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Although belowground ecosystems have been studied extensively and soil biota play integral roles in biogeochemical processes, surprisingly we have a limited understanding of global patterns in belowground biomass and community structure. To address this critical gap, we conducted a meta-analysis of published data (> 1300 datapoints) to compare belowground plant, microbial and faunal biomass across seven of the major biomes on Earth. We also assembled data to assess biome-level patterns in belowground microbial community composition. Our analysis suggests that variation in microbial biomass is predictable across biomes, with microbial biomass carbon representing 0.6-1.1% of soil organic carbon (r(2) = 0.91) and 1-20%...