodiversity


“Plants, through the microbial community,” says Dr. Kris Nichols, “are talking with each other.”


We are understanding more and more how the living things in the soil are interconnected, from annual crops and native perennials to fungi, bacteria, protozoa, worms, prairie dogs, and grazing herbivores. The relationships that these organisms have with each other are sometimes competitive, trying to survive despite overlapping niches and limited resources. Other times, however, these relationships are mutually enriching and are necessary for a thriving ecosystem.


Mycorrhizal fungi enable the transfer of nutrients, defense signals, and other resources between plants. Some soil bacteria are able to fix nitrogen from the air into a bioavailable form that is absorbed by the roots. Nutrients cycle through the bodies of different creatures in a continuous series of essential interactions.


From our partners at GRO, the Gateway Research Organization, comes a video narrated by FWWF lead scientist Dr. Kris Nichols that touches on these topics and others in the field of regenerative agriculture. Learn about soil microbiology, how plants stay resilient in the face of pests and disease, and the connections between plant health and human health.







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