Soil microbes are important drivers of ecosystem function and biogeochemical processes in drylands. However, biodiversity declines in drylands due to high extinction rates and many species threatened, has disrupted the biogeochemical processes that sustain these systems. Understanding interactions between the soil microbial community and key ecosystem engineers is needed to achieve restoration. The overall aim of my project is to investigate the effects of land management and ecosystem conservation practices on ecosystem functions and biotic-abiotic interactions in drylands soil. Understanding the processes driven by soil, and the species that interact with and depend on it, may improve restoration efforts in these systems.