Diversity in natural communities of microbes, plants, and animals is a key factor in ecosystem structure and function. Agricultural ecosystems, however, are designed around one or several species of plants or animals. Reduction of diversity in agricultural systems, compared with that in natural ecosystems, is traditionally considered essential to increase production of food, forage, and fiber. For simplicity of

Table 1 Hierarchy of Size and Abundance of Organisms Inhabiting Soil

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