DOI: 10.1002/ldr.4851 ISSN:

Soil health restoration in degraded lands: A microbiological perspective

Adarsh Kumar, Abinash Das, Dikchha Singh, Malay Kumar Das, Gyan Prakash Srivastava, Jyoti Prakash Singh, Jyotsana Tilgam, Shobit Thapa, Sudipta Das, Hillol Chakdar
  • Soil Science
  • General Environmental Science
  • Development
  • Environmental Chemistry


Land degradation is one of the most pressing environmental problems of the 21st century particularly due to its impact on global food security and environmental quality through the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Land degradation happens at an accelerated rate and affects regions inhabited by more than one‐third population of the world. This phenomenon resulted in a dramatic reduction in the productivity of cropland and rangeland of world thus threatening the environmental quality and food security. It manifests in various forms such as desertification, soil erosion, sodicity, salinity, heavy metal contamination, pesticide contamination, declining soil fertility, and fate of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The world now has a real chance for the next generation to grow sustainably and eliminate acute food scarcity. Microbes, as vital elements of soil, play an important role in maintaining soil biological properties and fertility. Due to their multifarious biological functions and metabolic uniqueness, microorganisms can fix or solubilize nutrients, add organic matters to the soil to improve its quality. Many of the microorganisms can produce biological compounds or enzymes, which can degrade or scavenge toxic substances from the soils. In this review, we have discussed in detail how diverse microorganisms can help to restore different types of degraded lands. The limitations in application of microorganisms in restoration of soil health and possible scopes to improve the applicability have also been discussed here.

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