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Bioindicators are species or groups of species that can be used to help assess ecological health/quality or monitor change over time. The presence or absence of bioindicators, along with changes in their abundance, behavior, or physiology, provide useful information about the local environment, including how they respond to environmental disturbances. Soil invertebrates have great potential as bioindicators of soil health because they are more diverse and abundant than vertebrates and often more sensitive to environmental disturbance, responding quickly to changes in conditions.

How To Use

This pocket guide is intended as a portable, accessible, basic guide for observing and learning about soil invertebrates and what their presence may indicate about soil health. It can be printed double sided and folded to fit in a pocket. In the PDF, clicking the link icon in the upper right of each profile opens the full profile in the Farming with Soil Life Handbook publication. This pocket bioindicator guide is part of Xerces’ Soil LIfe project and resources.

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