Soil macrofauna research in ecosystems in Uganda




Soil is a living entity, comprising an inseparable mixture of solid, liquid and gaseous phases, and diverse fauna and flora, the below ground biodiversity. The macrofauna consists of animals longer than 4 mm or wider than 2 mm, which are easily located by the naked eye and include arthropods, molluscs and earthworms. This review is aimed at developing an inventory of the present knowledge about macrofauna in ecosystems in Uganda and identifying future priorities for research, application and capacity building. It is noted that there are a few assessments of soil macrofauna, diversity and abundance made for different habitats. Similarly, studies on their importance in ecosystems, distribution patterns, management, linkage with above ground biodiversity and effects of land use on them are deficient. Further, there is little documentation of farmers’ knowledge and practices related to soil macrofauna management and conservation. It is also noted that the current gaps in the soil macrofauna data and information have been caused by lack of capacity and expertise to identify, evaluate and manage this resource. More research and training in the taxonomy, ecology, economic evaluation and management of this fauna are suggested.