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Temporary Dataset Download: Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas Maps

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  1. The data provided have been prepared by the Land Resource Management Unit (Institute for Environment & Sustainability, JRC Ispra) in the context of activities leading to the Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas .
  2. The data were developed for research and publication purposes. The JRC does not accept any liability whatsoever for any error, missing data or omission in the data, or for any loss or damage arising from its use. The JRC agrees to provide the data free of charge but is not bound to justify the content and values contained in the datasets/maps.
  3. The permission to use the data specified above is granted on condition that, under NO CIRCUMSTANCES are these data passed to third parties. They can be used for any purpose, including commercial gain.
  4. The user agrees to:
       a) Make proper reference to the source of the data when disseminating the results to which this agreement relates;
       b) Participate in the verification of the data (e.g. by noting and reporting any errors or omissions discovered to the JRC).

This dataset contains 2 maps from the Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas

They are in georeferenced TIFF format.

Download the maps.

(04 July 2018) Download ESRI ArcMap Layer (.lyr) files and ancillary shapefiles (Ice, Water and Oceans)

Description of the maps:

Soil Biodiversity map

This map is presented on pages 90-91 of the Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas. The map shows a simple index describing the potential level of diversity living in soils on our planet. In order to make this preliminary assessment, two sets of data were used:

  • distribution of microbial soil carbon developed by Serna-Chavez and colleagues (2013). This dataset was used as a proxy for soil microbial diversity:
  • distribution of the main groups of soil macrofauna developed by Mathieu (unpublished data). This dataset was used as a proxy for soil fauna diversity.


  • Serna-Chavez, H.M., et al., 2013. Global drivers and patterns of microbial abundance in soil, Global Ecology and Biogeography 22: 1162-1172


Soil Biodiversity threats map

This map is presented on pages 134-135 of the Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas. The map shows the potential rather than the actual level of threat to soil organisms. For the development of this map, the following threats and corresponding proxies were chosen:

  • loss of aboveground biodiversity: map of plant species loss developed by the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (Ellis et al, 2012);
  • pollution and nutrient overloading: map of the nitrogen fertiliser application developed by the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (Potter et al., 2011);
  • agricultural use: map of cropland percentage cover developed by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis - International Food Policy Research Institute (Fritz et al., 2015);
  • overgrazing: map of cattle density developed by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Free University of Brussels (Robinson et al., 2014);
  • fire risk: map of fire density 1997-2010 developed by the United Nations Environment Programme Division of Early Warning and Assessment (UNEP – DEWA, 2015);
  • soil erosion: map of Water and Wind Erosion Vulnerability Indices developed by the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA – NRCS, 2015);
  • land degradation: map of Desertification Vulnerability Index developed by the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA – NRCS, 2015);
  • climate change: map of Global Aridity Index developed by University of Leuven (UKL), with the support of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (Zomer at al., 2008).



  • Ellis, E.C., et al., 2012. All is not loss: plant biodiversity in the Anthropocene. PLOS ONE 7: 1-9.
  • United Nations Environment Programme Division of Early Warning and Assessment (UNEP – DEWA). Fire density 1997-2010. Global Risk Data Platform, 2015.
  • Fritz, S., et al., 2015. Mapping global cropland and field size. Global Change Biology 21: 1980-1992.
  • Potter, P., et al., 2011. Global Fertilizer and Manure, Version 1: Nitrogen Fertilizer Application. NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC).
  • Robinson, T.P., et al., 2014. Mapping the global distribution of livestock. PLOS ONE 9: e96084.
  • USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. World Soil Resources Map Index, 2015.
  • Zomer, R.J., et al., 2008. Climate Change Mitigation: A Spatial Analysis of Global Land Suitability for Clean Development Mechanism Afforestation and Reforestation. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 126: 67-80.

"Global Soil Biodiversity Maps" associated to the Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas, European Soil Data Centre, Joint Research Centre of the European Commission.  June 2016. 

Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas:
Orgiazzi, A., Bardgett, R.D., Barrios, E., Behan-Pelletier, V., Briones, M.J.I.,
Chotte, J-L., De Deyn, G.B., Eggleton, P., Fierer, N., Fraser, T., Hedlund,
K., Jeffery, S., Johnson, N.C., Jones, A., Kandeler, E., Kaneko, N., Lavelle,
P., Lemanceau, P., Miko, L., Montanarella, L., Moreira, F.M.S., Ramirez,
K.S., Scheu, S., Singh, B.K., Six, J., van der Putten, W.H., Wall, D.H.
(Eds.), 2016, Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas. European Commission,
Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg. 176 pp.
Joint Research Centre - European Soil Data Centre (ESDAC)
ID 49036
Date - Time Thu, 11/25/2021 - 14:46
Name of User Nainghtet_Lwin
Organization MONREC
Type of Organization Public Administration (Ministries, Agencies, Municipalities, ...)
-- Other
Purpose For environmental conservation activities and land use assessment for our country.

When making reference to the ESDAC

  • Panagos P., Van Liedekerke M., Jones A., Montanarella L., “European Soil Data Centre: Response to European policy support and public data requirements”; (2012) Land Use Policy, 29 (2), pp. 329-338. doi:10.1016/j.landusepol.2011.07.003
  • European Soil Data Centre (ESDAC),, European Commission, Joint Research Centre