Second Symposium of the Soil Ecosystem Research Group 

2nd July 2013 – XVIII ESSA Congress, North West University, Potchfstroom


The second Soil Health Workshop was held at the XVIII ESSA Congress in Potchefstroom, South Africa. The workshop was preceded by eight fascinating talks addressing different aspects of the soil ecosystem, including soil fauna, soil processes and soil health.

The workshop itself was an open discussion centred around integrative sampling and funding proposals (led by Schalk Louw), and  a brain storming session on “What is soil health?” facilitated by Ruan Veldtman (SANBI) and Matthew Addison (Stellenbosch University) to identify further funding opportunities and plan for collaborative soil research. An important outcome of the meeting was the decision to produce a review paper on the current state of knowledge of South Africa’s soil fauna (coordinated by Charlene Janion-Scheepers).

Soil Workshop 2013


Important conceptual strides in understanding soil health were made at this workshop leading to these two publications:

Soil biota in a megadiverse country: current knowledge and future research directions in South Africa.

Janion-Scheepers, C., Measey, J., Braschler, B., Chown, S.L., Coetzee, L., Colville, J.F., Dames, J., Davies, A.B., Davies, S., Davis, A., Dippenaar-Schoeman, A.S., Duffy, G.A., Fourie, D., Griffiths, C., Haddad, C.R., Hamer, M., Herbert, D., Hugo-Coetzee, E.A., Jacobs, A., Jacobs,. K., Jansen van Rensburg, C., Lamani, S., Lotz, L.N., Louw, S.vdM., Lyle, R., Malan, A.P., Marais, M., Neethling, J.-A., Nxele, T., Plisko, D., Prendini, L., Rink, A.N., Swart, A., Theron, P., Truter, M., Ueckermann, E., Uys, V.M., Villet, M.H., Willows-Munrow, S. & Wilson, J.R. 2016. Soil biota in a megadiverse country: current knowledge and future research directions in South Africa. Pedobiologia 59, pp 129-174. Doi: 10.1016/j.pedobi.2016.03.004


Understanding soil health in South AfricaSouth African Journal of Science 110 cover

vdM., Louw, S., Wilson, J.R.U., Janion, C., Veldtman, R., Davies, S.J., Addison, M. 2014. The unknown underworld: understanding soil health in South Africa. South African Journal of Science 110, number 5/6, doi: 10.1590/ sajs.2014/a0064.