Tom Olijhoek (corresponding)
Soil fertility depends on healthy microbial populations in the soil. Human (and animal) health depends to a large extent on a closely related healthy microbial population in the gut. The microbes in the human and animal gut and the soil microbes are related because there is a constant exchange via food ingestion. This is known as the soil food web.
Research has shown that soil microbial life is becoming less diverse all over the world because of use of chemical fertilzers, herbicides, insecticides and other modern agricultural practices, leading to low quality crops and low quality food.
It also becomes more and more clear that the microbial flora in the gut is directly linked to immune competence and there are indications that unhealthy gut flora is linked to human illnesses like Crohn's disease, some forms of cancer, Alzheimer and depression, to name a few.
The purpose of this collection is to aggregate key papers on the topics discussed above, with the aim of raising awareness on the importance of soil-microbial-human interactions. The recent debate on the effects of neonicotinoids is one example of the sort of discussions that we want to initiate with this collection.
Human (and animal) health depends to a large extent on soil related related microbial populations in the gut.